Faculty Book Club

a very full bookshelfWelcome! In Spring 2024, the Writing Center invites all educators at UMB to join our Faculty Book Club. This community of practice presents an opportunity for UMB faculty and any staff who are teaching to explore how generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) affects teaching undergraduate and graduate students in the health sciences and human services fields represented at UMB. Together, we will read and discuss Sidney Dobrin’s recent book AI and Writing (2023) - it's a short book, 118 pages! Dobrin’s book is divided into three parts (Part I: Understanding Generative AI; Part II: Opportunities and Applications; Part III: Challenges and Future Directions). Review the book’s table of contents for additional details.

Even though the book mostly focuses on writing instruction and assessment, feel free to join the club even if your classes don’t include a lot of, or any, writing assignments. Many parts of the book are valuable and relevant to all educators, not just those teaching with writing assignments and/or teaching writing.

We will meet three times during spring 2024 (the last Friday of each month, February to April) from 12 noon to 2 pm. In each of these three sessions, we will discuss one of the book’s three parts. The Seven Scholars University Bookstore will have copies of AI and Writing available for purchase by early February. We will also provide additional readings about GenAI in higher education to complement each month’s discussion. Feel free to browse the four sections below for additional resources on GenAI.

To express interest in joining the club, please click the button below. Contact Writing Center Director Isabell May with any questions about this program. 

Book Club Interest Form

Photo by Ashim D’Silva

Why should I join the club? 

You have likely been considering how to adapt your teaching, assessment, and mentoring in response to the emergence of GenAI tools like ChatGPT or Copilot, to name just a few. Many of you have already done so. Adapting to the opportunities and challenges of GenAI tools in higher education can feel overwhelming. Our group will facilitate the much-needed process of building a strong community of practice to assist us in adapting to changing educational landscapes while also ensuring that equity and social justice, two of UMB’s core values, remain at the center of our classrooms and teaching practices. If you feel isolated, burnt out, or overwhelmed with the constant emergence of new and improved GenAI tools, or any related sentiments, we aim to provide a sense of belonging through the sharing of our experience grounded in the readings we are doing together.

What are the objectives of the club? 

Our goal, for each session, will be to investigate, analyze, discuss, and invent strategies for:

  • integrating GenAI tools in higher education learning environments.
  • creating learning environments where students can explore writing conventions and practices relevant to their disciplinary contexts.
  • preparing students to become more actively engaged in the complex processes of knowledge production in interprofessional contexts.
  • adopting assessment techniques that are responsive to the range of experience and voices in our diverse classrooms.

What will we do to meet these goals in this club? 

In preparation for each of our three sessions, we will read one of the three parts of Dobrin’s book AI and Writing, with the goal to discuss the roles that GenAI tools can and should play in 21st century learning environments, including the following broad themes:

  • Contexts and frameworks of integrating GenAI tools that shape equitable teaching and assessment practices.
  • Managing the role of writing in the age of GenAI in processes of learning, teaching, and assessment.
  • Specific strategies for equitable teaching and assessment with GenAI tools, as well as incorporating GenAI tools as a method to attaining and measuring learning outcomes.

We will meet for three sessions, each on the last Friday of the months of February, March, and April during the spring 2024 semester. Dobrin’s text AI and Writing will guide our discussions that we anticipate will be contemplative and unsettling, but also practical and encouraging. We encourage you to journal as you are reading the selected text, possibly using some of the discussion questions that Dobrin provides in each of his chapters or responding to passages in the text or other readings you are doing related to GenAI in higher education. Such journaling can enable us to further explore our personal relationship to our work and will establish deep connections between our experience and motivation to create more equitable and inclusive learning environments. Through reading, discussion, and journaling, we will learn and develop plans for incorporating new teaching and assessment perspectives and methods into our future pedagogical practices.

We will also provide additional materials, such as blogs, op-eds, journal articles, videos, on the Faculty Book Club’s website to complement Dobrin’s text. Feel free to suggest any additional material to us, so that we can share that on our website with everyone.

How (often) should I participate? 

We acknowledge that you are busy, and we don't want this to feel like a burden or obligation. Monthly attendance is encouraged; however, feel free to join as few or as many sessions as you are able. Prior attendance will certainly enrich future participation, but each session can be independent of the others.

When and where will the Book Club meet? 

We will meet once a month via Zoom. We have set aside a two-hour block of time, 12 noon to 2 pm, on the last Friday of every month, starting in February, for three sessions, for us to connect (February 23, March 29, and April 26). You are not obligated to stay that entire time, but we will give all participants a tentative agenda a week prior to each meeting, as well as a gentle reminder a day before we meet. We will start and end each session with some short reflective journaling, so if you need to come late or leave early, it will not disrupt the agenda in any way.

Please complete the Book Club Interest Form above to receive Outlook invitations with the Zoom link.


Faculty Book Club Schedule: 2024

a hand hovering above a laptop keyboard

AI and Writing

Guiding Questions & Resources