1 De Montfort University, Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Animal Health, Veterinary Faculty (SPAIN)
3 Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (SPAIN)
4 Universidad San Pablo CEU, Facultad de Farmacia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 2107-2110
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0511
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Companion animals live closely with humans and provide them with significant psychological and physiological benefits. However, they can also have an impact on public health because of their significant role in the transmission of important zoonotic diseases. To strengthen the teaching of clinical veterinary parasitology, which is being eroded in European higher education institutions, we have started to create innovative virtual resources and specific content for the teaching and learning of this science in collaboration with EBVS® European Veterinary Specialists at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain). The novel web-based resources created follow the scaffolding, structure and methods that were successfully used to create the DMU e-Parasitology®, which is available on the De Montfort University (DMU, UK) website ( Resources initially created are accessible in the DMU e-Parasitology® package, and include all the necessary components to study two important zoonotic parasites affecting companion animals: leishmaniasis and toxocariasis. To evaluate the initially created resources and to develop future content on clinical veterinary parasitology, we have carried out a pilot project to study the impact of these novel web-based resources on knowledge using a focus group of ten final year UCM veterinary students. To study previous background and acquired knowledge in these students during their Clinical Rotation, we have developed a feedback-questionnaire with two parts, which presented different MCQs, and were distributed before and after students completed the virtual clinical veterinary parasitology case study (, and studied the animal parasitology content developed to date in the package. MCQs were carefully written and paired to be able to study impact on acquisition of knowledge on life-cycle and general parasitology information, characteristic structures for the diagnoses of helminths and protozoan parasites, techniques and strategies for clinical and laboratory diagnoses, and prevention. Students were provided with a week to complete the case study and explore the animal content; and completed both parts of the questionnaire in exam conditions on different days when they attended the clinic for their rotation. A Wilcoxon test showed a significant positive increment (p<0.05) of marks in those paired-MCQ questions related with life-cycle and general parasitology after completing the virtual case study. However, although a general positive increase was detected when analysing all MCQs together before and after the activity, this improvement did not show significance. In addition to this, students were asked to provide comprehensive feedback, which has been recently discussed by our team. Briefly: 85.7% reported that completing the virtual animal clinical case study increased their knowledge of the parasitic diseases studied. In conclusion, the initial novel resources created on animal parasitology available in the DMU e-Parasitology® package could help students to acquire different practical skills to perform clinical diagnosis and management of the parasitic diseases studied in companion animals, specifically related to general knowledge and life-cycle, which in turn will aid their learning on other important aspects of their learning including prevention.
Clinical veterinary parasitology, website, virtual content, parasitology education, virtual learning.