I’m Madeline Paterson, I’ve been working in online learning since the 1980s and been career coaching for more than fifteen years. I am expert in online teaching and online learning. I’ve been a senior manager, both in business and higher education, and I’ve worked overseas as well as across the UK. I set up Symmetry Coaching in 2004, wanting a bit more variety in my work after seven years managing a Learning Media team at the Open University.

My major clients are mostly universities that are doing more teaching online. They want to know how to make it happen as smoothly as possible. I bring solid experience in online teaching strategy plus practical experience in process management, project management and change management. I have a range of associates who I bring them into projects when a larger team is required. Technology is just one part of what’s needed; helping people to use the teaching skills they already have and to feel comfortable with technology is really important. I work with individuals too, helping them to get comfortable with new technologies in order to develop their career.

I’ve been working with three university over the last two years to help them develop online programmes and develop the capabilities of their staff. Please message me to find out more.


Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology (Leeds)

Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching and Development (Portsmouth)

Primary Certificate in Redundancy Coaching (London)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Manchester)

Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching English Overseas (Manchester)

First degree in Communications (Hons 2.1, Sheffield)

Association for Learning Technology

European Mentoring & Coaching Coucil, Advanced Practitioner

European Mentoring & Coaching Council Advanced Practicioner

International Coach Federation

Association for Coaching

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

Centre for Applied Positive Psychology

My style

If I were a book, I’d be very readable. I have a relaxed professional style. It means that you’ll find me easy to talk to and work with. I won’t judge you or your organisation. I’ll ask questions to understand what your goals are right now and help you to clarify the things that are most important. I’ll probably challenge a few assumptions, simply help you to see more opportunities. My job is to help you achieve your goals.


I started teaching in Italy, then I joined an online teaching company as a Learning Designer, writing computer-based learning for major companies. Working across technologies, media production and training, I progressed from Project Manager/Principal Consultant to Corporate Communications Manager for a FTSE100 IT services business. When that was acquired, I joined the leadership team of a web-startup before moving into higher education.

After a year at University College London, I joined the Open University to lead a team of media specialists. During the seven years I was there, my team produced all the textbooks, software, video and teaching material for the Social Sciences Faculty. Since then, I’ve worked with many universities helping them to introduce and improve their online teaching offer.

Most recently I’ve worked with the University College of Estate Management, the Royal Agricultural University, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of East London and the University of Southampton. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought its own challenges for many institutions and they’re working really hard to get an effective, achievable and systematic approach in place for 2020 and beyond.

Oh, and I don’t do stuff that you can just google.

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The time will never be just right.

~ Napoleon Hill

I was going for an interview but thought I had no ‘influencing skills’. Madeline showed me that I *did* have those skills and to see things from a different perspective.

~ Katrina


Stories and storytelling

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my coaching work is discovering people's stories. Wherever they’re from, whatever they’re doing, however they’re feeling - everybody has something important to express.…Continue reading
University of Southampton

Coaching, teaching and employability projects to develop academic staff, students and researchers. I career coached MBA students each year and project managed the design of a massive open online course (MOOC) on Digital Marketing, attracting 17,000 learners.


Writing national guidelines to help staff manage internships and placements

St. George’s Hospital

Working on career development strategies with early career researchers

National Oceanography Centre

1-1 career coaching to develop awareness of careers outside academia

Elsevier Publishing

Working on the future of publishing with European Marketing Directors


Designing and producing online and video based learning for IBM (UK) Sales

Oxford Brookes University

Team coaching and 1-1 coaching for education professionals

Open University

Leading teams of writers and media developers to design and deliver flexible distance learning

CGI | Admiral plc | Logica plc

Working with clients to train their staff online and as Admiral’s Corporate Marketing Manager

Isle of Wight Council

Coaching and support for staff affected by change and redundancy

University College London

Designing online learning for university professionals

Land Registry

Writing and sub-editing online versions of the Land Registry Annual Report

University College of Estate Management

Consulting to other universities and working with tutors to produce online learning

Royal Agricultural University
Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities

Project management of an online course to empower patients with long term health conditions

Education consulting

“Madeline is always spot on, always reliable, great to work with.”

(Partner in a university online learning project)