Elections have been in the news recently. There has been the recent General Election in Burma, which has prompted some misgivings among the international community, including Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague. Closer to home, the former immigration minister and Labour MP, Phil Woolas, has lost his seat in Parliament for making false statements against his opponent during the General Election campaign of earlier this year.

Just when you might think that these sorts of things could well have dented faith in the democratic process comes news that such fears are completely unfounded – at least in the world of e-learning.

This is the time of year when members of the eLN, a non-profit community interest company run by the e-learning community for the e-learning community, elect the organisation’s management board for 2011.


In previous years – especially when the eLN was known as The Association for Computer Based Training (TACT) – members had to be persuaded, even coerced, onto the management committee. This year, there are 11 nominations for just six places so, as with last year’s eLN elections, there will be all the trappings of elections: campaigning, lobbying and even tears before bedtime once the results of the election are announced.

This year’s hopefuls are: Tony Frascina; Sam(antha) Taylor; Cat(herine) Oxleyl; Ammer Ishaque; Seb Schmoller; Lesley Price; Lucy Cartlidge; Jacqueline (Jackie) Kennedy; Matt Brewer; Mark Jones, and Ben Betts.

Of these, those with the highest profiles in the industry – although, of course, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will top the poll – are Tony Frascina, Seb Schmoller and Ben Betts.

Earlier this year, Betts was named as one of Elliott Masie’s ‘30 under 30’ leaders in learning. Frascina is a well known academic and learning design specialist. Schmoller is a consultant who is also chief executive of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) – and whose vision, according to his election address, is that ‘joining up of (the) eLN with ALT is in the long term interests of the overlapping communities that we each serve’.

Comment: Schmoller’s is a brave – some might say courageous – vision. The eLN has rejected such suggestions from other organisations in the past but times change and, as everyone knows, even a week is a long time in politics. Watch out for the eLN election results – due to be published at the end of this month – and then, maybe, ‘watch this space’.