QM Research Colleagues

Quality Matters Research Colleagues play a leading role in keeping the Rubric current. These dedicated volunteers work with Kay Shattuck to foster studies that advance the knowledge of QM's impact on learner success. Their activities include tracing, documenting, and analyzing scholarly research that informs the continuing reflection and improvement of the QM Standards. They also discuss, advise on and support the QM research agenda.

Current QM Research Colleagues

  • Barbara W. Altman, Ph.D., Texas A&M University - Central Texas (since 2016)
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    Barbara Altman is Associate Professor of Management and Director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation for the College of Business Administration at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Dr. Altman is interested in research on corporate social responsibility, organizational change, public/private partnerships, and improving online and blended course design and delivery. She has over 15 years of teaching experience in online and blended formats and is a Research Fellow for TAMUCT’s Center for Applied Research and Engagement (UCARE).  

  • Deborah Anne Banker, Ed.D., Tarleton State University (since 2014)
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    Deborah Anne Banker is Department Head and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Tarleton State University. Dr. Banker has engaged in independent research to improve her online courses and is fascinated by discoveries in the research literature regarding student learning, achievement, satisfaction and retention in online courses. She is published on teacher preparation and training.

  • Yan Ding, Ph.D., Fudan University (since 2016)
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    Yan Ding is Associate Professor of the Research Institute for Higher Education and serves as the Vice Director of the Center for Faculty Development (CFD), Fudan University. Dr. Ding's research interests include faculty development, evaluation of teaching and learning, and internationalization of higher education. Dr. Ding brings both extensive publishing experience — she has authored and translated three books and published more than 30 papers in Chinese and Japanese — and academic leadership experience to her position as a Research Colleague. The CFD of Fudan University was selected as one of 30 National Demonstration Centers by the Ministry of Education in 2012, and now the Center is ranked among the top faculty development centers in China. Dr. Ding is also involved in national faculty development efforts. She is a member of the Academic Committee of the Chinese Higher Education Development Network (CHED), the largest association of faculty developers in China.

  • Ericka Hollis, Ph.D. (Research Review Manager, since 2014)
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    Dr. Hollis' research interests include higher education technology leadership, the consideration and adoption of online education in higher education implementation of online degree programs, and faculty professional development in online instruction.

  • Elizabeth McMahon, MSEd, Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (since 2016)
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    Elizabeth McMahon is co-coordinator of the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative, a project sponsored by the Colleges and Universities of Minnesota State. She has been designing and teaching online and blended courses for over 15 years. She enjoys presenting workshops and webinars related to course improvement through the strategic integration of technology, instructional design, and innovative pedagogy into the design and delivery of courses. Her interests in research include the impacts of faculty professional development and peer review processes on overall course improvement and student success.

  • Stella C. S. Porto, Ph.D., Inter-American Development Bank (since 2016)
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    Stella C. S. Porto is a Learning and Knowledge Management Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank. She leads a team managing online training and online courses (including MOOCs) in the areas of development focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously, she was the director of the Masters of Distance Education and E-Learning at the University of Maryland University College. She holds a doctorate in Computer Science and masters degrees in Computer Science and Distance Education. Stella's research interests involve e-learning projects for both adult education and professional training, with a focus in technology and management.

  • Kay Shattuck, D.Ed., QM Director of Research
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    Kay Shattuck, D.Ed., boasts an adult education practice spanning 30 years, focusing on online and distance education since 1999. Kay was a member of the initial group of Maryland distance educators who developed what would become the Quality Matters program. As QM's Director of Research, she continues to provide direction for the research efforts of QM and to generate research-based resources for the QM community. Her academic affiliation is with The Pennsylvania State University's College of Education, Education/Learning Performance Systems. In the past couple of years, she has organized and acted as editor for the book, Assuring Quality in Online Education: Practices and Processes at Teaching, Resource, and Program Levels, and for a special issue of the scholarly journal The American Journal of Distance Education. 

  • Bethany Simunich, Ph.D., Kent State University (Senior Research Colleague, since 2013)
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    Bethany Simunich is the director of online pedagogy and research at Kent State University. Dr. Simunich has worked with Quality Matters for many years, including as a Master Reviewer and APPQMR facilitator. She is passionate about helping faculty design and teach high-quality, engaging online courses and enjoys presenting workshops on instructional design and online teaching at universities and conferences. Her research interests include presence in the online classroom, peer evaluation of online teaching and design, online student and instructor satisfaction, and rigor and outcome achievement in online courses.