1 De Montfort University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas (SPAIN)
3 De Montfort University, Postgraduate and CPD Office, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 Universidad San Pablo CEU, Facultad de Farmacia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6201-6206
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1459
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
A novel on-line package for teaching and learning human parasitology, named DMU e-Parasitology, is being co-developed by academics from De Montfort University (DMU, Leicester, UK) and the Spanish universities: University of San Pablo CEU and Miguel Hernández University, in conjunction with practicing Biomedical Scientists from the UK National Health Service. The DMU e-Parasitology package will be freely available on the DMU website ( late in 2018 and content/sections currently covered: a theoretical unit for the study of eukaryotic parasites that represent serious human health threats; a virtual laboratory and microscope sections for the study of these major diseases. However, for promoting active learning and increasing engagement, we are in the process of developing a fourth section with a series of virtual case studies in medical parasitology, in which students will need to reflect and critically think to reach diagnoses, propose additional diagnostic techniques and appropriate treatment. The virtual case studies will be created following a preliminary study performed by our group (Peña-Fernández et al., 2017), in which we observed that the introduction of mini-case studies in Medical Microbiology lectures [BSc Biomedical Science (BMS), DMU] last academic course were shown to be effective in facilitating the acquisition of transversal competences including clinical skills. These mini-case studies were based on those developed by the Laboratory Identification of Parasitic Diseases (DPDx) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA) and final year BMS students enrolled in this module were able to complete the case studies during the different lectures in a very short period of time. Contrarily, the virtual case studies for the DMU e-Parasitology will be highly interactive and students will need to use the different resources of this package, including the virtual microscope, to resolve them. Moreover, these case studies will be longer and will present different questions that the user will be able to answer depending on their clinical and parasitology skills. Between the many advantages of a virtual microscope described in the literature, including remote access to slides of high clinical quality for all users, this technological resource could facilitate the acquisition of problem-solving skills and hence the rationale of using it to resolve the case studies of the DMU e-Parasitology. This paper describes the first virtual case study created, which is available at: Briefly: students are presented with a short medical history of an HIV positive male university student severely affected by bloody diarrhea, malaise and fever; and a series of clinical slides in which trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica and Acanthamoeba spp. can be observed. The “amoebas” virtual case study is student-friendly; so students can navigate through the case study following a series of questions with different degrees of difficulty related to these human pathogens. Students enrolled in the Medical Microbiology module in 2017/18 (n=193) have answered the amoebas case study during small workshops delivered to groups of 27/28 students during November 2017. Comprehensive student feedback is being collected to improve this case study, as it will be used as a model to complete this section of the DMU e-Parasitology.
DMU-eParasitology, medical parasitology training, reflection, critical thinking, virtual case studies.