Responding to the cuts
I warned in the last issue of the ALT
Update and Online Newsletter that we’d be naïve to assume that ALT
would be untouched by the public spending cuts announced by the coalition
government. ALT’s Trustees met at the end of
October and decided to reduce spending on staffing by between 20 and 25% from
the February 2011 to January 2012 financial year, whilst keeping other costs
under tight control. This steep reduction has been achieved by voluntary means,
and without ALT incurring any severance
costs. Inevitably the restructured staff team, already quite “lean”, and now
with total direct employment costs of less than £150k per year, will be
stretched by these changes, especially when we are aiming to increase our
impact and the range of our activities. We will make every effort to keep the
direct impact on members to a minimum.
Our journal – Research in Learning Technology
From January 2011 ALT’s
journal has the new name Research in Learning Technology, The Journal of the
Association for Learning Technology; but other much more important changes
are afoot. Following last year’s reprocurement process, and with the support of
ALT’s Research Committee and of the
journal’s Editorial Board, I am happy to report that from January 2012 our
journal will be fully Open Access, produced in partnership with the Swedish
publisher Co-Action Publishing. We are about to complete negotiations on the
new publishing agreement with Co-Action, and once finalised the process of
transfer of the journal from the current publisher to Co-Action will then
begin, taking final effect at the end of 2011.
This change represents a major development for ALT.
One effect will be that the contents of Research in Learning Technology will
be much more accessible to people world-wide than at present. Another will be
much better integration between the journal and the ALT
conference. A third is likely to be a modest reduction in the annual costs of
organisational membership of ALT, from
Our administrators Mel Fox and Naomi Courtenay have resigned
to take up new jobs elsewhere. We wish them both well, and we will shortly be
filling a vacancy. Emma Carr- Jones (Finance Manager) and Louise Ryan
(Publications Manager) will be on maternity leave from April and March until
early in 2012.
Since the last issue of the ALT
Update, we have submitted the following:
- How might learning technology impact on the
modern delivery of learning in Scotland
A report prepared at the request of Michael Russell, Scottish Cabinet
- Technology in learning, an ALT
and Technology Enhanced Learning Research Programme response to some questions
for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
- A joint ALT and
Association of Colleges response to the Royal Society’s call for evidence about
the teaching of computing in schools.
- A response to the review of JISC for the funding
bodies by Sir Alan Wilson.
- A response to a call from the Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills for evidence for the Digital and Creative
Industries Growth Review .
- A response to the Higher
Consultation on the UK Professional Standards Framework for Higher Education.
Seb Schmoller, 19 January 2011