Professional Development Network
The Professional Development Network (PDN) is a centralized, cross-disciplinary professional development program offering Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and graduate students access to technology, knowledge, and resources for enhancing digital fluency and improving teaching and learning. As a group within Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS), PDN facilitates and leverages campus-wide partnerships to offer programming and training opportunities.
In addition to the Faculty Computer Refresh Program, PDN hosts hundreds of learning opportunities throughout the academic year and during the summer. Through collaborative efforts with our university partners, we offer a wide array of professional development workshops, certificates, faculty inquiry groups, and learning communities. Each session in the PDN curriculum is led by experts from their respective fields. PDN’s curriculum is designed to provide participants tools and strategies to enhance fluency in the core areas of assessment and evaluation, productivity, inclusive practices, outreach and engagement, research and discovery, and teaching and learning.
TLOS Professional Development Network (PDN) began as Instructional Development Initiative during the summer of 1993 with the overall strategy to provide faculty with knowledge and resources to explore the potential of technology for improving teaching and learning at Virginia Tech. From a few workshops and basic access to technology, the Instructional Development Initiative grew into the Faculty Development Institute (FDI). As a nationally recognized program, FDI had a transformative impact on the university’s instructional program by ensuring that faculty and students have the most efficient and effective learning environments and instructional technologies. Through the Faculty Computer Refresh program, FDI partnered with colleges to provide new computers, every four years, to eligible full-time teaching faculty, in conjunction with the completion of required professional development. Faculty were able to learn about technology and gained the skills to easily introduce or apply what they learned in their classes.
From its inception in 1993, thousands of short courses and workshops have influenced the way faculty, staff, and students engage and learn. In 2014 FDI was renamed Networked Learning Initiatives (NLI) to better reflect the importance of networking with university partners. In 2019 TLOS Professional Development Network emerged with a renewed focus on enhancing digital fluency for faculty, staff, and students. PDN fosters the original mission of FDI while expanding the professional development opportunities for the Virginia Tech community.