Dr. Beth Ventura Implements Innovative Teaching Practices

This fall ANSC 1011: Animals and Society was revamped by Dr. Beth Ventura this semester. One of the biggest changes with the course is that it now offered online. In addition to bringing the course online, Beth diversified it to consider livestock as well as other animals. These two changes in the course allows for students throughout the university to take the course and learn about animal science and human-animal interactions. The course provides real-world examples and challenges students to go outside of their comfort zone with specific assignments and activities.

The revamped course implements new technologies that keeps students engaged and connected with the material. Lectures for the course were recorded in front of a green screen that allows Beth to be in the video while presenting her slides for the lecture. “I wanted to include more ‘me’ in the course and replicate a physical class. I wanted to bring lessons alive” Beth shared. Beth received an E Learning grant through CFANS to create the course, and collaborated closely with Academic Technologist Tracy Wilson to build the course’s Moodle site and online course materials.
The tools implemented in the online format have been well received by students. Julia Schroeck, a student shared, “I like the lecture structure because it is easy to watch and follow. Everything has a specific due date and the course is easy to navigate.” Katie Raeker, a teaching assistant for the course, had great things to say about working with Beth. “Beth is wonderful. She works with students if they have an issue and answers their questions. She lets me make activities, involves me in the course, and helps me when I need it.”

Objectives for this class are to have a broad understanding of the diverse human-animal interaction scope, to engage with a range of views and perspectives in society that exist around animals, and teach students to have an appreciation for diversity. The most important objective for this course, in Beth’s opinion, is that students have fun.