Active Blended Learning (ABL)
Active blended learning (ABL) is the dominant pedagogy at the UON and has in many ways been a USP for us. It is “a pedagogical approach that combines sense-making activities with focused student interactions (with content, peers and tutors) in appropriate learning settings – in and outside the classroom”. (UON1, 2020). It is sometimes confused with the ‘banning’ of lectures but this is not the case – a good lecture can include activities that move it away from a purely didactic event and make it part of an ABL approach. It will always include some face-to-face time on campus and usually some online. However, it is also important to note that the active element can be, and often is, online but it can also be a field trip, a mini project or other activities within or outside of a classroom. In the terms of the Student Loan Company (SLC) this is our standard teaching approach.
Active Digital Learning (ADL)
This develops the concept of ABL and applies to the digital element of courses eg “including sense making activities with focused interactions in synchronous and asynchronous online settings” (Caldwell et al, 2021). Formerly known as Active Distance Learning.
This involves viewing materials, recordings and engaging with resources in the student’s own, non-timetabled time. This has always been part of the learning experience e.g. reading but it could also include taking part in learning that may later become synchronous (e.g. posting to a message board on NILE) and include tutor-mediated activities where outputs from student activities are reviewed by tutors.
Blended learning is delivery that combines face to face classroom teaching with online learning. ABL is a variant on this that stresses active rather than passive learning in both environments and should be the preferred term for teaching at UON.
The QAA describe this as the amount of time that you spend learning in contact with teaching or associated staff, when studying for a particular course, which may include office hours, interaction by email or other media and feedback on assessed work. They also note that “contact time may also take a virtual rather than face-to-face form”. (QAA 2011). Typically, this would be through NILE but may include other technology-aided means. UON has defined it as ‘Student contact time’ refers to the tutor-mediated time allocated to teaching, provision of guidance and feedback to students. This time includes activities that take place in face-to-face contexts such as on-campus seminars, labs, studios and workshops, as well as off-site work-based learning, placements and educational visits. Student contact time also includes tutor-mediated activities that take place in online environments. Online contact time can be synchronous (using real-time environments such as … Blackboard Collaborate) or asynchronous (using tools such as tutor-moderated discussion forums, blogs or wikis). Online contact hours are always characterised by personalised tutor presence and input within a specified time-frame’. (UON2). It would not include emails or other messages that were not part of a tutor-mediated session.
Education that takes place away from a campus and may be delivered online or via other means. It always includes the physical separation of tutor and student. Distance Learning courses at UON are validated as such and this should not be confused with online or blended learning. Courses that do not include any onsite activity will be considered to be Distance Learning for funding purposes (including SLC funding) even if the learning takes place synchronously.
Although f2f learning can take place online (in Collaborate for example) and the QAA accept that this is the case, the SLC do not. The latter has funding implications. We should therefore take it to mean that tutor and student are in the same physical, campus space.
Combines face to face and online attendance by students at the same time, although it may also include an online asynchronous element (for example a recording).
Inclusive Practice celebrates diversity in the student body and ensures that all learners have access to learning and teaching. This includes providing opportunities for full participation and achievement in teaching, learning and assessment through our best efforts to remove any systemic barriers that may reduce access to educational experiences and the university community. UoN applies current legislation and promotes positive attitudes to ensure active participation in the community and provide support towards equitable opportunities to achieve life goals.
Mode of Study
This is used for statutory purposes to describe the intensity at which a student studies, the only possible statutory values are full-time, part-time and intensive. Internally we may also use a mode of “work based learning” at the module level which can map to full-time or part-time (generally it will be full-time). Distance learning courses are generally considered to be part-time. (Distance learning students and students who are not in attendance at the University do not qualify for a student maintenance loan via the SLC but they a distance learning student can get a tuition loan if they are studying at an intensity of at least 25%).
Northampton Integrated Learning Environment. A collection of tools that are fully supported by the Learning Technology team and are available to all UON staff and students for their teaching and learning. They include Blackboard (BB) Learn, BB Collaborate, BB Ally, Edublogs, Kaltura, Padlet, Pebblepad, Tutnitin and Xerte. Full details on these products can be found at https://libguides.northampton.ac.uk/learntech/staff/nile-help/nile-tools
A learning and teaching event that takes place entirely off campus. This could be online but could also be a field trip etc. Use online if the event takes place via the internet or face to face if the academics and students are together in the same physical space.
A learning and teaching event taking place entirely on campus. This would usually be Face to Face but may, in some circumstances be online.
This is usually understood as learning and teaching which has been intentionally designed to be delivered online. It may be synchronous or asynchronous. It is at a physical distance from tutors and other students and many students, although not all, expressed the feeling that it is less desirable than face to face or on-campus learning during lockdown.
Similar to Distance Learning but the connotations of the word remote are much more negative to many students. Use online as the preferred term.
Attending a timetabled learning event that involves other learners and usually a teacher. Could be online or face to face on campus.
This refers to the tutor presence within online learning where the tutor is providing guidance or feedback (both synchronously and asynchronously) to the outputs of student’s work in online activities such as formative assessments. Part of online learning.
This is often used instead of online but is often seen as a less desirable term due to the implication not ‘real’. Preferred term for UON would be online.
Caldwell, H. and Whewell, E., Devecchi, C., Quirke, M., and Mc Guckin, C. (2021). Towards a digital pedagogy of inclusive Active Distance Learning. In: Studente, S., Ellis S., and Desai, B.. The Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Nova Science Publishers (Publication pending).
QAA (2011) Contact Hours: a guide for students. Available from: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/contact-hours-student.pdf?sfvrsn=5046f981_8 – PDF
QAA (2011) Explaining Contact Hours. Available from: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/contact-hours-guidance.pdf – PDF
QAA (2020) Building a taxonomy for digital learning. Available from: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/guidance/building-a-taxonomy-for-digital-learning.pdf PDF