POD Innovation Award

2015 Innovation Award Winner

“Boosting” for Retention and Connected Learning

Linda Serro

Lucas Center for Faculty Development
Florida Gulf Coast University

Boosting reminds the learner of what has been presented and connects the content to related concepts to give the new knowledge context. Immediately following a session or workshop, using a friendly and personable tone, the facilitator sends an e-mail to all attendees summarizing the important points and also adding more information related to that content. The addition may be a succinct discussion of a related topic or sharing additional resources.

Since our working memory is really not that efficient, giving participants in our Academies and Workshops a “Boost” is important to support retention. Real learning doesn’t really occur in one-time events but needs spacing repetitions to move content into long-term memory (Thalheimer, 2006). The Ebbinghuas curve developed in 1885 shows that we remember only 40% of what was taught and discussed one day after the event and by 5 days we only remember 20% of the information. This phenomena applies to faculty members who participate in professional development as well as students in our classes. To mitigate this problem we send a boost within a few hours of a session with faculty. We summarize the topics covered, give additional information related to the topic, include links to helpful resources, suggest ways to apply the information and remind people of up-coming topics to be covered.

2015 POD Innovation Award Finalists are on WikiPODia.

See some examples from the Previous Winners

Guidelines for Submissions

Submissions for the 2016 year will open August 1, 2016.   Check back for updated information.

History and Purpose

It was at the 1986 annual POD conference in Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania, that Marilla Svinicki and Marilyn Leach launched the Bright Idea Award (BIA). Their purpose was to recognize innovative ideas that improve learning and teaching, as well as enhance the general effectiveness of higher education faculty members. The basic intent was to share innovative ideas with the POD membership and encourage others to adapt the ideas for their own use, as well as to develop useful innovations themselves.

Continuing this tradition at each annual conference of the POD Network, the Bright Idea Awards were presented to participants who implemented creative ideas for the enhancement of teaching and learning and/or faculty development. In 2004 the name of the award was changed to the POD Innovation Award. Recipients are recognized at the Awards banquet and receive an engraved trophy.


We encourage both new and experienced participants at the annual POD conference to submit an entry. We will notify finalists of the POD Innovation Award on or before Friday, September 25, 2015.

To win the POD Innovation Award, at least one author listed on the innovation poster submission is required to:

      • present a poster session at the POD conference and distribute a handout describing their Innovation Award, and
      • attend the Friday evening banquet and awards ceremony
      • Poster size is 3 feet height by 4 feet width maximum

The POD Innovation Award recipient will be announced at the Friday evening banquet to be held in San Francisco, CA, on November 5, 2015.

Selection Process

A committee of POD Network members representing various programs and institutions will select up to seven (7) entries that are judged to be strongest using the criteria of (a) originality, (b) scope and results, (c) transferability, and (d) effectiveness. For example:

Examples for Selection Process

Strong Stronger
Originality: adaptation uniquely new
Scope & Results: one session long term
individual impact campus-wide impact
goals partially met goals successfully met
Transferability: to like institutions of higher education to all higher educational institutions
Effectiveness: expensive not expensive


The Submission period is now closed.




Eli Collins-Brown
POD Innovation Award Chair
Email: eli.collinsbrown@wmich.edu