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Open to all faculty, semester-long reading groups create opportunities to build community and conversation around a selected title from the scholarship of teaching and learning with the intention of helping faculty discover new insights and innovations for their classroom instruction. Reading groups are led by a UMassD faculty member and the OFD provides a copy of the selected title to all participants.

Recent titles include:

If you would like to suggest a topic for and/or facilitate a future OFD reading group, please email

Current offerings

Spring 2023 Faculty Reading Groups

Critical Conversations in Student and Faculty Engagement

Facilitator: Dr. Tom Hertweck, OFD Assistant Director and Assistant Teaching Professor, English and Communication

This spring reading group will focus on critical questions in student and faculty engagement. What does it mean to “engage” in the process of learning—and to “engage” in university-level coursework? What might one do to address student “under-skilling,” attendance and participation issues, and diminished student—and instructor—motivation?  To what degree should instructors worry about grade inflation or student action against instructors and their grading standards?  How can we talk to students about the process of learning—about course learning outcomes, practice and improvement, time management, and resiliency? How can we support access and flexibility in course materials and course design?  How does technology factor into student success?  Surely there is much to read and talk about.

In this faculty reading group, rather than addressing one topic through a singular text, faculty members will gather for incisive discussions of shorter pieces to focus our energy on several distinct elements related to university life today.  Drawn from the variety of faculty and staff interests voiced over the previous term, those involved will have an opportunity to investigate the unifying premise of post-secondary institutional life—the mutual efficacy of faculty, staff, and student life on campus—while also taking time to dig into pointed critiques of and proposals about the various ways we might increase student effectiveness; promote academic rigor, intellectual risk-taking, and critical thinking skills; address issues of access and justice, and approach the future with realistic plans for changing those things in dire need of improvement.  Readings will cover topics including student and faculty disengagement, attendance, academic rigor, talking with students about learning outcomes, and empowering students to self-advocate and utilize the many resources available to promote their success at this university, and others. 


All meetings will be conducted at the OFD (LIB 212) on the following Mondays from 1 to 2 pm:

Monday, 27 February - Motivating and Quitting, Quiet or Otherwise

Monday, 27 March - The Mutable Immutable Standard of Learning Outcomes 

Monday, 24 April - The Universe in Your Pocket: New Frontiers and Anxieties in Educational Technology


Academia from the Inside: Pedagogies for Self and Other

Facilitator: Dr. Maureen Hall, Professor, STEM Education and Teacher Development

This Spring 2023 Faculty Reading Group will discuss Academia from the Inside: Pedagogies for Self and Other (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), a volume of essays edited by Marueen Hall and Aubrie Brault that explores issues connected to the self who teaches, the self who learns, and the ways in which these selves interact within the academy. The book is organized by four main themes: pursuing authenticity, creating creative community, and humanizing education, and reflective practice. Each of the four meetings will take up one of these themes.

The book group will meet in person from 12:45-1:45 on the following Thursdays:

February 9

March 16

April 13

May 4

The group will be limited to 10 participants. To reserve a spot and a complimentary copy of the book, please email Ellen Mandly (  You are expected to attend all meetings. Lunch will be provided.