Welcome to the 2016 Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology. We are delighted to have you here, whether you’re joining us in person at the University of Warwick or following the sessions online.
We are really pleased to be chairing the conference this year, and are sure that it will be an engaging and valuable event for all. We have delegates from many different educational sectors, representing a wide range of roles, which can only serve to set the scene for stimulating discussions and opportunities for learning and collaboration.
The theme this year – Connect, Collaborate, Create – has generated an amazing collection of contributions and we are really happy with the quality and variety of presentations on offer. In keeping with the theme, we hope that the next few days will also provide the opportunity for everyone to make new connections, have interesting conversations, work and learn together, and generate new ideas, networks, projects and possibilities.
We are also particularly excited about the selection of keynote speakers at the 2016 conference, who we believe will provide a series of inspiring and enlightening sessions throughout the conference. (The best bit of chairing was being able to choose a bunch of such amazing people to talk.) Of course, the social programme will be a highlight too, with lots of opportunities to meet and talk with delegates and friends – old and new – throughout the conference. If you are new to #altc, we hope you’ll quickly feel at home in the vibrant and friendly ALT community.
This year there will be a new look #altc game, led by Rosie Jones from the Open University with the support of the Games and Learning Special Interest Group, which will also offer lots of opportunities to meet people, do interesting (and perhaps silly) things, be playful, and try something new and maybe even surprise yourself.
However you choose to engage with the conference, your fellow participants, and the formal and informal activities of the next few days, we wish you a very happy, rewarding, and fun conference.
Nicola Whitton and Alex Moseley
Nicola Whitton, Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Nicola Whitton leads the Professional Learning Research Group at the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on digital innovation in learning and teaching and, in particular games and learning in the context of Higher Education. Her research interests include interaction design, the impact of motivation and engagement, active learning design, and the pedagogy of play. She has led research projects in gaming for older adults, collaborative game building as a learning approach, alternate reality games for student induction, and an investigation into student conceptions of fun. Her first book Learning with digital games, based on her PhD thesis, was published in 2010, and is an accessible guide to the design, development and use of games for learning at university.
Alex Moseley, University of Leicester
Alex Moseley is a National Teaching Fellow based in the Leicester Learning Institute, University of Leicester, where he has had long experience as both practitioner and researcher of course design and development for higher education. He has particular interests in online and distance education, student engagement, and provision of effective research skills and student induction. His principal research area is in games based learning; he co-authored Using Games to Enhance Teaching and Learning (Routledge, 2012) and New Traditional Games for Learning: A Case Book (Routledge, 2013) and has suggested key features of online immersive games which can be transferred to higher education to ensure high engagement and community development. He was part of the team behind the first charity Alternative Reality Game, Operation: Sleeper Cell, co-chairs the Association for Learning Technology special interest group on Games and Learning, and co-organises the Let’s Change the Game cross-sector conference.