All course information is listed within this syllabus.

ANSC 100: Introduction to Animal Industries (3 credits). An introductory course for undergraduates or consumers wishing to become better informed about animal biology, care, economics, industry structure, and mechanisms to guard the safety and wholesomeness of animal products.

Prerequisites: None

ANSC 100 fulfills a general education requirement for natural sciences (GN).


Instructor for ANSC 100.

Dr. Robert Mikesell
Teaching Professor
Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Animal Science Major

Department of Animal Science
109E Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building
University Park, PA 16802

E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

If you have a question, please e-mail me through Canvas Inbox or pick up the phone and call 814-865-2987. If I don't answer, leave a message. I may be on a tractor making hay or breeding a cow but I will try to respond within 24 hours.

Course Overview

This course will introduce students to the breadth and scope of animal agriculture in North America with an emphasis on food-producing animals. Additionally, fiber-producing animals, pets, pleasure animals, and alternative livestock will also be studied. Students will be exposed to biological concepts and their relationship to contemporary production systems, economics, terminology, and industry issues to enhance understanding of and appreciation for the various uses of animals in North America. The course will be available in a web-based format with extensive use of video tours of animal housing facilities, expert interviews, and explanations of the biology behind common production practices and will be offered annually during spring and summer semesters.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • differentiate among uses of domestic animals in North America
  • chart the scope of animal agriculture in North America
  • correctly use terminology associated with animal agriculture
  • describe common contemporary animal production systems
  • critically analyze controversial issues in animal agriculture
  • accurately depict the organization of North American animal industries
  • list and describe common quality assurance and food safety practices
  • students will integrate science, economics, and societal dogma in relation to animal agriculture

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Class Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures described herein will be strictly enforced to ensure fairness for all students.

Grade Disputes

Any disputes must be resolved with the instructors within 48 hours after the grade is posted on Canvas. All questions/concerns about the final course grade must be presented to the instructors within 48 hours of the grade being assigned.

Assigned Readings

It is important that you read the assigned chapters in the text and all online readings.

Course Materials

Most World Campus courses require that students purchase materials (e.g., textbooks, specific software, etc.). To learn about how to order materials, please see the Course Materials page. You should check the World Campus Course Catalog approximately 3–4 weeks before the course begins for a list of required materials.


Selected e-chapters (4, 6, 8–12) from:

ISBN: 978-1435486379
Mikesell, R., & Baker, M. (2011). Animal Science Biology and Technology (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning.

You may purchase hard copies of the entire text, the entire digital text, or digital copies of only the necessary chapters on the Cengage website.

Additional Readings

This course requires that you access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course. You can access these materials by selecting Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, or by accessing the Library E-Reserves Search and searching for your instructor's last name.

It is important that you read the assigned chapters in the text and all online readings.


I will do my best to have your assignments graded within one week.

Grades will be based on the following assignments:

  1. Introduce Yourself (1%) — In the assigned chat room, each student must offer an introduction. Full credit will be awarded if the introduction is completed and submitted on time. Introductions are due by 11:55 p.m. Sunday at the end of week 1.
  2. Identifying Credible Sources of Information (1%) — In this assignment, students complete a library module specially created for Evaluating Agricultural Sources. Students will learn the differences between major types of information sources as well as strategies for evaluating the quality and credibility of sources.
  3. Discussions (30%) — Students will be required to participate in class discussions, and answer or ask THOUGHTFUL questions AT LEAST three times per week for Modules 1–15. Higher levels of participation are certainly encouraged and will create an improved class experience. You are encouraged to use the internet to help answer classmates' questions. Discussion posts must be substantial and thoughtful.
  4. Module Quizzes (28%) — At the conclusion of Modules 1 through 15, learners will take a timed, 25-question quiz to determine the learner's mastery of the subject matter. Quizzes will be available on Canvas for a period of two weeks (one week prior to the weekly unit until one week following a given unit). This policy allows learners some flexibility in taking quizzes if they fall behind or wish to work a week ahead. Quizzes will consist of 25 multiple-choice, True/False, or very short answer questions derived from the reading material as well as material presented in the module. The lowest quiz score will be dropped in fall and spring terms. In summer, there are only 14 required quizzes; Module 10 is optional.
  5. Midterm Exams 26% (2 x 13% each) — Two midterms will be administered via Canvas at the end of Modules 5 and 9.
  6. Final Exam (14%) — Approximately three-fifths of the points for the final exam will cover Modules 11–15. The remainder of the final will be comprehensive.

Grading Policy

The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Number Cumulative Point Value Weight
Introductory Discussion 1 1 1%
Identifying Credible Sources of Information 1 1 1%
Discussions 15 30 30%
Quizzes (14) 14 28 28%
Midterm Exams 2 30 26%
Final Exam 1 25 14%
TOTAL: --- 115 100%

The following table is the grading scheme for the course.

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage
A 100% – 92%
A- < 92% – 89%
B+ < 89% – 87%
B < 87% – 82%
B- < 82% – 79%
C+ < 79% – 77%
C < 77% – 69%
D < 69% – 59%
F < 59%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian. It is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it is assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the internet.

Getting Help With Canvas Courses

Canvas support is available 24/7 via chat or phone.

It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Try to include information such as the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Support Services

As a student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the following resources for more information:

Accessibility Information


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Penn State Policies

Login Policy

Students are expected to log in regularly to keep up to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Course Availability

Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures, and the Code of Conduct).

Please read the academic integrity guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's academic integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff, and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity on the Bias Response page.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their Web Privacy Statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff page for information regarding its rules governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD40, Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services, addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under federal and state laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The University offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Accommodations for Persons With Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources page.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus' disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search to start planning ahead.