ALT meeting in Scotland
On 17 December ALT held a very productive and well-attended meeting for representatives of organisational members of ALT in Scotland and for Scotland-based members of ALT’s own committees. The meeting was led by Linda Creanor, who is a Trustee of ALT, and it heard presentations from Paul Bacsich, Terry Mayes, and David Beards. One upshot from the meeting was to create a low volume JISCmail list for the representatives of organisational members of ALT in Scotland and for Scotland-based members of ALT’s own committees. Another is to hold at least one ALT meeting annually in Scotland to consider Scotland-related policy and organisational issues. Ideally ALT would like to establish similar arrangements to cover Wales and Northern Ireland and we will work on this during 2010.
Research Excellence Framework – ALT response to consultation
During December ALT submitted a response to the UK Funding Councils’ consultation on the Research Excellence Framework (REF), written largely by the ALT Research Committee. The focus of the response was on the need to:
- ensure that interdisciplinary fields like learning technology are supported rather than thwarted by the REF;
- reduce burdens on universities by applying the REF in 2014 rather than 2013;
- strengthen the REF’s emphasis on research that involves collaboration between universities.
The full response is at http://tinyurl.com/y8bcue6.
Desire2Learn and Blackboard settle patent dispute
During August 2006 ALT had constructive telephone meetings with Blackboard and with Desire2Learn about Blackboard’s patent infringement case against Desire2Learn. ALT’s Trustees were delighted to read in December that Blackboard and Desire2Learn, who are each longstanding sponsoring members of ALT, have settled their differences. ALT strongly welcomes the fact that a line has now been drawn under the dispute. There are identical statements on the ending of the dispute at http://tinyurl.com/yepoth4 and http://tinyurl.com/yfeyjz2. Inclusion of this note in the ALT update (though not its detail) has been discussed with both companies.
Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)
Earlier in January ALT joined COAR - a not-for-profit association of repository initiatives that was launched in October 2009. COAR aims to enhance greater visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories.
ALT website – update
In December we issued a brief seeking quotes for Stage 1 of the redevelopment of the ALT website. We intend that Stage 1 will be completed soon after Easter.
Opportunities for involvement in ALT
Over the next three months, if you are interested in getting more involved in ALT, please be on the look out for the forthcoming calls for:
- nominations for election as Vice Chair of ALT and for election as Trustees of ALT;
- expressions of interest in membership (from 1 September 2010) of each of ALT’s four operational committees – Further Education, Membership Services, Publications, Research;
- expressions of interest in Chairing or Co-chairing the 2011 ALT conference.
Seb Schmoller, 11 January 2010