In many real world applications, active selection of training examples can significantly reduce the number of labelled training examples to learn a classification function. Different strategies in the field of support vector machines have been proposed that iteratively select a single new example from a set of unlabelled examples, query the corresponding class label and then perform retraining of the current classifier. However, to reduce computational time for training, it might be necessary to select batches of new training examples instead of single examples. Strategies for single examples can be extended straightforwardly to select batches by choosing the h > 1 examples that get the highest values for the individual selection criterion. We present a new approach that is especially designed to construct batches and incorporates a diversity measure. It has low computational requirements making it feasible for large scale problems with several thousands of examples. Experimental results indicate that this approach provides a faster method to attain a level of generalization accuracy in terms of the number of labelled examples.