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, Spring 2021

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

1. Teaching the Neurodivergent Student

Dates: January 25th-29th

Maintaining an inclusive academic environment involves recognizing invisible disabilities and neurodivergence. Discuss readings from pedagogical and student perspectives and explore how higher education institutions commit to accommodations and inclusivity. 

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

2. Academics & Activism

Date: Thursday, February 18th

Time: 11:00am-12:30pm

“There are many natural links between academic work and activism that can be used for social justice and equity but remain underdeveloped in higher education.” This reading group aims to explore perspectives on the role of activism in academics and the role of faculty. 

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

3. Mentoring Best Practices

Dates: March 8th-12th

Having an effective mentor can make or break a student’s academic experience. Examine how mentoring goals have been approached through visions and guidelines, and the outcomes of dysfunctional mentoring relationships.  

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

4. Faculty and Crisis Management 

Date: Tuesday, March 23rd

Time: 11:30-1:00pm

Throughout the academic terms, faculty often witness students’ lives and their challenges, including losses, financial strains, and various other crises. Participate in this reading group on recognizing the signs of a crises and the importance of intervening with compassion and appropriate resources. 

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

5. Examining Student Motivations

Date: Thursday, April 8th

Time: 11:00-12:30pm

Student motivation is a factor that can determine success throughout the semester and affect engagement in the classroom. Discuss with reading group participants what common motivators are for students and what should be highlighted for future faculty.

This reading group will be held via WebEx. 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