Tropical Parasitology MOOC Offers Real-World Learning with Global Impact

Tropical Parasitology: Protozoans, Worms, Vectors and Human Diseases, Duke’s first open online course developed in collaboration with an international partner medical school (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College – KCMU College) has launched on-demand for its third offering on Coursera. This 8-week course presents information on important human parasitic diseases. The audience includes medical and health sciences students in sub-Saharan Africa as well as global learners.

KCMU College-Duke Collaboration

The course is co-taught by Drs. Frank Mosha and Mramba Nyindo, of KCMU College and leading Tanzanian faculty experts from an area highly impacted by tropical parasites. They are joined by guest lecturers, Drs. Johnson Matowo and Jovin Kitau. John Bartlett, M.D. professor of medicine, global health and nursing at Duke University Global Health Institute, joins his colleagues in this collaborative effort.

Frank Mosha, Ph.D., John Bartlett, M.D., Mramba Nyindo, Ph.D.
Frank Mosha, Ph.D., John Bartlett, M.D., Mramba Nyindo, Ph.D.

“The MOOC has enhanced the international reputation of Duke University in tropical parasitology, and modern educational methods.  It has provided further depth to the KCMU College-Duke Collaboration in medical education.  Finally, it has been utilized substantially as a resource for health professions students and is a great resource to students around the world with an interest in parasitology.” -John Bartlett

Innovative Teaching at KCMU College

With 3-7 hours per week of video, readings, and online assessments, Tropical Parasitology serves as  a resource for students at KCMU College and faculty use the course content to innovate their teaching methodologies. KCMU College medical, nursing, and laboratory students are provided a rich learning experience with digital video of authentic film footage captured in Tanzania, expert practitioner interviews, online quizzes, online exams and discussion forums, accessible on mobile devices.


“I agree that the “in the field” videos were very enjoyable. Both the ones from the hospital and the ones literally “out and about”were splendid. “
“The information presented in the videos really stayed in my mind because it took on a real- world context.”

 Course Design

  • Modular content with “content clusters” & short videos (2 – 10 min) and a real-world context
  • Integrated learning experience with combined expertise of African faculty and featured interviews with practicing clinicians and guest lecturers
  • Supplemental resources with readings and disease “fact sheets
  • Optimized discussion forums with a “contribute to the course forum”
  • Assessments with online quizzes, practice quizzes, case study examples, and a comprehensive 3-part final exam

Video captured in the field in Tanzania




“Watching the video showing the kids weeding the rice paddy infested with schistosomiasis was one of the more intense video watching moments I’ve had ever. Very thought provoking.”

Featured Interviews

Dr. Venance Maro


William Howlett

More on the Tropical Parasitology MOOC