Tom Worthington is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at The Australian National University (ANU).
He’s interested in the way people use computers, in particular for online learning, and how this can be more sustainable, both socially and environmentally.
“There is a revolution taking place in the way university students learn and I expect university degrees to be 80 per cent online by the end of the decade. This has spurred my interest in online learning, which can provide a quality education with fewer environmental impacts.”
Before joining ANU 17 years ago, Tom worked for the Department of Defence, writing IT policy for the use of the internet in Australia, advising on the use of the internet for military operations and setting up the Department's first website.
Tom works part-time at ANU. When he is not lecturing, he is an independent IT consultant designing vocational courses for higher education in Australia and North America.
“I don’t really consider myself an academic. I left the Australian Public Service to become an independent computer consultant, but I wanted to keep up with IT developments and working as an adjunct lecturer is ideal for this.
“I’ve found that I have an aptitude for, and interest in, using computers for teaching. ANU has allowed me to explore that field. I like being able to help students with projects and to work alongside the ‘real’ ANU academics.”
In 2017, Tom was awarded a Master of Education in Distance Education from Athabasca University in Canada.
Recently he has received two awards for the design of an online ICT sustainability course
, focussed on reducing energy and e-waste from computers, which has been running for eight years in Australia and North America.
Aside from online learning, Tom’s expertise also lies in the area of web accessibility. He was appointed an expert witness in web accessibility during the Human Rights Commission Investigation into the Sydney 2000 Olympics website, and also provided web accessibility advice for the 2008 Olympics.
In his spare time, Tom is an avid blogger, managing both the Higher Education Whisperer
blog about university course design, teaching and research, and the Net Traveller
blog, which features travelogues and reviews of live theatre.