Teaching Tools for an Uncertain Upcoming Semester


By Joshua Gray posted 07-09-2020 14:24



Live or remote teaching during the upcoming semester? Even now, many colleges and universities have not provided firm answers on this, making course planning difficult. Regardless, faculty will be searching for interesting and flexible course content to provide variety in light of a potential remote offering. The Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee is here to help.

The Eminent Toxicologist Lecture Series provides ready-made recorded lectures together with teaching tools to help you incorporate the lectures into the classroom, whether online or in a traditional format, or in a seminar series. Each high-quality, professionally produced online lecture is accompanied by teaching materials, including learning objectives, study questions, and prerequisites. The FUTURE Committee is currently updating associated content to align with the new SOT undergraduate Toxicology Learning Framework, a Vision & Change–aligned resource, which can help you design your course. The updates to the lecture resources will be finalized by the time the upcoming semester begins, allowing you to incorporate a well-planned (or, ahem, last-minute) recorded lecture.

The ToxScholar Outreach program is another way to provide some variety to your courses. FUTURE accepts applications from potential speakers or their hosts at undergraduate institutions for a live lecture by a practicing toxicologist from academia, industry, or government. Recognizing that on-campus visits are less likely this semester, the ToxScholar program will allow submissions for virtual guest lectures. You can utilize campus resources or request assistance from SOT headquarters to facilitate the virtual visit so your class can experience an interactive lecture in real time.

FUTURE also recorded two informal discussions this year focused on “Teaching Labs Effectively and Safely during the Pandemic.” Lessons learned from using take-home lab kits are presented in one session. A second session focused on establishing safe laboratory practices during the pandemic. Both contained many tips about teaching in these new circumstances that might be relevant to your laboratory situation.

Another resource is the 2020 Education-Career Development Session “A CURE for the Common Classroom: Engaging Students and Faculty in Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences to Maximize Academic Success and Productivity.” With the easy-to-use navigation and robust search engine on the updated SOT website, you may find other recorded lectures or resources that can be employed in your teaching.

Finally, don’t forget about our ongoing discussions on the ToXchange Undergraduate Educator Network, where fellow faculty are ready to engage with you for other solutions. This online discussion board open to SOT members is a ready source of advice concerning teaching-related activities. You can add this subscription to your ToXchange profile.

We hope these items help you with your upcoming courses, whether they are completely virtual, in person, or some combination of both.