1 De Montfort University (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7867-7872
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1604
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
De Montfort University (DMU, Leicester, UK) is leading an international intervention to strengthen the capabilities (teaching and research status) of medical parasitology at two universities from Sierra Leone (SL), University of Makeni (UNIMAK) and Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology. To date, we have completed three phases since April 2019 at UNIMAK: a) introducing parasitology teaching using our virtual learning environment e-Parasitology©, freely available from the DMU website (; b) introducing parasitology research to study the presence and distribution of emerging zoonotic human parasites in the district of Bombali, one of the biggest in SL and the location of UNIMAK; c) development and implementation of a novel e-Parasitology app for Smartphones ( to enhance the teaching of medical parasitology by overcoming important technological and resource limitations detected during the first phase.

A game developer was hired through the DMU employability scheme (Graduated Champion), to start the development of an open-access anthology app of three pilot educational mini-games with Unity using C# programming language. The development of these mini-games was also performed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team at DMU and the Spanish Universities of San Pablo CEU and Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH), and followed successful implementation of mini-quizzes and games to strengthen the teaching of clinical parasitology at DMU. The introduction of these mini-quizzes in 2016/17, inspired by those designed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Laboratory Identification of Parasitic Diseases of Public Health Concern (DPDx), resulted in an increase in students’ satisfaction and enjoyment in the level 4 BSc Biomedical Science module of Basic Microbiology, which increased from 20% in 2015/16 to 81.3% in 2018/19.

The pilot e-Parasitology game collection© developed is available from Google store ( for beta testers. The games developed are aimed to facilitate the teaching and learning of complex diagnostic skills for the identification of Plasmodium species for clinical diagnosis of malaria, skills which require constant training. Malaria is a major disease in Sierra Leone, which contributes to its high mortality and morbidity rates. Three mini-games are available: Mosquito Town Defence (to learn prevention techniques and strategies); Symptom Game with Microscopy (to learn clinical symptoms of malaria and investigate blood samples for diagnosis); Microscopy Standalone (to learn clinical diagnosis). An AGILE SCRUM methodology was undertaken for the development of the pilot e-Parasitology game collection©, this was conducted in three sprints that consisted of three main phases: design, production, and testing. Each game in the anthology collection shares a common architectural foundation, in the form of a manager component that controls the state of the game, responsible for the opening menus. A complete description of the pilot e-Parasitology game collection©, the methods and framework used, will be provided in this communication to aid higher education institutions to adopt and incorporate them to strengthen the teaching status of malaria.
DMU e-Parasitology game collection, gamification, mobile apps, parasitology education, malaria.