Our Speakers

Session Speakers


Dr Richard Walker

Dr Richard Walker has over 20 years’ experience supporting learning technology developments within the higher education sector. He is currently employed by the University of York (United Kingdom), leading the strategic development of e-learning services as Head of the Programme Design and Learning Technology Team.




Leo Havemann

Leo Havemann is a Digital Education Advisor at University College London, and a postgraduate researcher at the Open University, focusing on open education practices and policymaking. He is a co-ordinator of the ALT M25 Learning Technology Group and a member of the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN). His previous roles have been in educational technology, libraries, and industry, as well as teaching in higher education.


Dr Verena Roberts

Dr. Verena Roberts is a Learning Designer with the UBC ETS team, an online instructor with the UVictoria and UCalgary and a high school online Humanities teacher with Rocky View Schools. She recently completed her EdD in Learning Sciences with a focus on K-12 Open Educational Practices with the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She was a 2018-2019 OER Research fellow and proud Global Open Graduate Network (#GO-GN) alumni.



Debbie Holley

Debbie Holley is Professor of Learning Innovation at Bournemouth University. A National Teaching Fellow and a passionate educator, she blends learning to motivate and engage a diverse student body. Her research interests in digital, augmented and immersive worlds influence national policy through her published work, keynote addresses and policy articles.


Tim Fransen

Tim Fransen is a Technical Tutor in Web Publishing  and Design at London South Bank University. He is an experienced graphic designer specialising in software, hardware and systems associated with web and print-based media design and production. Alongside freelance design activity, he has worked within a creative industries educational context for 25 years in academic, coordinator and technical support positions. He has a long-standing interest and involvement in web technologies, open-source solutions and social learning technologies which intersect with his design, teaching and research practice.


Chris Morrison

Chris Morrison is the Copyright, Licensing and Policy Manager at the University of Kent. He has been working with copyright issues for 20 years, is co-author (with Jane Secker) of the second edition of Copyright and E-learning a Guide for Practitioners (Facet), and with Jane co-founded the award winning blog. Chris is a member of the Universities UK / GuildHE Copyright Negotiation and Advisory Committee, the UK Government’s Copyright Education Awareness Group. He recently completed a masters in copyright law with distinction from King’s College London, receiving the best dissertation of the year award. Chris and Jane have been running weekly webinars in conjunction with ALT on copyright and online learning since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting colleagues and hosting discussions on the latest developments.


Jane Secker

Jane Secker is Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London where she is Deputy Programme Manager of the Masters in Academic Practice. She leads the technology-enabled learning route through the programme. She was Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at London School of Economics and Political Science for over 15 years where she advised staff about copyright issues and the online environment. She is Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and a member of the Universities UK Copyright Negotiation and Advisory Committee which negotiates with the Copyright Licensing Agency on the higher education licence. She is also a member of the Copyright Advisory Panel which is a governance group of the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.


Sheldon Chow

Sheldon Chow, Head of Digital Learning at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. He has over 20 years of experience having previously worked at the University of Toronto and University of New South Wales Sydney. Most recently he led the digital learning design for LCF’s Better Lives unit introducing students to themes of diversity, social responsibility and sustainability in fashion.

Kathy Essmiller

Kathy’s background is in music education, where she enjoyed over fifteen fantastic years making music with MS/HS band students (including her own two kids). She is the OER Librarian at Oklahoma State University, and is a 2019-2020 OER Research Fellow. She holds Masters degrees in trumpet performance and educational technology, and is a PhD candidate at OSU.

Claire McAvinia

Claire McAviniaClaire McAvinia is an academic developer in the Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre (LTTC) at TU Dublin (formerly Dublin Institute of Technology) in Ireland. She teaches on the LTTC’s Postgraduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching and MSc Education programmes. Her interests are in academic development, e-learning, and open education.

Gasta Speakers


Tom Farrelly

Tom divides his time as a social science lecturer and an academic developer in the Institute of Technology Tralee’s (ITT) e-learning development and support unit (EDSU) having worked in ITT for almost 20 years. In conjunction with the other EDSU staff Tom works at developing capacity and providing support to institute staff developing their own digital skills. An active researcher and co-editor of the Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning (IJTEL) his own doctoral research looked at how remote adult students use and interact with virtual learning environments. A recent entry into the blogging arena, his blog, rather appropriately is called: Can You Gasta?

Debbie Baff

Bio: Deb (@debbaff) is the Membership and Professional Development Manager for the Association for Learning Technology and an active member of the GO-GN community.  Debbie is undertaking a PhD at Lancaster University in E Research and Technology Enhanced Learning. Her research interests include personal learning networks, open education practice and the importance of emotional connections in online professional learning.


Ada Czerwonogora

Title: Higher Education during COVID times: clues to handle the crisis

Bio: Adjunct Professor at Virtual Teaching and Learning Unit (UnEVA, Nursing Faculty) and member of Open Educational Resources Center (Núcleo REAA). Universidad de la República, Uruguay



Aras Bozkurt

Title: Emergency Remote Education and Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

Bio: Aras Bozkurt is a researcher and faculty member in the Department of Distance Education at Anadolu University, Turkey. He has an MA and PhD in distance education. He conducts empirical studies on online learning through resorting to critical theories including connectivism, rhizomatic learning and heutagogy. He is interested in emerging research paradigms including social network analysis, sentiment analysis and data mining. He shares his views at


Michael Paskevicius

Title: Open Educational Practices: Openness as a Source of Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Bio: Michael Paskevicius is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on learning design practices, the development of digital literacies, and supporting personal knowledge management in an environment of rapid technological change. As an advocate for openness in education, his research explores the integration of open source tools, open educational resources, and the development of open educational practices among educators.