Dr. Bethany Simunich Joins Quality Matters as New Director of Research & Innovation

Industry: Education

QM expands commitment to research to support growing set of quality assurance solutions

Annapolis, MD (PRUnderground) January 7th, 2020

Quality Matters (QM) welcomes Dr. Bethany Simunich as the new Director of Research and Innovation. In this newly created role, Bethany plans to accelerate and advance the current contributions of QM’s research team and volunteer community in two important ways: 1) apply her expertise in online learning, along with research insights, to continually improve existing quality assurance solutions and 2) help develop new, research-based solutions that enable more organizations and professionals to achieve quality assurance in online learning.

“I’m so impressed with the QM-focused work individuals are doing at their institutions, and I’m excited to hear about their great research ideas to measure the success of individual and institutional quality assurance initiatives,” Bethany stated. “Truly, it is the QM member community, particularly those who want to learn more about or conduct QM-focused research, who have maintained and deepened my enthusiasm for conducting quality online learning research.”

Bethany has nearly 20 years of experience in online education, eLearning research and learning analytics. In her previous role as Director of Online Pedagogy and Research at Kent State University, Bethany worked with faculty, administrators, instructional designers and educational technologists to develop learner-centered educational solutions. As a former instructor and instructional designer, Bethany understands the challenges of online learning and is motivated to help faculty create engaging learning environments that set students up for success.

Along with her expertise as an online educator, instructional designer and published researcher, Bethany is also deeply experienced in supporting quality improvement and course assessment efforts. For more than five years, Bethany worked with QM as a Senior Research Colleague, Master Reviewer, Course Reviewer Manager, and Facilitator for QM professional development workshops. Additionally, she has experience serving as co-State Lead for the QM Ohio Consortium and as a member of the QM Advisory Council. 

“QM is committed to ensuring that our work continues to be advanced by research as we extend our quality assurance solutions,” Dr. Deb Adair, QM’s Executive Director, stated. “Bethany’s vast experience and true passion for research will allow her to contribute significantly to our current and future efforts.”

Dr. Kay Shattuck, whose contributions as QM’s Director of Research are invaluable, will transition to the role of Founding Director and Senior Advisor for Research, which will allow her to focus on advancing the rigor and impact of QM’s research activities while Bethany works, in part, to shape and refine research topics and design for upcoming webinars and conferences in 2020. 

“Well-designed research projects are crucial in meeting individual and institutional needs, and it’s such a benefit to our membership that QM has dedicated resources and support to help design quality research,” Bethany shared. “I am excited to join the amazing QM Staff in 2020 and am looking forward to connecting with both seasoned and new researchers as we collectively tackle some of the big questions and opportunities in online learning research.”

About Quality Matters

Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first. Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.

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