To lead, support, and inspire meaningful change within our institutions, learning environments, and in our profession, it is essential that we build and foster connections—between faculty, students of all levels, administrators, programs, institutions, the wider higher ed community, and evolving educational tools such as technologies and social media. Effective teaching and learning requires evidence-based intentionality, but within a network of strong relationships.
Leaning on the theme of Connection: Closing the Distance, we encouraged proposals for the conference that explored how human and digital connection can be intentionally leveraged by the educational development community to promote authentic connection in our ever-changing higher education landscape. The three prompts below were provided to guide the conference theme and promote two of the cross-cutting priorities from the POD Network Strategic Plan: diversity and inclusion, and evidence-based practice.
1.) Thinking about how educational developers can foster intentional connections and building community, the following questions might be explored:
- How can we enhance our relationships with faculty, as well as among faculty?
- How can we support intentional faculty and student relationships?
- How can we encourage student to student interactions, which foster meaningful relationships?
2.) Thinking about education development that is inclusive and accessible to all, the following questions might be explored:
- How do we enhance and support connection through effective teaching and learning environments that are available to all students?
- How can the digital learning environment be leveraged to enhance accessibility and student connection?
- How can Centers’ programming promote intentionality in order to reverse the marginalization of historically underserved and underrepresented populations?
- How can Centers’ partner and communicate with organizational stakeholders to leverage change regarding accessibility and inclusion?
3.) Thinking about the rapidly changing educational landscape, the following questions about educational development might be explored:
- How do evidence-based practices relate to quality course design and the accomplishment of learning outcomes?
- How can we guide the intentional integration of educational technology to support student connection within course design and curricular development?
- How can we leverage the synergistic relationship between face-to-face and distance education pedagogies to support connections?
- How are changes in the educational landscapes affecting our Centers’ organizational structures?