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Bethany Simunich | Director of Research and Innovation, Quality Matters

Bethany Simunich | Director of Research and Innovation, Quality Matters

Current Position and Past Experience
Dr. Bethany Simunich is currently the Director of Research and Innovation at Quality Matters, an educational non-profit dedicated to quality online learning at all levels of education. In this role, Dr. Simunich leads efforts to help faculty, instructional designers, and institutions collect data and design research to make data-driven decisions beneficial to student learning, disseminate and apply online research findings, and further quality assurance implementation and goals.

Prior to joining QM in 2020, Dr. Simunich was the Director of Online Pedagogy and Research, as well as Adjunct Professor, at Kent State University. Previously at Kent State she had served as Associate Director for Online Learning and as Instructional Designer. In her twenty years in higher education, she has held faculty roles for both in-person and online teaching, worked in educational technology, instructional design, and faculty development for online learning, and has worked in research labs and on projects and grants as a research associate. As an online learning researcher, her focus includes institutional implementation and evaluation of online quality assurance, presence in the online classroom, online student and instructor self-efficacy and satisfaction, and learning achievement in online courses.

Education, Honors and Achievements
Dr. Simunich earned her PhD in Communication from Ohio State University and holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Public and International Affairs, and Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the 2019 Quality Matters Director’s Award for Higher Education, the 2018 AECT Outstanding Publication Award: Book Chapter, the 2016 Quality Matters Making a Difference for Students Award, the 2016 AECT DDL Best Practices Award, the 2014 NUTN Research Paper Award, the 2013 EdMedia Top Paper Award, and the 2012 Lilly Conference Top Poster Award.

Personal Details and Community Involvement
Outside of work, Bethany enjoys volunteering her time with several animal rescues and shelters, and spends much of her weekends gardening, reading, and hiking in local parks. She is an avid traveller, and is looking forward to new travel adventures with friends and family.

You can connect with Bethany on LinkedIn and Twitter

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