Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Anderson

Date of this Version

Winter 12-3-2021


Parrish, B. L. (2021). Utilizing Online Resources to Enhance Distribution of Competitive Animal Evaluation Knowledge and Benefits. (Masters thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Kathleen Anderson. Lincoln, Nebraska: November 2021

Copyright © 2021 Brooke L. Parrish


In recent years, the shift toward online education has revealed new challenges for learners to retain information, and for educators to find new and engaging ways to present content. This mixed methods, action research study explores the need and creation of online resources for competitive horse judging through surveys and pilot groups. The study was broken into four cycles. The first was an adult learner analysis survey, distributed through email Listservs and extension social media pages, to aid in answering the research questions: what expert horse judging instructors indicate their students should be learning, and what resources they need. Based off the feedback from the learner analysis survey, three online interactive modules were created including: What is a Horse Judging Contest?, Getting Started with Oral Reasons: Competitive Horse Judging, and The Basics of Conformation Evaluation. Cycle two was an expert panel review of each module. Cycle three and four were pilot/focus groups with 10 participants each from various locations across the United States. Cycle three was considered the experienced horse judging group, while Cycle four was the inexperienced group. Following each cycle, edits were made to improve the modules based off of reviewer feedback. Each reviewer in cycles three and four participated in individual interview and post surveys. Results found both the experienced and inexperienced group rated all three modules highly effective with least squares means estimates no lower than 7.8 out of 10 and highly valuable with least squares means estimates no lower than 8.3 out of 10, with 10 being “extremely effective” or “extremely valuable”. Moreover, this study shows the need and value of more online resources for horse judging and, these concepts could be applied to other competitive judging programs.

Advisor: Kathleen Anderson