About Me – Sheila MacNeill, ALT Trustee


I am a Senior Lecturer in Blending Learning at Glasgow Caledonian University, and a very new ALT Trustee, having just been appointed at the AGM during this year’s ALT-C conference. I am really excited to be a Trustee at this point in time, as over the last few years I really feel that ALT has really been revitalised in terms of its role and engagement with and for the sector.

Most of my “day job” is taken up with supporting the effective use and development of blended learning across the three schools in my institution. The Blended Learning Team is based in GCU LEAD (Learning Enhancement and Academic Development).  We’re a small team consisting of me, Jim Emery and headed by Professor Linda Creanor (a well known ALT face and co-chair of ALT-C 2014).  We have a central coordinating role for learning and teaching related activities. A number of our core activities relate to the implementation of the University’s Strategy for Learning. We also have responsibility for the direction, development and (hopefully innovative) use of our VLE.  We are all members of the ALT Scotland SIG.

Some of the areas on our to-do list at the moment include: e-portfolios, guidelines on electronic assessment marking, developing more online modules, learning analytics, digital literacy and open education. We’re also looking at open badges and had our first taste of issuing them during our online event GCU Games On which ran in parallel with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  That was a really exciting project for our team as we got the project from idea to online in less than a month.  It wasn’t a MOOC but the experience was massive both in terms of fun and learning about our own capabilities.

Before working at GCU I was one of the Assistant Director’s with Jisc Cetis, a nationally funded innovation support centre.  I was involved in lots of Jisc e-learning programmes which allowed me to get to know many people across the UK HE community, through the fantastic projects they were developing.  I also was very fortunate to be able represent the sector at many international events and conferences.  Social media has been quite transformative in my practice in terms of creating and maintaining contacts and involvements in formal and informal networks. Sharing practice has always been central part of my practice and I try and be as open a practitioner as possible, mainly via my blog and twitter.  If something is important, then I tend to blog about it. In many ways my blog is not only my professional portfolio but also my memory.  I was absolutely thrilled to be awarded the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year award in 2013, which was recognition and huge validation of my  working practices.

I have many friends and colleagues in the ALT community and I’m looking forward to being more actively engaged with the organisation and making many more.

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member



  • Paul Hollins says:

    And congratulations on being appointed a trustee ….

    Sheila was instrumental in developing CETIS into the internationally recognised service it became and was a real pleasure to work with.

    Paul Hollins
    Director CETIS

  • This article provides a refreshing insight into the role of a Senior Lecturer in Blended Learning at Glasgow Caledonian University and their recent appointment as an ALT Trustee.

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