Dr. Thomas J. TobinWhen it comes to copyrights, do you know the difference between material you create for your class and material you are contracted to create for a class? Who owns the rights to that material? According to copyright law, can you use a student’s paper as an example in future classes? These are some of the questions Dr. Tobin answers in our interview conducted at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to Dr. Tobin, there are four things we should consider before using copyright material in our classroom. As a way of helping us remember these four things, he uses the acronym PANE, which stands for Purpose, Amount, Nature of the work, and Economic impact. Dr. Tobin also gives suggestions on how to get permission to use copyright material.

In our time together, we also discuss Universal Design for Learning. According to Dr. Tobin, when we discuss Universal Design for Learning, we are not thinking of making accommodations, but thinking about how we design our interaction with students.

“Any way that we can design our interaction to be more inclusive and more accessible to all of our learners the better off we are going to be.”

With that in mind, he gives us the three components of UDL:

  1. Give information in more than one way.
  2. Keep people engaged in more than one way.
  3. Let students demonstrate their skills in more than one way.

Thomas J. Tobin is the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. 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. His latest work is Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (Wiley, 2015) with B. Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor. He is currently writing Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: A Practitioner’s Guide to Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, expected from West Virginia University Press in 2017.

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.

Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration and the Journal of Interactive Online Learning, and 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.

For more information about his book, Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices, go to www.thomasjtobin.com, where you will also find a flyer for 20% off the purchase price.

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