In March, 2020, campus restrictions associated with COVID-19 necessitated significant changes to undergraduate instruction at institutions of higher education. Rapid, unplanned transitions to remote learning caused disruptions for all educators, especially those who traditionally facilitate student learning via wet labs or live animal interactions, as is common within equine science and management courses. This study sought to identify teaching challenges and strategies associated with pandemic-era instruction among educators in equine science and management. Educators who taught undergraduate equine science or management courses in the United States before and after the spring of 2020 (n=43 respondents) completed an online survey distributed during Spring 2021. Approximately two-thirds of educators of lecture-based courses, and 40% of educators of laboratory-based courses incorporated an online element into their teaching as a result of COVID-19. Content delivery and assessments were altered to accommodate remote learning, although participants noted lower student engagement and participation. Respondents were generally satisfied with their institutions’ ability to provide resources to meet the challenges of teaching during COVID-19 but indicated challenges related to work-life balance and working from home. Results from this study can be used to develop resources to improve instruction during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Equine education, remote learning, COVID-19