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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 trustee-led UK professional and scholarly association This left me free to concentrate on pro-bono work, and on flexible commissions that make good use of my skills and experience. Past clients include BSI, ESRC, the House of Commons, the European Trade Union Institute, JISC, Local Authorities, PA Consulting, the Trades Union Congress, the Ufi Charitable Trust, and the Centre for Research Communications. Having now reached my 70s I have greatly reduced the amount of paid work I do, though I've not stopped altogether.

What I am good at

I am effective at:

  • playing a leading role for and within trustee-governed organisations;
  • giving direction, support and challenge to senior executives;
  • networking, and building lasting practical connections between organisations;
  • 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 helping teams to gel and to make progress;
  • negotiating;
  • 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 advisory reports and responses to policy consultations.
  • public speaking.

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 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. I am well over half way through an Open University Mathematics and Statistics degree.

Things I have done [back to top]


Clients since September 2002 include the British Standards Institution, Becta, BDP Learning, CIPD, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, ESRC, the Higher Education Academy, House of Commons, 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.

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 (while it was a government-backed educational charity).

Between 2008 and 2021 I was a member of the Board of The Sheffield College, a very large UK further education college, serving as Chair of the Board from early 2018 until March 2021.


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, which has since been renamed the Society for Education and Training.

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.

Between 2016 and 2018 I was a member of the Board of Northern College, a residential college for adults, rejoining in 2021 when my term ended as Chair of The Sheffield College's Board. Between 2015 and 2018 I was an elected member of The Governors' National Council of the Association of Colleges.

Until 2020 I was a member of the Pedagogical Committee of the European Trade Union Institute (the independent research and training centre of the European TUC).

I am currently a pro bono member of the:

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.


During most of my employment with The Sheffield College, I was a senior and influential figure 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 in these interviews, articles, and talks:

From 2002, before I started to use Twitter (where I am @sebschmoller), I wrote Fortnightly Mailing, an opt-in web-based newsletter which had over 500 subscribers. I no longer update Fortnightly Mailing.

I am keen but decreasingly ambitious hut-to-hut ski tourer. 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 the piano. My unrealistic aim is to play several of JS Bach's Goldberg Variations. I have just about mastered a couple of them. (Bach's Two Part Inventions are a more realistic prospect.)

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