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Curriculum Vitae

| What I am good at | Qualifications | Things I have done | How I see the world |

In May 2012 I stood down after nearly 10 years of half-time employment (latterly as Chief Executive) with ALT - the Association for Learning Technology, a UK professional and scholarly association, leaving me free to concentrate on independent consulting and on pro-bono work. Past clients include BSI, ESRC, JISC, Local Authorities, PA Consulting, the Trades Union Congress, the National College, and the Centre for Research Communications.

What I am good at

I am effective at:

  • getting online learning projects to happen;
  • finding innovative, pragmatic, and cost-effective solutions;
  • articulating educational and functional requirements to technical staff, and technical constraints to non-technical people;
  • facilitating complex discussions, and causing teams to gel and to make progress; negotiating;
  • using the Internet to support and enable collaborative projects;
  • project management, using both formal and informal methodologies;
  • researching and writing reports, submissions, bids, tenders, expressions of interest etc;
  • judging the real capabilities of suppliers, especially in relation to usability and accessibility;
  • writing policy consultation responses.

Qualifications [back to top]

I have a degree in Economics from Cambridge University, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from Leeds University, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Chemical Pollution Monitoring from Sheffield City Polytechnic, and an MBA (Education) from Keele University. I am a Fellow of the Institute for Learning. I am a certified Microsoft Office Specialist (Microsoft Excel 2000 Expert), and to keep my eye in I completed the JEB Certificate of Competence in the Educational Use of IT. Since 2007 I have been a Certified Member of ALT, and in 2012 I was made an Honorary Life Member of ALT.

Things I have done [back to top]

Consultancy

Clients since September 2002 include the British Standards Institution, Becta, BDP Learning, CIPD, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, ESRC, the Higher Education Academy, JISC, NATFHE, National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, National College for School Leadership, North West RDA, PA Consulting, RM plc, Sheffield City Council, the Trades Union Congress, Ufi-learndirect, Ufi Charitable Trust, University of Glasgow, Yorkshire Forward. Typically I work in collaboration with others, most frequently with David Jennings. Others partners have included Sero Consulting, Knowledge Integration, Dick Moore, Gooii, Nicky Ferguson, Education Impact. Sometimes I sub-contract, sometimes I am sub-contracted: in practice this makes little difference because roles are defined independently of contractual formalities.

Leadership and management

Between 2003 and 2012, reporting to the Board of Trustees, I led the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) during a period in which it grew substantially in membership and influence.

During 6 years as The Sheffield College's Learning Technology Development Manager, I worked with colleagues and partners to get a number of successful initiatives off the ground, including LeTTOL, GCSE English Online, and online content development projects for Ufi learndirect.

Committees

Until leaving the Sheffield College in 2002 I was a member of the:

During 2003 and 2004 I was a member of the Working Group set up by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to revise QAA's Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, Section 2: Collaborative provision, flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning). Until the committee's disbandment in early 2011 I represented ALT on the JISC Committee for Learning and Teaching.

Whilst working for ALT I was a member of the:

  • Advisory Group for TEL-TLRP, a 12m research initiative about technology enhanced learning funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK);
  • National Consultative Board for VITAL, a national staff development initiative about technology in teaching and learning in the (English) schools sector;
  • Advisory Council of the Institute for Learning.

I am a past member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Further and Higher Education. I stood down from this in 2013 because the journal was making no moves to make the transition to Open Access.

I am currently a pro bono member of the:

  • Board of Trustees of the National Open College Network, which is a leading UK awarding organisation;
  • ESRC Peer Review College, as a Non-Academic Reviewer;
  • Governing Body of The Sheffield College (from September 2008 for a four-year term which was renewed in March 2012 for a further four years to August 2016 - I was elected as one of two vice-chairs in 2011, 2012, and 2013);
  • Pedagogical Committee of the European Trade Union Institute (the independent research and training centre of the European TUC);
  • The Leadership, Governance and Management Expert Panel of the Education and Training Foundation.
TUC Education

In a previous Sheffield College role I played a major part in the development of the TUC's courses for health and safety representatives. Stemming from this I was for several years a TUC-nominated member of the Standing Committee on Hazard Information and Packaging, a subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances.

Representation

During most of my employment with The Sheffield College, I was a senior and influential officer within NATFHE, the trade union and professional association which represents academic staff in colleges, and which merged with the Association of University Teachers to form UCU in 2006.

How I see the world [back to top]

Some of my views about e-learning and other issues are summarised:

I publish Fortnightly Mailing, an opt-in web-based newsletter and infrequently updated blog with over 500 subscribers. Fortnightly Mailing summarises resources and news I come across in the course of my work which I think will be of value to others with an interest in online learning and the internet. I am also @sebschmoller on Twitter.

I am keen Nordic skier. Pictures from Jotunheimen, 2003, Rondane, 2004, Jotunheimen, 2005, Tafjordfella, 2006, Jotunheimen/Breheimen, 2007, Vang and Hardangervidda, 2008, Vang/Jotunheimen/Breheimen, 2009, Jotunheimen, 2011; Tyin to Finse, 2012; Hardangervidda North to South, 2013 (includes a case study of what can go wrong).

Since 2007 I have very slowly been learning to play (some of) the Goldberg Variations.


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