CEO Report November 2023

Dear Members,

I hope the message earlier this year reached you but in case it didn’t, let me introduce myself. I am ALT’s Interim Chief Executive (CEO) and Chief Operations Officer (COO). I joined ALT in 2022 as COO having worked in learning technology roles for over a decade in Higher Education. As COO, my role has been to manage the day-to-day running of ALT and now, as Interim CEO, to work with Members, the Board of Trustees and external partners to deliver ALT’s Strategy. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly and, as we begin the process of finding new leadership for ALT, my focus is on delivering all of ALT’s strategic and operational plans. We have achieved a lot this year and there is only more to come!

Our next big event is our Winter Summit on ethics and artificial intelligence.

ALT’s Winter Summit on ethics and artificial intelligence

Our online Winter Summit on ethics and artificial intelligence on 12 December is fast approaching. Registration will close on Monday 11 December at noon GMT so don’t miss out!

We have a fantastic programme co-chaired by Natalie Lafferty and Sharon Flynn who were part of the development of ALT’s Framework for Ethical Learning Technology on which the conference focuses.

Speakers include Helen Beetham, Dr Tarsem Sungh Cooner, Dr Olatunde Durowoju, Mary Jacob and Sue Beckingham and Peter Harley and their student panel. Each speaker brings their own perspective to the topic of ethics and artificial intelligence and it is set to be a great event. I hope to see you there.

Looking back at ALT’s Annual Conference

It was a joy to see so many of you join us online and in-person at ALT’s Annual Conference at the University of Warwick in September. Our Annual Conference was extra special this year (not only because of the extraordinary heat) but also because we celebrated two big milestones in ALT’s history.

First, we said thank you and good luck to ALT’s CEO of over ten years, Dr Maren Deepwell at our AGM. Maren’s contribution to ALT has been immeasurable and hers are big shoes to fill. She remains with us as Strategic Lead for the AmplifyFE project and has been a huge support to me. We wish Maren every success with her new ventures.

Secondly, we celebrated ALT’s 30th year. Founded in 1993, ALT and the learning technology sector has changed a great deal. To celebrate, we had the Museum of ALT, ALTC radio, Jisc Afternoon Tea and Gala Dinner. In true celebratory style, we had a live 90s cover band.

The Gala Dinner included our Annual Awards which celebrate the work of our community and acknowledge individual and collective achievements. Congratulations to Johnny Lee, City’s Digital Education Team, Julie Voce, Hull College and University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering for their awards. Honorary Life Membership, which recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to ALT and its aims, was awarded to Lorna Campbell. Read about our award winners.

For the first time ever, we live streamed and recorded (almost) every session at the conference. It was no mean feat and not without its teething problems but it was important to us to broaden access as much as we could. It also enables us to share more of the conference with the wider community. 132 sessions to be precise.

A huge thank you to Santanu Vasant and Lawrie Phipps, this year’s Co-Chairs, and the entire Conference Committee for their hard work and dedication. A special shout-out to those on the accessibility sub-group for their invaluable input and to Dom Pates for making #altc radio a reality.

If you were unable to attend this year or missed a session, watch them on our #ALTC23 YouTube playlist.

ALT’s Impact Report

Alongside the Annual Report and Annual Accounts launched at the 2023 AGM in September, ALT’s Impact Report 2023 provides important information for all our stakeholders, especially our Members, and shows how we make an impact as an independent charity, how we serve Members across sectors and how we contribute to the public good.

The report charts how ALT has evolved over the last year and also sets out what’s ahead.

ALT and SEDA’s 30th Birthday

It was not only ALT’s 30th Birthday but SEDA’s (Staff and Educational Development Association) too. We held a joint event with other sector bodies that explored what challenges Higher Education will face in the future. A blog post will be released in December reflecting on the event and we have more joint activities planned for next year.

Open Education Conference (OER) 2024

At the Annual Conference, we announced that next year’s OER conference would take place in Cork, Ireland at Munster Technological University thanks to our Co-chairs Dr Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin and Dr Tom Farrelly. We had a wonderful response, as ever, to join the conference committee and an incredible response to the Call for Papers. Our committee are now in the midst of peer reviewing the papers and registration will open shortly.

We are really looking forward to bringing OER back to Ireland for the first time since 2019. The Co-Chairs and Conference Committee have a lot of fun planned so I hope to see you there in March.

Find out more about OER24.


The #AmplifyFE team was busy last week presenting and meeting practitioners online and in-person at Ufi’s Week of VocTech. The week was a huge success and they launched their Insights Report 2023 which provides valuable insights into ‘What really works’ in vocational education.

What’s next?

We still have plenty to do this year with our remaining events, CMALT in-house pilot and course, development of the Framework for Ethical Learning Technologies and planning for next year.

We now look ahead to next year and plan our strategic and operational activities. There is a lot to look forward to and I am excited to get started.

Of course, we look forward to the festive break and the rest and company of family and friends. We wish our Members an enjoyable and restful break and Happy New Year.

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