46th Annual POD Network Conference | November 8–17

Invitation to Attend

This year’s conference is planned as a virtual event. The conference experience will combine live synchronous and on-demand asynchronous sessions and presentations to provide ample opportunities for engagement and participation, as well as a rich collection of presentations and resources. New conference features include workshops-in-a-box sessions (successful workshops and accompanying materials you can adapt to present at your institution), social gatherings and wellness sessions, and other live and on-demand sessions specifically designed to engage participants in a virtual environment. 

Our conference theme, Evolving Beyond Crisis—Connecting to the Future invites us to reflect upon our current realities in order to identify opportunities for learning and growth and to build upon the successes we have had in responding to different crises in meaningful, sustainable, and proactive ways.

#POD21 will be a space to showcase, discuss, and grow the potential that exists among educational developers and those with similar roles as institutional leaders and change agents. 

We especially look forward to advancing and deepening the conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion in our work, at our institutions, and within the POD Network. Together let’s share and build upon our collective awareness, knowledge, and capacity to evolve beyond crisis, plan for the future, and navigate change.

We can’t wait to see you in November!

Claudia Cornejo Happel, Conference Co-Chair
German Vargas Ramos, Conference Co-Chair
Tammy M. McCoy, Program Co-Chair
Jerod Quinn, Program Co-Chair
Hoag Holmgren, POD Network Executive Director

Accessibility for Conference Events and Materials

The Conference Team is working to make the POD 2021 conference events and materials accessible. We will provide live captioning for synchronous sessions and captions or transcripts for all audio-visual recordings. More information about inclusivity and accessibility measures will be shared on the conference website, but if you have specific needs or concerns, we will be happy to address them. Please let us know by emailing [email protected]


Conference registration fees do not include membership dues. If you would like to register at the lower, POD Network member rate, you must already be a member or you must renew or join before you register for the conference.

Refund Policy:  A full refund, minus $25 USD processing fee, will be made if a cancellation is received by October 1, 2021. A $50 USD cancellation fee will be retained for cancellations received from October 2–15, 2021. Other than in the case of personal emergency, no refunds can be made after October 15, 2021. Substitutions in attendees may be made at any time.

Schedule at a Glance

Synchronous sessions are scheduled from November 8–12; committee and SIG meetings are planned for November 15–17. Additionally, several pre-conference workshops are planned for October 2021. Conference materials and session recordings will be accessible to conference attendees until January 31, 2022.  

Please visit our Conference Website for a schedule at a glance overview of conference sessions and events.

Overview of the Annual Conference

The annual POD Network conference has been recently attracting over 1000 people, and primarily targets practitioners in the fields of educational and organizational development, both novice and experienced. The conference appeals to administrators, faculty, educational developers, graduate and professional student developers, graduate students, independent consultants, members of higher education organizations, and publishers for these communities.

2021 Virtual POD Conference

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 POD Network Conference will be hosted as a virtual event combining interactive synchronous sessions and roundtables with asynchronous, on-demand workshops and presentations.

Conference Schedule

Concurrent and plenary conference sessions are scheduled from November 8–12.

Committee and SIG meetings are planned for November 15–17.

Several pre-conference workshops are planned for October 2021.

Conference materials and session recordings will be accessible to conference attendees until January 31, 2022.

Please visit our Conference Website for a schedule at a glance overview of conference sessions and events.

Preconference Sessions

Most Pre-conference sessions will be offered as hybrid events combining asynchronous activities and synchronous meetings. All workshops will take place in October–November 2021. Specific times for synchronous meetings will be communicated as soon as the schedule is finalized with presenters.

Attendance for these sessions is limited. You can register for pre-conference sessions during the conference registration checkout process.

No separate registration fee will be required for registered #POD21 attendees.

All sessions are full

Getting Started: Workshop for New Educational Developers

4 meetings: October 19, 21, 25, and 27, 12:00–1:15 PM EST

Session full

POD Network Sponsored Professional Development Session

Danny Mann—[email protected]
Catherine Haras—[email protected]
Carl Moore—[email protected]
Amber Young-Brice—[email protected]
Jim Berg—[email protected]
Deandra Little—[email protected]

This interactive workshop orients new educational developers to the field. Participants will consider selected educational development research and foundational frameworks and will identify priorities for their contexts. Participants will build core skills with a DEI lens: consulting with individuals and groups; developing effective programming; and assessing work at the individual and program/center level. Participants will leave the session with a big-picture view of educational development, enhanced skills, a set of resources, and a support network to help them achieve their goals. NOTE: This session is not tailored for experienced developers nor those seeking strategies to found a center.

Participation Min 50–Max 100

Peer Mentoring for Early to Mid-Career Educational Developers

2 Meetings: October 13 and 27, 2:00-3:30 PM EST

Session full

POD Network Sponsored Professional Development Session

Taimi Olsen, Executive Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation, Clemson University (co-lead)—[email protected]
Tazin Daniels, Assistant Director, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan (co-lead)—[email protected]
Esther Jordan, Associate Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning & Associate Professor of Political Science Kennesaw State University—[email protected]
Ferlin McGaskey, Director of Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning Innovation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville—[email protected]
Emily Magruder, Director, Institute for Teaching and Learning at California State University, Office of the Chancellor, co-lead
Carl S. Moore, Assistant Chief Academic Officer, University of D.C.
China Jenkins, Executive Director, Teaching, Enrichment, Advising, and Mentoring Center, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Texas Southern University—[email protected]
Jamiella Brooks, Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Pennsylvania
Cait Kirby, Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Carney, Director of Programming, Office of Faculty Affairs, University of Georgia

This four-part session offers early-career educational developers space for consultation, reflection, and relationship building. Registered participants are surveyed and grouped based on long-standing and emergent topics around job functions, professional development, career advancement, and relationship-building with particular attention to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and wellbeing. These topics are unpacked during the first live session with a facilitator, and expounded upon through a set of asynchronous activities over the course of two weeks. After a final live dialogue and near-peer mentoring, participants leave with an action plan and opportunities to reconnect with their group in the future.

Participation Min 5–Max 80

Planning SoTL Faculty Development Initiatives During Uncertain Time

2 Meetings: October 5 and 19, 1:00–2:15 PM ET

No longer available

Laura Lukes—[email protected]
Liesl Baum—[email protected]
Ed Brantmeier—[email protected]
Kim Case—[email protected]
Dayna Henry—[email protected]
Jessica Taggart—[email protected]
Melissa Wells—[email protected]
Lindsay Wheeler—[email protected]

Are you offering or planning to offer faculty at your institution SoTL professional development programming to support them in developing their own SoTL projects? In this workshop, participants will learn common SoTL support programming models across institution types; exchange lessons learned aspirational ideas; discuss navigating new challenges during uncertain times (particularly with the upheaval of COVID-19); create/refine the strategic SoTL professional development program plan for their institution; and receive peer feedback on their plans. Participants will have access to a shared resource folder and the opportunity to participate in future peer feedback beyond the workshop/conference.

Participation Min 6–Max 150

Storytelling and Meaning-Making: Educational Developers in Times of Crisis

Session full

2 Meetings: October 18 and 22, 3:00-4:30 PM EST

Jessica Raffoul—[email protected]
Peter Felten—[email protected]
Nancy Chick—[email protected]
Michele DiPietro—[email protected]

We will use storytelling to explore our recent experiences as educational developers. We will begin by considering how stories function, practicing with a framework for drafting stories. Between the two synchronous sessions, participants will craft their own stories of educational development in times of crisis. In session two, participants will be invited (not required) to tell their stories, and we will reflect on the experience of telling and hearing these stories. We will close with conversation about the ways we might—individually and together—use storytelling in our work and as a way to overcome and learn from crises.

Participation Max 20

Catalyzing Department-level Change at your Institution

Session full

2 Meetings: Oct 20 and 27, 2:00–3:30 PM EST

Sarah B. Wise—[email protected]
Courtney Ngai—[email protected]
Joel Corbo—[email protected]

Successful teaching innovations face pitfalls when their practitioners are embedded in departments that are not ready to support change. The Departmental Action Team Model provides a method for shifting cultural patterns and equipping change agents in ways that catalyze sustained, consensus-driven change. This workshop will help participants learn about the DAT Model and explore how it might be applied within their own institutions. Presenters will provide individual feedback on participant ideas and plans.

Participation: Min 5–Max 55

Taking Flight: Starting (or Revitalizing) a New Center for Teaching and Learning

Session full

Meeting Times: October 14, 3:00–6:00 PM EST (Opening meeting, two sequential 75 minute sessions)
October 15–November 3: Individualized coaching sessions. Up to 3 per participant, arranged by presenters and participants
November 4, 3:00–6:00 pm EST (Concluding meeting, two sequential 75 minute sessions)

Brian Smentkowski—[email protected]
Marina Golding Smitherman—[email protected]
Laura Cruz—[email protected]

Whether opening a new center or revitalizing an existing one, these flipped sessions provide an opportunity to work with experienced coaches to develop short- and long-term plans to help your CTL thrive. The whole group Zoom sessions begin with activities to help participants identify resources, priorities, challenges, and opportunities. Coaches will then share strategies for conducting needs assessments, planning programming, building networks, setting goals, and cultivating a culture that supports successful teaching and learning as part of individual coaching sessions. Working with colleagues and coaches from similar institution types, participants will create action plans to define and achieve their goals.

Participation: Min 9–Max 21

Advancing Racial Equity Through Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers

1 Meeting: October 6, 2:30–4:00 PM EST

No longer available

AAC&U Session

Tia Brown McNair
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Student Success and Executive Director of the TRHT Campus Centers at Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

What are promising ways for dismantling deeply held beliefs in the hierarchy of human value that fuel systemic and structural racism? What is the role of higher education in educating for democracy, advancing justice, and building equitable communities? Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to address the historical and contemporary effects of racism and to plan for and bring about transformative and sustainable change. This facilitated discussion will highlight AAC&U’s TRHT Campus Centers, and the TRHT Framework and process to prepare the next generation of leaders in building just and equitable communities.

Participation: No maximum

Conference Buddy Program

The POD Buddy Program is BACK for 2021! Due to the 2020 conference moving to remote, we were unable to provide the Buddy Program. Realizing how vital this program had become over the past few years and the need for making meaningful connections among members, we have decided that it was important to bring it back for 2021.

What is the Buddy Program?

Are you new to POD and would like help navigating the conference? Are you an experienced POD member and willing to share tips on how to get the most out of the annual conference? If so, consider participating in the 2021 POD Conference Buddy Program! To participate, simply sign up when you register for the POD conference by Friday, October 1

The POD Conference Buddy program is designed to connect first-time attendees with other participants who are more familiar with the conference. The success of the Buddy program relies heavily on experienced POD attendees generously giving of their time and advice to new attendees. As with any professional organization, it is the people that make it special, and making new members feel welcome keeps the organization energized.

Consider being a Buddy this year – you will not regret it!

Buddy groups will be matched—as best we can—based on shared interests, experiences, and institutional type in hopes that you will not only have a contact during the conference, but perhaps find a colleague to add to your professional network.

New formats for connecting

Buddies are expected to connect remotely both before and during the conference. Think of ways that you can be “with” your Buddy at similar sessions, have a virtual coffee/tea time, send each other the schedule of sessions you will attend, connect after a session and debrief what you learned and how you will take that forward, reconnect after the conference and talk about what ideas you gleaned or what did or did not work for you in this remote conference environment. Being mindful that we will not be AT a conference, so people have a lot of other things going on around them. We may be less connected than in-person, but there are many ways to still be present with one another.

What to expect

First-time POD Attendees

Expectations (via remote connections)

  • Follow-up with your assigned buddies prior to the conference (ask for your lessons to learn; offer your gifts to give)
  • Meet with buddies early in the conference (you’re not harassing us)
  • Ask questions and be open to engage with new and experienced buddies
  • Share insights into your work and projects


  • Have a special contact person during the conference
  • Get your questions answered 
  • Build your professional network
Returning POD Attendees

Expectations (via remote connections)

  • Contact your assigned buddies prior to the conference
  • Dedicate time to meeting with your buddies early in the conference
  • Offer advice on sessions to attend, conference events, ways to become more involved in POD, etc. 
  • Share insights into your work and projects
  • Connect your buddies with other colleagues


  • Personify the welcoming spirit that characterizes the POD Network
  • Have the option of mentoring a new colleague beyond the conference

What to expect from the Buddy Planning Team

After you register you will receive an email with more details and a very short survey to help us match newcomers and experienced attendees as best as we can. After the deadline has passed, you will receive an email with further information, including contact information for your Buddy so that you can connect prior to the conference. The experience goes most smoothly when Buddies connect prior to the conference, and we encourage Buddies to reach out to one another via email, video conference or phone call at least one week prior to the conference. It has also been shown that meeting early in the conference is critical to a great Buddy experience!

If you have further questions, please contact the POD Buddy program team at: [email protected].

Again, to participate, simply sign up when you register for POD by Friday, October 1.

Overview of the POD Network and its Mission

The POD Network

The POD Network supports a network of over 1,400 members who have an interest in educational and organizational development. While POD Network members come primarily from the USA and Canada, the membership also represents 18 other countries. Through its members, the POD Network leads and supports change for the improvement of higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development.

The POD Network seeks to promote the scholarship of teaching, learning, and organizational development that reflects a spirit of inclusion, where all members are invited to collaborate and interact with colleagues across disciplines and borders.


The POD Network exists to provide professional development and a community of practice for scholars and practitioners of educational development, and to serve as a leading voice on matters related to teaching and learning in higher education.


The work and decisions of the POD Network are informed by its commitments to:

      • Collaboration: The POD Network strives to be collaborative and collegial, with distributed leadership as the basis for governance structures and operations. Sharing resources and expertise are hallmarks of member interactions.
      • Equity: The POD Network strives to be transparent and inclusive, with ongoing efforts to promote equitable access and involvement, eliminate systemic inequities that result from biases, and support members in advancing social justice. The organization is strengthened by and committed to expanding diversity among and on behalf of members.
      • Evidence: The POD Network strives to ground practices and decisions in evidence, adapt and reuse proven methods, and innovate to improve upon prior work. Diverse forms of evidence, a variety of inquiry methods, and a basis in theory are recognized as valuable and essential.

Read more about POD Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals

Membership Dues


per person

Student or Retired

per person