Productive Open Design Spaces

What is PODS?

Productive Open Design Spaces (PODS) is a team-based opportunity for groups of Georgetown faculty, staff, and graduate students to explore a curricular or pedagogical project in a flexible, design-centered studio environment. With the support of a facilitator and CNDLS coaches, teams are provided space and time to think through their project, design potential solutions, get feedback from peers, and plan for continued development. Please note that while teams may contain members not affiliated with Georgetown University, each team must have at least two Georgetown team members to be eligible to participate.

When does PODS happen?

PODS groups meet all four mornings throughout the week of TLISI (May 21 – 24, 2018). This includes an opening session on Monday morning (even though other TLISI sessions start at noon that day), facilitated working sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and group presentations on Thursday.  We anticipate that we will start at 9:30am or 10:00am each morning, but the schedule is still being worked out with the rest of the TLISI schedule. We will communicate details on timing and location to all accepted PODS teams.

How do I apply to PODS?

Teams that wish to apply to PODS may submit a proposal–deadline extended to March 28, 2018. Each project team should submit a single proposal, with one person listed as the lead contact person with whom we can communicate about your application. We will begin to notify teams of acceptance in early April.

To participate in PODS, each member of your team will need to register for TLISI. General registration for TLISI will open in early April.  

Join the SoTL POD

Don’t have your own PODS group but want to work on an individual writing project? Apply to be part of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) PODS Writing Group. You will be placed on a team with other individual faculty, with the primary goals of brainstorming, drafting, and exchanging feedback on potential and/or future teaching publications. Submit by March 28.


What are some previous PODS projects?

Public Humanities Connected Academics

The Public Humanities / Connected Academics team has participated in PODS for three years in a row. Having focused time at PODS has enabled them to move from planning implementation of their Mellon grant to drafting a Public Humanities PhD/certificate program to brainstorming for a Humanities center at Georgetown.

SFS Proseminar

The SFS Proseminar group worked to create/re-create the curriculum and pedagogical approach for attaching 1-credit writing studios to SFS Proseminar sections. In addition to aiding the students in their work in these courses, these writing studios will also fulfill the general requirements for the University first-year writing requirement.

Georgetown Escape Room

The Georgetown Escape Room team used PODS to plan a multi-phase project to design, build, user-test and provide training on an escape room framework that will enable faculty and other members of the GU community to incorporate escape rooms as an element of their instruction, research, and outreach. The team received a TEL Pilot Grant and a Curriculum Enrichment Grant for work with two separate classes following PODS. The team has subsequently collaborated with students to develop prototype puzzles and narratives that can be adapted as needed for educational escape rooms on any topic, including library research skills.

Disability Studies Studio

The Disability Studies Studio Collaborative used PODS to engage in curriculum mapping and other design practices in order to push the development of a micro-credential or matrix requirement to the next stage through planning for three interconnecting courses. Following PODS, they conducted a student survey and worked toward the successful approval of a Disabilities Studies minor.


While there is no funding directly related to PODS, following PODS, teams may apply for other CNDLS funding such as TEL Grants, Curriculum Enrichment Grants, or potentially other sources.

Feel free to reach out with questions through the TLISI email ( or directly to Maggie Debelius or Mindy McWilliams.