From 12 -29 December 2023, Plant Pathology BSc students at Haramaya University in Ethiopia actively participated in a trial run featuring innovative lecture materials focused on nematology. This educational initiative was a pivotal component of the NEMEDUSSA project, a successful collaborative endeavour involving 16 partners. The partners, contributing their specialized scientific knowledge, collectively crafted an insightful e-book.
Different chapters within the e-book were meticulously prepared by various partners, resulting in a well-rounded and pertinent resource adaptable to diverse educational settings. The chapters can also be used as individual course modules. In order to guarantee the efficacy and practical applicability of the materials, comprehensive trial runs were executed and assessed across different partner institutions in the NEMEDUSSA consortium. As a token of acknowledgment, students completing the course received a certificate.
At Haramaya University, the trial runs took place under the active leadership of Dr Ashenafi Kassaye Gurmu. At the start of the trial run, students did a self-evaluation online to determine their existing knowledge. This was repeated in the end to determine how their knowledge and skills had improved. The meticulous evaluation of the materials was carried out by Haramaya University colleagues of Dr Gurmu, who shared their skills and expertise in implementing and applying the new materials. Both students and staff were given the opportunity to provide feedback at the conclusion of the trial runs, with their insights set to be incorporated into the final document and course design.
Feedback from Haramaya University students and staff was positive, underscoring the quality and value of the materials. The finalized e-book is slated to become an integral component of new specialized modules at NEMEDUSSA partner universities across Africa. This collaborative effort represents a significant stride in advancing education in plant pathology and nematology within the academic community. It also speaks to the commitment of the staff at Haramaya University to embed Nematology as an important part of their programme and to explore innovative educational technologies and resources.
In addition to the trial tuns of the educational materials, Haramaya University is also growing its Nematology student club. The first cohort of members graduated in 2023, with existing members guiding and inspiring the new members and building a student network of nematologists. This club allows the BSc students to share their interest in Nematology and learn about nematodes together. More information about the club can be found at: https://www.haramaya.edu.et/student/student-club/#