The POD Network’s members are mostly directors and staff from teaching & learning centers, department chairs, faculty, graduate students, deans, student services staff, chief academic officers, and educational consultants from across the United States and Canada. While POD Network members come primarily from the U.S. and Canada, the membership also represents twenty-three other countries. We work in a variety of post-secondary settings: public and private institutions, two-year colleges and graduate universities, small colleges and multiversities, and educational services organizations. We view ourselves as change agents, providing leadership for the improvement of teaching and learning. We work to help develop the faculty, the instruction, the organization, the administrators, and the students. The POD Network and its members lead and support change for the improvement of higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development activities.
POD Network members’ professional activities and interests span a wide range of topics. Here are a few:
- Assisting faculty to develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in their students
- Assisting faculty with the design of courses and curricula
- Improving instruction through classroom research
- Using data to improve the evaluation of instruction
- Assessing instructional and programmatic outcomes
- Gaining administration and faculty support for new programs
- Teaching effective management skills to department chairs
- Helping committees function more effectively
- Implementing organizational change
Although our responsibilities and activities differ, POD Network members share the belief that institutions are strengthened when their members find opportunities for personal and professional growth, for innovation and experimentation, for change and renewal. POD Network members, in turn, provide such opportunities for colleagues on their own and other campuses.
Like many professional associations, the POD Network facilitates the exchange of information and ideas, the development of professional skills, the exploration and debate of educational issues, and the sharing of expertise and resources. However, POD connections have an added dimension. From the beginning, the POD Network has recognized that its members seek new ideas and fresh perspectives, but they also seek affiliation and support, and colleagues with whom to collaborate. Thus, the POD Network connects people with people more effectively than do most other professional organizations.
Opportunities to become actively involved in the POD Network are numerous. Our executive board, called the Core Committee, is comprised of members who have nominated themselves to stand for election by their colleagues. Officers and committee chairs are selected by the Core Committee from among its own members. However, participation by other POD Network members in the organization’s activities is extensive. The POD Network is a very open organization, encouraging members to choose their own levels of participation.