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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The National Teaching & Learning Forum Insider

National Teaching and Learning Forum

The National Teaching & Learning Forum Insider 

There’s cognition and there’s affect, but something else lies behind them both in human learning--the Will. William James wrote about it. In the ‘50s we talked about it as “motivation” ; now we speak of “engagement.” What factor or factors explain why some students make it over difficult humps in learning and others keep batting their heads against something and never succeed?
Two articles in the May issue of The National Teaching & Learning FORUM begin to look at this profoundly important aspect of college teaching and learning. The first features an interview with Ray Land (University of Durham, UK), who along with Jan Meyer coined the phrase “threshold concepts,” focusing attention on those difficult bridges students must cross to grasp the essentials of a new discipline. How can faculty identify these points and help students cross them? The ones who make it across have resilience and persistence as well as native ability. Can we serve students better by learning how to assess who have the “psych-capital” to succeed?
The second article turns attention in the other direction, toward students who persist beyond their native abilities. They’ve embraced the slogan that “winners never quit”; they lack “self-knowledge.” Richard Lewine (University of Louisville) is exploring how faculty can help these students learn to wisely assess themselves and find the path that’s right for them?
In addition to these intriguing stories, the issue’s TECHPED column reports on how the Internet’s power seems to have left students feeling like mere spectators in the world of learning. As they see it, “pulse-frequency-coded algorithms” do the research; they’re just block and copiers. Students’ ego formation needs educating as columnist Michael Rogers (Southeastern Missouri State) sees it.
DEVELOPER’S DIARY columnist, Ed Nuhfer’s multi-part exploration of “metadisciplinarity” concludes with a roundup of the most effective pedagogical approaches within the metadisciplines of technology.
And Marilla Svinicki’s (University of Texas at Austin) AD REM . . . reflects on the need for more reflection by both faculty and students on feedback they offer each other on how the classes and semesters they share are going.
--James Rhem, Executive Editor




National Teaching & Learning Forum is a publication of:
     Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Brand |  One Montgomery Street, Suite 1200  |  San Francisco, CA 94104
     Phone: 888-378-2537  |  Fax: 888-481-2665  |



About POD
The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) fosters human development in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development.  POD comprises nearly 1,800 members – faculty and teaching assistant developers, faculty, administrators, consultants, and others who perform roles that value teaching and learning in higher education. While POD members come primarily from the U.S. and Canada, the membership also represents many other countries.

The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education encourages the advocacy of the on-going enhancement of teaching and learning through faculty and organizational development. To this end it supports the work of educational developers and champions their importance to the academic enterprise.  For the full mission statement, see

Description of the POD-AAC&U Organizational Development Institute

The organizational development dimension of our work as faculty developers recognizes that faculty members are part of a larger system, the dynamics of which affect their behavior as instructors. As faculty developers we seek to influence the structures and processes of the colleges and universities in which we work to create an environment that supports excellence in teaching and student learning and development.


Since 2009, POD has conducted a one-and-a-half day Organizational Development Institute (ODI)  immediately before the AAC&U Annual Meeting, typically held in January either in Washington, DC or a major West Coast city such as San Francisco, CA or Seattle, WA. The next AAC&U Annual meeting will be held January 22-25, 2014 in Washington, DC. The ODI event will be held on Tuesday, January 21st (all day) and Wednesday, January 22nd (morning only). 

Partnering with AAC&U in this way has been valuable to POD in two main ways:

 1) By leveraging our own resources with AAC&U’s more extensive resources, we have been able to provide a valuable professional development opportunity to our membership through the OD institute, and

 2) AAC&U’s extensive publicity for the conference has increased the visibility of POD and educational development to the AAC&U membership and conference attendees, which includes a preponderance of higher education administrators.

 The ODI focuses on the needs of administrators who are leading faculty development initiatives on their campuses.  The ODI may address any number of topics and issues related to organizational development including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The mission of teaching centers
  • Partnership strategies for administration and teaching centers
  • The role of teaching centers in promoting institutional change
  • The role of academic and co-curricular units,  committees, and faculty champions in promoting large-scale change
  • The role of teaching centers in promoting collaboration across campus in service to excellence in teaching and learning.


Facilitators of the Institute are experienced POD members with a proven track record in organizational development and, ideally, visibility within POD and nationally. From time to time individuals who have recognized expertise in OD who are not members of POD may co-facilitate with (a) POD member(s).


In the spirit of volunteerism, facilitators do not receive an honorarium; however, some need-based travel grant opportunities (see further details below in the Facilitator Guidelines) will be made available to qualifying facilitators.  Facilitating these workshops is viewed as a significant honor as well as an important and valuable service to POD. Since the ODI is, strictly speaking, not part of the AAC&U conference, facilitators do not receive complimentary conference registration for the AAC&U conference.


The Professional Development Committee will notify successful applicants of their selection with a letter in June.


Target Audience

The target audience for the ODI is administrators who are tasked with creating a faculty development center or who have relatively new faculty development efforts on their campuses. The ODI is not intended as an introduction to faculty development, but rather a starting point for administrators and those involved with campus-wide organizational change. The Getting Started Pre-Conference Workshop at the POD conference (November, 2013) and the POD Institute for New Faculty Developers (June, 2013) are excellent professional development opportunities for new faculty developers. The POD Leadership Development Institute is held every other summer and will provide another opportunity in Summer, 2014 for those who are interested in creating leadership development opportunities for academic administrators and faculty. 


The 2014 AAC&U Annual Meeting:

The next AAC&U Annual meeting will be held January 22-25, 2014 in Washington, DC. The ODI event will be held on Tuesday, January 21st (all day) and Wednesday, January 22nd (morning only).  For additional information on the AAC&U Annual Meeting, please see AAC&U’s website (

Proposal Submission Guidelines

The CFP submission guidelines appear below.  Applications should be sent to Suzanne Tapp, Professional Development Committee at by 5:00 pm (Central) on Friday, June 28, 2013.  Proposals submitted in hard copy form or incomplete proposals will not be considered by the review committee.

The 2014 POD organizational DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE - Submission guidelines
Applications should be sent to Suzanne Tapp by 5:00 pm (Central) on Friday, June 28, 2013 as an email attachment.   Proposals submitted in hard copy form or incomplete proposals will not be considered by the review committee.

For information on past POD-AAC&U Organizational Development Institutes, please look at last year’s POD ODI:

The following information must be included for the proposal to be considered complete:

Name of Proposed Facilitators, Titles, Institutional Affiliations, Contact Information (including email address), POD Membership Status, and Brief Description of Experience relevant to the OD Institute. Please note Primary Contact Person.

Description and Rationale for the Proposed Topic of the Institute (Please review suggested topics in the earlier section of the CFP above).

Overview of the Proposed Program. Feedback from past participants indicates that an interactive format with significant time allotted to small group interaction is preferred. Proposals should indicate a strategic balance of presentation and interactive, hands-on experiences. Facilitators should also provide ample opportunity for participants to think about the topic of the Institute in the context of their own institutions.

Guidelines for Facilitators of the POD Organizational Development Institute
 What is the POD Organizational Development Institute?

The POD Organizational Development Institute (ODI) is a 1 ½-day professional development event that begins the day immediately before the beginning of the AAC&U annual meeting/conference, typically held the last week of January.

The ODI may address any number of topics and issues related to organizational development including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The mission of teaching centers
  • Partnership strategies for administration and teaching centers
  • The role of teaching centers in promoting institutional change
  • The role of academic and co-curricular units, committees, and faculty champions in promoting large-scale change
  • The role of teaching centers in promoting collaboration across campus in service to excellence in teaching and learning.

What is the purpose of the ODI?

The purpose of the Institute is:

1.     providing an intensive and affordable professional development opportunity for administrators and faculty developers with five or more years’ experience in the area of organizational development related to educational development in higher education,

2.     heightening the visibility of educational development and the POD Network to the AAC&U membership, and

3.     contributing to the financial resources of the POD Network.

How are facilitators and topics for the ODI chosen?

Facilitators and topics for the Institute are selected through a competitive call for proposals process issued to the POD membership and administered by the Professional Development Committee.   The call is issued in late spring each year, the proposal deadline is late June, and the selection is made by early July.

Do facilitators receive an honorarium or reimbursement for travel expenses?

Facilitating the ODI is viewed as an honor and an important service to the POD membership and field at large. In the spirit of volunteerism, facilitators do not receive an honorarium; however, some need-based travel grant opportunities (details below) are made available.  If they wish, the POD President will provide a letter of invitation, which previous facilitators have used to secure support for their travel from their institutions. Because the Institute is officially not a part of the AAC&U annual meeting, facilitators wishing to attend the annual meeting must cover their own registration for the meeting/conference. In accepting the invitation to facilitate the Institute, facilitators also accept the conditions described in the Call for Proposals and in this document.

Need-Based Travel Grants

It is the opinion of the Professional Development Committee that leaders of the ODI should represent the diversity of POD’s membership, especially given the nature of the event and the ODI’s potential to reach higher education professionals previously unfamiliar with the POD Network.

The PDC recognizes that the lack of honoraria, stipend, or other form of financial incentive offered for leading the ODI may be a deterrent to some POD members from smaller colleges or institutions that have limited budgets to support staff travel. Small, need-based grants are available to those potential ODI facilitators who show evidence of need (such as a copy of recent institutional policy prohibiting the funding of staff travel) and meet either of the following eligibility criteria:

  • The full-year equivalent enrollment of the requester’s institution should be below 10,000.
  • The requester’s institution type should be one not typically represented by past POD ODI facilitators: small college, community college, or technical college, etc.

 Applications for need-based travel grants will be reviewed by PDC members. 

How is the ODI publicized?

The ODI is not officially a part of the AAC&U Annual Meeting.  However, POD sponsors a conference session and a preconference session at the AAC&U Annual Meeting that are considered a part of the official meeting schedule.  AAC&U generously publicizes all three events and there are significant opportunities to market the ODI at the annual POD conference as well.

What important deadlines and responsibilities should facilitators note?

By mid-July, the lead facilitator will send the ODI title, description, and the name, titles and institutional affiliations of all facilitators to the Professional Development Committee contact person for the purposes of AAC&U advance publicity for the annual meeting. Please see  for model titles and descriptions from 2012.

By early October, the lead facilitators will collect and send short bios and pictures for all facilitators, which will be posted, along with the Institute title and description, on the POD website.

Facilitators are responsible for designing and communicating the program and any handouts to be distributed at the event. You can be reimbursed for copy expenses from the ODI budget.  Facilitators of past Institutes have also prepared a one-page flyer about the Institute for their own advertising of the event, particularly at the POD conference.

Who is the POD contact person for facilitators?

Hoag Holmgren, POD Executive Director, and a representative from the PDC serve as the contacts. The PDC contact handles most logistical arrangements for the ODI including interactions with AAC&U representatives and the hotel.

How do participants register for the Institute?

Registration for the OD Institute opens immediately following the conclusion of the POD conference. Online registration is through the POD Network website.  The average registration for the ODI is 25-30 attendees; however, the 2013 ODI event was more than 60.  The PDC committee and the POD Executive Director will work with the facilitators to identify an optimal attendance number and establish a cut-off. In addition, the Executive Director will make all efforts to get a list of participants (including relevant information about their institutions and roles) to the facilitators as early as possible.

How many people typically attend the Institute and what are their qualifications?

The ODI typically attracts about 25 participants from a range of institutions with varying levels of experience in faculty development. Even though the Institute description specifically targets administrators, the audience does vary and may include experienced faculty developers or newly appointed center directors.

What is the registration fee for the Institute?

In 2012, the registration fee ranged from $200 for early bird registration to a maximum of $240.

What is the budget for the Institute?

The budget for the ODI balances affordability and a good quality professional development experience for participants with an expectation of a modest contribution to POD resources. Revenue for the Institute depends solely on registration fees from participants.

Institute expenses include

 1.     Food: Catering is extremely expensive, so the Institute provides continuous break refreshments, and schedules a 1 ½ hour break for lunch-on-your own the first full day.

2.     Equipment: Rental of LCD projectors from hotels is also costly, typically $800-900/day. As a result past, facilitators have either provided their own projector/laptop set-up or chosen not to use a projector.  AAC&U has provided a screen, flipchart and markers, and microphones, saving us additional expense. Hoag Holmgren is responsible for communicating these requests to the AAC&U meeting organizers.

3.     Supplies including handouts (if necessary), folders/binders, and name tags. Some facilitators have provided handouts and other materials on a flash drive.

4.     Books: Some facilitators have given participants a book relevant to the ODI as part of the registration fee. Facilitators are responsible for making arrangements with the publisher for discount rates and shipping books to the hotel in time for the Institute, as well as distributing books during the ODI. Cost for the book will be added to the registration fee for the ODI.


The Syllabus Enthusiast: Syllabus Management 101 - A first step towards better syllabus management

eNews from the Syllabus Geeks :: Issue 7


Syllabus Enthusiast

Syllabus Management 101

A first step towards better syllabus management

Is your institution considering getting more rigorous with its management of syllabi but not sure where to begin? Or maybe you have a process in place though you know there’s room for improvement?

In fact, you've probably heard refrains like, "we developed a template for all instructors with boilerplate language but still see the same old policies showing up" or, "our checklist says every syllabus is supposed to have a description and outcomes but they aren't always present - much less consistent - especially among the adjuncts."

Well you're not alone. Over the last year we've seen a wave of interest for institutionally managing syllabi, so we’ve outlined three initial steps you can take - a 101 class, if you will - to get you started with better syllabus management today. 
It all begins with getting a baseline for where you are at today. Are syllabi being collected and coordinated? If so, who's doing it? And is this happening across the campus?

Then you need figure out where you want to (realistically) take the management of syllabi. Are you looking for a simple repository, a fully featured syllabus manager, or somewhere in-between?

Third is the selection of an appropriate tool that supports your vision. These range from commercial solutions to in-house systems, and even open source platforms.
Managing syllabi can be easy as long as you know where to start. Plus it's even possible to do even on a limited budget. Trust us, once you have a solution in place you will wonder what your institution ever did without it. >>

Campus Villain

Like a python you can feel it tightening around you. Today everyone feels the pinch of the budget constrictor. He swallows your best intentions, replacing them with the grim realities of your institution’s ever-stretched resources.
Fortunately some solutions, like Concourse Lite, are effective yet affordable. It's quick to deploy, integrates with existing systems, and helps your institution manage its syllabi more efficiently. And greater efficiency equals more time – for teaching, for student services, and for research.

Client Spotlight

The Power of Syllabi for Accreditation

When Middle States told Fulton-Montgomery CC that they needed a better assessment system to ensure objectives and outcomes were present and consistent on all syllabi, FMCC turned to Concourse Lite - and they couldn't be happier about it. Within a semester of its implementation, they'd exceeded the commission's recommendations.

In addition to saving them time and resources, Concourse Lite soon also took on a life of its own in supporting students and faculty.

Read more about FMCC and what their Dean had to say about its success on their campus. >>

In-house Tools

Leaders in Syllabus Management

What can your institution learn from schools that have already gone through the process of developing a syllabus management system? A lot!

Though unsurprisingly we stand behind Concourse as our system of choice, this time we nod to a handful of schools (NYIT, Clemson, and the University of Alabama) who have all recognized the same challenges with managing syllabi and built in-house solutions to solve them.
Each school has included varying degrees of sophistication to meet their individual needs, from basic repositories to a fully-searchable platform with templating built in. >>

Concourse Lite

Syllabus Management, Fast

Is your institution looking for a system that gets syllabi organized quickly, easily, and affordably? One that benefits students, faculty, and administrators without disrupting processes? Integrates with your LMS and has workflow?

Concourse Lite, our introductory syllabus management platform, is the perfect turnkey solution for schools who want to implement a powerful system centered around existing syllabi. It deploys in days, is well received by faculty, and is cost effective.

Take the first step towards better syllabus management and see how you can have syllabi going from 0 to 60 in seconds. >>
Syllabus Geek vs. arch nemeses Faculty Resistance and Budget Constrictor. The Epic Tour
The Syllabus Enthusiast is a publication for syllabus pioneers, techies, and superheroes by Intellidemia, the Syllabus Geeks. | 518.444.2060 | @syllabusgeeks
Intellidemia, The Syllabus Geeks