Pedagogical Merit Review

All animal-based teaching and training activities require the submission and approval of an Animal Use Protocol by the Course Instructor. This may include teaching, training activities/programs for research, and testing team members (e.g., graduate students, principal investigators, technicians in contract research organizations), as well as non-degree/diploma/ certificate credit courses (e.g., professional development or continuing education workshops) provided by faculty or other institutional personnel at the University of Alberta.

Per CCAC guidelines, review of these applications for pedagogical merit must be in place prior to the application being reviewed by an Animal Care and Use Committee. 

Considerations for the Instructor

Instructors should plan course objectives, outcomes, lab plans, assignments, and assessment methods, with the following principles in mind:

  • Learning objectives and outcomes that require the use of animals must be described in the formal course outline.
  • Clear learning assessment methods that align with the desired outcomes must be described (how will students be evaluated on knowledge or skill acquisition that involved or required animals) and both must align with learning activities in support of the outcomes.
  • The learning activities involving a live animal, or requiring the use of a live animal (e.g. ones euthanized to obtain tissues) must be clearly described.
  • If live animals (or samples obtained from live animals) are specifically involved in proposed learning activities (the reason for conducting a pedagogical merit review), and the learning assessment methods directly involve animals, and learning outcomes specify knowledge, experience or skills dependent on the use of animals, then there is constructive curriculum alignment and potentially pedagogical merit of the live animal-based teaching or training.

Pedagogical Merit Review Process

  1. As part of the AUP submission process, the Principal Investigator should complete the Pedagogical Merit Review of Live Animal Based Teaching or Training Form A.
  2. This form should be uploaded to the AUP in the Documentation section (Section 17 4.0), along with the required Attachments per Form A (in Section 17 5.0) 
    1. Course Syllabus highlighting the specific animal use
    2. Lab Manual (sections pertaining to animal use)
    3. Other relevant handouts or documents: 
      1. If this is a course that involves competencies or skills required by a regulatory body (medical, veterinary, etc.) attach the document that outlines the requirement.
      2. If this is a credit course or part of an Academic Program, provide a summary of the Academic Program that this course fits into, along with the intended learning outcomes for the program, indicating how the animal use is necessary to achieve program outcomes.
      3. If the Course Syllabus does not clearly outline the learning outcomes and goals of the course relating to animal use, attach a document describing them.
      4. Attach any prior student assessments or course or session evaluations that were done that provide feedback on the animal-based teaching/training.
      5. Any other relevant documents.
  3. Submitting the AUP in the online system will initiate the Pedagogical Merit Review Process.
  4. The Principal Investigator will be contacted (via email outside of the online ethics system) by the Pedagogical Merit Committee members for any questions related to the Form A/submission.If any changes are required the AUP will be sent back to the applicant to make changes in the online application system.
  5. Once the Pedagogical Merit Review process has been completed, the application will be forwarded to the ACUC to initiate the review process within the online ethics system.

Please note: All changes recommended by reviewers must be completed in time for the Merit Review Committee to confirm Pedagogical Merit and then for the AUP to be reviewed and approved by the ACUC before the animal-based activities in the course can commence. As such, we recommend submission of these AUPs at least 4-6 months prior to the start of the term in which your course will run.