excerpts from the 2018–2023 Strategic Plan:
The POD Network envisions that all post-secondary institutions value, support, and reward the work of their educators, scholars, and leaders, with an emphasis on teaching as a core scholarly activity, informed by research and reflection, and resulting in success for all students.
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.
Strategic Goals, 2018–2023
- Enhance Member Benefits: Improve opportunities and resources for POD Network Members. Provide more useful and timely services—in person, online, and throughout the year—to advance member networks and efforts in the field of educational development.
- Elevate Educational Development: Raise the profile of the POD Network’s standing, authority, and leadership as a voice on educational development. Proactively contribute to the recognition and advancement of the field of educational development.
- Build Organizational Capacity: Update and expand the POD Network’s organizational capacity to better meet its goals to enhance member benefits and elevate the field, and to support enactment of diversity and inclusion initiatives and evidence-based practices.
Strategic Priorities, 2018–2023
The following cross-cutting strategic priorities are of special importance at this time, for both the POD Network and higher education more broadly, and will be enacted across our strategic goals. Below, we synthesize why we highlight these priorities and describe initial levels of focus, yet we recognize that advancing these priorities will necessitate continual, deep discussions in the POD Network about both areas.
Diversity and inclusion
One of the POD Network’s values is that of equity; diversity and inclusion are important building blocks in service of that value. This priority reflects member priorities, a strong focus at many post-secondary institutions, and the recognition that progress toward equity requires great intentionality in order to reverse marginalization of historically underserved and underrepresented populations at all levels articulated below. Although the POD Network Diversity Committee contributes substantially to this work, efforts must be distributed across many working structures. This priority addresses multiple levels of focus:
- Diversity and inclusion within the POD Network, as displayed via the organization’s leadership, event themes and coverage, membership, and publications and other outputs.
- Supporting members’ work on diversity and inclusion on their campuses—two- and four-year institutions, public and private, of varying size and specialization—through the provision of resources, exploration of evidence-based practices, and distribution of research.
- Connections with other organizations, so that the POD Network may bring an educational development lens to issues related to diversity and inclusion in higher education more broadly.
The POD Network’s emphasis on evidence-based practice mirrors its increasing role in teaching and learning; recognizes increased demands for institutional accountability; and supports educational developers’ desire and need to demonstrate the impact of their work. This priority also addresses multiple levels of focus:
- Evidence-based decision making for the POD Network’s plans and operations, including strategic planning as well as ongoing and new programs and services.
- Evidence of the effectiveness of educational development for higher education broadly.
- Measuring effectiveness of local/campus-based methods and approaches for educational development work.
- Strengthening and promoting the scholarship of educational development.
- Supporting members as they support higher education faculty and instructors in using evidence-based teaching practices.