We cordially invite you to participate in the POD Network’s 43rd Annual Conference to be held in Portland, Oregon on November 14-18, 2018.

This year’s conference theme is Leading in Times of Change.

Leadership and managing change are two of the most pressing concerns POD Network Members face in their institutions and in the educational development profession. We believe that these two concepts, leadership and change, are naturally intertwined and have combined them to form the 2018 conference theme.

We hope that sessions addressing this theme will consider the questions: Where in higher education is change already happening? And where is change needed but not happening—or not happening quickly enough?  What kind of professional development do we need to become the leaders who are successful in navigating the changes on the horizon?

We anticipate that sessions will address leadership and change at all levels, including changes in student learning needs, individual instructor teaching practices, institutional organizational changes, and national and international level discussions about the current state and future of higher education. Addressing these levels will require the consideration of a range of leadership initiatives, including leading individual instructors, leading teaching initiatives, leading centers of teaching and learning, leading campus and other organizational initiatives, and leading in the broader space of higher education as advocates and thought leaders. Furthermore, we believe that considering multiple facets of diversity and inclusion is essential when considering the types of changes on the horizon that will require our leadership.

While not an exhaustive list, we submit the following issues that are on the horizon of the higher education landscape as ideas and perhaps sources of inspiration that presenters might consider addressing during conference sessions.

    • Leading changes in various pressing issues in higher education:
      • College Completion and Affordability: In Derek Bok’s recent book, The Struggle to Reform Our Colleges,  he draws attention to the fact that in the United States, the percentage of young adults earning college degrees has fallen in the last decade as compared to the rate of college completion in other countries.  Furthermore, It is not just an issue that the overall rate has fallen.  Inequality has risen.  The gap between the children of white families and the children of black and Latino families earning bachelor’s degrees is over 20 percentage points.  The gap between children of high income and low income families is even larger at over 40%.  And for those who do finish their undergraduate degrees (regardless of identity), they are lagging behind their peers in other countries on international tests of basic skills, creating a problems for their employers, and disappointment in the weak value of their degrees.   He argues that improving the quality of education for all requires a responsive, well-designed curriculum taught by instructors well equipped with teaching methods that help students learn.  Relevantly, in their 2017 report, Instructional Quality, Student Outcomes, and Institutional Finances, the American Council on Education found that there are links between educational development, college completion and college affordability. “The more a faculty member participated in development programs, the more her teaching and the outcomes of her students improved. Moreover, faculty participation in development had long-term impacts on student learning; students of participating faculty continued to demonstrate increased learning over time.” How are we leading  educational development initiatives that address improvement in equitable college completion and college affordability?
      • Broadening Demographics of our Student Populations: We continue to see a broadening of the demographic characteristics of the student populations that attend our institutions. Young, traditional-age students are enrolling in college alongside older generations, including increasingly larger populations of adult learners. Within these populations, we have veterans, students with disabilities, students from marginalized identity groups, international students, and others. How can educational development play a leadership role in making learning accessible to all of these different populations?
      • Changing threats to teaching and learning in a politically fraught time: Leading the charge to maintain and strengthen higher education as a space where diversity and inclusion are intentionally cultivated as a value is more important than ever in the face of exclusionary attitudes and practices emanating in culture today.  The POD Network has reaffirmed our commitment to the values of inclusion, diverse perspectives, advocacy and social justice, and respect/ethical practices and made it one of our goals to act on our commitment to inclusion and diversity.  How can educational development generate inclusive leadership that amplifies the voices of those who are marginalized and equips and empowers all of our constituents to create learning spaces that are truly welcoming to all?


    • Leading changes in teaching practice:
      • Changing accessibility needs in the age of digital learning: In the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiatives’ Survey, The 2018 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning, accessibility and universal design for learning ranked as the second most pressing concern.  This is especially crucial as digital learning practices become more and more ubiquitous, requiring institutions to be vigilant in protecting practices that make learning broadly accessible lest these fall by the wayside in the rush to innovate with new digital learning technologies.  How can educational developers play a leadership role in advocating for accessibility and universal design for learning?
      • Implementing evidence-based teaching practices: Supporting instructors in implementing evidence-based teaching practices has long been a central concern of our field, yet it is still just as pressing today as ever.  In Progress Toward Achieving Systematic Change, the Association of American Universities laid out a framework for  supporting research universities in helping faculty implement evidence-based teaching practices that have been demonstrated to most effectively engage and help students learn. The framework they propose calls for identifying successful approaches for training, recognizing and rewarding faculty members who want to improve the quality and effectiveness of their STEM teaching.  The aim is to improve teaching practice at individual institutions as well as to lift up institutions of higher education in general by sharing information about promising and effective STEM education programs, approaches, methods and pedagogies.  How can educational development continue to lead efforts for widespread adoption of evidence-based teaching practices across all disciplines?   


    • Changes related to the profession of educational development and our capacity to lead organizational change:
      • Professionalizing Educational Development: Educational development is changing and maturing as a profession.  According to the 2017 American Council on Education Report, Institutional Commitment to Teaching Excellence: Assessing the Impacts and Outcomes of Faculty Development, “Faculty development is at a juncture where expounding a defined body of knowledge, formal pathways to the profession, and consensus on what constitutes research in this area can take the field forward” (p. 57).  How are centers for teaching and learning and educational developers professionalizing the field through defining a domain of essential knowledge and skills, forming pathways to the profession, and establishing an agenda for credible research?  How do we lead the profession of educational development forward through these changes?
      • Influencing Institutional Culture: The authors of Institutional Commitment (2017) also say, “The synergy between faculty, faculty development, and student learning can drive institutional culture in promising ways” (p. 55).  How do educational developers lead as change agents on campuses? How do we create synergy among students, faculty and administration to promote change? How do we enlarge our influence as major players on our campuses?
      • Advocacy and Thought Leadership: The POD Network and the Network of STEM Education Centers recently responded to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences Report (The Future of Undergraduate Education, 2017) to supplement its findings by emphasizing the importance of Centers for Teaching and Learning and STEM Education Centers in contributing to the mission of undergraduate education.  How do the POD Network and its membership step forward as advocates and thought leaders to shape the vision of the centrality of teaching and learning in higher education? How do we advocate for the benefit of Centers for Teaching and Learning in an era of institutional fiscal concern?

While proposals are not required to address the theme directly, and will not be penalized by reviewers for not doing so, we hope the above serves as some inspiration for the development of conference sessions that will drive conversation and exploration about growing as leaders in the face of the most pressing changes facing higher education today.  We invite you to join us in Portland this November!

Steven Hansen, Conference Co-Chair

Carol Subiño Sullivan, Conference Co-Chair

Paul Gebb, Program Co-Chair

Antonia Levy, Program-Co-Chair

Hoag Holmgren, POD Network Executive Director


General Information

Please begin preparing your proposals now! We welcome proposals featuring best practices, new resources, innovative approaches, discussion of critical issues, presentation of research, and work-in-progress. All proposals will be evaluated using a blind peer-review process (see below for the review rubric). Detailed information about the session types, topic areas, guidelines for submission, submission process, review rubric, and the Robert J. Menges Honored Presentation Award are listed below.

We are using a submission database that will require you to create an account and will assign you an ID when submitting your proposal. Please retain your assigned Proposal Submission ID number so that you can access your submissions later if needed. The submission system is available now for proposal uploads and submissions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on Monday, March 19th.

Notification about conference acceptances will be sent out in mid-June.

Please feel free to email the conference team members listed in this CFP with questions.

Please read the information below carefully before submitting!


Session Types

The POD Network in Higher Education welcomes proposals for a variety of session types, including:

Pre-conference Workshops:

  • 3-hour interactive workshops
  • 6-hour interactive workshops

Concurrent Sessions:

  • 75-minute interactive sessions
  • 75-minute roundtable discussions
  • 35-minute research presentations
  • Poster presentations

For all session types, proposals should describe work that is systematically designed, implemented, and assessed. Proposals should make clear how participants might apply, extend, or adapt the ideas they learn. Specific information about the different session types follows.


Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops emphasize learning-by-doing and provide participants the opportunity to explore topics in depth through a combination of hands-on activities, reflection, and discussion. Proposals should include a detailed outline describing the types of learning activities and interaction you plan. Proposals should indicate the maximum number of participants and any special room set-up you might need. You may also request a nominal materials fee where justified (e.g., for the cost of a book actually used in the session); please include this information in the body of your proposal if relevant. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space. Computer laboratories are not available and laptops cannot be provided for presenters.

The majority of pre-conference workshops are three hours in length. These shorter workshops will take place the morning of Thursday, November 15th. Fewer six-hour sessions are offered and are reserved for proposals that provide a clear rationale for needing the longer session. Six-hour workshops will begin the afternoon of Wednesday, November 14th and conclude the morning of Thursday, November 15th.  

Pre-conference workshops are advertised in the conference registration materials. We will notify presenters of registration numbers before the conference and request that on-site registrants be accommodated as well.

Please direct questions regarding pre-conference workshops to coordinators: Coming Soon!


Concurrent Sessions

75-Minute Interactive Sessions:

Interactive sessions combine brief presentations or panel discussions with methods that engage all participants, reflecting the POD Network’s long-standing tradition of interactive, collegial sessions—not of lecturing or reading papers to passive audiences. Session leaders are encouraged to incorporate meaningful activities as appropriate, selecting from a variety of methods such as presentation, demonstration, discussion, application, feedback, group and individual work, and role playing. We encourage you to creatively model exemplary teaching. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding 75-minute interactive sessions to coordinators Claudia Cornejo Happel ([email protected]) and Ronit Ajlen ([email protected]).


75-Minute Roundtable Discussions:

Roundtable discussions provide an opportunity for various kinds of interactions in a smaller group setting (10-15 people), such as discussion of a concept, approach, program, issue, case study, or reading. This format is ideal for getting to know people who may be facing similar issues to you, exploring new ideas, and sharing practices. It is contrary to the spirit of a roundtable discussion for the facilitator to make a formal presentation. A flipchart and markers will be provided, but no audio-visual equipment is available for roundtable discussions.

Please direct questions regarding 75-minute roundtable discussions to coordinators Steven G. Jones ([email protected]) and Marina Smitherman ([email protected]).


35-Minute Research Sessions:

Research 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) for the first 20-25 minutes, reserving 10-15 minutes for discussion. Although research sessions are designed primarily to share research projects and findings, proposals should clearly leave room for discussion or other activities, although the level of interaction is not expected to be as high as in 75-minute interactive sessions. A flipchart and markers will be provided, as will an LCD projector; external speakers may be requested for playing audio from the presenter’s laptop. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding 35-minute research presentations to coordinators: Coming Soon!

Poster Presentations:

The poster session provides an ideal format for presenting your research, program, or work-in-progress in a context where you can engage in many one-on-one discussions with colleagues. Attractive posters using large, readable fonts and illustrative graphics will attract conference participants and invite conversation about your work.  

Each poster presenter will have a 3×4 foot tri-fold poster board and tacks. The poster board can support single-sheet posters or individual 8½”x11” sheets. The poster session site has no multi-media support and no power outlets. Personal laptops may be used during the poster session, but we recommend bringing an additional battery, a back-up laptop, and/or paper handouts. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space.

Please direct questions regarding poster presentations to coordinators Julie A. Sievers ([email protected]) and Jennifer Jefferson ([email protected]).


Topic, Audience, and Committee/SIG Designations


Topic Designation

During proposal submission, proposers may assign one to three topics to their session.

Topic designations serve two purposes: 1. to assist the conference team in scheduling sessions, 2. to assist conference participants in planning their conference experience.  

For scheduling purposes, presenters are asked to select as their top topic the one that makes their session most unique (e.g. select “Technology” first and more general topics like “Teaching and Learning” as a second or third choice).  This will help the conference team avoid overlapping concurrent sessions that focus on similar topics.  

For planning purposes, presenters may select up to three topics. These along with the audience designation and Committee/SIG designations will help participants find sessions of interest to them.   

Topic designations are indicated below. Presenters can also add one topic of their own designation, if needed, although added topics will not be searchable through the electronic program application.

Adjunct Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining specifically to adjunct or part-time faculty audiences.

Administration: Budgeting, funding, management, planning, performance appraisal, staff/faculty recruitment and retention, and other issues concerning the administration of a center or other unit.

Assessment: Measuring the effectiveness of an aspect of practice and/or outcomes in order to improve educational development programs, student learning, or student experiences.

Diversity: Addressing issues relevant to under-represented or marginalized populations on campus, in the classroom, and in administration.

Faculty Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, and programs pertaining to faculty audiences, such as personal development, self-reflection, vitality and growth throughout the career span.   

Graduate Student, Professional Student, and Postdoctoral Scholar Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, programs pertaining specifically to graduate and professional student and postdoctoral scholar development.

Organizational Development: Practices, processes, theories, or techniques related to the systemic development of institutions and organizations.

POD Network Professional Development: Practices, processes, theories, techniques, and programs pertaining to development of those in the professions represented by the POD Network (e.g., Center staff, technologists, etc.).

Programs: Organization, implementation, practices, theories, and techniques related to programs and services (in centers and other units).  workshops, learning communities, recognition

Research: Systematic, generalizable investigations into clearly defined questions, employing accepted methods for data collection and analysis, that have implications for educational development or teaching and learning.

SoTL: Practice of, results of, and programs supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Start-up: Practices, processes, and organizational ideas related to establishment and growth of centers, programs, or other projects.

STEM: Practices, processes, theories, or techniques related to the support of teaching and learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines.

Teaching & Learning: Practices, processes, theories, and techniques related to classroom and other teaching and learning contexts, such as evidence-based teaching practices and impact on student learning.

Technology: Explorations of current and new technologies that can support teaching, program, or organizational development.

Other: (please specify)


Audience Designation

Proposers may identify one or two audience(s) likely to benefit from or to have interest in the proposed session. Audience selections are indicated below. Presenters can also add an audience designation of their own, if needed, although added audiences will not be searchable through the electronic program application. In order to make this audience designation useful, please do not select apparently contradictory pairs (e.g., large/small colleges, new/seasoned developers).


All POD Network Members

Community Colleges

Faculty (conference attendees who are faculty and also part-time developers)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

International POD Network Participants

Instructional Technologists and Technology Integration Specialists

Large Colleges and Universities

New/Recent Educational Developers (5 years or less)

Seasoned Educational Developers

Small Colleges and Universities

Graduate Students and Postdocs or Those Supporting This Population

Other (please specify):


Committee/Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Designation

POD Network Standing Committees and SIGs may choose specific sessions to be highlighted with a “Committee/SIG” designation in the program. Typically, these are sessions related to the concerns of the Committee or SIG. The proposals go through the same blind peer review process as other proposals, and if accepted, are then forwarded to the corresponding Committee/SIG for a final decision about adding the “Committee/SIG” designation in the program. Presenters interested in the Committee/SIG designation should indicate which one or two Committees/SIGs align with their session.  

Adjunct/Part-time Faculty SIG

Diversity Committee

Graduate Student, Professional Student, and Postdoctoral Scholar Development SIG

Healthcare Educational Developers SIG

Mindfulness and Contemplative Pedagogy SIG

Small Colleges SIG

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) SIG

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) SIG

Teaching with Technology (TwT) SIG



POD Network Unconference (POD-U)

The POD Unconference (POD-U) includes sessions organized by the POD-U coordinators and a POD-U track for concurrent sessions. POD-U sessions move beyond the scope of traditional conference presentations and include nontraditional means of interacting and collaborating in a conference setting.  Like all conference sessions, POD-U sessions go through a blind review process.

Concurrent sessions that meet the POD-U criteria will embrace alternative or experimental formats and feature these components:

  • a facilitator who eschews presentation or lock step workshop experience and creates a structure or thematic venue which requires participants to help spontaneously shape the session’s content and/or structure
  • a focus on active engagement and fruitful, peer exchange by those attend the session
  • a focus on active dialogue, collaboration and/or creativity in leveraging of participants’ individual and collective interests and expertise
  • a call to action during the session and encouragement or opportunity for participants to connect beyond the session.

If you would like your proposed concurrent session to be included in the unconference track, indicate this by selecting “Consider this session for POD-U” on the submission form. If the proposal is accepted by conference proposal reviewers, and is then successfully accepted as a POD-U designated session, it will be marked accordingly in the conference program.

If you have questions about POD-U, contact the POD-U coordinators Diane Boyd ([email protected]), Patty Payette ([email protected]), and Enoch Hale ([email protected])


Rules for Proposal Submission


Anyone is welcome to submit a proposal. If a session is accepted, each presenter and co-presenter(s) must agree to be a member of the POD Network and be a paid registrant at the conference.


Number of Proposals per Person

Each attendee may submit up to two proposals for conference sessions, but they may be the primary presenter for only one of these sessions. For the second session, they must be listed as a co-presenter. Interactive sessions, roundtable discussions, poster presentations, and research presentations are included in this two-session limit. Because all posters are presented at the same time, individuals should not be listed as presenters on more than one poster proposal.

Exceptions to the two-session limit include: Each attendee may propose one pre-conference workshop as either the primary presenter or co-presenter in addition to proposals for two regular sessions. Additionally, POD Network Professional Development Sessions (submitted through a separate review process) are not included in the two-session limit.

  • Example #1: An attendee may submit one concurrent session proposal as the lead presenter and a second concurrent session proposal as co-presenter.
  • Example #2: An attendee may submit two concurrent session proposals as co-presenter.
  • Example #3: An attendee may submit one pre-conference workshop proposal as the lead presenter, a concurrent session proposal as lead presenter, and a second concurrent session proposal as co-presenter.
  • Example #4: An attendee may submit a concurrent session proposal as a lead presenter, a second concurrent session proposal as a co-presenter, and a POD Network Professional Development Session as a lead presenter.


Blind-Review Process

All proposals are blind-reviewed by peers according to specific review criteria (please see below). In your proposal, replace names of people and institutions with Xs in your title, abstract, and session description. The only identifying information should be in the contact information. Proposals that identify people or institutions will be rejected automatically in the review process. If your proposal is accepted, you are expected to edit your submission and replace the Xs in your title and abstract to include names and institutions.


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 in any conference session the sale of materials 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.

The conference schedule includes a Vendor Exhibit to provide a specific time when materials can be sold and consultation work can be solicited.

Questions about this conference practice should be addressed to the POD Network Executive Director or the conference chairs.


Submission Process

The submission system is available now for proposal uploads and submissions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on Monday, March 19th.

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


Components of the proposal

  • Current contact information for main presenter and all co-presenters
  • Session title (no more than 10 words)
  • Session abstract (no more than 100 words)
  • Designation of one to three topic areas, one or two specific audiences, and for potential Committee/SIG-designated sessions, one or two Committees/SIGs.
  • Please select the type of session best suited for your proposal. Strive for a strong fit between what you intend to accomplish and the type of session you choose.  
  • Session description (no more than 500 words)
    1. Provide a conceptual framework for your work, e.g., theoretical or empirical basis, goals, implementation, research findings, and assessment.
    2. State expected outcomes for session participants.
    3. Outline the session activities, specifying the potential time dedicated to each, and plan for interaction. Please model exemplary teaching and learning practices. For poster presentations, focus on the manner in which you plan to present your work rather than on the type of interaction you anticipate.
    4. Meaningfully connect your proposal to the POD Network’s mission and values; connections to the conference theme are also encouraged, but not required.
    5. Where appropriate, integrate critical reflection related to diversity.
  • References (no more than 150 words): Strong proposals cite canonical and current literature or scholarly online sources. You do not need to remove your name if you authored a reference; however, if you refer to the text in the description above, do not state that you are the author.
  • Audiovisual request: LCD projectors and flipcharts with markers will be made available in all Pre-Conference Workshops, Interactive Sessions, and Research Sessions; external audio speakers are available by request. No AV support other than flipcharts is provided for Roundtable Sessions. Wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference space. The POD Network is unable to supply laptop computers; presenters must bring their own laptops and all needed video adapters to connect to a VGA projector.
  • Accessibility Requests:  The POD Network strives to make all sessions accessible to all conference participants.  However, if you have a particular accessibility-related request to enable your full inclusion in the conference, please let us know.  
  • Original research presented at the POD Network annual conference is eligible for the Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development. If you self-nominate and your session is accepted, you will be invited to submit a full proposal, typically due in late June.  Please read the instructions for the full proposal before self-nominating.


Review Rubric

Each proposal will be reviewed by three individuals, with reviewers using the following criteria:

Please give a rating for each 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 which 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.)

Session Methodology

Based on the description of activities provided:

  1. _____ The session is likely to accomplish the outcomes stated in the proposal.
  2. _____ The session will be conducted in appropriate ways for the chosen session format (see very specific description of session types and purposes in the call for proposals).
  3. _____ The session is likely to be a model of exemplary teaching, learning, educational and/or organizational development practices.



_____The proposal takes a scholarly approach to practice. That is, the material to be presented incorporates previous research, theory, evidence, and/or assessment. It is not heavily anecdotal.


Innovation and applicability

  1. _____This session will address ideas, topics, or practices that are highly relevant and significant in faculty and/or organizational development.  
  2. _____This session will offer fresh information and/or describe innovative or creative practices. It is not a reprisal of previously presented information.
  3. _____The material is likely to be applicable to other campuses, institutions and/or programs; it is not highly institution-specific.


The POD Network’s mission and values

The mission of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network) is to provide a community for scholars and practitioners who advance teaching and learning through faculty and organizational development. The POD Network values and is committed to: Collegiality, Inclusion, Diverse Perspectives, Advocacy and Social Justice, Distributed Leadership, Innovation, Evidence-Based Practices, and Respect/Ethical Practices.

  1. _____The session is likely to foster critical reflections about diversity and/or encourage attendees to foster more responsive and inclusive campuses.
  2. _____The session is likely to support or advance POD’s mission and values.


Final Recommendation: Accept / Accept with Reservations / Reject  

In addition to addressing each rubric criterion, reviewers are requested to provide comments and feedback that explain the rationale behind their scoring and provide further insights to submitters.

Session coordinators use a combination of numeric scores, final recommendations, and reviewer comments to rank proposals, passing their recommendations for acceptances along to the Program Chairs.