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The 2016 FantasTech Keynote speakers bring an exciting dimension to the conference! These outstanding scholars and speakers will bookend our conference filled with great presentations. You will not want to miss either of them.

Michelle D. Miller

February 5, 2016, Opening Keynote: Michelle D. Miller is Director of the First Year Learning Initiative and Professor of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Due to her popularity as the departing keynote speaker at FantasTech 2015, we have invited her back to open for this year!

Dr. Miller is a cognitive psychologist whose research focuses on memory and attention, psychological impacts of technology, and student academic success.  At Northern Arizona University, she has shaped redesign programs including the First Year Learning Initiative and the President’s Technology Initiative.  

Dr. Miller has written and presented extensively on pedagogy and course design, and is the author of Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (2014, Harvard University Press).  She specializes in mobilizing faculty to adopt teaching strategies that leverage principles from cognitive and brain sciences to create more effective and engaging learning experiences.


Picture of Dr. Tom Tobin

February 12, 2016, Departing Keynote: Dr. 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.

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 Reynolds Online Administration and the Journal of Interactive Reynolds Online, 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.