Tom has over 20 years of experience in developing and strategizing online learning programs for a wide variety of learners in academia, government, corporations, and startups. Research shows that blending online, face-to-face, and field experiences provides the most benefit for students. Tom focuses on making the online component beneficial for students and instructors by combining his knowledge of human learning with his technical knowledge of online learning media and systems.
In 1998 he helped to found Apex Learning, a company that offers alternative online programs for struggling as well as highly achieving high school students. At the University of Washington School of Nursing he led educational technology design and implementation initiatives for graduate nursing students and faculty. He has developed in-person and online job training curricula for adults, and has led the development of online academic courses in sociology, psychology, multicultural studies, statistics, history, and calculus. His instructional media and design skills include instructional design for synchronous and asynchronous courses, formative and summative assessment design, digital video and audio production, learning interaction design, user experience testing, and learning management system administration. He is also skilled in data analysis, program evaluation, project management, and team leadership.
In 2013 he completed his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at the University of Washington College of Education. His dissertation focused on defining characteristics of transfer and adaptability in medical students in family medicine clerkships and in problem-based learning. He sees significant overlaps between family medicine physician and social workers. At the Alliance he is especially interested in developing and validating competency-based formative assessments that benefit learners and instructors.