To submit a manuscript, read submission guidelines, or sign up to review for the journal, click the button below:

    Start Submission

    Calls for Papers

    TIA Special Issue Call for Articles: Educational Development in a Time of Crises

    Important Dates

    • Submission deadline: November 30, 2020
    • Author notification: December 18, 2020
    • Minor revisions completed: January 11, 2020


    In recognition of the many ways CTLs have reimagined how they do educational development in 2020, we are seeking a handful of 2,000-3,500 word essays for a special practitioner-focused issue of To Improve the Academy. We expect essays to outline effective educational development practices and accompanying lessons learned during this time of crisis. Possible questions you might address include:

    • In what ways did you shift or alter your educational development programming in response to the crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the current crises related to racial equity, and social and political unrest?
    • What opportunities and challenges have presented themselves as you have shifted or altered your work?
    • What have you learned that will change your educational development work moving forward?

    Because we aim to publish this special issue in a timely fashion, we invite submissions that are in well-developed, publishable form. We encourage you to use the following questions to structure your writing, as these questions will be used by the guest editors in their review of submitted manuscripts:

    • What was the challenge/opportunity you/your CTL faced?
    • What did you do in response? What informed your decision?
    • What feedback/evidence did you use to evaluate your progress and/or gauge your success?
    • What recommendations or takeaways do you have for other educational developers?

    Submission Process

    Interested authors should submit a 2,000-3,500 word essay to To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development Submission by November 30, 2020. When submitting, please select the “Educational Development in the Time of Crisis” section to be considered for this special issue. Manuscripts will be blind peer-reviewed by three TIA guest editors. To learn more about the role of the guest editors and to apply, visit our Get Involved page.

    Authors will be notified by December 18 of acceptance and will submit any minor revisions to the editors by January 11. The special issue will be published in February or March, 2021.

    TIA Special Issue Call for Articles: What’s the Problem Now?

    Important Dates

    • Submission deadline: January 31, 2021


    In our most recent issue of To Improve the Academy, we published an essay by Randall Bass (Vice Provost for Education at Georgetown University) titled “What’s the Problem Now?” This essay came at the invitation of the editors who invited Bass to revisit his 1999 essay, “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: What’s the Problem?” for our journal and its audience in light of his well-received keynote at the POD Conference in 2017. In light of the national racial unrest following the police killing of George Floyd and COVID-19 that have gripped us all in 2020, a 20-year perspective on these issues bookended by these two articles raises new and compelling questions, for which we seek reflective responses from the broader community of educational developers and scholars of teaching and learning. This special issue will be published in fall/winter 2021.

    We offer the following themes and guiding questions as generated by Bass and explored in his essay.

    • By calling the piece, “What’s the Problem Now?” Bass wants to call attention to the force of “now” in the sense that Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked it in his famous phrase, “the fierce urgency of now.”
      • What are the qualities of the “now” that make taking teaching and learning seriously an urgent, if not moral, imperative that can foster a more equitable future?
      • What does it mean to take teaching and learning seriously in this moment, in the current ecosystem of higher education?
    • If the move twenty years ago, for the scholarship of teaching and learning, was a shift from “problem” as a failure to “problem” to be investigated, is there a similar for higher education in its current state of questioning and crisis?
      • What does it mean to turn the current crises and challenges of higher education into a set of “problems” to be investigated? Who gets to–or should–decide what counts as a problem, and how do they define the problem(s)?
      • How might we understand the evolving role of centers for teaching and learning, and educational development more broadly, in institutional transformation and the expansion of higher education to meet the needs of society, equity, and the future?
    • Over the last twenty years, advances in the learning sciences, applied learning research, pedagogical theory, understanding of barriers to equity, and theories of organizational change have both expanded and deepened the knowledge base that informs educational development and its larger role in institutional change.
      • What are the new conditions (contexts, theories, tools, interdisciplinary constructs) that inform the “problems” that we should take up “now”?
      • What emergent tools and strategies do educational developers have at their disposal now that help reshape their role in the changing higher education ecosystem?

    Submission Process

    Interested authors should submit a no more than 7,000 word essay to To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development Submission by January 31, 2021. If you would like to bounce an idea off the editors, please contact Lindsay Bernhagen at When submitting, please select the “What’s the Problem Now” Special Issue from the dropdown so that your manuscript is given the appropriate consideration.

    Final Style Considerations

    Title and Author Name(s)

    • The title should be on a line by itself, left-justified.
    • Author names should immediately follow the title and should be left-justified, italicized, and comma-separated. For multi-author manuscripts, the last name in the list should be connected with “and”. If preferred, include middle initials punctuated with periods.
    • Do not include professional titles or affiliations. These should only appear in the Biography section (see below).


    • This should be the first section of your manuscript.
    • The word “Abstract” should be bolded, italicized, and left-justified on a line by itself.
    • The text of the abstract should be italicized and left-justified.
    • The abstract should be between 100-250 words.
    • Example:


      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


    • This section should immediately follow the abstract and should include 3-4 keywords.
    • The word “Keywords” should be bolded, italicized, left-justified, followed by a colon and comma-separated keywords.
    • The comma-separated keywords should be lowercase, except when proper nouns or acronyms, and italicized.
    • There should not be any punctuation at the end of the keyword list.
    • Example:

      Keywords: lorem ipsum, quis nostrud, officia deserunt

    Manuscript Text

    • Left-justify text.
    • Do not add paragraph indentations.


    • This section is optional. When present, it should come immediately before the Biography section.

    Biography (or Biographies when multiple authors)

    • This section should come immediately before References.
    • Each author should submit a 50-75 word biography.
    • Begin each biography with the author’s name, followed immediately by their title and affiliation.
    • Each author’s name should be bolded.
    • Example:

      Jane E. Smith is Professor of X at University Y. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.



    • Submit all images (graphs, drawings, etc.) in separate files using the highest resolution possible.
    • Each filename should include the figure, illustration, or image number and a brief descriptive name (EX: Figure 1 - taxonomy)