48th Annual POD Network Conference

November 14–17, Online | November 16–19, Pittsburgh David L. Lawrence Convention Center

The proposal submission is CLOSED!

Envisioning the Future: Developing Equitable Opportunities for Success

Educational Developer success → Faculty success → Student success

The 48th annual POD Network conference envisions what the future of educational development might look like amid rapid changes in our lives, institutions, and societies. As educational developers, we are in a unique position to influence the success of faculty, students, institutions, and our own programs. By seeing our work through these multiple lenses, we seek a more holistic view of how educational development (see POD definition of Educational Development) can drive and facilitate the ongoing pursuit of equity in higher education. The POD Network is currently seeking proposals for the 48th annual conference.

Here are some questions for reflection to jump-start your submission:

  • How do we define success? For faculty? For students? For ourselves?
  • How do educational developers catalyze student success?
  • How do educational developers advance their institution and center?
  • How do educational developers envision success ​in our field?

As you develop your submission, please reflect on lessons learned, ways to expand inclusive and equitable teaching, the various implications of new technologies, assessment of teaching/learning/educational development, and how to prepare for the multitude of changes within the higher education landscape.

We’re bringing back the two conference venues, one in Pittsburgh and one online, with some improvements. We heard your feedback and are incorporating it into this year’s POD Network Conference. We look forward to your submissions and creating a conference experience to reflect our shared vision of educational development.

Please email the conference team with any questions you may have:

[email protected]

General Information

We invite proposals illustrating effective practices, new resources, innovative approaches, discussions of critical issues, presentations of research, and works-in-progress. All proposals will be evaluated using an anonymous peer-review process. Detailed information about session types, topic areas, guidelines for submission, the submission process, and the review rubric are listed below.

Online or Pittsburgh

All session types will be offered at both venues this year. You can choose to submit your proposal to the online conference or the Pittsburgh conference. The proposal submission form will ask for your chosen venue. You can submit each unique proposal to either venue, but not both. (NOTE: We will offer dual registration this year). The Conference Team will not assign venues, nor will we change the modality you select. The presenters themselves are in the best position to determine their own modality, and the Conference Team will both encourage and respect presenters’ autonomy.

Each attendee may submit up to two proposals for conference sessions but may be the primary presenter for only one of these sessions. For the second session, they must be listed as a co-presenter. See the section on number of proposals for more details.

New this Year

This year Birds of a Feather will not require a formal proposal. More details to come on the process to submit your ideas for these sessions. The Conference Team will select topics with an eye toward demand, diversity, equity and inclusion, and timeliness.

Another area we’ve updated is the rubric used to evaluate submissions. One major change is removing the item regarding the connection to the conference theme. Our hope is that it encourages a more diverse array of submissions. Additionally, the Conference Team revised the categories used to evaluate each session type. For more detail, see the Proposal Review Rubric.

Acceptance Notifications

Notification about conference acceptances will be sent by the end of June to the email address you use for your submission.

Accessibility Requests

The POD Network strives to make all sessions accessible to conference participants across each modality and will provide guidelines on effective practices in making your session accessible. We strive to ensure everyone has full inclusion in the conference experience. During the registration process, you will have an opportunity to specify your accommodation/accessibility needs. You can also contact the POD Office at [email protected] with any accessibility questions or requirements.

Call for Proposal Overview

Important Submission and Review Dates

Submission Dates

  • March 29, 2023: Call For Proposals sent to POD Network members
  • April 10, 2023: The submission system will open to accept proposals
  • May 1, 2023, 11:OO PM EST: Proposals due
  • By end of June 2023: Notifications of acceptance

Review Dates

  • April 20-30, 2023: Reviewer training window
  • May 15, 2023: Proposal reviews completed
Session Types Summary

You will be asked to select one of the following session types. Please consider the format and the level of audience engagement you intend to include when making your selection. For more details see the Conference Session Types.

Session Type Pittsburgh
Audience Participation
Pre-Conference Workshop 3 or 6 hours 2 or 3 hours Moderate High
Interactive Session 75 minutes 60 minutes Moderate High
Workshop-in-a-Box 75 minutes 60 minutes High Moderate
Roundtable 75 minutes 60 minutes Low High
Research 30 minutes 30 minutes High Low
POD Talks 8-10 minutes 8-10 minutes High Low
Poster Session 60 minutes 60 minutes High Moderate
*Presentation Length indicates the amount of time the presenters will strictly present to the audience. 

Proposal Details

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

Components of the Proposal
  • Session Type (Please review and select the session type best suited for your proposal and session goals. Strive for a strong fit between what you intend to accomplish and the type of session you choose.)
  • Presenter Information (Include name, affiliation, and current contact information for the main presenter and all co-presenters. NOTE: Due to the anonymous review process, anything that indicates the name or institution of presenters should be omitted from the title, abstract, and session description.)
  • Session Title (no more than 10 words)
  • Proposal Topic (select only one)
  • Session Abstract (no more than 100 words)
  • Learning Outcomes, Goals (one or two outcomes)
  • Session Description (no more than 500 words, POD Talks no more than 250 words)
    • 1–2 specific, actionable takeaways for participants
    • Outline of the session activities, including a description of the types of guiding questions and interactions planned (when applicable).
    • 1–3 sentences explaining how the session will support the POD Network Values of Collaboration, Equity, and Evidence.
  • Topic (select and designate your primary topic to assure alignment with the right proposal reviewers)
  • Recommended Audience (select one or more career level keywords and one or more institutional keywords)
  • Impact of your work on selected audience and institutional contexts (no more than 150 words)
  • Inclusive Strategies (no more than 250 words): All accepted sessions will be expected to apply the following baseline approaches detailed in the inclusive strategies section: In addition to the outlined approaches, please describe how your approach, topic, and/or activities of this session will support all participants, particularly those who historically and contemporarily may not feel a sense of belonging across identity, ability, and perspective. Please note that this component of the proposal will not be scored; rather, reviewers will identify sessions that meet expectations (DEI considerations shared are intentional and thoughtful), need revision (less than one hour of dedicated time), or does not meet expectations (will require substantive revision).
  • References (3–5)
Proposal Topics

During proposal submission, select one primary topic area to indicate the main area of focus/interest for the session from the list below. We recognize sessions often address multiple topics, but ask that you indicate one primary topic to better facilitate the reviewer-to-proposal matching process and to aid in the distribution of sessions with a similar topical focus throughout the course of the conference. If your proposal is accepted, you will have the opportunity to add additional topics to be used to further describe your session; these will be published in the conference program to assist participants in planning their conference experience.

  • Adjunct/Part-time Faculty Development: Sessions on research, programming, and development focused on the unique needs and contexts of contingent faculty.
  • Assessment: Practices and methods for measuring the effectiveness of educational development programs and services, and assessment of student learning, including processes for documenting and reporting the outcomes of these measurements.
  • Development of Educational Developers: Sessions focused on improving or enhancing our own pedagogical practices (e.g. active learning, contemplative practices, inclusive teaching, etc.) and/or personal/professional growth (such as research, writing for publication, leadership, mentoring) at all career stages.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice: Sessions focused on policies and strategies that advance social justice, equity, and inclusion (such as UDL, anti-racist pedagogy, decolonization of the curriculum, etc.). For example, creating, advancing, and sustaining equitable organizational structures; building capacity within centers and/or among members; and/or affirming the voices, identities, and experiences of those who are typically under-represented in educational development specifically, or in general, historically marginalized populations in higher education.
  • Graduate Student Professional Development: Sessions focused on the needs surrounding developing graduate students as both educators and educational developers.
  • Online and/or Hybrid Teaching & Learning: Sessions about teaching with technology, supporting online course design and development, and programs that support these efforts.
  • Organizational Development: Presentations that discuss the development of institutional initiatives and the role of educational development units as drivers or facilitators of change management within institutions and organizations.
  • Research & Scholarship: Systematic investigations of educational development, teaching, and learning, using rigorous data collection and analytic methods; including the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Discipline-Based Educational Research (DBER), Scholarship of Educational Development (SoED), and Learning Analytics.
  • Running a CTL: Establishing and growing centers, programs, projects, organizations, and/or managing center operations. Programs and services offered by educational developers in centers and other units (e.g., workshops, institutes, learning communities, certificates, awards, and other types of recognition), as well as the strategic plans and curricula that provide guidance and structure to those programs. May include issues related to funding, grants, financial matters, and staffing.
  • Teaching & Learning in Practice: Discussions, models, and reflection on teaching and learning methods, processes, theories, and techniques, such as evidence-based teaching practices, cognitive learning science, mindfulness and contemplative pedagogy, assessment of student learning, and the like. Can be discipline-specific (STEM, healthcare, humanities, arts, etc.) or audience-specific (adjunct faculty, graduate students, etc.)
Recommended Audience

Please consider which audience members would find your session most useful. During proposal submission, you will be asked to choose at least one career level keyword and at least one institutional keyword from the list below. We will publish these keywords in the conference program to assist participants in planning their conference experience. 
Career Level Keywords 

  • New/Recent Educational Developers/Professional Staff (0-4 years) 
  • Mid-Career Educational Developers/Professional Staff  (5-9 years)
  • Experienced Educational Developers/Professional Staff  (10+ years)
  • Center Directors
  • Graduate Students
  • Dual Appointments (Educational Developer and Faculty, etc.)

Institutional Keywords

  • Community Colleges
  • Minority Serving Institutions (Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Hispanic-Serving Institutions; Tribal Colleges and Universities or Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions)
  • Large Colleges and Universities 
  • Multicampus Institutions or Systems 
  • Small Colleges

Inclusive Strategies

All sessions should include the following list of strategies as a baseline:

  • establish your own positionality in approaching the topic
  • cultivate authentic and respectful interaction
  • if online, use the hand raise feature to reduce confusion and cross talk
  • ensure proper pronoun usage
  • include diversity of representation in images
  • unpack acronyms and avoid jargon to reduce misunderstanding or alienation
  • be mindful of pace (in speech and delivery of content)
  • call-in participants who share biased viewpoints
  • support neurodiversity through accessible presentation practices (i.e., readable slides, use of captions, describe visuals, visual and vocal prompts)
  • provide multiple ways for participants to engage with each other and the content

NOTE: Presenters will be provided guidelines to address more specifics related to integrating all of the critical inclusive and equitable practices into their final presentations.

Proposal Review Rubric

Reviewers will use the following criteria to review proposals:

  • Pre-conference Workshops: Assessed with full rubric, a-f
  • Interactive Sessions: Assessed with full rubric, a-f
  • Roundtable Discussions: Assessed with full rubric, a-f
  • POD Talks: Assessed with rubric dimensions a-e
  • Posters: Assessed with rubric dimensions a-e
  • Research Sessions: Assessed with rubric dimensions a-e
  • Workshop-in-a-Box: Assessed with dimensions a-d and f
Dimension Description Scoring Scale
a. The POD Network’s mission and values The proposal is likely to support or advance the POD Network’s Values of Collaboration, Equity, and Evidence 4=Excellent | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor | N/A
b. Advances/ Advocates Equity and Inclusion The session implements inclusive practices, fosters critical engagement with diverse perspectives, and/or encourages attendees to foster more equitable and inclusive campuses. Meets expectations | Needs revision | Does not meet
c. Evidence-based The concepts and materials presented are explicitly connected to shared research dealing with teaching, learning, or practice. Evidence can be drawn from qualitative and quantitative methods, interdisciplinary and methodological approaches, reflections and experiences, participatory practices, community knowledge, Indigenous and/or other ways of knowing. 4=Excellent | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor | N/A
d. Applicability/ Transferability The idea, topic, practice, etc., is relevant to the field of educational and/or organizational development and likely to be applicable/transferable to other institutions and programs.  4=Excellent | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor | N/A
e. Innovation/ Insightfulness This session offers fresh information and/or describes innovative or creative practices. 4=Excellent | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor | N/A 
f. Session Alignment The session activities (i.e., guiding questions and interactions planned) are clearly aligned with  the session outcomes and will support participant engagement. 4=Excellent | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor | N/A
Final Recommendation Accept / Accept with Reservations / Reject


Rating for each dimension 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 and 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.

Advances/Advocates Equity and Inclusion

  • Meets expectations
  • Needs revision: less than one hour of dedicated time
  • Does not meet: will require substantive revision to meet expectations

Conference Session Types

The POD Network in Higher Education welcomes proposals for a variety of session types. This year all session types will be available both in Pittsburgh and online, though the time allotted varies by modality.

Pre-conference Workshops

(Pittsburgh – 3 or 6 hours; online – 2 or 3 hours)

Do you have a workshop to enhance participants’ professional development?

These sessions provide intense professional development opportunities that result in participants acquiring new skills. Workshop proposals should identify specific learning goals or outcomes for attendees. In Pittsburgh, pre-conference workshops may be half-day (3 hours) or full-day (6 hours) in length.  Online workshops may be either two or three hours in length.  In order to attend, participants need to register for pre-conference workshops and pay an additional registration fee.
Pre-conference workshop proposals will be assessed using the full rubric (items a-f).

Interactive Sessions

(Pittsburgh – 75 minutes; online – 60 minutes)

Do you have a topic you would like to explore in an interactive way?

These sessions combine presentations with methods that engage all participants, reflecting the POD Network’s long-standing tradition of interactive, collegial sessions—not lecturing or reading papers to passive audiences.
Interactive session proposals will be assessed using the full rubric (items a-f).

Roundtable Discussions

(Pittsburgh – 75 minutes; online – 60 minutes)

Do you have a topic that you think lots of people would want to discuss?

These sessions provide a place for colleagues to discuss important topics in the profession. Sessions can focus on approaches to programming, institutional challenges or initiatives, supporting specific groups of faculty, etc. Microphones will be available, but no other presentation technology will be provided.
Roundtable discussion proposals will be assessed using the full rubric (items a-f).

POD Talks

(Pittsburgh – 8-10 minutes; online – 8-10 minutes)

Do you have innovative ideas about your work, a project, questions of significance, and can hold the audience’s attention for 8 – 10 minutes?

These sessions bring together multiple 8-to-10-minute talks, modeled on the format of TED Talks.
POD Talk proposals will be assessed using rubric items a-e.


(Pittsburgh – 60 minutes; online – 60 minutes)

Do you want to present your work to get some experience in a friendly low-stakes environment?

These sessions showcase a research project, program, activity, and/or initiative. Posters may be projects that are completed, in progress, or in their beginning stages. In person presenters should prepare a poster, and will discuss their work with circulating audience members during a 60-minute session. Online presenters should prepare a digital poster and a 2-minute recorded introduction to their poster, and will discuss their work with circulating members during a 60-minute session.

Poster proposals will be assessed using rubric items a-e.

Research Sessions

(Pittsburgh – 30 minutes; online – 30 minutes)

Do you have original scholarship on some aspect of educational development to share with the community of practice?

These brief 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). These sessions have less audience participation than the interactive sessions (plan for limited Q&A time).

Original research presented at the POD Network annual conference is eligible for the Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development. Presenters will have the opportunity to self-nominate for this award when submitting their proposal.

Research Session proposals will be assessed using rubric items a-e. 


(Pittsburgh – 75 minutes; online – 60 minutes)

Do you have a workshop that worked really well on your campus? Share it with your colleagues during a Workshop-in-a-Box session.

These sessions model successful workshops educational developers have done on their campuses. Session leaders are encouraged to incorporate meaningful activities drawn from the actual workshop. Ideal sessions will include a workshop demonstration and allow time for discussion. 

Workshop-in-a-Box proposals will be assessed using rubric items a-d and f. 

Rules for Proposal Submission


Anyone is welcome to submit a proposal, member or not. We encourage those newer to the scholarship of educational development and those whose voices are typically underrepresented in educational development to submit a proposal. If a session is accepted, each presenter and co-presenter(s) must be a paid registrant at the conference.

Number of Proposals Per Person

Each attendee may submit up to two proposals for conference sessions but may be the primary presenter for only one of these sessions. For the second session, they must be listed as a co-presenter. 

Please do not list a colleague as a co-presenter without their approval.

Exceptions to the two-session limit include: 

  1. Each attendee may propose one pre-conference workshop as either the primary presenter or co-presenter in addition to proposals for two regular sessions. 
  2. Committee/SIG sessions (one per committee/SIG in each venue, automatically accepted).
  3. Birds of a Feather sessions are not counted in the two-session limit.
Anonymous Review Process

All proposals must be anonymized. Replace names of people and institutions with Xs in the title, abstract, and session description. The only identifying information should be included in the contact information. 

Proposals that identify people or institutions will be automatically rejected in the review process. 

Proposals will be reviewed by peers according to specific review criteria (please see rubric). Reviewers will be assigned to proposals that are aligned with their self-selected areas of expertise. As such, we request that authors select one primary topic category for each proposal to better facilitate the reviewer-proposal matching process. If your proposal is accepted, you will have the opportunity to identify additional topics that will be tagged in the program. 

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 the sale of materials in any conference session 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.

Committee/SIG Sessions

These sessions provide space for Committee/SIGs to share their expertise and/or support POD members’ development in specific areas. Each committee and SIG will be guaranteed one Pittsburgh session and one online session reserved for them. This will not count toward presenter limits. The proposals for these sessions must have committee/SIG approval before submitting. 

When submitting a Committee/SIG session, facilitators will have the opportunity to indicate their interest in having the session being considered for designation as a “POD Network Professional Development Session” (PDS), formerly known as POD-Sponsored sessions. In response to several requests to simplify the process, there will not be a separate CFP for PDS sessions.

A PDS is dedicated to furthering the professional development of POD Network members, seeks to address a persistent professional development need focusing on educational development practice, and is geared toward a broad range of the membership. Sessions that request consideration for PDS (there will be a box to check) will be reviewed by POD Network’s Core Committee, who will then identify sessions that meet the criteria. 

Review Criteria. In addition to providing the required information for all proposals, PDS applicants will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  • How does the session further the professional development of the POD Network? 
  • How does the session meet a persistent professional development need of members?
  • How does this session serve the general membership and the broader field of educational development?
Recent PDS Sessions
  • Getting Started: Workshop for New Educational Developers (PDC)
  • Peer Mentoring for Early to Mid-Career Educational Developers (PDC)
  • Educational Developers as Change Agents for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI Committee)
  • Pathways to POD Leadership: Engaging with the POD Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan Committee)
  • Career Moves: Preparing Yourself for Work That Matters (GPPD)
  • Strategies for Reviewing Scholarly Publications as an Educational Developer (Scholarship Committee)
  • What an Educational Developer Should Know About Learning Analytics (Learning Analytics SIG)

Committee/SIG Meetings

All committees and SIGs are invited to host their annual meeting online the week before the conference on November 8 & 9, 2023. Additionally, if your Committee/SIG would like to organize a social hour in Pittsburgh, please send the information you would like to feature in the program to [email protected].

Affinity Groups

There will be a number of affinity group meetings offered during both conference venues. Affinity groups provide a forum for individuals who share a common identity as members of a marginalized group. To indicate your interest in joining one or more of the affinity groups, please fill out this affinity group registration form. More information will be provided at a later date.

The set of affinity groups available include:

  • Black/African/African American/Afro Caribbean
  • Asian/Pacific Islander/Asian American/South Asian
  • Latinx/Latine/Hispanic/Latin American
  • 2SLGBTQ+
  • Disability Group
  • Immigrant Group