There are some courses, subjects, notions, that you can’t just seem to get your head around. This is the case of Immunology, which has this reputation of being a rather heavy subject.

To celebrate the International Day of Immunology that took place on the 29th of April, Christelle de Brito and Isabel Guillén came up with an unusual immunology activity… having students make memes and write short texts explaining them! So on 7th May, the Health Sciences building’s hall was filled with immunology memes… and curious students!

Memunology: having fun to remember more

A meme is a funny image shared by internet users. It is generally modified to fit particular situations. Here, they had to be related to immunology, one of the subjects taught in Health Sciences or Veterinary Medicine. “Immunology lessons are dense, and you have to learn a lot by heart.”, told us Yohann Richol.

Now, the question is about efficiency. Can a funny image and caption help remembering notions? Agathe Soler and Morgane Beddiar, both first-year students of Veterinary, stated that the memes were summaries and therefore not precise enough. However, they still helped pass on knowledge more efficiently: “An image and a catchphrase are useful mnemonics to remember. It’s only key ideas, so you can learn faster. It’s more effective than reading a book; and as it’s based on humour and an image, it’s easier to remember.”

“The idea was to bring together students from different degrees, nationalities and languages.”

This idea of having fun while still achieving academic and scientific work was central in the creation of this immunology activity. “We wanted this to be scientific but also wanted something different, more fun.” Christelle de Brito stated. “We chose memes because they are funny and capture people’s attentions. The concept was to combine enjoyment and the writing of a scientific report.”

Bringing students together

Memes were made in three different languages: Spanish, English and French. Some memes had cultural references, with for example Les Inconnus and Jeff Tuche for France; some others were more global memes like the famous “Distracted boyfriend” meme. “The idea was to bring together students from different degrees, nationalities and languages around the same subject”, Christelle de Brito told us.

“It’s more effective than reading a book; and as it is based on humour and an image, it’s easier to remember.”

Besides, students were also brought together in this hall. As a result, Christelle de Brito seemed delighted by this immunology activity’s success.”A lot of people came, between 150 and 200 students“, she estimated. But students were not the only curious ones! “The Dean of the Veterinary Faculty came, professors came as well. They were all very curious about this event!”

Memes to understand immunology are another proof that professors at CEU Valencia are always trying to find new, more effective and engaging ways of teaching, involving the students! 

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