What a Med-School Professor Learned by Teaching Undergrads

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Dan, Beth, and Beckie
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Hello and welcome to Teaching, a free weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education. This week, Dan shares what one medical-school professor has learned from teaching undergraduates. Beth updates us on education-technology collaboratives. Beckie gives you a peek inside a special report and shares a colleague’s insights on education investors’ latest fixation: improving the quality of college teaching.  We leave you with aheads-up on some conferences taking place this month. Let’s dive in:

Crossing Boundaries

When Jennifer Schnellmann came to the University of Arizona's College of Medicine in Tucson about two years ago, her dean wanted to broaden the school's appeal by offering courses to undergraduates.“I was the only one who was willing,” said Schnellmann, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology. “He just turned me loose." Schnellmann came up with ideas for six courses to make pharmacology accessible to nonspecialists. They include courses on controversies in the field, human performance, toxicology, and the pharmacology of sex, among others.

She’s teaching all six of them this semester, almost all of them in hybrid or blended form, which means some parts are offered online and others in person. To meet her required contact hours, she hops on the shuttle from the medical school and travels about four miles to the main campus.

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