The Institute of Learning & Teaching in Higher Education’s (ILT) efforts paid off. Years of research have taken place at this core University of Northampton unit. Today, ILT is a global thought leader in Active Blended Learning (ABL). Northampton’s mission factors excellence and innovation into “transformational learning” and “inspirational teaching”.
But their recognition as teaching and research pioneers ―boasting a long list of peer-reviewed research since 2008―, seems insufficient for all its merits. Last March’s Blackboard TLC Milan provided an excellent opportunity to continue to promote ABL as “the new normal”. On exchanges with Professor Alejandro (Ale) Armellini, Dean of Learning and Teaching at the University of Northampton and Director of ILT, and Kate Coulson, Northampton’s Head of Learning Development and presenter at TLC Milan, we discussed outcomes, challenges, and the case for ABL advocacy today.
Active Blended Learning: Case-Based Advocacy
In 2018, Northampton will move to a “new, purpose-built” campus in the city centre. During TLC Milan, Kate Coulson framed the move as a symbol for the departure, by Northampton, from “traditional lecture-seminar delivery”, decidedly into ABL. This optimistic outlook comes with a tall challenge: the smooth transition of faculty and academic staff, often without a deep technological background.
*Professor Alejandro Armellini, Dean of Learning and Teaching and Director, Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Northampton
*Kate Coulson, Head of Learning Development, University of Northampton
*Photos by: AFP Chris J Ratcliffe