ANS 445- Beef Production Systems

This senior level course will be taught next fall. This will actually be my second time of teaching this class as a hybrid. Late last spring term of 2016 I made the decision to change it to a hybrid for the fall of 2016. I talked to Cub about the steps involved and worked on self-teaching myself on how to do it. As fall term progressed, I was growing in frustration of how to teach in new and different manner. When I saw the announcement about this community, I was elated with excitement to get more direction and help in making this a successful adventure. After talking with my students at the end of the term and reading through evals, I knew I needed to change things. Students like what I did for the most part but they also were concerned with how it turned out (most of the students in this 60 person class have taken classes from me before) due to the way I delivered the material and it was abnormal compared to how I did in a traditional face-2-face class. This fall I cut the number of students down to 40 as it will allow me to try more items we’ve discussed. This was also done to help with required lab with the course to help make it more hands-on and informative for students.

ANS 445 is kind of a capstone course in a way as it brings the core subjects of animal nutrition, reproduction, genetics, physiology, health along with familiarity of marketing and other items that impact the success of the day to day interactions in the beef cattle industry. This course takes those subjects and has explains how they apply to the multiple aspects of the beef industry. We go into the management of different segments such as seedstock producers, commercial cow/calf, stocker cattle, back-grounding cattle, feedlots, packers, and all the way to the consumer. We discuss how making changes in the management can affect not just immediately but later down the road. An example of this is fetal programming (feeding the cows certain feeds while pregnant) and how it impacts calf health but also impacts their meat and can potentially affect human health (not as bad way but how it can actually maybe make it more nutritious with more minerals and vitamins in the meat we consume).

In delivering this fall, I’m going to re-capture all my lectures using Kalturra and look into using in-video quizzes. Also when we did tech tools, it got my creative juices flowing looking a some aspects of assignments and lecture delivery (really think I can use Tiki-Toki to explain some the history of the beef industry and mind maps for an animal health assignment).  I plan to make use of some guest speakers also but may look into using more video of industry leaders as part of course also to help students understand the importance of the topic. As for assessment, I already use Canvas with weekly quizzes but would like to include more discussion online and find a way to move that discussion into lecture. I’ve given thought about assigning as group project a weekly short video (2-4 minutes) that they create about a current issue in the beef industry. I would have a 2-3 videos to discuss each week and just rotate the groups. There is also a term long group project in which the groups design/build a year long management plan for a ranch of their choosing that encompasses everything discussed in class. In lecture we will always have a Q&A period but I need to start a Q&A and/or FAQ type section on Canvas. The lab will stay much of same as it is very hands-on.

 

 

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