Author and speaker
Thomas J. Tobin, PhD spent five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and is now a faculty developer and professional consultant in State College, Pennsylvania. He is an internationally-recognized speaker and author on topics related to quality in distance education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.
Since the advent of online courses in higher education in the late 1990s, Tom’s work has focused on using technology to extend the reach of higher education beyond its traditional audience. He advocates for the educational rights of people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In the field of online-course and -program quality, he is best known for his work on administrative-evaluation techniques; his article on “Best Practices for Administrative Evaluation of Online Faculty” (2004) is considered a seminal work in the field, and has been cited in more than 150 publications.
Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, the Journal of Interactive Online Learning, and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.
His most recent book is Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (Wiley, 2015) with Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor. He is currently writing Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Re-Framing Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, expected from West Virginia University Press in late 2017.
His comic book (yes, comic book) on copyright, entitled The Copyright Ninja: Rise of the Ninja is coming out on May 15, 2017. It teaches college and university faculty members, support staff, and campus leaders about copyright, fair use, licensing, and permissions. Plus, it has ninjas.