On September 19, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Animal Breeding and Genetics was launched on the online education platform EdX. During the course, students are taught the basic principles of animal breeding and genetics, from the general set- up of a breeding program to the estimation of breeding values for specific animals. The first run was very successful with about 2500 participants from all over the world.
The course structure follows the 7 steps (modules) in the design of a breeding program. Each module consists of diverse teaching materials: short clips, exercises, assignments and student interaction on the discussion forum. Feedback is built in in the course, so that students can learn in an independent way.
The MOOC was built by teachers from the animal breeding and genetics group and the production team of Wageningen University, in collaboration with scientists from ILRI, and was financially supported by the Dutch Koepon Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the African Chicken Genetic Gain (ACGG) project.
Successful first run of MOOC - ABG
The first run had about 2500 participants from all over the world. More than 10% of the participants completed the entire course and more than half of these requested for an official certificate of participation from EdX. These percentages are very high in comparison with other MOOCs, which shows the high interest from the participants and the success of the MOOC.
Interested in the next run?
At this moment the first run has ended. The materials can still be viewed online, but graded exercises are no longer active. These will become available again with the next run which will be planned and announced after the evaluation of the present round. If you are interested, you can register to EdX and enrol in the course in animal breeding and genetics. Enrolled students will be informed about further runs and other developments on the MOOC.
Plans for the future
We are happy to announce that, with continued support from the Dutch Koepon Foundation and Wageningen University, we will have the opportunity to develop a second MOOC on animal breeding and genetics. The focus of this MOOC will be on evaluation and long term management of breeding programs. We hope to launch the second MOOC by the end of 2018.