Pasture-Based Dairy Systems

  • Date: Dec. 13, 2021 - Nov. 30, 2022
  • Format: online
Pasture-Based Dairy Systems is comprehensive course taking an individual through an entire season of a spring-calving dairy operation. Participants will learn about grazing operations month to month as the season progresses (example: May-emphasis on breeding.) Pasture management will be a focus throughout; however the participant will learn about the interactions between forages-cows and people.

Course Description

Required: Introduce learners to the purpose and structure of the course.  This section sets the tone for the course, lets learners know what to expect, and provides guidance to ensure learners get off to a good start.

Provide information to help learners understand the purpose of the course and how the learning process is structured and carried out, including course schedule, delivery modality (i.e., online or blended), modes of communication, types of learning activities, and how learning will be assessed.

Clearly state the length of time and the dates of the course, especially in the case of courses whose dates do not correspond to the standard academic calendar of the host institution, or if the course is self-paced.

Include information about any prerequisite knowledge and competencies.

Course Organization

Required: Provide learners with an explanation of how the instructional materials, resources, technologies and learning activities are used in the course and how each will help them achieve the stated learning objectives or prepare them to demonstrate course competencies.

Also, provide an overview of the steps to complete the course and general activities to support learning. Canvas uses Modules to organize course learning resources. 

Each module may include:

  • Videos covering the topic
  • Readings to enhance student understanding
  • Discussions to connect to students
  • Quizzes to check understanding
  • Assignments to show student mastery of the material


Required: Measurable course learning objectives or competencies precisely and clearly describe what learners will learn and be able to do upon successful completion of the course. They are written from the learner's perspective and use terms that are specific and observable enough to be measured. They precisely describe the specific competencies, skills and knowledge learners will master and demonstrate at regular intervals throughout the course. Measurable module/unit learning objectives or competencies form the basis of alignment in a course because they are consistent with the course-level objectives or competencies.

Introduce the course objectives with a phrase such as

  • By the end of this course, you will be able to, or
  • Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

Convey the idea that critical course components work together to ensure that learners achieve the desired learning outcomes.


Required: All courses must have an instructor (or facilitator) of record.  The initial introduction creates a sense of connection between the instructor and the learners. It presents the instructor as professional as well as approachable and includes the essentials, such as the instructor’s name, title, the field of expertise, email address and phone number, and the times when the instructor is typically online or may be reached by phone.

If the instructor’s role is minimal, the self-introduction may be abbreviated to professional qualifications and accessibility. If the course has no instructor, information about whom the learner can contact with questions and how that individual may be contacted should be provided.

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If the instructor’s role is minimal, the self-introduction may be abbreviated to professional qualifications and accessibility.

Provide these essentials: your name, title, contact info, hours available, etc.

Embed an image or short video introduction in place of the placeholder image.

To ensure learners understand that the main way you will communicate with them (via email), include this statement: Your email address is the default for communication, so check it regularly.


Required: Include a complete description of all course assignments. Provide a concise schedule of assignments and due dates, along with assessment information for each.

Clearly state your plan for response time and feedback on assignments. Frequent feedback from the instructor increases learners' sense of engagement in a course. Learners are better able to manage their course activities when they know up front when to expect feedback from the instructor.

Explain your policy for late submission of assignments.


To create a welcoming learning environment and a sense of community, ask learners to introduce themselves at the beginning of the course. Give them guidance on when, where and how they should do so. You can ask them to respond to specific questions — such as why they are taking the course, what their strategies for success are, what concerns they have, what they expect to learn, etc. — or let the learners decide what to share. You can also give learners the choice of introducing themselves by written, audio or visual means. Consider starting the process by introducing yourself or providing an example of an introduction, or both.

Implement learner-to-learner interaction wherever possible to foster learner engagement. Provide guidance on how to access discussions, explain discussion requirements, and include a complete schedule of discussion topics and dates. Discussions are designed to capitalize on the asynchronous nature of online.

If discussions are a part of the course, be certain the netiquette section is included in the syllabus.


The purpose of the discussions is to give you an opportunity to learn from each other and explore the topics introduced in the course as a learning community. Sometimes, the act of writing can help us clarify, make connections, and draw implications from our experiences in new ways. 

We acknowledge that everyone's contribution will be unique and particular to their context and experiences. Therefore, we expect and welcome a diversity of contributions and viewpoints. We hope that everyone will bring to the course a posture of curiosity, interest in listening, and willingness to share.

As members of a learning community, writing publicly, in small amounts, and without much time to edit may be the greatest challenge of all in this course.

  • We invite you to err on the side of jumping into discussions with our shared understanding that an online discussion board can never reflect your most robust thinking and writing, and that's not the point in this context.
  • Our goal is to share what comes to mind and is shaping our thinking and actions in this experience together. 

We also expect that participants will bring different prior experiences, interests, and motivations to this course and how the discussions unfold will reflect this range.


For a successful online course experience, clear, thoughtful communication is essential. Discussion forums and course communications are important venues for exchanging ideas and promoting learning. Your instructor and fellow participants wish to foster a safe and inclusive online learning environment. Constructive criticism and questions are encouraged; however, you will be expected to remain professional and courteous in all of your posts. You are encouraged to comment, question or critique an idea, but you are not to attack an individual.

Our differences, some of which are outlined in the University of Missouri's nondiscrimination statement, will add richness to this learning experience. Please consider that sarcasm and humor can be misconstrued in online interactions and generate unintended disruptions. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course atmosphere. As your instructor, I  reserve the right to delete any forum posts or blog entries I deem to be inappropriate for the course.

(Adapted  with permission from MU Course Design & Technologies' Online Teaching Foundations)


We value the voice of every student in this course. We embrace our diversity as a group—in race, gender, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, religion, language, ability, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic and veteran status, —is an asset, resource and strength that is critical to our learning experience.  As a result, we are committed to designing inclusive lessons and assignments that encourage diverse perspectives to be recognized and respected, while providing you with the opportunity to speak and be heard, explore your own understanding, and engage with one another.

(Adapted  with permission from MU Teaching for Learning Center’s Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom)

Assessment and Grading

Required: Describe how learning is going to be assessed. Make sure course assessments are consistent with the course and module learning objectives.

Assessments may include pre- and post-quizzes, formative and summative assessments, video quizzes, and discussion posts. Be sure all learning objectives are assessed. Provide feedback/rationale for all quizzes.

Provide specific and descriptive criteria for the evaluation of learners' work. These criteria must be tied to the course policy for determination of successful course completion.

Consequences of insufficient class participation should be clearly stated and fair.  Criteria and procedures for peer review and evaluation are clear.

If the course grants a letter grade, provide a detailed scale.  Students know when and how they will receive feedback from teachers.

At the end of the course, provide an opportunity for anonymous course feedback/evaluation.

Course Completion

Required: Provide learners with a clear and complete description of the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work and participation in the course. State these criteria up front at the beginning of the course. The description or statement of criteria provides learners with clear guidance on your expectations and the required components of coursework and participation. The criteria give learners the information they need to understand how a grade or score on an assignment or activity will be calculated.

Explain how successful completion of the course will be recognized. If the course does not grant academic credit, specify the form of recognition to be received for completion of the course. Examples include

  • Pass/fail grade
  • Professional certification
  • Printed certificate of completion
  • Verification of participation


We all learn differently, and we want every student to succeed. If you have a learning need or disability, please contact us as soon as possible so we can provide you with appropriate accommodations.  

Technical Requirements

Required: Here in the syllabus as well as in an introductory email, provide learners with detailed, clearly worded information about the technologies they will need throughout the course. These technologies could include hardware, software, subscriptions, plug-ins and the like.  Link to download and help resources.  Provide appropriate contact information for additional assistance. 

Learners will also need some technical skills, which might include

  • Using the learning management system
  • Sending and receiving an email with attachments
  • Creating and submitting files in commonly used word processing formats
  • Copying and pasting
  • Downloading and installing software
  • Using spreadsheet programs
  • Using presentation and graphics programs

See our Getting Started with Canvas page for short tutorial videos to provide an overview of Canvas.  When accessing your Canvas course from your mobile device, DO NOT use the Canvas Student App.

Access your course by logging into your MU Extension account and selecting My Online Courses. For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome as your browser (Safari for Macintosh). If you don't have Google Chrome installed on your computer, you can download the latest version.

If you have questions or need additional help, please please email   Customer Support. You can find more information on the technical requirements on the Canvas website.