Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR)By the time you read this, the Comprehensive Spending Review will have been announced, with the HE and FE sectors affected in a major way. About 75% of ALT’s organisational members are in HE and FE and we’d be naïve in the extreme to assume that ALT will be untouched by the CSR. ALT’s Trustees meet on 29 October and we will keep members informed of decisions taken then and in the ensuing weeks.
The ALT Journal – request for proposals (RFP)Earlier this month we issued a public request for proposals to publish the ALT journal from January 2012. The RFP process is partly a standard piece of “market testing” to ensure that ALT and our members get best value from the publishing arrangements for the journal. It also provides an opportunity to consider proposals that would enable the journal to become Open Access, assuming an economical and effective way can be found to achieve this. The RFP is at http://repository.alt.ac.uk/836/. Note that from January 2011, the journal will be renamed Research in Learning Technology, the journal of the Association for Learning Technology, from ALT-J – Research in Learning Technology, on the basis that ALT-J is, in short, an incomprehensible acronym!
New Officers electedAt the ALT AGM on 8 September, Martin Oliver was elected for a three year term to serve successively as a trustee of ALT and as vice-chair, chair and president of ALT. Vanessa Pittard was elected for a first and Dick Moore for a second three year term as a trustee. Gilly Salmon took over from Carol Higgison as Chair, and Carol Higgison took over from Steve Ryan as President. I put on record here my personal thanks to Steve for his three years of service to ALT.
Other key trustee roles are as follows:
Treasurer: Fred Pickering
Honorary Secretary: Liz Bennett
- Membership Services – Haydn Blackey
- Further Education – David Dyet
- Scotland Group – Linda Creanor
- Publications – Dick Moore
- Research – John Cook
Our individual membership continues to increaseReaders will be delighted to learn that over the last quarter well over 100 individuals have joined ALT as Associate Members, and that we now have close to 350 members who have either achieved Certified Membership status or are registered for CMALT.
2011 ALT ConferencePreparations are now underway for the 2011 conference Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate. During October we issued a call for additional members of the Programme Committee, including for additional abstracts and proceedings editors and web participation coordinators, with active encouragement to people from outside the UK and from outside HE to put themselves forward. We have also carefully reviewed and will be acting on the very comprehensive feedback from ALT-C 2010 participants with a view to making ALT-C 2011 an event that has a strong focus on directly benefiting institutions that are under post-CSR financial and operational pressure.
Research Excellence FrameworkALT is one of nearly 2000 nominating bodies for the panels being set up by HEFCE to judge research submitted under the 2013 Research Excellence Framework. We have put six people forward in total, for membership of the Computer Science and Informatics and the Education sub-panels. I will report further if any nomination is successful (the odds are inevitably long).
HEFCE review of JISCWe have been invited to contribute to the review of JISC that HEFCE is running on behalf of all the funding bodies, and which will “consider JISC’s strategy, functions and effectiveness in the context of current ICT opportunities and challenges and public sector funding constraints”. Members of ALT’s operational committees are contributing to the process.
Consultation responsesDuring August we prepared a response to Martha Lane Fox’s Independent Review of Directgov: http://repository.alt.ac.uk/826/, and we are currently working on a response to the Royal Society’s call for evidence for its “Computing in Schools” inquiry - http://tinyurl.com/3a7qfsx. We plan to submit this jointly with the Association of Colleges, with whom we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Review of the ALT strategyOver the last nine months we have been reviewing our three year strategy, the 2008-2011 version of which is at http://tinyurl.com/ychnulp. The process concludes later this month with a face-to-face meeting of ALTs Assembly (ALT’s trustees plus the members of our Further Education, Membership Services, Publications, and Research Committees). ALT’s trustees aim to approve changes to the strategy by the end of November. Expect these changes to be substantial.
Seb Schmoller, 20 October 2010