Additional curriculum modifications for enhancing the teaching of parasitology and infectious diseases at an English university.
Our teaching innovation group is committed to increasing and enhancing the teaching of parasitology, as recent surveys show an alarming decrease in the teaching of this subject in human health degrees despite recent outbreaks threatening public health in Europe that have involved emerging parasites. Since 2016/17, we have started to perform a series of curriculum modifications in the BSc Biomedical Science (BMS) programme at De Montfort University (DMU, UK), following the subject-specific threshold standards described by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA, 2015) . These modifications targeted specifically two modules from this Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) accredited programme: Basic Microbiology for Biomedical Science (level 4) and Medical Microbiology (level 6). We performed detailed analysis and evaluation of the impact of these preliminary changes on our students, which have been described in Peña-Fernández et al. (2017) . Briefly, students highlighted high levels of engagement in both modules. The most notable improvement was detected in the Basic Microbiology module that showed an increase of 44% in the students’ satisfaction from 20% in 2015/16 to 64% in 2016/17; and a reduction in the dissatisfaction from 20% to 7.4% in Medical Microbiology. We have performed further curriculum modifications following students’ feedback and current pedagogic research undertaken by our international teaching innovation group. Thus, we have tackled and introduced new lectures in our Basic Microbiology level 4 module to describe better the differences between bacteria and the characteristics of parasites and viruses. A new lecture about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been included following the detection of a lack of knowledge of preventative measures (HIV chemoprophylaxis including pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis and HIV screening) and transmission (risk behaviours) in a novel training session offered to second year BMedSci Medical Science students in 2016/17. Finally, we have introduced a new workshop session in which students completed a virtual clinical case study from the novel teaching and learning resource DMU e-Parasitology (these resources are publicly available at: http://parasitology.dmu.ac.uk/learn/case-studies.htm). Two workshops have been created and introduced in these two BMS modules and we have followed previous successful experiences creating and introducing novel research-led workshops in human health undergraduate degrees. Finally, we are also creating an on-line resource for the teaching and learning of HIV in collaboration with the University of San Pablo CEU (Spain), which will be accessible on the DMU website by the end of 2018. A more detailed description of the curriculum modifications implemented in this academic course 2017/18 are provided in this paper in conjunction with an analysis of students’ impressions that will be collected in the final module level feedback for each module through the online resource Blackboard.
Citation : Peña-Fernández, A., Torrado, G., Agudo, R. and Peña, M.A. (2018) Additional curriculum modifications for enhancing the teaching of parasitology and infectious diseases at an English university. EDULEARN18 Proceedings; pp. 7156-7161
ISBN : 9788409027095
Research Group : Infectious Disease Research Group
Peer Reviewed : Yes