Academic staff perspectives on an institution-wide shift to active blended learning

Virgínia Teixeira Antunes*, Cesar Alejandro Armellini, Robert Howe

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study identified barriers and enablers of a university-wide pedagogic shift to Active Blended Learning (ABL). ABL is an approach to learning and teaching that promotes student centredness through teaching in small groups, with a focus on sense-making activities and interactions in and outside the physical or virtual learning space. Data gathered through a survey of academic staff, followed by in-depth interviews, were analysed using thematic analysis. The normalisation and effective embedding of digital technology and small group teaching were two major enablers of pedagogic transformation to ABL. Inconsistent teaching practices and the lack of student engagement with learning activities emerged as two of the main barriers. An in-depth understanding of effective, student-focused higher education teaching is a cornerstone of large-scale pedagogic change processes. Recommendations are put forward for higher education institutions considering changes to their learning and teaching strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalItalian Journal of Educational Technology
Early online date27 Sept 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 27 Sept 2021


  • Active blended learning
  • Student engagement
  • Institutional change
  • Innovative pedagogy
  • Digital transformation


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