Learning Module/Notebook

Abby Schuft
Extension Educator, Poultry
University of Minnesota

Schuft, A.*1,
1 Extension Educator, Poultry, University of Minnesota, Willmar, MN, 56201

A collaboration between the University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension Equine and Poultry programs produced a six-week online certificate course to introduce horse owners to biosecurity concepts. The biosecurity course was one of five completely online courses offered through the UMN Equine Extension program and was promoted exclusively through the UMN Extension website and Equine Extension program Facebook page. A total of 18 horse owners and industry professionals from seven different states registered and participated in the inaugural course from January 13 - February 23, 2020.The enrolled students owned 61 horses of their own and influenced care for an additional 160 horses and donkeys. Each week, participants viewed a recorded topic lecture and either participated in assigned online forum discussions or took a topic quiz. Notes of PowerPoint slides and supplemental resources were provided with each module. Throughout the course, students also wrote biosecurity protocols for their unique farm or horse ownership situation, finally compiling them to create and submit a biosecurity plan. Completing these assignments were requirements for earning a certificate of completion. However, enrollees could participate in the course without intention of earning a certificate. In the end, 83% of the participants were successful in earning a certificate of completion. In a post-course evaluation, learners stated their knowledge of equine biosecurity increased 1.74 points on a 5-point Likert scale, indicating they knew “some” information about biosecurity at the beginning of the course and finished knowing “much” to “very much”. Based on the information learned, 93% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed they planned to make at least one change in their horse operation or ownership with respect to biosecurity principles. The NACAA member who submitted this application was the curriculum developer and instructor for this online course.To view course modules, resources, discussions and quizzes, log in to the Equine Biosecurity Online Certificate Course, or type https://canvas.umn.edu/courses/167748 into any web browser. Once users arrive at the UMN Canvas Sign In page, enter aenschuft@gmail.com as your internet ID. Your password will be Communication2020.