MOOC NECTAR : A Flip-Flap Massive Open Online Course on Arthropod and Nematod management for crop protection

MOOC NECTAR : A Flip-Flap Massive Open Online Course on Arthropod and Nematod management for crop protection

We develop a MOOC called MOOC Nectar. The MOOC is a massive open online course and everybody can follow this course of 5 weeks on arthropod biodiversity in crops.

The idea was to use the resource developed within this MOOC for pedagogical issues for students of Master 1. The students acquire basic knowledge through the MOOC (2-3 hours a week) where they learn alone following the videos and applying for the exercises. In addition, the students manage the MOOC especially the forum and the facebook live (once a week). Finally to apply the knowledge acquired, they are hosted during four weeks in the lab UMR CBGP ( where they have to manage a small scietnific projets managed by the researchers. The topic concern taxonomy, biodiversity, biological control etc ...

They can make molecular biology, morphological analyses, data management etc ..

MOOC NECTAR : A Flip-Flap Massive Open Online Course on Arthropod and Nematod management for crop protection

Resources produced as a result of a project: Escapade

Group size : Group (10-15 persons)

Modality : Hybrid

Duration of the teaching method : Education or training unit

Special equipment : numerical equipment

Type of knowledge developed : Knowledge, Know-how, Social skills

Target Audience : Students, Professionals in training, Particularly suitable for heterogeneous groups

Course Type : Course, Practical work (TP)

Preparation time :1 week per year after the MOOC elaboration (two years)

Author and persons who made changes : Marie-Séphane Tixier, Julien Rose

Sources : Marie-Séphane Tixier, Julien Rose

Why am I using this technique?

For me, teacher or trainer...

This experience is very nice as It allows

  • to more associate research and pedagogy
  • to show students in real situations the up-date scientific developments and challenges
  • to show the students the professional needs (through the forum management)

I think that students learn certainly more as they are active

Framework and steps / Instructions

The framework

At a time when biodiversity, its conservation and associated ecosystem services are playing an increasingly central role in the management of agro-ecosystems, the world is facing a paradox and an unprecedented situation. The number of taxonomists, i.e. specialists capable of characterizing it, is decreasing, as is the number of training courses dedicated to taxonomy. The general expertise on biodiversity knowledge is therefore in a critical situation, while the stakes are high, particularly in terms of alternative strategies to pesticides and the prevention and management of bio-invasions.

The MOOC Nectar aims at showing to students these challenges and to be aware of scientific skills available and essential to answers them.

The preparation

It takes two years to build the MOOC Nectar (5 weeks of courses, videos, exercises ...). After that, the preparation for each year is approximatively of one week.

What we have to do before the pedagogical unit

- put the course and their up-date of the numeric platform (FUN: France Université Numérique)

- Be sure that all the students are registered on this platform

- present the module and the activities to the students to know how many students will choose the pedagogical unit

- prepare with the researchers of the scientific lab CBGP, the project topics that the students will manage (find the supervisors and the associated activities that the students will manage)

- make the administrative convention to allow the students to be in the lab during four weeks (three or four days per week)

The flip-flap approach


A flip-flap MOOC was developped to involve learners more and encourage interactions outside the framework of peer review. This is ensured following different steps

·      Sending a questionnaire related to the subject: to reflect on the one hand on the learners' level of knowledge of the subject, and to make them aware of the content of what they will study, and on the other hand, to question them on what they expect from MOOC.

·      Monitoring of the MOOC: teaching materials, exercises, quizzes (but no more case studies, no more peer review).

·      Sending the same questionnaire provided at the beginning of the MOOC: invite learners to self-assess their progress and determine the points they have mastered and/or to continue working.

·      Sharing experiences: sending a questionnaire on their experiences of the MOOC, their motivations, the mobilization of their new knowledge in their professional life... Several pairs are created in order to establish dialogue around the complete, partial or non-existent sharing of the motivations experienced by each person.

The process

Description of the course

·      Students (and professionals) follow the MOOC, subtitled in English, on the FUN platform (France Universités Numériques), for a few hours a week. The MOOC's is mainly based on videos and scientific articles as complementary resources. Quizzes and exercises are also available.

·      The students do an internship during 4 weeks in research labs while following the MOOC. The internship is supervised by researchers ; students are in a research laboratory  during three days / week, where they develop their mini-project. The evaluation is based on a report written in English and an oral presentation in English as well.

·      The animation of the MOOC is managed by the students, whose missions are: (i) facilitate the Forum (creation of a Facebook page listing different technical and/or theoretical questions asked by MOOC participants with the possibility to answer and exchange) and (ii) facilitate Lives (identification of relevant questions, interviews filmed by smartphone in the laboratory to ask these questions directly to researchers, and publication of these videos on the MOOC social network page and FUN platform).


The students will prepare a written report on the project they manage in the lab during four weeks. They will also be evaluated through an oral defense of 15 minutes where professors also ask about what they acquire in regards to soft skills (project management, forum animation, working in groups, relations with the researchers in the lab etc ....)


No variant

Points of vigilance

The students should be autonomous and sometimes it is very easy for them especially for answering the questions of the forum and to be in relation with the different researchers in the lab.

The English of the MOOC should be also improved.


Users Testimonials :

The activities of the Forum and the Lives, the scripting of the productions, or the manipulation of the communication tools, are exercises that were widely appreciated by the students. Disciplinary entry, interactions between professionals, and practical implementation around mini-projects were also highly appreciated. As well as the possibility of downloading all the resources. All these activities enabled students to expand their network.

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