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Shemberger in Emerging Online Learning Leadership Group
Kentucky Ag Connection - 07/31/2020

A faculty member at Murray State University is among a group of online educators across the United States chosen for the 2020 Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL), a unique blended-learning leadership development program sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and in partnership with the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Melony Shemberger, '04, '06, faculty regent and associate professor of journalism and mass communication in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, was selected for the 2020 cohort. Now in its 12th year, the IELOL serves the development needs of emerging leaders responsible for a variety of digital learning initiatives in higher education.

"Online education is the present and the future, and I am eager to play a role in it," Shemberger said. "I see myself as an online leader who enjoys incorporating new technologies and practices that will guide educators in their instruction to help students achieve success."

IELOL participants work with colleagues from around the world to explore and understand both the opportunities and barriers to advancing local and global online learning. Program graduates join a growing network of online leaders in higher education focused on improving and advancing the impact of digital learning on all aspects and formats of education.

Shemberger has taught online courses in journalism, public relations and marketing for 11-plus years, but began a more focused study of online teaching and instructional design more than three years ago. In April, she received the Teaching Online Certificate from Quality Matters, a global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Murray State is a member of Quality Matters.

She also recently became a Quality Matters-certified course peer reviewer, a credential that involved rigorous coursework allowing her to review online courses and provide feedback to faculty. This summer, she assisted the University's Faculty Development Center in educating faculty about effective online course design and reviewing online course designs.

In May, she earned a certificate in distance education from the University of Kentucky, where she is pursuing a master's degree in instructional design. She hopes to finish by the end of 2021.

At Murray State, Shemberger teaches online undergraduate courses in journalism and graduate courses in public relations. She is a two-time alumna of Murray State, having earned a pair of master's degrees in 2004 and 2006.

In addition to the IELOL, Shemberger will present sessions at an OLC conference in November. 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.

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