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Videos for Parasitology course and lab session ideas

Aaron Thomas Adamack aaronta at unixg.ubc.ca
Tue Apr 7 11:53:47 EST 1998

Christopher Blanar & Mylene Levesque (blanlev at CAM.ORG) wrote:
: I am looking for videos for a university-level parasitology course. If
: anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreciated.

: I am also interested in how various professors run their lab sessions,
: what is taught, what dissections performed, innovative ideas, evaluation
: methods... what works, what doesn't, etc.

Hi, I'm not actually a lab instructor or a prof, but I have recently 
completed a parasitology course with a lab and lecture components. The 
lab consisted of looking at slides of various parasites working from 
protazoa up to arthropod parasites. We had occasional dissections done 
for us, consisting of cutting open a termite to see its intestinal 
parasites, and I think we had a snail cut open but that was about all for 
dissections. We also had living or fairly close to living ie. was on the 
verge of dying sticklebacks which had ectoparasites living on them. 
Evaluation for the lab was something like 65% lab exam, 30% lab book and 
5% for enthusiasm for the course ie. showing up for the labs and taking 
an interest. The lab book was simply drawings of the various parasites we 
looked at on the slide and some comments made on the importance or what 
was special about the parasite or its group. The lab exam was look at the 
slide tell us what it is and then a second question for the slide was 
what disease does the parasite cause, what symptoms does it cause, or in 
one case should we worry about having this parasite or is it harmless. 
Additional questions included what stage is the parasite in and what is 
its host.

I would suggest avoiding the look at the slide and draw it option as it 
is incredibly boring and as our prof admitted 95% of what we saw would be 
forgotten within half an hour of the test. Furthermore, what we 
remembered was quite limited as the tests appear to have been quite 
heavily scaled as lab marks were generally much higher than the students 

I personally would have preferred doing something where we look at one 
sample from each major grouping to get the idea of hey this is what X 
looks like. Then from there go out into the local area and see if you can 
map out the life cycle of some local parasite. For example find some 
snail discover it has a parasite in it. Figure out who gets the next 
stage and try and find the parasite in the next host. I was supposed to 
do something like that in my Ecological Parasitology course but 
unfortunatly the class was short on students and so funding for a lab 
instructor was not provided and we did not get to do the project and are 
instead writing a review paper.

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