Lead a Discussion Group!


group-1962587_960_720Discussion groups are new to OLLI at UVA! Many of our members have said how much they enjoy the opportunity to participate in discussions when attending some of OLLI’s small courses. Hence, the beginning of OLLI at UVA Discussion Groups. These groups will provide another setting that fosters in-depth discussion about a variety of topics and can be led by any OLLI member.


How will discussion groups be different from the small courses with discussion OLLI at UVA already offers?

Discussion groups are different in two ways:

  • They can be proposed and led (facilitated) by any OLLI member who would like to discuss a topic of interest.
  • They are held when courses are not in session (summer/winter).

Leading a Discussion Group

The discussion group facilitator does not need to be an expert on the topic. The facilitator’s role is to organize the group, provide background information when needed, and facilitate the discussion, encouraging participation by group members and a respectful exchange of ideas. The facilitator can participate in the discussion if desired.

Support and information about facilitating a discussion group will be provided by the Curriculum Committee and OLLI staff.

Proposing a Discussion Group

Ideas and proposals are always welcomed. The OLLI Curriculum Committee reviews proposals prior to each session, meets with prospective facilitators, and recommends the discussion groups to be offered. Once approved, discussion group details of dates, times, and location are finalized.

If you would like to propose and facilitate a discussion group, please download and fill out the Discussion Group Proposal form below:

Discussion Group Proposal Form (doc)

You may email the completed proposal form to olliuva@virginia.edu. The form can also be mailed to OLLI at UVA at 485 Hillsdale Drive, Suite 114, Charlottesville, VA 22901

The proposal submission deadlines for each session are as follows:

Summer (July/Aug) discussion groups – February 1st deadline
Winter (Jan/Feb) discussion groups – August 1st deadline

Discussion Group Topics

A discussion group can be centered around any number of topics, such as: an overall theme with weekly subtopics; a controversial “pro/con” topic; a movie or documentary; a lecture in town; an online podcast; a book or newspaper articles; or current events.


If you would like to ask questions about proposing an OLLI at UVA Discussion Group, please contact the OLLI office at olliuva@virginia.edu or 434.923.3600/Toll-free 877.861.9207