Remote connectivity: Teaching immunology at a distance

Associate Professor Brad Magor discusses distance learning—and helping to build community in class—in Fall 2020

Katie Willis - 25 June 2020

From live, recorded lectures to small group work, Brad Magor is focused on making his immunology course as engaging as possible in September 2020. 

Magor, an associate professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences, will be teaching Introduction to Immunology (IMIN 371) remotely in the Fall 2020 term.

“This is a class that examines immunity to infections,” explained Magor. “I’m going to use group work sessions, in part to help the students build community connections with each other while we go through the material. A group question may be something like, ‘You're a bacterium barely alive on a blade of grass, but you see a rabbit approaching, and know that if you can make it to its intestines, you'll have all the food you'll ever want. What obstacles will you have to get past on your journey from its mouth to the intestines?’”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has required a mass migration to the digital world, and post-secondary learning is no exception. As the University of Alberta prepares to continue delivering course content primarily remotely in the Fall 2020, the Faculty of Science has connected with some of our top instructors and scientists to illustrate what the university experience will look like in the Fall 2020 term. While delivery may look different, what remains the same is our strong commitment to an engaging and quality education and experience for our students. 

“I'm most looking forward to getting to teach a subject I really love and find very cool,” said Magor. “While I didn't get to physically meet new students in my classes in Spring 2020, I know that I will eventually get to—and it's going to be fun to see how our online perceptions of each other pan out in real life.” 

Learn more about how the University of Alberta is preparing to engage students for September and beyond on our Fall 2020 hub. 

Students, faculty, and staff can stay up-to-date with the latest information on COVID-19 for the campus community online.