I work as a freelance consultant, helping international organisations develop their
e-learning, social media and online communications initiatives. I am based in the Geneva area of Switzerland.
- I have several years’ experience in the design, implementation, and the evaluation and support of e-learning and training solutions for one of the world’s largest educational institutions.
- As well as a PhD in English, I have a Masters Degree in Online and Distance Education (learn more about the MAODE here).
- I specialise in the uses of the web, and social media in particular, to help create successful adult and distance-learning blended learner-centred programmes.
- I have implemented and sustained social networks for learning and for organisations wishing to develop a social media strategy.
If you wish to discuss your project, then please contact me at pjgreaney [at] gmail.com
A detailed outline of my skills, experience and education can be found on my LinkedIn profile. Click here.
The following expands upon some of my skills and experiences.
I am currently engaged in an independent study on the ways in which Flickr and its users stimulate and sustain its social network.
I also write bibliographic annotations for articles, books and papers for Routledge, for their ABES project. I research, analyse and condense long texts into useful abstracts.
Learn more about the ABES Project here.
My Contributor Profile at ABES can be found here.
Portfolio of skills: Internal, institution-facing projects
Project Manager – Social Networking for Practice Learning
I worked for the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University on several concurrent projects, one of which as Project Manager for an initiative called Social Networking for Practice Learning. It developed a Community of Practice for tutors who were expected to ‘champion’ the uses of Web 2.0 technologies in their respective academic faculties. An abstract describes it thus:
Tutors from two faculties worked at a distance as members of a project to develop expertise in using social networking tools for practice learning. Tutors learned how to use Delicious, Google Reader, Facebook and FlashMeeting and created new resources located on a project wiki. They designed short teaching scenarios embedding the use of social bookmarking and generated resources to guide other tutors on how to make effective use of RSS feeds for their own updating and knowledge management. […] This phase of the project is using the Drupal content management system to create a project site that supports both community interaction and creation of new resources. Video and text guidance has been used effectively by a distributed group to develop practical use and understanding of social networking. The project has addressed issues of privacy and effective communication, where face to face training in how to use new tools is not feasible. It represents an imaginative combination of developing new pedagogy and new tool use in tandem.
A copy of the paper written by my colleague, Mary Thorpe, and myself can be found here (PDF) can be found here.
One of the aims of the projects was to encourage tutors new to these technologies to consider the ways in which they might be used in their courses. To this end, I have delivered several presentations, including the following.
Consultant, editor – The Sphere Project Handbook for Disaster Response
One of the most pressing problems with working with multiple authored, large-scale documents is consistency – of terminology, approach and assumptions. I developed an easy to use, collaborative space using GoogleDocs to encourage author agreement and promote consistency in the finished handbook.
You can find out more about the Sphere Project and the Handbook here.
Designer, author, instructor – ‘Reading, Writing and Editing on the Web’
For The Open University Learning and Teaching Solutions department, I developed a course in online editing, delivered to the hundreds of editors, technical and graphic staff who worked in course production.
I, along with two other colleagues, researched, wrote and developed the multimedia course in Moodle. I also facilitated the initial delivery of the course, both in face-to-face sessions and as a moderator in the forum discussions. The course was a basis to the development of a professional Community of Practice, where ideas, queries and complaints were collected, discussed and resolved on a forum available to all staff.
Advisor – e-learning project, Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways proposal
I worked alongside an interdisciplinary team of scientific and technical experts from five European countries as an e-learning expert to complete a proposal for an e-learning portal focused on chemical food contaminants. My input was to outline the ways in which the learning outcomes could be delivered to a large group of learners worldwide, as well as satisfies the needs of other stakeholders, including industry and commerce.
You can learn more about Marie Curie Industry-Academic Partnerships and Pathways here.
Portfolio of skills: External, learner-facing projects
Instructional Design – Health and Social Care Faculty, and Openings Unit
As a Media Developer for The Open University, my main responsibility was to develop the ideas of authors and specialists into course material. Aligned to the notion of an instructional designer, I would assist in the editing of course text; the development of activities; the course learning outcomes (objectives and aims); consult on the pedagogic effectiveness of proposed approaches; procure and brief technical staff; create elements in Moodle for bespoke Virtual Learning Environment and so on.
I worked in the subject of health and social care; and with the Openings unit, which sought to encourage participation of students new to University study. These were often learners in low-resource settings, with little academic experience. The Open University is ‘open’ in that it also encourages learners with disabilities to learn. To this end, all course were suitable for all students regardless of a disability.
I have also been part of the steering group on the design and implementation of Structured Authoring, where a pre-defined schema allows Word documents to be published in multiple formats, including Moodle, PDF and for use in DTP software.
I have worked on dozens of courses to this end. Click on each link to learn more about the course.
Author, moderator – H800 Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates
I wrote a substantial section in the postgraduate course in educational technology, called ‘Education 2.0’. My focus was on the uses of Web 2.0 in education, and specifically the use of Twitter, Delicious and Google Reader as research tools. I also wrote about the notion of ‘social objects’, a discussion based on Jyri Engeström’s work on ‘object-centered sociality’.
As a result, I initiated the development of communities of practice and support via Twitter, Google Reader and Delicious, where the community of learners and tutors (and interested parties) could work together. This ran in addition to ‘formal’ the forums for learners, closed to the public. An outline of the course can be found here.
Author, editor, advisor – OpenLearn
I worked alongside the team on the OpenLearn project, advising and adapting material for delivery as part of this project. Once again delivered in the Moodle environment, I helped adapt printed texts to delivery online.
OpenLearn is a leading Open Educational Resource (OER) hub, delivering over 600 online courses for free. You can find out more about OpenLearn here.
PhD – Literary Minimalism in the American short story
I have written a PhD on Literary Minimalism in the American short story. You can read the introduction here.