Teaching Animal Learning and Cognition: Adapting to the Online Environment
The number of online courses offered by institutions of higher education has been increasing sizably in the 21st century. As we write this article in 2020, though, the prevalence of online courses is taking an unexpected upturn as the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden transition of many in-person courses to remote, online delivery. The specific goal of this article is to share, in a timely manner, our experiences and insights from teaching an online course on animal learning and cognition for the last 7 years. A broader goal is to provide a resource that not only benefits instructors in the present circumstances but also supports course development, review, and redesign — for both on-campus and online curricula — into the future. To these ends, we discuss course organization, learning outcomes, activities, assessments, and considerations such as accessibility and academic integrity. We end with a “call for community” of instructors who share teaching resources, and we hope that this article, and its associated supplemental materials, may serve to support this endeavor.
Keywords: online teaching, higher education, learning outcomes, animal learning