Thursday, January 30, 2014

Equine Nutrition on Coursera

Thanks to those who recommended the Coursera class on "Equine Nutrition" from the University of Edinburgh. I've signed up and will start a bit late but dig right into the first week over the weekend.

I'll blog about it as I proceed and try and share a bit of what I'm learning, and whether I'm finding it useful.

Thanks to those who offered other resources as well - I'll definitely be moving on to them once I get these basics down.

Here's the syllabus for anyone who would like to join me:

Course summary 
This course will cover many aspects of equine nutrition ranging from anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract to dietary management of horses/ponies affected with nutrition-related disorders. This course is designed to provide knowledge of equine digestion and nutrition for those with an interest in this area. The anatomy and physiology of the equine alimentary canal will be studied to provide students with a detailed understanding of the equine digestive system. Nutrient sources for horses will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of various types of feedstuffs in equine diets. Students will also discuss recommendations on rations for horses and ponies performing various activities and will be able to make recommendations on rations for horses and ponies in health and disease. 
Course learning outcomes 
The intended learning outcomes on completion of this course are that you should be able to: 
  1. Discuss the anatomy and physiology of the equine gastrointestinal tract and appraise its limitations in relation to nutrient digestion.
  1. Explain the nutrient content of feedstuffs for horses and appreciate the different methods of evaluating this. 
  1. Recognise and critically appraise nutrient sources for horses and ponies.
  1. Describe the general nutrient requirements of horses and provide general guidance on rations. 
  1. Discuss rations for horses with specific nutrition-related disorders. 
Course topics 
Course assessment 
There will be multiple choice assessments (quizzes) at the end of each week course to test the knowledge you have gained during that section. This will be graded examinations that will each contribute 20 % to your overall course mark. You have three attempts at the each of the quizzes and the best score of the three will be used for your assessment. However, you can re-take the test as much as you want to review your learning. The quizzes will remain open for the full 5 weeks that the course is running - so you can complete them when you feel ready. The pass mark for each quiz is 60 %. 
There will also be weekly quizzes to test your knowledge that are not graded, but are there to aid your learning and prepare you for the graded quizzes. If you have any questions about the assessment process please post these on to the assessment discussion board for the course tutors. Again, whilst we can't answer individual questions we can pick up on commonly asked questions and address these in a general post to everyone on the course :)  
Statment of Accomplishment 
Students successfully completing all the assessment quizzes and gaining at least 60% in each quiz will qualify for a Statement of Accomplishment.  A link to this downloadable certificate will be provided to each successful student around one week after the end of the course.  Students interested in gaining a Verified Certificate should consider signing up for Signature Track during the first two weeks of the course - follow the links at the top of this page for more information and to sign up. 


  1. Very interested in this! Is it pricey?

    1. Free! That's the great thing about Coursera, they're all free!

  2. Have fun! I hope you get something out of it but since it is free that does take some of the pressure off. :)

    1. In both a good and bad way! I've quit others before they even started because there's no kick in the pants. :)


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