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manimal lepelletierDidier Lepelletier, a Research Professor and an epidemiologist at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nantes involved in the MAN-IMAL Programme, has chosen to develop an E-learning about Critical Reading. Invested in this IDEFI project which has made innovation in cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary training its spearhead, he has identified an essential prerequisite to all scientific managers when conducting research works, and collaboratively carrying on any job that requires a permanent scientific monitoring. Indeed, the purpose of the Critical Reading is to tackle with a critical point of view and a structured approach, analysis, scientific publications, their results and their methodology, in order to interpret rigorously hypotheses and conclusions. Those will be used in diagnosis, clinical and therapy practices in animal health and human health.



The first objective of this Critical Reading is to teach the student how to write an organised abstract of the analysed article. It is also the opportunity to give the same language to professionals from various fields who will have to work in a joint effort.

Previously taught as a lecture, this Critical Reading via E-learning method has revitalised a subject that most students are not used to practise or not even familiar with. Indeed, evolving at your own pace offer the possibility to resume the course later when you are receptive or to stop when you feel you are not assimilating any longer. Furthermore, the possibilities of exercises are infinite, as research works never ceased to be published. The proposed articles to be criticised concern epidemiological studies or risk analysis in animal or human health, enabling the students from different study fields to share this scientific culture.


Supported by the MAN-IMAL pedagogical engineering, Prof. Didier Lepelletier chose to mix E-learning and in-class course, so that exchanges on practical or technical methods as well as on the content itself are possible. The session was built as a conditional learning process: students peruse the different chapters accompanied by multiple-choice question evaluations. This method was chosen because it forces to organise the learning process which is essential for these methodological tools: the student must read and assimilate the whole content available to continue the session. It does not prevent him/her from validating a stage and coming back to it later on. A glossary is available all along the session. The grading of multiple-choice questions is automatic: the student can see his/her grade and the correction right away.


In order to put into practice knowledge and know-how, the student has to complete two assignments: analysing articles made available online along the validation process. For example, the last assignment includes a list of questions concerning the objectives, the methodology, the results and the interpretation of an article, enabling to parlty evaluate the epidemiological concepts acquired so far. A precise evaluation grid, potentially commented by the Professor, explains the grading system. All grades given in this module count for the validation of this teaching unit and contribute to the aimed degree.


Another particularity of this E-learning is to make students review an article abstract of their peers (awarding of abstracts is made by automatic randomisation). This situation make students look to their future professional context. Lastly, these steps precisely set in the calendar, cadenced by onsite courses enable the student to study independently and to benefit from the Research Professor supervision.


This E-learning platform is available in English for students of the MAN-IMAL programme but also in French for students from other University courses that offer it (e.g. Diplôme Universitaire d’hygiène et d’Epidémiologie Infectieuse, Hygiene and Infectious Disease Epidemiology University Degree, University of Nantes).
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On one hand, short videos presenting the Research Professor, head of this E-learning and on the other hand, explaining the process the student has to follow through the IT platform are included and available on the platform. To access the platform, a security code is required.


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