2016 POD Network Annual Conference | November 9-13

Please read all information below before submitting a proposal. To submit a proposal, please go here.

DEADLINE: Friday March 11, 2016 at 11:59PM Pacific

We cordially invite you to participate in the POD Network’s 41st Annual Conference to be held in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Hotel on November 9 – 13, 2016.

Our conference theme is Transformative Relationships: Fostering Cultures of Deep Learning.  We hope that this theme will inspire us to consider the ways that our work impacts change on a broader level through the relationships that we forge within our communities of teaching and learning. After critical reflection during the POD Network’s 40th anniversary where we looked inward about our own practices, we now turn to look outward to consider the types of relationships that would help us to expand our impact and engage in Paolo Freire’s vision of dialogic leadership.


“…to fail to think with the people is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders.”

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Inspired by Freire’s charge, we hope to invite educational developers to explore how to build deeper connections within our institutions and larger societies. How can these personal connections be seen as gateways to transforming our own professional practices and values, encouraging deep learning for our students and strengthening educational and organizational development missions on micro, meso, and macro-levels? Intentional focus on transformative relationships challenges us to take a direct look at the importance of person-to-person interactions. It calls for a shift from focusing only on outcomes and results to emphasizing genuine connections and shared growth. It calls us to go beyond the status quo and to dream of new opportunities to improve the quality of higher education – together. How do you and the people you work with relate to each other? How might learning be deepened by strengthening relationships?  Our keynote speaker, Dr. bell hooks, has written about the potential for deep, transformative education that comes from learning that happens through community between teachers, students and the broader society. hooks encourages us to realize that:   


“When everyone in the classroom, teacher and students, recognizes that they are responsible for creating a learning community together, learning is at its most meaningful and useful.”

― bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom


We need to work together with our students, colleagues, partners, allies, mentors, and kindred spirits within and outside the institutions where we work in order to cultivate this type of community-engaged learning in the classroom and beyond.  Through these relationships we can work towards fostering cultures of deep learning on a broader level. These collaborations may allow us to think beyond the status quo and challenge us to take action towards our shared vision of higher education.

In order to work more intentionally with our communities towards fostering cultures of deep learning, we offer up the following questions for consideration:  

  • What opportunities do we as educational developers have in engaging the beliefs of students, faculty, administrators and public policy makers about the values and benefits of deep learning?  
  • How can we support and encourage partnering with students in the enterprise of deep learning?
  • What might students, faculty, administrators and public policy makers think about how closely our current practices do the work of deep learning?

Thinking about deep learning at a cultural level also helps us consider how we need bigger structures to support and enable those practices.  

  • In what ways is fostering deep learning rewarded in our institutions?  
  • How is deep learning captured in the way that our institutions and policy makers measure success and then supported in key decisions about funding, human resources, tools, and facilities?  
  • How might we mobilize the “O” in POD and engage with the organizational focus of our profession to think at a structural level?
  • How can we ensure strong links between everyday practices in the classroom and the mission of the institution?
  • How can we broker engagement between the grassroots communities and top level leadership to encourage transformation organically?
  • How do we lay the groundwork for transforming paradigms, cultures, and structures?
  • How can we keep relationships going strong even through the difficult moments of implementing change, such as a curriculum redesign?

Thinking about collaborations in academic contexts might also lead us to think about the way we structure the production of knowledge in our institutions.  

  • Are we siloed within our disciplinary and hierarchical roles?  
  • Do we have language and practices that could allow us to foster connections across these traditional boundaries?  
  • What of the boundaries between institutions of higher education, policy makers and the public in general?  
  • How might a culture of deep learning help us forge relationships that work on the tension that often exists at these boundaries? (What are the tensions that have traditionally kept us from engaging in transformative relationships across boundaries?)
  • How can we engage with the various motivations that students and faculty bring to courses when creating learning experiences at different institutions?

Thinking about the potential for technology to enhance and provide new opportunities for learning might lead us to consider the ways that we can utilize and develop tools to expand collaboration and access to education.

  • How do we encourage faculty and graduate students to leverage technology to create spaces to learn and collaborate in ways that we haven’t learned before?
  • In what ways can educational developers collaborate with teachers and students to envision ways technology can expand participation in learning experiences for those who otherwise couldn’t?
  • How might educational developers participate in institutional decision making about how to employ technology to expand access to higher education?
  • How might educational developers use technology to mediate encounters between students and communities in order to generate opportunities for understanding and mutually envisioned innovation?

Finally, thinking about the ways we express the value of deep learning may open up space to reimagine traditional approaches to assessment of student learning, curricula, programs, and institutions as well as our own work as educational developers.   

  • How well do current approaches to assessment of student learning and curricular effectiveness capture deep learning?  
  • How can we imagine approaches to assessment that are sufficiently individualized to capture depth but sufficiently standardized to be manageable and sustainable?  
  • How might we work across the boundaries between institutions of higher education and communities, industries, and government to develop assessment methods that measure student learning by real world standards?  
  • How can we engage our communities in assessing the effectiveness of our educational development practices?  
  • If we define excellence in educational development practices in part by the extent to which we engage in collaborative engagement with our communities, how might that transform our approaches to educational development?

Just as the fabric of any culture is comprised of the connections between its threads, so too must a culture of deep learning bring all of these partners and their perspectives together in order to achieve a transformative impact.  

We invite you to form transformative relationships with us. Please plan to join us as we celebrate this important benchmark in our organization’s ongoing progress.

Carl S. Moore, Conference Co-Chair

Carol Subiño Sullivan, Conference Co-Chair

Lynn Eaton, Program Co-Chair

Greg Siering, Program Co-Chair

Hoag Holmgren, POD Executive Director

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. 

The database will open for submissions on February 5, 2016 and will close at Midnight (Pacific time) on Friday March 11, 2016.

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 to 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.  Audio-visual equipment, including an LCD projector, external speakers, and flipchart, may be requested. 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, November 10th.  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, November 9th and conclude the morning of Thursday, November 10th.  


Pre-conference workshops are advertised in the conference registration materials. We will notify you of pre-registration numbers before the conference and request that you be prepared for and accommodate on-site registrants as well.


Please direct questions regarding pre-conference workshops to co-chairs Katie Dowell Kearns (kkearns@indiana.edu) and Molly Sutphen (msutphen@email.unc.edu).

Concurrent Sessions


75-minute interactive sessions:

Interactive sessions combine brief presentations or panel discussions with methods that engage all participants, reflecting POD’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!  Audio-visual equipment, including an LCD projector, external speakers, and flipchart, may be requested.  Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.


Please direct questions regarding 75-minute interactive sessions to co-chairs Sal Meyers (sal.meyers@simpson.edu) and Julie Sievers (julies@stedwards.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.  No audio-visual equipment is available for roundtable discussions.


Please direct questions regarding 75-minute roundtable discussions to co-chairs Lisa Kurz (kurz@indiana.edu) and Steven Jones (steven.jones@gcsu.edu).


35-minute research sessions:

Research sessions include a presentation and discussion of new or on-going 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 Q&A. Although research sessions are designed primarily to share and discuss findings, proposals should address how the session leaders will use active and engaging methods of presenting and explaining their work. As in all POD sessions, we encourage you to creatively model exemplary teaching!  Audio-visual equipment, including an LCD projector, external speakers, and flipchart, may be requested.  Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.


Please direct questions regarding 35-minute research presentations to co-chairs Mary-Ann Winkelmes (mary-ann.winkelmes@unlv.edu) and Michael Sweet (m.sweet@neu.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 4×8 foot poster board and tacks. The poster board can easily accommodate large format 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 co-chairs Bill Rando (williamrando@uchicago.edu) and Kathy Lou Jackson (klj11@psu.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.  


Adjunct Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining specifically to adjunct or part-time faculty development.

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 (designate other topics to indicate the subject of assessment – e.g., teaching & learning, programs, Faculty Professional Development).

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, programs pertaining to faculty development.

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 Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining to development of those in the professions represented by POD (e.g., Center staff, technologists, etc.).

Programs: Organization, implementation, practices, theories, 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  (designate other topics to indicate the subject of research – e.g., teaching & learning, programs, Faculty Professional Development).

Retention: Practices, processes, theories, techniques related to retaining students and improving graduation rates.

SoTL: Practice of, results of, and programs supporting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Start-up: Practices, processes, organizational ideas related to establishment and growth of centers, programs, or other projects.

Sustainability: Incorporating or applying principles of environmental and/or programmatic sustainability into educational development work.

Teaching & Learning: Practices, processes, theories, 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 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.



All POD members

Community colleges

Faculty (conference attendees who are faculty and also part-time developers)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

International POD 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 teaching assistants or those supporting this population

Other (please specify):

The conference program will include:

  • session title
  • presenter name and institutional affiliation and if needed co-presenter(s) name and institutional affiliation
  • abstract
  • topic designation(s)
  • audience designation(s)


POD Unconference (POD-U)


The POD Unconference (POD-U) track is relatively new to the conference and includes conference-wide events organized by the POD-U coordinators and a POD-U track for concurrent sessions.

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 central focus on active engagement and fruitful, focused exchange by those attend the session
  • a facilitator who eschews presentation or lock step workshop experience and creates a structure or thematic venue which invites  participants to help spontaneously shape the session’s content and/or structure
  • 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 Diane 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 POD 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, posters presentations, and research presentations are included in this two-session limit.


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-sponsored sessions (submitted by POD 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 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

POD’s statement of “Ethical Guidelines for Educational Developers” (section 2h) 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, POD 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, POD 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 Executive Director or the conference chairs.


Submission Process

The online proposal portal will open February 5, 2016, and the online proposal submission deadline is Midnight (Pacific time) Friday, March 11, 2016.  Please watch for announcements over email, and feel free to email the conference team members, listed above, with questions.  Please submit your proposals here: http://tinyurl.com/PODconference


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 conference theme, Transformative Relationships: Fostering Deep Cultures of Learning, OR to POD’s mission and values.
  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: AV equipment (LCD projector, external audio speakers, flipchart with markers) may be requested at the time of proposal submission, limited to pre-conference workshops, interactive sessions, and research sessions only.  NO AV support other than flipcharts is provided for roundtable sessions. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space. POD is unable to supply laptop computers; presenters must bring their own laptops and all needed adapters.
  • Please check the self-nomination box if you wish to be considered for the Robert J. Menges Honored Presentation Award.  Research-based proposals are eligible for this award.  If your session is accepted and you have self-nominated for the Menges award, the Menges subcommittee chair will contact you to provide instructions about submitting additional information about your research project.


Review Rubric

Reviewers will use the following procedure and criteria to review proposals:


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, faculty 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.


POD mission and values

“The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) fosters human development in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development.  POD believes that people have value, as individuals and as members of groups. The development of students is a fundamental purpose of higher education and requires for its success effective advising, teaching, leadership, and management. Central to POD’s philosophy is lifelong, holistic, personal, and professional learning, growth, and change for the higher education community.”

  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 explore ideas related to the conference theme Transformative Relationships, or to 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.