The INSA Group wins the call for IDEFI-N projects

Following submission of a project set to be developed over a 3-year period, the INSA Group, in collaboration with OpenClassrooms, has won a call for IDEFI-N (Initiatives of excellence in innovative training for digital technology) projects launched by the National Research Agency (ANR) in 2014. 12 out of the 52 projects submitted were awarded an A by the international jury, including the INSA Group’s IDEFI project “Connect-IO”. Endowment: 820,000 euros.

This particular initiative of excellence in innovative training (IDEFI), applied here in the field of digital technology, aims to develop MOOC- and SPOC-type training tools in the realm of smart devices. Entitled “Connect-IO”, it targets 3 groups in particular: Bac-3/Bac+3 students, science and technology students (including those studying engineering) and employees undergoing continuing education.

“Following the success of the IDEFI InnovENT-E project in 2012, this comes as confirmation of the INSA Group’s collective strategy, as well as being a first in its choice of partnering up with OpenClassrooms, an innovative French company acknowledged as a pioneer of new ways of mass dissemination of knowledge. “Our challenge was this: how to go about making tools available to the general and specialised public alike and create efficient digital resources at the lowest possible cost”, explains project leader Jean-Yves Plantec, INSA Doctor and Research Professor at the Toulouse INSA.

18 MOOCs, 12 SPOCs and 2 hours of gamified MOOC on the theme of smart devices will be made available to online education users. While the MOOCs are intended for a very wide public and will lead to delivery of an attestation of achievement or certificate upon completion, the SPOCs provide a new distance-learning format leading to a qualification and reserved for small groups of participants. The first online training modules will be accessible as from late 2016, and will, among other things, be incorporated into INSA engineering courses, replacing traditional training modules.

Project summary

The project is set to last 3 years and marks the first collaboration between the INSA Group (Centre-Val de Loire, Lyon, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg and Toulouse INSAs) and OpenClassrooms, an innovative French company acknowledged as a pioneer of new ways of mass dissemination of knowledge. It aims to develop MOOC- and SPOC-type training tools in the realm of smart devices, with three target groups in mind: Bac-3/Bac+3 students, sciences and technology students, including those studying engineering, and employees undergoing continuing education.
The project sees the INSA Group and OpenClassrooms joining forces to take up the challenge of major dissemination of such courses, and of setting up an economic model ensuring their perpetuation along with partnership conditions enabling reproducibility of the pioneer experiment. We chose a use case as our starting point, and went on to extract a set of related scientific educational themes. The object we decided upon, as being accessible to the largest possible number of users, was the drone; we selected the following six scientific themes:

● Machine-machine communication,
● Image processing and shape recognition,
● Robotics and command and control systems, Services layer,
● Smart systems,
● Security and reliability,
● On-board energy.

These themes led to definition of 18 MOOCs (3 per theme) lasting from 3 to 6 weeks. The MOOCs, designed as part of students’ initial training and earning ECTS credits, will be organised into 12 hours of gamified MOOCs (i.e. courses incorporating a range of “edutainment” procedures) intended for Bac-3/Bac+3 students, along with 12 SPOCs (2 per scientific theme) intended for employees undergoing continuing education.

Production of resources will be a joint responsibility, carried out on the basis of an industrial production methodology inspired by that implemented at OpenClassrooms.