Reading Groups

Reading groups, offered several times each semester, provide up-to-date information on topics in effective teaching and give participants valuable experience in leading group discussions. For each session, readings are assigned in advance, and one to two PFF students guide the discussion, which generally lasts about 90 minutes (for the WebEx groups).

Participation in a reading group is worth five activity points. Leading a reading group is worth ten activity points. Please register 48 hours prior to the scheduled reading group; if within the 48 hours you are still interested, please email PFF directly at

In order for points to be added to your PFF record, you must complete an activity log and email the completed log to within one month of completing the group. 

Reading Group Schedule, Fall 2021

The reading group assigned readings are posted on the SharePoint page under the "Readings" tab, which is located in the left-hand navigation.

Balancing Teaching and Research

Date: Tuesday, September 14th

Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm

As a new faculty member, juggling many responsibilities at once is an expected aspect of the position. How to balance teaching and research is a common concern that can be remedied through preparation and support. Discuss this subject area with other PFF students about the first years of being a faculty member.

This reading group will be held via WebEx. Register to receive further instructions. 

Humor and Classroom Engagement

Date: Monday, October 4th

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Engaging students and developing relationships can contribute to academic success, but what is the role of humor in building those relationships? What is the difference between appropriate humor and being unprofessional? Discuss this topic with PFF student and explore how you see yourself incorporating humor and your personality into your classroom

This reading group will be held in person (TUC 405). Register to receive further instructions. 


Dates: October 18th-22nd

Academic honesty is a standard of integrity for higher education institutions. Approaching the subject as a faculty member is vital, not only for reporting and discipline, but implementing strategies to prevent cheating before it happens. This discussion with other UC students will explore the psychology of cheating, classroom impact, strategies, and what the role of faculty is before or after cheating occurs.  

This reading group will be held asynchronously via Google Classroom. Register to receive further instructions. 

Teaching and Supporting Socioeconomically Diverse Students

Date: Thursday, November 4th

Time: 1:30pm-3:00pm

Socioeconomic status (SES) falls under the umbrella of multiculturalism, and this reading group aims to dive further into challenges that coincide with socioeconomic status, and how faculty can be aware of factors that impact students' academic success and support students in the classroom

This reading group will be held via WebEx. Register to receive further instructions. 

What the Best College Teachers Do

Dates: November 15th-19th

Ken Bain’s book What The Best College Teachers Do is highly applauded within education, and was the result of a 15-year study of college teachers who make the biggest impact on their students. What are things that have made your experiences great as a student, and what will make you a great faculty member?  

This reading group will be held asynchronously via Google Classroom. Register to receive further instructions. 

Reading Group Discussion Guidelines

Leaders should download these guidelines and consider them carefully as they plan to lead a reading group.

Guidelines for Leading In-Person Discussion Groups (PDF)

To view this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.

Examples of Reading Group Topics

  • The Balance between Teaching and Research
  • Being an International Student on the Academic Job Market
  • The Biology of Learning
  • Cheating
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Creating Significant Learning Experiences
  • Evaluations and Assessment
  • Grading Strategies
  • Incivility: Classroom Management Techniques
  • Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Ed
  • Issues of Ethics for College Teachers
  • Learner-Centered Teaching
  • Motivating Culturally Diverse Students
  • New Faculty: Helpful Tips, Unexpected Challenges, and Gaining Tenure
  • Non-Tenure Track Teaching
  • Online Learning
  • Setting Up your own Program of Research
  • Silent Students: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Teaching Critical Thinking
  • Teaching Nonmajors
  • Teaching Strategies for Large Enrollment Classes
  • Teaching Unprepared Students
  • Teaching What You Don't Know
  • To Tech or Not to Tech
  • What the Best College Teachers Do