New online course on the horse launches at UF
“Because it’s online, we are able to offer this course to students at universities where they might not have a strong equine sciences department,” said Patrick Larkin, Ph.D., an adjunct lecturer in the college’s department of large animal clinical sciences who serves as course coordinator. Larkin also co-directs an online course about the dog, which began at UF in 2012.
“It’s also good exposure for students to decide whether or not they want to go into this field,” Larkin said.
Team-taught by UF faculty members from several different disciplines, the course is aimed at sophomore or higher-level students and features pre-recorded lectures. Students must log in to the course website to watch lectures and complete assignments and may post questions in a discussion forum, Larkin said.
The course starts with an introduction to the evolution and domestication of horses and continues with lectures on breeds, preventive health care, genetics, nutrition and the musculoskeletal system. Students also are exposed to the role of scientific inquiry and methods through specific case studies and a module focusing on scientific articles in the equine field.
“We’re really getting the cream of the crop in terms of our students,” Larkin said. “These students really want to learn and are interested in the topic.”
About 30 students from across the country and the world are enrolled in the course this semester. Enrollees hail from Tennessee, New York, Minnesota and even Turkey, in addition to students from UF.
“This class offers students who are interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine or veterinary technology the opportunity to take a class in their area of interest and to network with experts in the equine field,” Larkin said. “Because it’s online, this class allows us to reach out to those students in that the class actually goes to them and they do not have to come here to UF to take it.”
The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is supported through funding from UF Health and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.