Reading Circles

The Reading Circles program was launched in Spring of 2009. The program has been profiled in the NC State Bulletin. Circles are offered each Fall and Spring. Registration is announced via the OFD Newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Spring 2021 Reading Circles

Our Spring 2021 Reading Circle selection is:

Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation by Saundra Yancy McGuire with Stephanie McGuire (Stylus, 2015, 288 pages). What is preventing your students from performing according to expectations? Saundra McGuire offers a simple but profound answer: If you teach students how to learn and give them simple, straightforward strategies to use, they can significantly increase their learning and performance.

Saundra McGuire, the keynote speaker for our 2021 Teaching and Learning Symposium, has been acclaimed for her presentations and workshops on metacognition and student learning because the tools and strategies she shares have enabled faculty to facilitate dramatic improvements in student learning and success. This book encapsulates the model and ideas she has developed in the past fifteen years, ideas that are being adopted by an increasing number of faculty with considerable effect.

The methods she proposes do not require restructuring courses or an inordinate amount of time to teach. They can often be accomplished in a single session, transforming students from memorizers and regurgitators to students who begin to think critically and take responsibility for their own learning.

Saundra McGuire takes the reader sequentially through the ideas and strategies that students need to understand and implement. First, she demonstrates how introducing students to metacognition and Bloom’s Taxonomy reveals to them the importance of understanding how they learn and provides the lens through which they can view learning activities and measure their intellectual growth. Next, she presents a specific study system that can quickly empower students to maximize their learning. Then, she addresses the importance of dealing with emotion, attitudes, and motivation by suggesting ways to change students’ mindsets about ability and by providing a range of strategies to boost motivation and learning; finally, she offers guidance to faculty on partnering with campus learning centers.

Sign up now to join a Spring 2021 Reading Circle!

You will be matched with a Reading Circle and enrolled in a Moodle page from which you will access your specific Zoom meeting room at the scheduled day/time. To participate virtually, you will have an internet-capable device that has at least a microphone, and ideally has a camera (smartphone, tablet, laptop) in order to attend virtual, synchronous sessions via Zoom.

“Reading Circles give me time to reflect on teaching. Too often I just fly from class to class without being able to pause. Reading the book and talking to others about it builds those pauses and moments to reflect into my schedule.” - NC State Faculty Member

How do Reading Circles work?

Reading circles are small, self-regulated groups of faculty who meet several times a semester to discuss a common book. Each group is composed of participants from several different disciplines and at varied stages of their careers. The reading circles are designed to provide colleagues with an opportunity to share ideas about teaching and learning in an informal setting with peers from across the University.

Our Spring 2021 Reading Circles will be fully online and synchronous, with meetings held in Zoom. All meeting dates and times have been preset by OFD; you just need to sign up for the schedule that best suits you.

The NC State University Libraries provide unlimited ebook access to Teach Students How to Learn: OFD will not be distributing physical copies this semester.

If you have further questions, please contact us at

What is expected of registered participants?

All registered participants agree to

  1. attend reading circle meetings;
  2. contribute to discussions;
  3. take a turn leading their reading circle in a form of shared leadership; and
  4. complete an evaluation of the experience.

All virtual participants also agree to using an internet-capable device that has at least a microphone, and ideally has a camera (smartphone, tablet, laptop) in order to attend virtual sessions via Zoom.

How do I participate in a Reading Circle?

To register for Spring 2021, fill out the form at

Registration takes place each semester and is announced via the OFD Newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit

Can I recommend a book for Reading Circles?

Yes, please send us an email at We will also be soliciting suggestions for future books and topics from each semester’s reading circle participants.