Revised:  06/19/2008

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Contact: Diana M. Orban Brown

Director of Communications

Rutgers Equine Science Center

732-932-9419

orban@njaes.rutgers.edu

 

PODCAST SERIES OFFERS DYNAMIC WAY TO LEARN

 

 

            NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (April 1, 2008) – Recognizing the growing trend toward multi-tasking, the Equine Science Center has created a series of podcasts for learners “on the run” or on their computers.

 

Using the latest in learning techniques, the podcasts cover some of the most asked-for information presented in the popular print-version Fact Sheets produced by Rutgers Cooperative Extension faculty and posted on the Equine Science Center website. Podcast subjects currently include:

  • The Basics of Equine Nutrition (in two parts)

  • Care for the Older Horse: Diet and Health

  • The Basics of Equine Behavior

  • Horse Trailer Maintenance and Trailering Safety (in two parts)

The running time for the podcasts ranges from five to seven minutes. They are available for listening or downloading on the Rutgers podcast site at http://iTunes.rutgers.edu and via a link on the home page of the Equine Science Center website, www.esc.rutgers.edu.

 

The source material for the podcasts – Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheets – consists of original research by Extension and Equine Science Center-affiliated faculty as well as summaries of research and publications produced by other prominent scholars and experts. More than 40 Fact Sheets address topics of interest to horse and horse farm owners and individuals involved in the horse industry. On the Equine Science Center website, these are linked to frequently asked questions and a dynamic search engine, which make finding answers a very simple task.

 

According to Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center, the podcast series is just one more way of sharing the knowledge and research of the Center with the public.

 

“Our mantra is ‘better horse care through research and education,’” she notes. “The Equine Science Center offers a wide variety of ways to learn – from seminars and conferences to peer-reviewed Fact Sheets to our highly interactive website, even to this newsletter. Audio recordings in the form of the latest podcast technology are just one more way to make learning as convenient and effective as possible,” she says.

 

With this new technology, the Equine Science Center is among the first at Rutgers, and it is in the advance corps of leading academic institutions nationwide adopting this learning method. Other universities that are leading the way include the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University.

 

Experts in the field of education and communications are increasingly interested in adapting new technologies to the learning process, according to Diana Orban Brown, director of communications for the Equine Science Center. “At Rutgers, for example, faculty and staff are developing new ways to reach our various audiences, especially through electronic communication,” she says.

 

Among the possibilities are DVDs and CDs, email newsletters, interactive websites, teleconferencing and videoconferencing, blogs, social networking sites, “wikis,” instant messaging and text messaging.

 

The podcasts, then, were an outgrowth of this trend and were the brainchild of Orban Brown and Beverly Saadeh, a journalist and horse owner who saw the possibilities of using this new technique to deliver traditional information.

 

“Universities are adapting to the new way that students communicate with their peers and absorb information,” says Malinowski. “Even though there will always be a place – indeed, an emphasis – on classroom education because of the advantages it provides students with interaction and peer reinforcement, we have gone way beyond the traditional classroom.”

 

Among other methods, online learning opportunities are being offered by many faculty, including Dr. Sarah Ralston whose popular semester-long horse management and equine nutrition courses are available online. A growing number of continuing education courses also have an online or distance-learning/video-conferencing component.

 

Another example is the Equine Farm and Land Management Short Course organized by Dr. Carey Williams. The two-day session was reproduced on a 10-disc DVD set that is available for purchase for $79.99 + $5.00 shipping from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension office at 732-932-9514.

 

Other innovations currently are being developed by Rutgers’ Office of Continuous Education and Outreach and the Office of Continuing Professional Education.

 

In the meantime, more podcasts are under development. Future topics will include a series on farm and barn safety, the care and feeding of the older horse, nutrition for foals and growing horses, descriptions of equine metabolic issues, causes and prevention of equine stress, manure management and pasture management.

 

 

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© 2009 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Items may be reprinted with permission from the
Director of the Equine Science Center:

esc@njaes.rutgers.edu


The Equine Science Center is a unit of
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.