Rapid online teaching: movement of animal science courses online during COVID-19. Case study: pedagogical decisions in transitioning animal science courses online. Academic Article uri icon


  • Traditionally, earning a degree in animal science requires many face-to-face, hands-on courses; however, the COVID-19 pandemic created a situation in which traditional delivery of these courses may not be feasible as they provide a health risk to our students, teaching assistants, and instructors alike. This examination of two pedagogically different courses and how each was transitioned to an online format highlights the types of teaching decisions that are required to effectively teach animal science in an online format. The Farm Animal Production Systems lab was an animal handling and production practices lab, and although the transition to online delivery did not allow for students to participate in traditional hands-on development of skills, various resources were utilized that still achieved the development of animal handling concepts that will prepare students for later courses and work with live animals. In contrast, the Animal Science Laboratory Teaching Methods course remained consistent in format through the transition to online because students were still able to participate in discussion-based activities via Zoom meetings each week due to the small class size, which helped to maintain student engagement. However, the final teaching experience was modified to an alternative assignment. The alternate assignment included self-reflection and course evaluation that will help to improve both the Farm Animal Production Systems laboratory and the Animal Science Teaching Methods course in the future. Although COVID-19 has been a challenge that disrupted traditional courses, it has provided opportunities for a traditionally hands-on discipline, such as animal science, to more effectively engage students via an online platform.

published proceedings

  • Transl Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Barnes, T. L., Ramsey, W. S., & Dunlap, K. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Barnes, Taylor L||Ramsey, W Shawn||Dunlap, Kathrin A

publication date

  • January 2021