There are many published academic studies reporting on the use of innovative teaching and training tools and comparing the use of alternatives with traditional animal consumptive methods. The evidence is that the students and trainees using alternatives learn equally as well, or better, than those using animals. This is not surprising, as 'alternatives' are generally developed and employed to improve teaching quality. The use of new or better teaching approaches indicates that thought and effort is being employed to better meet teaching objectives, as well as to meet more teaching objectives. There are other papers addressing the use of alternatives at specific locations, written by educators who employ progressive approaches or are engaged in curriculum reform.

Assessment of individual products is also needed. Recommendations are often by word of mouth from one teacher to another. The effort and thought needed to modernise and restructure the curriculum and the financial investment required by some new products are more likely to be applied when there is familiarity with products and when reviews are available. Libraries of alternatives, and opportunities for trial of products at conferences play important roles, but more reviews are needed.

Can you contribute to a critical assessment of a product? Reflect on the implementation of new tools and approaches? Carry out a study? Make suggestions for new products?

Please send your reviews and thoughts to the new InterNICHE discussion list. Borrowers of products from the InterNICHE Alternatives Loan Systems are also encouraged to give feedback on products.

Please visit the InterNICHE Studies database here and read the HSUS document on comparative studies: Comparative Studies of Dissection and Other Animal Uses in Education. See also the EuRCA site