First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7077604, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
AV2378, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track LAB ANIMAL [001LE]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge CARLO SCHIEVANO

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SECS-S/02 Statistics for Experimental and Technological Research 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 16 34.0 No turn
Lecture 4.0 32 68.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1  Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 SCHIEVANO CARLO (Presidente)
CORAIN LIVIO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Students are required to have basic statistical background.
Required foundation courses: Applied mathematics and physics, General pathology and laboratory techniques. Admission of students to practical activities (which is mandatory for at least 75% of the laboratory hours) is conditional depending on compliance of appropriate educational background.
Target skills and knowledge: The 3Rs—replacement, reduction, and refinement—can be applied to any animal experiment by researchers seeking to conduct those studies in as humane a manner as possible. Key to the success of this endeavor is an appreciation of the principles of good experimental design and analysis; these need to be considered in concert before any data is collected. Indeed, many of the principles central to helping achieve the objectives of the 3R are explained such as conducting valid, reliable, and efficient experiments; clearly and transparently reporting findings; and ensuring that an appreciation and understanding of animal welfare plays a central role in laboratory practice
Examination methods: Evaluation of the student will be based on the results of a written test or an oral exam
Assessment criteria: The examination will cover both practical and theoretical learning objectives. The student is expected to be able to discuss contents presented during lecture sessions using an appropriate technical language
Course unit contents: • Introduction to the course: demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement, and of how these principles ensure good science and good animal welfare. The importance of literature, internet searches, relevant sources of information in identifying opportunities for applying each "R"
• Types of experiment – good experimental design and research strategy. Principles of a good scientific strategy that are necessary to achieve robust results. The importance of rigorous scientific technique and the requirements of assured quality standards.
• Identify the experimental unit and recognize issues of non-independence
• Guidelines for 3Rs implementation and ethical reviewing.
• Recognize that refinement is an on-going process and the need to be up to date so as to ensure good science and animal welfares.
• Describe the concepts of fidelity and discrimination (e.g. as discussed by Russell and Burch and others).
• A well designed experiment and situations when pilot experiments may be necessary.
• Possible causes of bias and ways of alleviating it (e.g. formal randomisation, blind trials and possible actions when randomisation and blinding are not possible).
• Variables affecting significance, including the meaning of statistical power and "p-values", formal ways of determining of sample size (power analysis or the resource equation method).
• Controlling variability: causes and methods of reducing it (uses and limitations of isogenic strains, outbred stocks, genetically modified strains, sourcing, stress and the value of habituation, clinical or sub-clinical infections, and basic biology).
• Choosing the animal model and strain: justify on both scientific and ethical grounds, the decision to use living animals, including the choice of models, their origins, estimated numbers and life stages.
• Different types of formal experimental designs (e.g. completely randomised, randomised block, repeated measures [within subject], Latin square and factorial experimental designs).
• Results presentation: how to access expert help in the design of an experiment and the interpretation of experimental result. The importance of dissemination of the study results.
• Statistical analysis: using different research tools (e.g. EURL ECVAM Search Guide, Go3Rs) and methods of search (e.g. Systematic reviews, meta analysis). The need to take expert advice and use appropriate statistical methods, recognize causes of biological variability, and ensure consistency between experiments.
• explain the legal responsibilities of those designing procedures and projects and those of other persons with responsibilities (e.g. the person responsible for compliance, veterinarian, animal care staff, etc.).
• relevant EU and international legislation and associated guidelines that impact on the welfare and use of animals.
• Examples of alternative methods and research strategies that replace, avoid or complement the use of animals and examples of welfare assessment protocols. Identification any relevant re-homing guidelines.
• Identification, assessment and minimization all of the welfare costs to animals throughout the animal's lifetime; establishment of suitable criteria to identify when the humane endpoint has been reached. Possible conflicts between Refinement and Reduction ( the case of re-use) and the factors that need to be considered to resolve this conflict
• Re-homing
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes 32 hours of frontal lectures and 16 hours of practical activities
Additional notes about suggested reading: • The pdf slides will be uploaded in moodle platform
• Detailed learning objectives and weekly program are available on Moodle (
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Working in group
  • collaborative learning