ALT Conference 2019: highlights and most liked tweets

#altc 2019 - 10/09/19
Student Engagement The Vevox team thoroughly enjoyed another year of being the audience engagement partner and sponsor for the ALT Conference.  This year’s conference was hosted in the vibrant city of Edinburgh and our team enjoyed the trek from our HQ up to Scotland to meet new faces and to catch up with our University clients such as […]

Voices #altc 2019: posts pictures and more

#altc 2019 - 09/09/19
  At the end of every ALT Conference, we collect links to relevant blog posts, resources, photos, and videos of the conference. If you would like to add yours to this ever-growing list, please email your submissions to or share using the #altc hashtag on Twitter and we will add your contribution. We look […]

Affordances of music composing software for learning mathematics at primary schools

RLT Journal - 06/09/19

Music composing is associated with various positive learning outcomes, but in several countries, such as Finland, it is not part of the primary school music curriculum. There are several issues as to why music composing is not taught at schools, such as beliefs that composing requires extensive knowledge of music theory, lack of teachers’ confidence, lack of evidence on the method’s effectiveness and difficulty of assessment. Composing software has the potential of solving some of these issues, as they are connected to mathematics via music theory and technology, and with practical opportunities arising from adopting phenomenon-based learning at schools, the affordances of music composing technologies for learning mathematics are investigated in this study. For this purpose, 57 music composing software were categorised and reviewed. Our analysis identified eight types of music visualisations and five types of note input methods. The music visualisations were compared to the mathematics content in the Finnish primary school curriculum and the note input methods were evaluated based on their relationship to the music visualisations. The coordinate grid-based piano roll was the most common visualisation and the tracker visualisation had the most affordances for learning primary school math. Music composing software were found to have affordances for teaching mathematical concepts, notations and basic calculus skills, among others. Composing methods involving direct interaction with visualisations support the experiential learning of music theory, and consequently, the learning of mathematics. Based on the findings of this study, we concluded that music composing is a promising activity through which mathematics and music theory can be learned at primary schools.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Launching ALT s Annual Conference 2020 9-11 September 2020 London UK #altc

#altc 2019 - 05/09/19
Launching ALT’s Annual Conference 2020 9-11 September 2020, London, UK In 2020 ALT’s Annual Conference comes to London for the first time and will be hosted at Imperial College in the heart of the city. As the leading professional body for Learning Technology in the UK, ALT brings together professionals to disseminate research, share practice […]

Winners of the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards 2019

ALT Media Release - 05/09/19

Established in 2007, the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field, and aim to promote intelligent use of Learning Technology on a national scale. The Awards are open to individuals and teams based anywhere in the world.

Featured: 0Topic: 
Categories: ALT, Media Release

Frances Bell awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Association for Learning Technology

ALT Media Release - 04/09/19

ALT awards Honorary Life Membership to individuals nominated by Members who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the advancement of ALT’s aims for the development of learning technology in a regional, national or international context through research, practice, policy-development, leadership, or a combination of these.

Featured: 0Topic: 
Categories: ALT, Media Release

Data, Dialogue, Doing: 2019 ALT Annual Conference

ALT Media Release - 02/09/19

The ALT Annual Conference 2019 will take place at the University of Edinburgh, 3 - 5 September 2019. This year sees the Conference hosted in the historic McEwan Hall and Appleton Tower, both in the heart of the city. 

Featured: 0Topic: 
Categories: ALT, Media Release

What makes a Learning Technologist Part 1 of 4: Job titles

#ALTC Blog - 02/09/19

A post by Daniel Scott, Digital Practice Adviser at Nottingham Trent University,, @_Daniel_Scott

Background to the series

Inspired by topical discussions on the diversity, complexity and uniqueness of Learning Technologist roles, myself and Simon Thomson (University of Liverpool) recently invited the ALTC community to share their stories of becoming a ‘Learning Technologist’ in all its guises and across a range of educational contexts.

In-conjunction with ALT, a short questionnaire was created to capture the community’s stories. Working with Chris Melia (University of Central Lancashire), we have now pulled together these stories and are presenting them as a series of ALT blog posts entitled: “What makes a Learning Technologist?”. Submissions were made anonymously and credited where necessary – we are only publishing those who have given us permission to do so. Even if participants did not what to have their story published via the blog, we encouraged them to consider completing the form so we could capture the breadth of journeys to becoming a Learning Technologist. We hope this will prove a valuable source of information for the ALT community, that aims to articulate the often-debated, ambiguous and multi-faceted role.

The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) defines Learning Technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching and assessment. Our community is made up of people who are actively involved in understanding, managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of Learning Technology. We believe that you don’t necessarily need to be called ‘Learning Technologist’ to be one.

Setting the scene

Many thanks to those who shared their stories with us – 38 responded to our questionnaire. As the blog posts on this topic will reveal in the next few months, the submissions tell very unique stories of how individuals came to be Learning Technologists or are indeed in the process of developing into one. The responses include insights on how they perceive their role, what it entails, the best parts of it, and some of challenges they are up against.

To kick off the first blog post of this series, 1 of 4, we will explore the findings from the questions ‘What is your current job title?’ and ‘What would your ideal job title be?’ – Two interesting questions that draw a comparison of the purpose and current duties of a Learning Technologist role, to what interpretations and aspirations they have of it.

Presenting the data & telling the stories

The chart below represents individuals reponses in relation to the questions asked around thier job title.

34% (13) of respondents stated that they had Learning Technologist in their title, whilst 66% (25) had a different title, e.g. education, blended, designer or other that includes duties of a Learning Technologist. 16% (6) said that they are happy with their Learning Technologist title. 11% (4) wanted their title to be Learning Technologist. 74% (28) wanted their title to be more specific or have suffixes/prefixes to indicate seniority or specialisation.

Learning Technologist is fine as it does describe what I do, but it doesn’t mean anything to anyone outside of a university or FE college.


The trends emerging is that there is an increase in the words ‘digital’ and ‘design’ in Learning Technologist titles. Perhaps this is due to many organisations focusing on learning design to increase their online and blended provisions. However, there are different interpretations of the identity of this role. Learning design is mostly perceived as facilitating and coordinating the creativity, collaboration and communication of the vision and development of online courses and resources. But some learning design roles are more technical based, i.e. producing learning and teaching materials. Respondents with ‘manager’ in their title wanted this removing, whilst many showed a desire for more senior based roles and how they view to operate in their contexts. Interestingly, many Learning Technologists have different focuses, even though this is their title. For example, some Learning Technologists focus on more technical support than pedagogical support. Again, this can add confusion and murkiness to the role as it’s a mix of both, but often led by pedagogy.  Furthermore, respondents noted that they would prefer to have ‘developer’ in their title and closer relationships to academia.

Not bothered – title isn’t relevant, actual role is.

Richard Oelmann

Language has a huge role to play in titling and how it conveys the meaning of the Learning Technologist role. It’s important to question and challenge the identity, visibility and understanding of this institutionally – as it does affect how people engage and work with them as professionals. It’s regularly asked ‘what do they do’ – articulation of our purpose is key, along with defining contextual and specific projects we are involved in and how they align to strategic objectives. Equally, it’s crucial knowing where and how we are represented by our ‘cheerleaders’.

Something including digital learning in it. Often the term ‘Learning Technology’ is misunderstood, so it would have to include something specific that really emphases the focus on pedagogy too.

Matt East

A healthy debate can be had on the word ‘technology’ in the job title. Most titles have it before the word learning, with technology appearing more prominent than learning and pedagogy – going against our highly favoured principle of pedagogy before technology. However, for marketing and visibility purposes technology often remains in the title, as it does with many educational technology courses.

Happy with Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor :-) I sometimes wonder if the word ‘technology’ needs removing though – learning is learning!

Leanne Fitton

She who must be obeyed.


Yes! Whilst many in the organisation may hold the title of ‘power’, we as Learning Technologists enable and empower many of our staff to being digitally capable, creative and innovative. Therefore, bow before us! 😉

Photo by Mark Basarab on Unsplash

Listed below in alphabetical order are the current and ideal job titles that were submitted to the questionnaire. The main message here is that there isn’t a single defined job title for a Learning Technologist, proving the many facets and nuances of this diverse role.

  • Academic Course Developer
  • Associate Professor  
  • Blended Learning Project Coordinator          
  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Co-Manager (Administration)
  • Development Manager (Learning Technology)        
  • Digital Learning Advisor
  • Digital Learning Coordinator  
  • Digital Learning Designer
  • Digital Learning Manager
  • Digital Learning Technologist
  • Digital Practice Adviser
  • Digital Project Manager
  • Director of Digital Learning
  • Educational or Academic Developer (TEL)
  • Educational Technologist
  • Educator
  • eLearning Officer
  • Head of Digital Learning and Teaching
  • Head of Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Information Specialist
  • Instructional Designer
  • Lead Internal Training Content Specialist
  • Learning Design and Technology Manager  
  • Learning Designer
  • Learning Developer
  • Learning Innovation Advisor
  • Learning Technologies Lead 
  • Learning Technologist           
  • Learning Technology Coordinator
  • Learning Technology Specialist
  • Library Learning & Skills Manager
  • Online Development Officer
  • Research Technology Specialist
  • Senior Digital Learning and Teaching Developer
  • Senior Educational Technologist
  • Senior Learning & Teaching Consultant
  • Senior Learning Technologist
  • Senior Manager: Digital Education
  • Senior Systems Developer – Learning Teaching and Research
  • Teaching Fellow in Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Head of Practical Imagineering and Applied Aesthetics
  • Technologist
  • Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor      
  • Technology Enhanced Learning Consultant
  • Technology Enhanced Learning Manager

Overall, respondents state that they understand the role of a Learning Technologist and regularly carry out the duties of one. However, it remains an ambiguous role in how it should be labelled and packaged, both internally and externally to an organisation. Whilst the purpose and context of the Learning Technologist role remains broadly unchanged, individuals are now calling for further autonomy of their identity that better reflects their work and values.

Closing thought: As digital is a skill required in many roles and contexts, it can somewhat dilute the purpose of a Learning Technologist role, opening it up to many interpretations. Perhaps simplicity in titling is key here as not to convolute the nature of this diverse role. You can read more about my experiences of Learning Technologist roles, over in my own blog.

Contributors consented to display name

Emily Armstrong; Sonya McChristie; Duncan MacIver; Tom Buckley; Matt East; Craig Campbell; Madeline Paterson; Teresa MacKinnon; Richard Oelmann; Sarah; Leanne Fitton; Ross Ward; Ros Walker; Vicky Brown; Rae Bowdler; Simon Wood; Daniel Scott; Andy Tattersall; Rachel Hartshorne; Chris Melia

Upcoming blog post

The next blog post of this series (2 of 4) will focus on the question: ‘What career path did you take’, and is expected to be published in November 2019.

Daniel Scott – Digital Practice Adviser, Nottingham Trent University, @_Daniel_Scott,

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.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

ALT Assembly Meeting 3 September 2019, 17.00-18.00

ALT News - 29/08/19


The next meeting of the Assembly takes place next week at ALT’s Annual Conference, Tuesday, 3 September 17.00 – 18.00 in McEwan Hall. This will be the second face to face meeting of ALT’s Members Assembly.


Participate online

The session will be live streamed via ALT’s YouTube channel. You can access the session and participate online.

Categories: ALT, News

CMALT Award Ceremony 2019

ALT News - 29/08/19

After the success of last year, we will once again hold the CMALT Award Ceremony at this year’s ALT Annual Conference 2019. The ceremony will celebrate Certified Members of ALT (CMALT holders) attending the conference who have achieved or renewed their CMALT accreditation in the last year. 


Categories: ALT, News

CMALT Award Ceremony 2019

#altc 2019 - 29/08/19
  After the success of last year, we will once again hold the CMALT Award Ceremony at this year’s ALT Annual Conference 2019. The ceremony will celebrate Certified Members of ALT (CMALT holders) attending the conference who have achieved or renewed their CMALT accreditation in the last year. The ceremony forms part of ALT’s strategic […]

ALT Assembly Meeting 3 September 2019 17 00-18 00

#altc 2019 - 29/08/19
The next meeting of the Assembly takes place next week at ALT’s Annual Conference, Tuesday, 3 September 17.00 – 18.00 in McEwan Hall. This will be the second face to face meeting of ALT’s Members Assembly. Participate online The session will be live streamed via ALT’s YouTube channel. You can access the session and participate […]

A very special Scottish welcome

#altc 2019 - 28/08/19
A very special Scottish welcome from the ALT Annual Conference 2019 Co-Chairs – Melissa Highton, Louise Jones, and Keith Smyth Welcome and thank you for being a part of the 26th Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology. This is the largest event that we as a Membership body organise each year. It brings […]

Digital divide: addressing Internet skills. Educational implications in the validation of a scale

RLT Journal - 23/08/19

Recent studies indicate that Internet skills have a positive impact on academic achievement. This article presents a national study that seeks to validate an Internet skills scale that was already tested in other EU countries (the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) to understand the competence level of the population as a whole as well as across population sectors. The scale questionnaire was completed by a sample of the Italian population stratified by gender, age and geographical area. The result is globally consistent at the empirical level as well as at the cross-national level. All the five scales showed excellent internal consistency.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Joining instructions now available

#altc 2019 - 23/08/19
We look forward to welcoming you to ALT’s Annual Conference 2019. With a packed programme, ~450 participants from across the globe, we look forward to coming together as a community from across sectors. The hashtag for the event is #altc. Our Conference has taken 18 months of planning led by Conference Co-Chairs, Melissa, Keith, and […]

Learning Design Bootcamp 2019 #ldbootcampuk

#ALTC Blog - 23/08/19

A post by Dr Maria Toro-Troconis, Head of Academic Research and Quality, CEG Digital @mtorotro

On the 18th July we had the last face to face session of the Learning Design Bootcamp 2019. The Learning Design Bootcamp offered an intensive three months programme for UK Learning Technologists and academics engaging in the design and development of a 15 or 30 credit module of their choice. See more

Bootcamp UK logo

The Learning Design Bootcamp Committee consisted jointly of academics and Heads of Learning Technology from different UK universities. They were responsible for the selection of the participants as well as the general support, delivery and evaluation of the Bootcamp.

Four teams were selected from the following universities:

  • The University of Warwick
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University East London
  • Solent University

The programme started in May 2019 and ended in July 2019. The teams were supported by mentors in the design and development of their modules following the CoDesigns Learning Design Framework.

The Bootcamp started with an intensive day at in March 2019 and another intensive day at the end of the Bootcamp hosted by Dr Julie Voce – Head of Educational Technology, Learning Enhancement and Development at City, University of London. At least one member of the team (Learning Technologist or academic) had to commit to attend both days. 

There were 5 Lead Learning Technologists, 3 Learning Technologists and 2 academics present at the first face to face meeting in March 2019. The teams were asked about their motivations to engage in the Learning Design Bootcamp. The key motivaticators presented in the wordcloud below highlight professional development and collaboration as the main drivers to engage in the Bootcamp.

During the Bootcamp, the teams designed and developed their modules supported remotely by their mentors. At the last face to face meeting in July 2019, the teams presented their final designs and developments in their university’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Tim Neumann, Lecturer in Education & Technology and head of the UCL Institute of Education’s Learning Technologies Unit, was invited as guest speaker. Tim delivered an inspiring lecture talking about the Learning Designer as a tool to enable sharing of and communication about designs.

Tim discussed how designs can be taken forward within an organisational context, for example in terms of QA and costs, without unnecessarily restricting the variety of teaching methods and design frameworks. A panel of experts from the Learning Design and Learning Technology sectors evaluated the final designs and developments.

The panel of expert was comprised of: Professor Manuel Frutos-Perez from CEG Digital, Dr Julie Voce from City, University of London, Tim Neumann from UCL and Laura Coutts from CEG Digital.

Tim Neumann – Lecturer in Education & Technology and head of the UCL Institute of Education’s Learning Technologies Unit


The team from Manchester Metropolitan University won the Learning Design Bootcamp 2019.

Manchester Metropolitan University winner of  the Learning Design Bootcamp 2019.

“The team showed a great level of engagement between the academics and the learning technologists and was a key strength in their presentation. The learning design aspects were clearly understood and demonstrated in the design of the module.”


The Bootcamp Organising Committee will launch the next Bootcamp Call in September 2019. The Learning Design Bootcamp 2020 will be hosted by our winning team from Manchester Metropolitan University. If you’re interested in learning more about  the Call 2020, keep an eye on the Learning Design Bootcamp page: 

The Bootcamp is free. The teams will need to cover their travelling and accommodation expenses. 


The activities and experiences of the teams have been followed by the Bootcamp research committee members and documented. The research carried out during the Bootcamp 2019 focused on the use of the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) as a method to identify the capabilities, opportunities and motivations of Learning Technologists and academics when engaging in the design of online/blended learning activities.  The BCW model has proved to be an effective method in the context of Learning Design to analyse the behaviour of both academics designing online and blended solutions in Higher Education and Learning Technologists working with them, providing support and guidance as part of intervention design.

The initial findings from this research will be presented at ALT-C 2019.

Dr Maria Toro-Troconis – Head of Academic Research and Quality – Cambridge Education Group Digital – 

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.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

FHEDAWG webinar series - recordings now available

ALT News - 22/08/19

Our webinar series, in collaboration with the Further Higher Education Digital Accessbility Working Group (FHEDAWG), continued on Thursay with a special guest webinar. Greg Gay, IT Accessibility Specialist at Ryerson University, hosted 'Digital Accessbility as a right', a project he shared from the Creative Commons Global Summit.

Categories: ALT, News


Subscribe to Association for Learning Technology aggregator - ALT