tony toole

Prof Tony Toole BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MBA, PhD, CEng, FIET

Visiting Professor

Tel: +44 (0) 1792 650803

Expert advisor on Technology Enhanced Learning and distance learning developments in FADE and across the University. Project management input to the HPC Wales developments in the Faculty and Director of Studies for PhD students.

I was previously Head of School of Electronics at Swansea Met before being appointed as Dean of Faculty of Engineering at Coleg Sir Gâr and then Director of Online Services.

I was also Visiting Professor at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) for 10 years advising on their online distance learning developments. I managed the e-College Wales partner network during that period, and was a member of the University Quality Assurance Committee. 

I am a specialist in online distance learning, and have managed over 20 large-scale, multi-institutional e-learning projects funded by Jisc, The Welsh Government and the European Commission.

I have been Critical Friend to a number of UK universities, advising on Technology Enhanced Learning and continue to publish widely in the field and am a regular presenter at international conferences.

Currently a Visiting Professor at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, I work in an advisory capacity on Technology Enhanced Learning and distance learning planning and developments. In addition, I have a role in research student supervision.

I am also Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Ltd, my own educational consultancy company specialising in online learning innovation. The company provides e-Learning consultancy services to institutions and government departments across the UK and Europe.

  • Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
  • Board member of the Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards (Cetis).
  • Member of the Jisc Learning and Teaching Experts group.
  • Member of the Association for Learning Technology.

My current academic work is entirely concerned with active research, development and innovation in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning. This includes:

  • Working with staff across the University and in industry on TEL planning and development;
  • Working with specialists in the e-learning community of practice across the UK and Europe;
  • Conducting research on current developments and innovation in TEL, both in terms of technological developments and associated pedagogic innovation;
  • Horizon scanning based on the current trajectory of those developments and using this to inform discussions with academics and institutional managers planning online distance/blended learning delivery.

I am currently Director of Studies for two PhD students (both members of University staff) in the area of TEL.

My research interests are currently in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning. This includes the innovative use of emerging technologies in the support of blended and distance learning, the changing pedagogic approaches that accompany that process, and collaborative action research to evaluate and report on effectiveness in learning enhancement.

This began with the development of online courses for SMEs in the late 1990s and a custom designed learning management system (VLE), both of which continue to be successfully delivered today.

I have been actively involved in the e-learning community of practice nationally and internationally and have managed many large scale collaborative research projects involving up to 20 educational institutions. Grant funding for these projects totals over £2m.

My original area of expertise was in Electronic Engineering specialising in Medical Electronics and Medical Physics (my PhD is was completed at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School with this focus and I developed undergraduate degree courses in both subject areas for Sussex University).

I have considerable expertise in educational management at Dean of Faculty and Director levels. As a long term member of quality committees at more than one institution, that experience includes leading and managing institutional quality reviews, course validations and quality systems development.

The Dean of Faculty role involved management of over 70 academic staff on 3 campuses and as a member of the institutional senior management team.

For the last decade or more, my expertise has been in the area of large scale project management, having guided over 20 multi-institutional projects to a successful conclusion, on-time and within budget.

Many of the projects I have been managing recently have been through Commercial Services at Swansea Met. Typically, these have been multi-institutional projects with a focus on the skills needs of particular industry sectors. They have all involved the development of customised technology enhanced learning solutions.

I have worked in a consultancy role with many institutions across the UK and Europe, as well as with the Welsh Government. Examples would include developing proposals for a new funding model for open, distance and e-learning in Wales, and being editor of the e-Learning Guide to Regional Good Practice for the European Commission.

I run my own e-Learning consultancy company ( Ltd) and have undertaken consultancy work with many institutions including Manchester Met, Leeds Met, Staffordshire and Bolton Universities. This also includes working with industry, for example advising Fujitsu on their High Performance Computing online training objectives.

I publish my research regularly through Journal articles and conference presentations. In the last 10 years this has totalled over 30 papers and the details below for the last 3 years is indicative of the activity:

  • Toole, A. M. (2013) A Synthesis of Modeling Tools for Education Management
  • Systems Design. ALT-C Conference: Building New Cultures of Learning. Nottingham, September 2013.
  • Toole, A. M. (2013). Approaches to Open Innovation. Jisc-Cetis Conference: Open for Education: Technology Innovation in Universities and Colleges. Birmingham. March 2013.
  • Toole, A. M. (2012) Making Your Mark – Digital Signatures. JISC Innovating e-Learning Online Conference. November 2012.
  • Toole, A. M. (2012) An EU Approved Digital Signature System. ALT-C Conference,
  • Manchester. September 2012. 
  • Toole, A. M. & Khetaguri, T. (2011) Technology Enhanced Learning Research
  • Programme. Research-Teaching Practice in Wales 2011 Conference. Gregynog.
  • September 2011.
  • Toole, A. M. (2011) Stakeholder Engagement, Employability and the Responsive
  • Curriculum. ALT-C Conference, Leeds, September 2011.
  • Toole, A. M. & Khetaguri, T. (2011) Promoting the use of Web 2.0 Tools in European Vocational Education and Training. ALT-C conference, Leeds, September 2011. 
  • Toole, A. M. (2011) Social Media: Key Tools for the Future of Work-based Learning. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal. Volume 25, issue 5. July 2011
  • Toole, A. M. (2011) Remote Access to Practical Work for Online Learners. The
  • CAL Conference 2011 Learning Futures, Education, Technology & Sustainability.
  • Manchester, April 2011.
  • Toole, A. M., Newrly, P. & Pede, S. (2010) How to promote social media uptake in  VET and adult training systems in Europe – Practical example of the European SVEA project. eLearningEuropa eLearning Papers issue 22. December 2010.