Thomas Tobin


Thomas J. Tobin is a founding member of the Center for Teaching, Learning, & Mentoring (CTLM) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally recognized scholar, author, and speaker on quality in technology-mediated education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.

Before his work with the CTLM, Tobin spent four years as the Program Area Director for Distance Teaching & Learning on the UW-Madison Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team, and served five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University.

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.

He holds master's and Ph.D. degrees in English literature, a master’s degree in information science, a professional project management certification, a master online teacher certification, the Quality Matters reviewer certification, the Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification, and he recently completed the Academic Leadership Academy from Penn State.

Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, Advances in Online Education, and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. He was named to Ed Tech Magazine’s 2020 “Dean’s List” of Educational Technology Influencers, was honored with the 2022 Wagner Award for Outstanding Leadership in Distance Learning Administration, and was named by Eduflow in 2023 as one of the world’s Top 100 Learning Influencers.

His books include

Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (2015) with Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor.

The Copyright Ninja (2017).

Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (2018) with Kirsten Behling.

Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (2020) with Katie Linder and Kevin Kelly.

UDL for FET Practitioners: Guidance for Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Irish Further Education and Training (2021) with Ann Heelan and Dara Ryder.

Tom was also proud to represent the United States on a Spring 2018 Fulbright Scholar fellowship, under which he helped Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary to develop its first faculty-development program, and he provided workshops and training to twelve other colleges, universities, and military programs throughout Hungary.

Find Tom on various social media @ThomasJTobin, and at

EDUCAUSE Publications

EDUCAUSE Presentations