Online Education

Since starting online courses (through the Office of Professional Development at NCSU) in 2015, we have served about 150 participants (students) in online teaching. While the first courses were offered as self-paced courses, we have moved to a live (synchronous) format delivered through Zoom and Moodle. The newer courses have MUCH more immediacy and contact with the instructor, Professor Allen Carson Cohen, who has more than 45 years of experience in insect rearing and more than 50 years experience in research and teaching. 

In the new synchronous/live format, students can interact to lecture and demonstration materials through questions and answers and by introducing their own experiences. In the most recent classes, many students stayed after class to engage Professor Cohen in specific questions about their rearing issues, and lively, productive discussions ensued through this format.

One more thought: according to user demand, we can devise new courses in a variety of topics (such as diet development strategies, process control, problem-solving in insectaries, and development of standard operating procedures).

Starting New Series of Insect Rearing Courses (October-December, 2021)

Course 1: Insect Diet Science





Introduction to Rearing Systems & Diets



Feeding Biology & Diets 1



Feeding Biology & Diets 2



Feeding Biology & Diets 3



Diet Equipment 1



Diet Equipment 2



Development of Diets/Design of Experiments



Development & Evaluation of Diets


Course 2: Rearing Systems Operations





Introduction to Rearing Operations



Dealing with Error in Operating Systems



Operating Systems: Case Studies 1: Silkworms and Drosophila



Operating Systems: Case Studies 2: Predator Mass-Rearing/ Plant Bug Mass-Rearing/ Boll Weevil Mass-Rearing



Operating Systems: Case Studies 3: Lepidoptera Mass-Rearing (Pink Bollworms, Gypsy Moths, Helicoverpa spp./Miscellaneous Species and Special Rearing Systems)



Operating Systems: Case Studies 4: Tephritid Fly Mass-Rearing Sytems



Interactions of Rearing Systems Components



Developing and Improving Science-Based SOPs


Course 3: Design and Control of Rearing Systems


Introduction to Design and Control in Rearing Systems STRESS AND FITNESS



Applications of Quality Control and Process Control



Stress and Quality: Microbes 1



Stress and Quality: Microbes 2



Stress and Quality: Genetics, Domestication & Fitness



Stress and Quality: Genetics & Epigenetics



Measuring Fitness 1



Measuring Fitness 2



Integrating Systems’ Components: Evaluation and Improvement


Registration Fees: $250 for each course ($750 for all three courses).

Please note that these 3 courses can be taken in any sequence (i.e., Course 1 is not a pre-requisite for Course 2, etc.) However, there are unique materials in each course, so for a comprehensive rearing background, it is recommended that students take all three courses. The courses consist of eight 2 hour and 10-minute lectures, so the 3 courses (24 lectures) provide 52 hours of concentrated learning opportunity. Also, Professor Cohen encourages students to remain online after class to ask questions or discuss issues of particular interest to them. This feature gives students a further opportunity to get advice and feedback from their instructor. The extensive interactions in these courses are further enhanced by the opportunity to communicate special questions or issues via email. Professor Cohen believes deeply in the Socratic method of inquiry, and he fosters learning by being open to students’ interacting with the materials and he encourages students to further integrate what they have been learning in class with their experiences in their own rearing backgrounds.


Insect Diets: Science & Technology 2015Design, Operation, & Control of Insect Rearing Systems, 2021

Cohen 2015 (Insect Diets: Science & Technology) and Cohen 2021 (Design, Operation, and Control of Insect Rearing Systems )

Please note further: the 24 lectures in the 3 courses are based on the contents of the two books authored by Professor Cohen. Together, these books contain 31 chapters (plus appendices), so each lecture is based on roughly one of the chapters.

The lectures are held together by several threads (or recurring themes): 1) rearing should be science driven, so we use the design of experiments approach to understand the relationships of our rearing system components; 2) the better you know your insect, the more successful will be your rearing operation; 3) reared insects’ fitness goes hand-in-hand with reduction of stress; 4) rearing high quality(highly fit) insects depends on recognition and reduction of stress in the rearing system; 5) rearing systems are artificial ecological niches (therefore, understanding the dynamics of diet, gas exchange, water balance, temperature/metabolic relations, microbial interactions, genetics, etc. will help us solve and prevent problems in rearing operations); 6) error (=variability/=uncertainty) reduction is essential to quality control in our rearing systems



Current Online Course Brochure

Click here to view the current brochure.