MURRAY – A faculty member at Murray State University has earned the Quality Matters (QM) Teaching Online Certificate, joining approximately 860 faculty throughout the world in receiving the distinction.

Faculty Regent Dr. Melony Shemberger, associate professor of journalism and mass communication in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, received the distinction after successfully completing seven required classes in the Quality Matters curriculum. She began the rigorous program in January and finished in mid-April before being awarded the Teaching Online Certificate.

The classes required in the Teaching Online Certificate included:

• Gauging Your Technology Skills

• Evaluating Your Course Design

• Exploring Your Institution’s Policies

• Orienting Your Online Learners

• Connecting Learning Theories to Your Teaching Strategies

• Creating Presence in Your Online Course

• Assessing Your Learners

Each class required a culminating assessment to serve as evidence of online teaching competencies aligned with QM’s online instructor skill set.

“These classes were intense, but they amplified concepts and skills that are essential to faculty and student success in online education,” Shemberger said. “Many late nights and weekends were spent completing the readings and critical assignments, but my experience in this program was rewarding. While the Teaching Online Certificate is a wonderful achievement, students in my online courses will be the primary beneficiaries of the knowledge and skills that I apply in the courses, thanks to the Quality Matters curriculum.”

Along with the certificate, Shemberger was given a digital credential, which will be displayed in the online courses that she teaches to signify to learners that she has a knowledge mastery of online teaching. At Murray State, she will teach online undergraduate and graduate courses in news writing, public relations and strategic communication.

In addition to the Teaching Online Certificate, Shemberger will begin the process in early May to become a peer reviewer, a credential that will allow her to review online courses and provide feedback to faculty. She also plans to have her online courses certified by QM.

“Through the reviews and certifications, students will see that the courses have been reviewed against rigorous standards necessary for effective online instruction,” Shemberger said.

Murray State University is an institutional member of Quality Matters, a global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Shemberger also presented at the Quality Matters West Regional Virtual Conference in early April and will present at the national Quality Matters Connect Conference in September.

Shemberger has taught online for more than 11 years, but began a more focused study of online teaching and instructional design three years ago. In May, she will receive a Certificate in Distance Education from the University of Kentucky, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in instructional design.

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