Faculty Reading Circle – Spring 2023

An FRC is a small group of faculty who read and discuss a text together, with an eye to learning and implementing new ideas in their teaching practice. These circles are designed to build community among faculty and to help them develop as teachers by building strategies for responding to common teaching challenges.

The Spring 2023 FRC will focus on a specific issue of concern we have frequently heard from UAlbany faculty: student distraction. Participants will read selected chapters from James M. Lang’s recent book Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It. We selected this book because it provides many easy-to-implement teaching strategies to keep students focused and engaged in class.

We know that your time is precious, so we have taken care to design the FRC to fit into your busy schedule. While the time you are required to invest is small, we promise that you will leave the FRC with a set of specific strategies you can implement right away in your teaching. In short, participants are asked to make the following commitment:

  1. Attend two short (one-hour) in-person circle meetings, one in late February and one in late March. These meetings are designed to help faculty make plans for how they will implement specific strategies to address the issue of student distraction. To accommodate as many faculty schedules as possible, we have scheduled two instances of each meeting: participants can choose the one that fits their schedule.
    • Meeting 1: Monday, February 27, 3:00-4:00pm OR Tuesday, February 28, 10:30-11:30am
    • Meeting 2: Monday, March 27, 3:00-4:00pm OR Tuesday, March 28, 10:30-11:30am
  2. Read and reflect on one chapter of Lang’s book in preparation for each meeting (two chapters total). In advance of each circle meeting, participants will receive a set of short prompts to guide their reading and prepare for our discussions.

We have created a short registration form where you can indicate your interest and tell us which meeting times fit your schedule. We will follow up with all registrants and provide more details in advance of the first FRC meeting.

CATLOE has purchased several copies of Distracted, and the first several registrants for the FRC will receive a free copy of the book! Later registrants will be provided with copies of the chapters identified for discussion. In either case, we will reach out well in advance of the first meeting to ensure that you have the materials you need to participate.

If you would like to know more or are trying to figure out whether the FRC is a good fit for you, please feel free to contact Dr. Aviva Bower, Instructional Consultant in CATLOE, at adbower@albany.edu.