Our conference theme was Defining What Matters: Understanding and Enhancing the Impact of Educational Development. We offered 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 hoped to recognize and share the value of our work, as well as discover paths for expanding our opportunities to matter within higher education. Conference sessions dealt with the breadth of our work within educational development, focusing particularly on 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 invited 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.