Educational developers work best when we are well-supported by our administrators and other campus partners—and we can help them understand how best to provide that support. The POD Speaks series of occasional papers serve as resources for POD members to share with administrators to advance teaching, educational development, and organizational development excellence on their campuses.

These short, accessible, evidence-based papers are written for a wide audience of higher education professionals. Give them to your provosts, deans, or other colleagues to advocate for educational development.

PODSPEAKS Issue #4

Leveraging Centers for Teaching and Learning in Accreditation Review and Quality Assurance Processes

Sacks, D., Payette, P., Ellis, D., and Horii, C.V. POD Speaks #4 (2021): 1–6
This essay advises senior academic leaders to involve campus-based educational developers due to their unique expertise in working with faculty, assessing and improving curricula, and guiding organizational change.

PODSPEAKS Issue #3

Starting a Center for Teaching and Learning

Dickens, E., Cruz, L., Alderson, J., Atias, D., Graham, R., Hurney, C.A., Parker, M., Smentkowski, B., Smitherman, M., Thomas, M. Troisi, J.D., Vincent-Layton, K., and Wang, C. (2019). POD Speaks #3 (2019): 1–6
Starting a CTL is an exciting but complex endeavor, requiring a strong awareness of institutional culture and needs. Administrators, faculty, and other stakeholders can support the starting (or restarting) of a CTL through both practical and symbolic efforts that signal the importance of the new CTL to the institution.

PODSPEAKS Issue #2

Faculty Development Improves Teaching and Learning

Wright, M., Horii, C.V., Felten, P., Sorcinelli, M.D., and Kaplan, M., POD Speaks #2 (2018): 1–5
Here, we argue that there is a strong evidence base for the impact of educational development on student learning, and we summarize recent research that comprises this solid foundation.

PODSPEAKS Issue #1

Tenure and Promotion Start with Centers for Teaching and Learning

Martin, D., POD Speaks #1 (2016): 1–4
Administrators interested in making the tenure and promotion process more strategic, efficient and inclusive should start by engaging with their centers for teaching & learning (CTLs).

Contribute to POD Speaks as an Author

What do you wish your provost knew about how they can support educational development on your campus? The answer to that question could become a POD Speaks paper.

These are evidence-based white papers, no more than 1500 words long, directed to a general higher education audience: administrators, faculty, and other stakeholders. (The primary audience is not fellow educational developers). The papers should advocate on behalf of educational development to campus stakeholders and should be grounded in recent research in the topic area. The papers are peer reviewed, and topics should align with and promote the POD Network’s mission and values.

We invite POD members to submit proposals on a rolling basis for POD Speaks papers. Authors are encouraged to propose papers on topics of their choosing. We also offer the following general topics to spur ideas for proposal development.

Papers might address the role educational developers, centers, and the field at large play in:

  • Institutional and/or departmental policies affecting teaching and learning
  • Institutional and/or departmental curriculum and assessment efforts
  • Initiatives supporting equity, inclusion, and justice in teaching and learning and/or in faculty work
  • Advancing varied forms of scholarship (e.g., scholarship of teaching and learning)
  • Using data to support teaching and learning
  • Collaborations across different campus units (e.g., student support centers, libraries)

All proposals should contain the following information:

  • Primary author’s name, institution, and current position
  • Secondary authors’ names, institutions, and current positions (if applicable)
  • Title of proposed POD Speaks paper
  • Summary of the proposed paper, including a thesis statement. Please omit any information that may identify the author(s) from the proposal summary. Max: 350 words
  • Rationale for a) why the topic is important for the general higher education community, and b) how the topic aligns with the POD Network mission, values, and goals. Max: 200 words
  • Brief explanation of authors’ expertise in this topic
  • Keywords for your proposed paper
  • Citations (APA format) of 2–5 resources that inform the proposed paper

Proposals will be evaluated by the POD Speaks editorial board, and authors whose proposals fit the criteria of the series will be invited to submit full manuscripts. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed.

You can use this form to submit proposals for POD Speaks papers. Please reach out to Elizabeth Dickens (edickens@virginia.edu) with any questions.

POD Speaks Evaluation Criteria

  • Does the paper promote the POD Network mission, goals, and values?
  • Is the paper directed toward a general higher education audience (i.e., not primarily educational developers)? Will the topic be meaningful to this broader audience?
  • Is the paper grounded in current research?
  • Does the proposal highlight the work of educational developers, underscoring the value of expertise of the POD Network?

Contribute to POD Speaks as a Reviewer

POD Speaks is also recruiting reviewers to provide feedback to authors. Please use this form to sign up to be a reviewer. The form will ask you to indicate areas of interest and expertise so that we can assign you appropriate manuscripts. Reviewers will most likely not be asked to review more than 1–2 manuscripts per year.