2017 POD Network Conference | CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Event Information

October 25, 2017 - October 29, 2017

1201 Boulevard René-Lévesque O, Montréal, QC H3B 2L7, Canada

Registration Information


Registration will open in June or July. Early-bird rate will again be $495 for members. The POD Network group hotel rate is $209/night (Canadian dollars) or roughly $158/night (US dollars). Please make reservations before September 22nd to guarantee this rate. Click button below to reserve your room.


Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel

2017 Call for Proposals

We cordially invite you to participate in the POD Network’s 42nd Annual Conference to be held in Montreal, Quebec on October 25-29, 2017.

Our conference theme is Defining What Matters: Understanding and Enhancing the Impact of Educational Development. We offer this theme in part as a response to our membership’s desire to refine the ways we assess the impacts of our work, but also as an opportunity to explore more deeply what it means to matter in our field–to ourselves, our colleagues, our clients and collaborators, and our communities. By examining that broader view of impact, we hope to recognize and share the value of our work, as well as discover paths for expanding our opportunities to matter within higher education.

While we invite proposals that deal with the breadth of our work within educational development, we particularly encourage consideration of the following:

  • How do we determine what matters to our clients and colleagues, our students, our institutions, and our communities? What does “mattering” mean?
  • How do we make our work matter at deeper levels–transforming, inspiring, and creating personal and professional meaning for both ourselves and our clients and collaborators?
  • How do we gather evidence of our impact on the work of our faculty clients? On the learning and success of their students? On teaching culture at the department, school and institutional levels? On relationships with our various communities–local, state, national, and global? And how do we use that information to improve our efforts?
  • How can the POD Network advance and highlight our collective efforts to impact the work and culture of higher education?

We invite you to join our conversation of what matters in our work, how we understand the range of our impacts on higher education, and how we can collectively grow those impacts in meaningful and enriching ways.

Lynn Eaton, Conference Co-Chair
Greg Siering, Conference Co-Chair
Steve Hansen, Program Co-Chair
Carol Subiño Sullivan, Program Co-Chair
Hoag Holmgren, POD Network Executive Director

Download the 2017 Call for Proposals PDF

General Information

Please begin preparing your proposals now! We welcome proposals featuring best practices, new resources, innovative approaches, discussion of critical issues, presentation of research, and work-in-progress. All proposals will be evaluated using a blind peer-review process (see below for the review rubric). Detailed information about the session types, topic areas, guidelines for submission, submission process, review rubric, and the Robert J. Menges Honored Presentation Award are listed below.

We are using a submission database that will require you to create an account and will assign you an ID when submitting your proposal. Please retain your assigned Proposal Submission ID number so that you can access your submissions later if needed. Proposals should be submitted electronically to: http://tinyurl.com/PODconf2017

Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on Sunday, March 12th.

The POD Network is aware of increased uncertainty due to the recent US travel ban. We will watch developments closely and update those with accepted conference sessions and posters, identifying alternate presentation arrangements as necessary. We sincerely hope that everyone with an interest in presenting at the conference will go ahead and submit proposals as planned.

Please watch for announcements over email, and feel free to email the conference team members listed in this CFP with questions.

Please read the information below carefully before submitting!

Session Types

The POD Network in Higher Education welcomes proposals for a variety of session types, including:

Pre-conference Workshops:

  • 3-hour interactive workshops
  • 6-hour interactive workshops

Concurrent Sessions:

  • 75-minute interactive sessions
  • 75-minute roundtable discussions
  • 35-minute research presentations
  • Poster presentations

For all session types, proposals should describe work that is systematically designed, implemented, and assessed. Proposals should make clear how participants might apply, extend, or adapt the ideas they learn. Specific information about the different session types follows.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops emphasize learning-by-doing and provide participants the opportunity to explore topics in depth through a combination of hands-on activities, reflection, and discussion. Proposals should include a detailed outline describing the types of learning activities and interaction you plan. Proposals should indicate the maximum number of participants and any special room set-up you might need. You may also request a nominal materials fee where justified (e.g., for the cost of a book actually used in the session); please include this information in the body of your proposal if relevant. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space. Computer laboratories are not available and laptops cannot be provided for presenters.

The majority of pre-conference workshops are three hours in length. These shorter workshops will take place the morning of Thursday, October 26th. Fewer six-hour sessions are offered and are reserved for proposals that provide a clear rationale for needing the longer session. Six-hour workshops will begin the afternoon of Wednesday, October 25th and conclude the morning of Thursday, October 26th.

Pre-conference workshops are advertised in the conference registration materials. We will notify presenters of registration numbers before the conference and request that on-site registrants be accommodated as well.

Please direct questions regarding pre-conference workshops to Molly Sutphen (msutphen@email.unc.edu) and Laura Cruz (lcruz@tntech.edu).

Concurrent Sessions

75-Minute Interactive Sessions:

Interactive sessions combine brief presentations or panel discussions with methods that engage all participants, reflecting the POD Network’s long-standing tradition of interactive, collegial sessions—not of lecturing or reading papers to passive audiences. Session leaders are encouraged to incorporate meaningful activities as appropriate, selecting from a variety of methods such as presentation, demonstration, discussion, application, feedback, group and individual work, and role playing. We encourage you to creatively model exemplary teaching. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding 75-minute interactive sessions to coordinators Kathy Jackson (klj11@psu.edu) and Claudia Cornejo Happel (ccornejohappel@georgiasouthern.edu).

75-Minute Roundtable Discussions:

Roundtable discussions provide an opportunity for various kinds of interactions in a smaller group setting (10-15 people), such as discussion of a concept, approach, program, issue, case study, or reading. This format is ideal for getting to know people who may be facing similar issues to you, exploring new ideas, and sharing practices. It is contrary to the spirit of a roundtable discussion for the facilitator to make a formal presentation. A flipchart and markers will be provided, but no audio-visual equipment is available for roundtable discussions.

Please direct questions regarding 75-minute roundtable discussions to coordinators Steven Jones (steven.jones@gcsu.edu) and Emily Gravett (graveteo@jmu.edu).

35-Minute Research Sessions:

Research sessions include a presentation and discussion of new or ongoing educational, professional, or organizational development research. Session leaders present their original research (i.e., systematically designed, generalizable studies employing sound methodologies and data analysis practices) for the first 20-25 minutes, reserving 10-15 minutes for discussion. Although research sessions are designed primarily to share research projects and findings, proposals should clearly leave room for discussion or other activities, although the level of interaction is not expected to be as high as in 75-minute interactive sessions. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding 35-minute research presentations to coordinators Michael Sweet (m.sweet@neu.edu) and Sue Hines (shines@smumn.edu).

Poster Presentations:

The poster session provides an ideal format for presenting your research, program, or work-in-progress in a context where you can engage in many one-on-one discussions with colleagues. Attractive posters using large, readable fonts and illustrative graphics will attract conference participants and invite conversation about your work.

Each poster presenter will have a 3×4 foot tri-fold poster board and tacks. The poster board can single-sheet posters or individual 8½”x11” sheets. The poster session site has no multi-media support and no power outlets. Personal laptops may be used during the poster session, but we recommend bringing an additional battery, a back-up laptop, and/or paper handouts. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding poster presentations to coordinators Bill Rando (williamrando@uchicago.edu) and Julie A. Sievers (sieversj@southwestern.edu).

Topic and Audience Designations

Topic Designation

During proposal submission, proposers may assign one to three topics to their session. Topic designations are indicated below. Presenters can also add one topic of their own designation, if needed, although added topics will not be searchable through the electronic program application. (Note that we have removed Retention and Sustainability due to limited use, and have added STEM.)

  • Adjunct Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining specifically to adjunct or part-time faculty audiences.
  • Administration: Budgeting, funding, management, planning, performance appraisal, staff/faculty recruitment and retention, and other issues concerning the administration of a center or other unit.
  • Assessment: Measuring the effectiveness of an aspect of practice and/or outcomes in order to improve educational development programs, student learning, or student experiences.
  • Diversity: Addressing issues relevant to under-represented or marginalized populations on campus, in the classroom, and in administration.
  • Faculty Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, and programs pertaining to faculty audiences.
  • Graduate Student Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining specifically to graduate and professional student development.
  • Organizational Development: Practices, processes, theories, or techniques related to the systemic development of institutions and organizations.
  • POD Network Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, and programs pertaining to development of those in the professions represented by the POD Network (e.g., Center staff, technologists, etc.).
  • Programs: Organization, implementation, practices, theories, and techniques related to programs and services (in centers and other units).
  • Research: Systematic, generalizable investigations into clearly defined questions, employing accepted methods for data collection and analysis, that have implications for educational development or teaching and learning.
  • SoTL: Practice of, results of, and programs supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
  • Start-up: Practices, processes, and organizational ideas related to establishment and growth of centers, programs, or other projects.
  • STEM: Practices, processes, theories, or techniques related to the support of teaching and learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines.
  • Teaching & Learning: Practices, processes, theories, and techniques related to classroom and other teaching and learning.
  • Technology: Explorations of current and new technologies that can support teaching, program, or organizational development.
  • Other: (please specify)
Audience Designation

Proposers may identify one or two audience(s) likely to benefit from or to have interest in the proposed session. Audience selections are indicated below. Presenters can also add an audience designation of their own, if needed, although added audiences will not be searchable through the electronic program application. In order to make this audience designation useful, please do not select apparently contradictory pairs (e.g., large/small colleges, new/seasoned developers).

  • Administrators
  • All POD Network Members
  • Community Colleges
  • Faculty (conference attendees who are faculty and also part-time developers)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • International POD Network Participants
  • Instructional Technologists and Technology Integration Specialists
  • Large Colleges and Universities
  • New/Recent Educational Developers (5 years or less)
  • Seasoned Educational Developers
  • Small Colleges and Universities
  • Graduate Students and Postdocs or Those Supporting This Population
  • Other (please specify):

POD Network Unconference (POD-U)

The POD Unconference (POD-U) includes conference-wide events organized by the POD-U coordinators and a POD-U track for concurrent sessions. POD-U sessions move beyond the scope of traditional conference presentations and include nontraditional means of interacting and collaborating in a conference setting.

If you would like your proposed concurrent session to be included in the unconference track, indicate this by selecting “Consider this session for POD-U” on the submission form. If the proposal is accepted by conference proposal reviewers, and is then successfully accepted under the POD-U umbrella, it will be marked accordingly in the conference program.

Concurrent sessions that meet the POD-U criteria will embrace alternative or experimental formats and explicitly feature one or more of these components:

  • a facilitator who eschews presentation or lock step workshop experience and creates a structure or thematic venue which requires participants to help spontaneously shape the session’s content and/or structure
  • a central focus on active engagement and fruitful, peer exchange by those attend the session
  • a central focus on active dialogue, collaboration and/or creativity in leveraging of participants’ individual and collective interests and expertise
  • a call to action during the session and encouragement or opportunity for participants connect beyond the session.

If you have questions about POD-U, contact the POD-U coordinators Diana Boyd (diane.boyd@auburn.edu), Patty Payette (patty.payette@louisville.edu), and Nick Yates (nicholas.yates@zu.ac.ae).

Rules for Proposal Submission


Anyone is welcome to submit a proposal. If a session is accepted, each presenter and co-presenter(s) must agree to be a member of the POD Network and be a paid registrant at the conference.

Number of Proposals per Person

Each attendee may submit up to two proposals for conference sessions, but they may be the primary presenter for only one of these sessions. For the second session, they must be listed as a co-presenter. Interactive sessions, roundtable discussions, poster presentations, and research presentations are included in this two-session limit. Because all posters are presented at the same time, individuals should not be listed as presenters on more than one poster proposal.

Exceptions to the two-session limit include: Each attendee may propose one pre-conference workshop as either the primary presenter or co-presenter in addition to proposals for two regular sessions. Additionally, POD Network sponsored sessions (submitted by POD Network committees through a separate process), and sessions sponsored by the Conference Committee, are not included in the two-session limit.

  • Example #1: An attendee may submit one concurrent session proposal as the lead presenter and a second concurrent session proposal as co-presenter.
  • Example #2: An attendee may submit two concurrent session proposals as co-presenter.
  • Example #3: An attendee may submit one pre-conference workshop proposal as the lead presenter, a concurrent session proposal as lead presenter, and a second concurrent session proposal as co-presenter.
  • Example #4: An attendee may submit a concurrent session proposal as a lead presenter, a second concurrent session proposal as a co-presenter, and a POD Network Sponsored Session (or Conference Committee sponsored session) as a lead presenter.
Blind-Review Process

All proposals are blind-reviewed by peers according to specific review criteria (please see below). In your proposal, replace names of people and institutions with Xs in your title, abstract, and session description. The only identifying information should be in the contact information. Proposals that identify people or institutions will be rejected automatically in the review process. If your proposal is accepted, you are expected edit your submission and replace the Xs in your title and abstract to include names and institutions.

Sale of Materials and the Solicitation of Consulting Work

The POD Network’s statement of “Ethical Guidelines for Educational Developers” (section 2.8) emphasizes the importance of allowing “no personal or private interests to conflict or appear to conflict with professional duties or clients’ needs.”

To avoid the possibility of a conflict of interest, the POD Network does not permit in any conference session the sale of materials before or during the conference nor the solicitation of presentation materials after the conference. Furthermore, the POD Network does not allow presenters to solicit consulting work during any session listed in the program. Sessions should not directly or indirectly solicit the purchase of materials or programs.

Session presenters are permitted to use materials they have created and to refer to consulting work that they do, but neither materials nor services may be offered for sale during the session. All materials used during the session should be made available for session participants. Proprietary materials should not be used as the primary presentation material but may be included in a list of resources or bibliography. Pre-conference workshop presenters may receive permission to charge an additional fee for materials (such as books), to be collected with the conference registration fee.

The conference schedule includes a Vendor Exhibit to provide a specific time when materials can be sold and consultation work can be solicited.

Questions about this conference practice should be addressed to the POD Network Executive Director or the conference chairs.

Submission Process

The online proposal portal is available at http://tinyurl.com/PODconf2017, or: here.


and the proposal submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

As you prepare your proposal ahead of time, please follow the guidelines for components of the proposal and ensure that your proposal activities align with the session type you propose.

Components of the proposal
  • Current contact information for main presenter and all co-presenters
  • Session title (no more than 10 words)
  • Session abstract (no more than 100 words)
  • Designation of one to three topic areas, and one or two specific audiences.
  • Please select the type of session best suited for your proposal. Strive for a strong fit between what you intend to accomplish and the type of session you choose.
  • Session description (no more than 500 words)
    1. Provide a conceptual framework for your work, e.g., theoretical or empirical basis, goals, implementation, research findings, and assessment.
    2. State expected outcomes for session participants.
    3. Outline the session activities and plan for interaction. Please model exemplary teaching and learning practices. For poster presentations, focus on the manner in which you plan to present your work rather than on the type of interaction you anticipate.
    4. Meaningfully connect your proposal to the POD Network’s mission and values; connections to the conference theme are also encouraged, but not required.
    5. Where appropriate, integrate critical reflection related to diversity.
  • References (no more than 150 words): Strong proposals cite canonical and current literature or scholarly online sources. You do not need to remove your name if you authored a reference; however, if you refer to the text in the description above, do not state that you are the author.
  • Audiovisual request: LCD projectors and flipcharts with markers will be made available in all Pre-Conference Workshops, Interactive Sessions, and Research Sessions; external audio speakers are available by request. No AV support other than flipcharts is provided for Roundtable Sessions. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space. The POD Network is unable to supply laptop computers; presenters must bring their own laptops and any needed video adapter to connect to a VGA projector.
  • Original research presented at the POD Network annual conference is eligible for the Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development. If you self-nominate and your session is accepted, you will be invited to submit a full proposal, typically due in late June. Check here if you’d like to self-nominate.
  • a full proposal, typically due in late June. Check here if you’d like to self-nominate.

Review Rubric

Each proposal will be reviewed by three individuals, with reviewers using the following criteria:

Please give a rating for each criterion:
  • 4 = excellent (There are no concerns or questions with the item)
  • 3 = good (There are a few minor concerns or questions with the item; however, they will not be an impediment)
  • 2 = fair (There are concerns or questions about the item that should be addressed if accepted for the conference)
  • 1 = poor (There are significant concerns or questions about the item which must be addressed if accepted for the conference)
  • N/A* (Please note that a score of N/A will NOT get factored into or diminish a proposal’s final score.)
Session Methodology

Based on the description of activities provided:

  1.             The session is likely to accomplish the outcomes stated in the proposal.
  2.             The session will be conducted in appropriate ways for the chosen session format (see very specific description of session types and purposes in the call for proposals).
  3.             The session is likely to be a model of exemplary teaching, learning, educational and/or organizational development practices.
  1.             The proposal takes a scholarly approach to practice. That is, the material to be presented incorporates previous research, theory, evidence, and/or assessment. It is not heavily anecdotal.
Innovation and applicability
  1.             This session will address ideas, topics, or practices that are highly relevant and significant in faculty and/or organizational development.
  2.             This session will offer fresh information and/or describe innovative or creative practices. It is not a reprisal of previously presented information.
  3.             The material is likely to be applicable to other campuses, institutions and/or programs; it is not highly institution-specific.
The POD Network’s mission and values

The mission of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network) is to provide a community for scholars and practitioners who advance teaching and learning through faculty and organizational development. The POD Network values and is committed to: Collegiality, Inclusion, Diverse Perspectives, Advocacy and Social Justice, Distributed Leadership, Innovation, Evidence-Based Practices, and Respect/Ethical Practices.

  1.             The session is likely to foster critical reflections about diversity and/or encourage attendees to foster more responsive and inclusive campuses.
  2.             The session is likely to support or advance POD’s mission and values.
Final Recommendation: Accept/ Accept with Reservations/ Reject

In addition to addressing each rubric criterion, reviewers are requested to provide comments and feedback that explain the rationale behind their scoring and provide further insights to submitters.

Session coordinators use a combination of numeric scores, final recommendations, and reviewer comments to rank proposals, passing their recommendations for acceptances along to the Program Chairs.