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2018 Education-Career Development Session

Research-Based Approaches to Improve Teaching Effectiveness in Toxicology Classrooms



Teaching students effectively at all levels in science requires continuous learning on the part of the instructor. Not only is content knowledge increasing, so are the tools to teach it. At the heart of pedagogy, though, is research about how students learn to maximize educational outcomes and retention. While lecturing has been the predominant method of instruction since the founding of universities, there is evidence to suggest that this is not the most effective way to teach. Through national initiatives such as the National Science Foundation’s Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education, research-based teaching methods are having a growing impact in higher education. This session will bring together educators to talk about best practices in student-centered teaching that are applicable to all educational levels. The topics to be discussed include: 1) an introduction to designing course methods, assignments, and assessments to optimize students’ opportunities to learn; 2) lessons learned from a flipped classroom; 3) the use of problem formulation and experimental design in the context of a graduate immunotoxicology classroom; 4) how community-engaged learning and research can improve comprehension, recruitment, and retention; and 5) case studies from industry to teach about risk communication. This session will conclude with time for questions, giving audience members an opportunity to further explore these and other related topics. This session will be of interest to current educators and those interested in teaching, such as graduate students and postdocs.


Introduction. Larissa Williams, Bates College, Lewiston, ME.

Scientific Teaching: Using the Rigor of Science to Facilitate Learning in the Classroom. Edwin Barea-Rodriguez, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.

Lessons Learned from a Flipped Classroom. Larissa Williams, Bates College, Lewiston, ME.

Graduate Toxicology Presented in the Context of Problem Formulation and Experimental Design. Barbara Kaplan, Mississippi State University, Mississipi State, MS.

Taking the Student Out of the Classroom with Community-Engaged Learning and Research. Christian Curran, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY.

Effective Communication of Toxicology Principles Is Critical to the Industry Toxicologist. Steven Hermansky, ConAgra Foodservice, Omaha, NE. (Presentation Unavailable)