Our proposal has been submitted and we are awaiting feedback:
Student engagement with active blended learning (ABL): How to ensure the dog doesn’t eat their homework
The workshop aims to explore strategies to engage students with ABL. A key feature of ABL is the expectation for students to undertake work outside of class, and be actively involved in face to face and online learning. Despite a wealth of pedagogical theory and research supporting this approach, anxieties about student non-engagement remain. During the workshop, participants will review examples of ABL activities and discuss features that may promote or discourage engagement. The emphasis will be looking at things from the learners’ perspective, and using participants’ own experiences as learners to identify good practice in ABL design.
The project team met on Wednesday (6th Dec) to review the proposed workshop plan. The learning materials and activities for the student workshop have been developed, and it was important to look at them together to see if they were suitable for achieving the learning outcomes
The workshop will run in an ABL format, with some pre-activities for students to complete (measuring their initial knowledge and confidence with ABL), and follow-up activity (post measures to measure any changes). The face to face workshop will be interactive, involving a mix of content, discussion tasks and online activities to model the ABL approach.
The next stage will be applying for ethical approval for the research elements/data collection aspects of the project, and then developing a marketing approach for recruiting students to the workshop.
An draft outline for the workshop has been developed. The workshop aims to increase students’ knowledge and confidence with active blended learning. There will be a mix of online and interactive face to face activities in order to model/demonstrate the ABL approach to learning and teaching. Through the session, students will be able to feed back and comment on a range of different ABL examples. We will review the workshop plan and proposed materials/activities in our next project meeting on 6th December
Provisional bookings have been made for rooms and times when we plan to run the workshops next term. We thought it best to get ahead with this so we had dates in the diary, could ensure tutor availability and secured suitable venues. Our recruitment and implementation plan to engage students with the workshop will be developed in our forthcoming project meeting
We had our first project team meeting on 25th Oct. In the meeting we reviewed the aims of the project, and outlined our plans for achieving those aims.
The overall aim of our project is to increase students’ confidencein learning through active-blended learning (ABL). We intend to do this by designing and delivering a workshop session (60-90 mins) for students on ABL – exploring what ABL is and evidence for its effectiveness. This workshop will be an ‘optional extra’ for students to attend outside their scheduled classes, promoted on the basis that:
they will have the opportunity to find out more about UoN’s new approach to learning and teaching ahead of the move to Waterside
they can contribute to the developments that are taking place by sharing their views, experiences and ideas through constructive dialogue with staff
it is a valuable CPD opportunity for them, reflecting on their own learning and building an understanding of approaches to learning and teaching in higher education contexts
First and second year students who attend the workshop will receive two research credits (as part of the research participation credits required in compulsory research methods modules).
Learning outcomes for the ABL workshop
By the end of the session, students will be able to:
describe the rationale behind using active-blended learning
identify some of the benefits that ABL can provide to their learning experience
make recommendations for the design of effective ABL
We will evaluate the impact of the workshop by:
having ‘before and after’ measures of student knowledge, understanding and attitude towards ABL (assessing their confidence, and any anxiety/concerns)
workshop feedback forms about the quality/relevance/content/delivery of the session
interviews with a sample of students who attended the workshop about the impact it has had on their perceptions and attitudes towards ABL
The workshop plans and materials will be made openly available for others to use
Start project blog (RM)
Prepare plan for the workshop (RM)
Make provisional room bookings for the workshops to run in Feb and March 2018 (KP)
This is the project blog for the project “Increasing student understanding of Active Blended Learning”. It is funded through the Institute of Learning and Teaching at The University of Northampton, as part of the Learning Enhancement and Innovation bids 2017-18.
Blended learning approaches are becoming more prominent in UK Higher Education. Meta- analyses of empirical research have indicated the benefits of blended learning over both purely online learning and the traditional lecture based learning strategy. A student’s attitude toward blended learning predicts their readiness to engage with it, and for those that do engage, achievement is significantly enhanced. Psychology at the University of Northampton currently has low levels of confidence amongst students in ABL and thus a lack of engagement. This project aims to enhance confidence and readiness via increasing knowledge of what ABL is and why we endorse it.