Developing a novel resource for teaching and learning parasitology: DMU e-Parasitology.
Background: The study of parasitology has become essential to develop future health care professionals with skills to respond to public health threats such as the recent outbreak of Cryptosporidium in the UK. To facilitate the teaching of parasitology, which is negligible across the different undergraduate and taught masters degrees at De Montfort University (DMU, UK), a group from different EU Universities [DMU and the Spanish universities: University of San Pablo CEU (USP-CEU) and University Miguel Hernández] and clinicians are developing an on-line package for teaching and learning parasitology named DMU e-Parasitology. The development of this teaching resource will cover a gap in the traditional teaching and learning methods that are currently used and provided in the participating universities. Materials/methods: The DMU e-Parasitology resource is being created for undergraduate and postgraduate human health science students, with corresponding degrees of difficulty on the DMU website (http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/). To develop the theoretical section, a preliminary unit about the helminth Toxocara was initially developed to be used as a model for this section: http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/learn/modules/toxocara/story.html. Volunteers that studied Parasitology during the first term in 2016/17 [n=27; 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System credits (ECTS); 3rd year module] from the bilingual Pharmacy and Biotechnology degree at USP-CEU provided comprehensive feedback for this preliminary unit at the beginning of the second term. The module was tested with these students because of their knowledge of parasitology. Results: Students described the initial unit as interactive and presenting the appropriate content and resources to study the parasitic disease addressed (toxocariasis). Limitations were the poor navigability in the formative exercise section and the excessive information provided in some slides that could hinder their understanding. Conclusions: The team has addressed these limitations and is using this unit as a model to build the DMU e-Parasitology, which will be accessible through the website (http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk) in 2018. We consider that this teaching and learning resource will overcome barriers of time, space, equipment and resource. Finally, this resource could facilitate the introduction of parasitology in any health science programme with limited time for teaching this subject in their curriculums.
Citation : Peña-Fernández A., Ollero MD., Magnet A., Fenoy S., Izquierdo F., Bornay FJ., Acosta L., Peña MÁ., Hoosen H., Evans MD., del Águila C. (2018) Developing a novel resource for teaching and learning parasitology: DMU e-Parasitology. 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2018), Madrid, Spain, April 2018.
Research Group : Infectious Disease Research Group
Peer Reviewed : Yes