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Overview: Using the Manual


A. The Structure and Format of the Four Training Modules

  1. Schedule and Sequence of the Modules
    The manual provides four 60-to 90 minute training modules for lectures or seminars for communities, on the topic of toxicology and issues surrounding environmental exposures. The four modules are designed to be taught either independently or in combination. Each module has a different primary focus, but allows participants to raise questions that are more specifically covered in the other modules. Even when teaching only one module, trainers still need to know the material from the other modules, in order to briefly cross-reference them and to address any confusion a participant may have about any topic. In addition, trainers must include discussion and question time into the scheduling for the modules.
  2. Note: Some modules can be split into two 30-to- 45-minute sessions, or the 90-minute sessions can be combined for a half-day, one-day, or one-and-a-half day seminar.

  3. Structure of the Modules

    Each module is organized into six sections:

    • Allotted teaching time
    • Objectives
    • Presentation Content Outline
    • Talking Points - Lecture Notes
    • Test your Knowledge Quiz and Activity Lab
    • Participant Handouts and Visual Aids
  4. Format of the Modules

    • Content material appears either in boldface or regular font.
    • Instructions to the trainers are clearly marked with an icon pointer Trainer instructions icon.and written in Italic font.

B. Trainer Selection


Collaborative Teams

The manual is designed to foster collaboration between toxicology experts and community leaders/members.

C. Trainer Preparation

  1. Written Resources
    Trainers should read and become familiar with this manual as well as any relevant reference materials.
  2. Selecting and Sequencing the Modules
    Trainers will need to decide the sequence for teaching the modules based on the community needs and site issues. Teaching time is approximately 6 hours, not including time for breaks. A typical eight-hour training day with the appropriate breaks, provides 6 teaching hours, which would cover the four modules. However, the topics can be spread over time by teaching modules separately. To cover all topics, one-and-a-half days of training is suggested. Ideally, modules should be taught in the order listed (Modules 1-4).
  3. Arranging for Logistics
    • Trainers will need to arrange:
    • Training space,
    • Faculty,
    • Equipment (such as audiovisual aids),
    • Handout preparation and reproduction,
    • Advertising, notification, and registration for training, and
    • Distributing and collecting evaluation forms for sessions.

D. General Tips for the Four Training Modules

  1. Developing The Outline
    The presentation outline is primarily a content outline; it is not a script to be read to participants. Trainers will need to use the content outline as a guide to develop their personal teaching outline.
  2. Encouraging Participation - Helpful Hints
    It is helpful to respond to as many different participants as possible and not to limit discussion to one participant's questions or comments. In an hour and a half training session, avoid calling on the same person more than once. Draw on the participants' personal experiences when possible, which stimulates discussion and will allow identification of additional areas of concern.
  3. Use of Visual Materials
    • Slides are frequently used in educational settings such as these and can be very helpful in communicating both the image of and information about toxicological issues.
    • For these training modules, a few slides or overhead transparencies can be used effectively to highlight the main points about toxicology, focus a discussion, illustrate the health impact of contaminants, or clarify a procedure. All visual aids need to be clearly presented and accessible to all participants. (For example, trainers should note if participants have hearing or visual impairments that would compromise their learning and adjust the presentation accordingly.)
  4. Handouts
    • Handouts will include information provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances (i.e. ToxFaqs, specific contaminant information) and the community.
    • Trainers do not have to present every point in the materials, but should select the main points they are making and suggest participants examine the handout's additional points, if applicable.


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