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American Sociological Association launches first-of-its-kind teaching tool
Date:5/25/2010

lectures or innovative class activities that lead students to significant intellectual growth," said Margaret Weigers Vitullo, Director of ASA's Academic and Professional Affairs Program and the creator of TRAILS.

"ASA hopes that TRAILS will enable college and university professors to teach better, share their successful teaching and learning toolsjust as they share other forms of scholarshipand receive greater respect and reward for their teaching from their institutions and students. We believe that TRAILS could serve as a model for other disciplines across the academic spectrum." Ultimately, ASA may collaborate with other disciplines to explore whether the TRAILS model is transferable.

All the teaching materials in TRAILS go through an editorial review process, similar to the procedure scholarly journals use for research articles. Thirty-three ASA members serve as editors for subject areas ranging from public policy and social change to racial and ethnic relations and the sociology of the family.

Once an editor has approved a submission, TRAILS automatically generates a cover page with a citation that includes the name of the author. Subscribers to TRAILS will electronically sign an agreement to use the citation when making use of TRAILS resources, both in original and modified forms. "In this way we hope to influence the culture of the professoriate, encouraging academics to cite each other's scholarship of teaching and learning, just as they cite other forms of scholarship," said Vitullo.

Professors who modify TRAILS materials are encouraged to submit their adaptations for peer review and inclusion in the TRAILS digital library alongside the original resources.

Built initially on the ASA Teaching Resources Center (TRC) print collection, TRAILS currently has over 2,700 teaching resources. The TRC materials were digitized and converted into modules that are now individually indexed and searchable in TRAILS.

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Contact: Daniel Fowler
fowler@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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