OSU MOOC- Farm to Fork: A Panoramic View of Agriculture- Set to Begin January 12Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:46:52 CST
It is the last call for the OSU inaugural MOOC as modern production agriculture will be under the spotlight as Bailey Norwood, associate professor in the department of agricultural economics for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University, will be using the latest teaching methods to take learning to a new level with a Massive Open Online Course titled Farm to Fork: A Panoramic View of Agriculture.
The 16-week course will be conducted entirely online and is open to anyone. It will focus on topics including livestock-care techniques, the industrialization of agriculture, the impact of local food on the local economy and the role of politics and culture in food. The format of the online course provides Norwood with an opportunity to explore new and contemporary teaching methods.
“OSU has been creative about using technology in the classroom, but this course has given me the ability to use technology to take us out of the classroom onto dairy, beef and swine farms, and into DNA and soil test laboratories,” said Norwood. “Ironically, the Internet-based course will take participants outside more than a traditional class. The course is conducted through a robust Internet platform that facilitates discussion within virtual field trips, video lectures and reading.”
The course will be separated into modules and will include videos, readings, virtual farm tours and online office hours. Students will engage in the course by uploading photos related to assignments and will participate in forums to discuss topics covered in the class.
“A MOOC is a very effective way of engaging students with varied interests, locations and motivations to learn at their convenience,” said Thomas Coon, vice president, dean and director of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “Dr. Norwood and his team have invested considerable time and energy into the development of the course materials.”
Coon said the result is an effective and creative opportunity for participants to become engaged in the learning process.
“Course participants are able to learn not only from the curriculum provided by Dr. Norwood, but also from one another,” he said.
As a land-grant institution, OSU views the MOOC as a way to expand its reach and ability to educate the public.
“Rooted in Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission to serve and improve society, we are utilizing new technologies and curricular models such as MOOCs to reach an even larger number of constituents who can benefit from this knowledge,” said Gary Sandefur, OSU provost. “OSU continues to serve as an international leader in agricultural sciences, and this course, taught by one of the field’s most notable experts, will present the most up-to-date knowledge available about food production and safety.”
The course is available and open to the public. Participants are able to participate for free or to enroll for a reasonable online tuition cost to earn OSU credit. The course will begin Jan. 12. This appears to be the third MOOC offered by Oklahoma institutions of higher learning- but the first about agriculture.
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