Faculty Journal Club

a very full bookshelfWelcome! In Spring 2023, the Writing Center invites all educators at UMB to join a new Faculty Reading & Journal Club. This learning community presents an opportunity for UMB faculty and any staff who are teaching to critically review interdisciplinary literature about contemporary issues affecting the teaching and assessment of graduate writing. In each session, participants will respond to prompts as well as collaborative action items that will be incorporated into their practice.

To express interest in joining the club, please click the button below. Contact Writing Center Director Isabell May with any questions about this program. Journal 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 global pandemics, economic uncertainty, and climate emergencies. You are probably overwhelmed by these numerous contemporary threats to human life and our livelihood. Our group will facilitate the much needed process of building a strong teaching and learning community in response to discussing the meaning of teaching and learning today. If you feel isolated, burnt out, or related sentiments, we aim to provide a sense of belonging through the sharing of our experience with lived experience of/and the readings.

What are the objectives of the club? 

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

  • 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 session, we will read a range of texts—such as contemporary news articles, scholarship, etc.— that focus on three broad themes:

  1. Contexts and frameworks that shape equitable teaching and assessment practices
  2. Managing the role of writing in processes of learning, teaching, and assessment
  3. Specific strategies for equitable teaching and assessment, as well as incorporating writing instruction as a method of both attaining and measuring learning outcomes

 We will meet once a month to discuss the readings, as well as engage journal prompts. These texts will guide discussions that we anticipate will be contemplative and unsettling, but also practical and encouraging. Journaling will enable us to further explore our personal relationship to our work. It will establish deep connections between your 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.

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 because the selected readings and journal prompts build on each other. However, we have designed several flexible ways for you to meaningfully participate in the club.

For example, join as few or as many sessions as you are able. Prior attendance will certainly enrich future participation, but each session can be learned independent of the others. In addition, you can respond to journal prompts without doing the readings. We will provide ten minutes of dedicated time for journaling at the beginning of the session and ten minutes for strategy invention and action planning at the end of the session.

Note: We know how hard it is for faculty to dedicate time to their own writing (e.g. non-administrative), so feel free to use the club as a writing group that helps you more effectively plan instruction.

When and where will the Journal 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 4th Friday of every month, starting in January, for six sessions, for us to connect (January 27, February 24, March 24 March 31 (rescheduled), April 28, May 26, & June 23). 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. The first and last ten minutes will be dedicated to writing, so if you need to come late or leave early, it will not disrupt the agenda in any way. Regardless of how you choose to participate, by signing up to receive our communications, you will receive full access to the scheduled readings, discussion questions, journal prompts, and action planning suggestions.

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

Tentative Reading & Journal Club Schedule

stack of pencils for writing center

How Should We Assess?

February 24, 2023