Chevron Left
Back to Big History: Connecting Knowledge

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Big History: Connecting Knowledge by Macquarie University

1,693 ratings

About the Course

We currently face unprecedented challenges on a global scale. These problems do not neatly fall into disciplines. They are complicated, complex, and connected. Join us on this epic journey of 13.8 billion years starting at the Big Bang and travelling through time all the way to the future. Discover the connections in our world, the power of collective learning, how our universe and our world has evolved from incredible simplicity to ever-increasing complexity. Experience our modern scientific origin story through Big History and discover the important links between past, current, and future events. You will find two different types of lectures. ‘Zooming In’ lectures from multiple specialists enable you to understand key concepts through the lens of different disciplines, whilst David Christian's ‘Big History Framework’ lectures provide the connective overview for a journey through eight thresholds of Big History....

Top reviews


Jul 1, 2020

I absolutely LOVED Big History! It's so interesting and insightful!! I highly recommend everyone to take this course, you will learn a lot about the world! Thank you Professor Christian and Baker!! :)


Jan 6, 2016

Finally! A creation myth based on evidence and multiple scientific disciplines for all humans is here! The time for stories based on speculation and superstition for the chosen group is finally over.

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 456 Reviews for Big History: Connecting Knowledge

By Leandro A R

Apr 8, 2016

Excellent lecturers and high-quality material to study, although the course is heavily centered on human History as opposed to Big History - i.e. early Universe and its development over a time span of billions of years.

By Yap Y Z A

Oct 1, 2016

This is a fantastic and comprehensive course. If I had to nit-pick, it would be questioning the particular coverage placed upon China in the sub-topic of "How did Modernity evolve after the Industrial Revolution?" and the seemingly critical view taken towards its modernisation.

One point in particular was "We've achieved a war over nature. Where we've done it, there's a cost to ourselves, as the intensifying flooding in Shanghai often illustrates. Early in October 2013, Shanghai was hit by two typhoons which came together and saturated Shanghai with the heaviest rainfall ever recorded." I'm not a Chinese citizen, but it sounded to me like China received her due comeuppance, which I felt was a little uncalled for.

While China's trade opening may be significant in world trade, I'm not sure if the particular in-depth coverage on China in relevance to the question, is a stretch.

By Anna K

May 24, 2016

This is definitely my favorite course on Coursera and anywhere else in internet! So glad I accidentally ran into it! Under a name that doesn't tell much about the content there is a real jewel - a multidisciplinary course that is truly able to connect many of the dots and make perfect sense of all these endless math and science, history and many other classes we all had to sit throughout our school years. I loved every minute of this course, all the experts zooming into subjects, all of additional materials (especially Crushcourse videos). Big History course is awesome for those always asking "but why?" questions. A very big thank you to The Big History course team for finding time and passion for making it available to everyone in the world!

By Coker M O

May 8, 2020

It was a very long, but short journey that started 13.8 billion years ago and will probably last until the last star dies out trillions of years from now. I really all the experts who took time out to educate me about many concepts that I have never heard before in my life. My favorite was the lecture about Knowledge Testing using evidence, logic, authority, and intuition to accept or reject new or old information. I will apply for a scholarship to study this course at an undergraduate degree. Thank you, David Christian. Thank you so much. I am now a believer with a very high affinity to know more about what else Big History has to offer.

By Pearl C

Aug 5, 2017

Astounding. I never stopped whining about it to everyone I knew because it was so eye-opening and actually enjoyable? I found myself engaged throughout and I didn't have to worry toooo much about understanding absolutely everything to get the bigger picture. I love the variety of options we got in resources and this has helped me in many of my other subjects at school because it's such an expansive (but not overwhelming) course. I actually find myself rather infuriated that it's not already part of the syllabus as this information is so pertinent to our current generation!

By Jignesh P

Feb 28, 2021

The course gave me completely different view and insight about our universe and history. I was not aware of stretching the human history all the way to origin of the universe, thus cross connecting various disciplines and telling a single story of ourselves. I was also impressed by logical splitting of the history in increasing complexity and how we can extrapolate that into the future. Having a science and engineering background, I had some knowledge of the physical (natural) universe, but I loved that how we can integrate it with the biological one. Great course!!!

By Willemijn L

Apr 24, 2016

I loved every minute of this course. I only watched the video's because of lack of time, but really was sorry when reaching the end. Iit is packed full with (new) insights, very entertaining with excellent quality images, comments from the various lecturers that will make you think in a more balanced way about the world we live in.

I did not know about Big History and signed up out of curiosity. However, I believe it should be mandatory for everybody to get this kind of connection of various disciplines to understand more of what got us here.

Strongly recommended!

By David D

Sep 21, 2016

Totally enjoyable. The videos are professional, varied and so informative. Comparing the quiz to some others , I found they were better formulated and less ambiguous.

Personally I feel I learned an amazing amount in a short time span and bother the content and pace were stimulating! so bravo!

This is the type of general knowledge everyone should have but probably 90 % only have a rough, inaccurate or no awareness whatsoever. This could be run even at the school level, it could stimulate future scientists.

By rachel v

Feb 10, 2021

Didn’t like this course

By Jan N

Jan 17, 2016

The course is very nicely done and well organized. The fundamental organization around sources of learning and the progression of lessons are well done and strongly support knowledge building. Some of the speakers have verbal patterns or flows of speaking that can be a bit distracting, but they are all interesting and informative. I like that you can also download transcripts. I am a very visual learner whose mind tends to wander off when faced with a talking head. Having the transcript to follow as I listen allowed me to highlight and make notes while listening, ensuring greater attention to the content. Ultimately, I made the decision to not finish the course. Not because the course was not well done but because it doesn't align with my own interests in systems thinking and complexity. It is a good course and well worth engaging in, even if you discover, as I did, that it doesn't quite match one's learning needs. I do recommend it if you are interested in cosmology and theories related to the origins of the universe.

By aneli h

Nov 26, 2018


By Rees D B

Mar 19, 2021

Big History is the best, most exciting online course I've ever experienced! Course design and implementation are superb - drawing together substance and process from many disciplines contributing to our current understanding of the Universe. Encompassing the scope of 13.8 billion years in such an engaging, inclusive and enlightening manner is a brilliant achievement.

The openness of this course is demonstrated through inclusion of experts from a wide range of science and humanities disciplines. For this reason it has enormous potential for embracing a wide range of learners' world views. [One suggestion, having read the small number of vehemently dismissive reviews, would be to also consider inclusion of a theological expert's perspective.]

The four-pronged Claim Tester tool applied throughout the course has wide applicability in this age of social media bubbles and misinformation.

I'm a retired educator seeking to learn how humanity is going to achieve the transformation in consciousness essential for following a path that will enable our young people and future generations to lead fulfilling lives on a healthy planet (Threshold Nine). This course makes a significant contribution to that goal.

Congratulations and my deep appreciation to all involved and Macquarie Uni for making this course so accessible. AWESOME!

By Cristian M

Jun 14, 2020

The Big history story seems fascinating, as it provides a good summary of our current understanding about our origins – how were the stars and planets formed, and how did life on earth emerged – and gives us clues about the future evolution of humanity, and the future of life as we know it. It was interesting to learn about the role of transdisciplinarity in this story, and to think seriously on possible future scenarios of how the universe, stars, and life on earth will evolve, acknowledging at the same time that this approach still has many holes, as there are a lot of things that we don't understand. For example, we don't understand why the Big Bang happened? Or what is dark matter and dark energy, which together constitute more than 90% of all matter in the universe. This implies that the search for a better understanding of how to cope with the challenges we will face in the future will continue, challenges which become much more obvious in our post Covid19 world.

By Amit K P

Oct 29, 2020

Before taking the course I am so narrow minded about other disciplines of science, I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Physics and by far Physics and Math’s is only my favorite and essential subject. But by taking this course I realize that others subjects are important and interesting too. From this course I came cross Biology, chemistry, history, geography , Palaeontology, Archaeology and many more. I have came across these subjects through out this course and realize it’s a great thing to appreciate all type of science and arts not just focused on a subject without having any knowledge about other exiting subjects. To study and explore the Big History we in fact need to know about all of the mentioned subjects and have some knowledge every subject to know about our exitance in this universe.

By Shon O

Jun 11, 2020

This was my first online course and an amazing experience for me. As a linguist who teaches History of the English Language and history of the English-speaking countries I have got many fresh ideas for my lectures as well as interpreting my knowledge. One of them is introducing claim testers as means of developing critical thinking. I really discovered many things for myself. Had to revise my knowledge of physics and chemistry but I love the challenge! I express my gratitude to the creators of the course, the lecturers, the presenters and my fellow students who appreciated my efforts of writing my essay. The course is fantastic, well-structured, informative and challenging and I should say, essential for understanding our past, present and future. I highly recommend it.

By Norma G L A

Sep 1, 2020

In this course “Big History, connecting knowedge”, I became aware of learning reflection and the importance to be active in learning, in my personal search ,that make sense to give my live to my grandchildren, to my family, to my city,to our environment, our world, because we all are connected in a historical continuum, thus it is full of meaning and love to our Creator who made the stars, the Universe and my self 13.8 billion years ago, about Big Bang.

I also find from this course that we are star stuff, about the memories of my mother 91 years old some days before she died, she said- Lord Jesus told me when I die I will become a star-. Thank You to all the researchers, all professor all my classmates, also to Lucy in the Sky, makes me cry.

By Mark P

May 30, 2020

Big History: Connecting Knowledge is a fantastic course. Big History should be a required component of the modern education program. It offers a big perspective of past events and promotes and understanding and appreciation of the various fields of knowledge that help us understand the world around us. In light of the near-future challenges facing our world, this course has arrived just in time. It offers a valuable tool for understanding world education and culture. I am delighted that Dr. David Christian lead the wonderful team of teachers for this class. And of course, John and Hank Green were a special treat. Many thanks to Coursera - one of the great things to come from the internet.

By Samuel S

Aug 6, 2022

An extremely exciting transdiscplinary course which develops and changes your understanding of the world through developing critical thinking skills. Through showing patterns through time, across 13.8 billions years from the Big Bang to the future, I have been able to gain a unique understanding through David Christian's worldview which shows how increases in complexity over time have led us to exist. In whichever disciplines you may be interested in: from history to physics, languages to mathematics, biology to chemistry, or astronomy to geology; this course will be extremely exciting and helpful to you.

By Julika M B

Sep 15, 2020

The most fun and challenge I have had with a subject in years. I am an eclectic thinker and this course provided me with the means, through critical thinking and exploring different sources, to gain a perspective that I do believe is life changing. I have entered a paradigm shift in my understanding of mankind's place in the universe and our collective responsibilities to the next generation. It is not platitudes to talk about caring for the earth and each other, it is a grave responsibility. We have come to far to mess this up. Thank you.

By F M

Sep 30, 2020

As having completed the Big History course, I learned from our world history starting 13.8 billion years ago. What a journey we have achieved, it’s impressive how complexity has emerged from the last billions of years. Now I have learned about our cosmic and human revolution. To emerge new things, we should take a look in the past. If you want to learn about this wonderful story, I highly recommend you doing this course. Believe me, you won’t regret it. Thank you very much Christian and Baker for creating this amazing course!

By Taryn W

Feb 27, 2016

This course is blowing my mind (in a good way). It has been a long time since I've felt the wonder of the world (and universe) of which I am a part. In addition, this course is expanding the language with which I can talk about and understand my environments (new and old). The information is well-organised and concise and the resources are a good blend of academic, creative, informative and fun and the lecturers are knowledgable and passionate. I hope this field floods the world's places of education.

By Armand V N

Sep 27, 2016

The discovery of David Christians approach, first by reading his "Maps of Time" and listening to some of his presentations on-line, then by attending this course was an eye-opener to me. I now try to explain the importance of the subject to as many people as I can. Not only adults or university students, but mid-level students as well deserve to be exposed to the view of Big History, It changes one's perceptions of the past and enhances one's apprehensions of the future.

By Terezinha M M

Oct 19, 2017

Este é o meu primeiro curso e gostei demais. Tive dificuldades porque não sou fluente em inglês. Para compreender a matéria, tive que traduzir tudo, mesmo assim valeu a pena. Por não saber, deixei de participar do forum, o que teria me ajudado ainda mais. Acredito que a troca de conhecimento ajuda muito os alunos a compreenderem e participarem dos cursos. O curso também cumpre uma metodologia que faz o aluno pensar, ao invés de oferecer respostas prontas. Muito bom!

By Carlos A P

Jul 26, 2016

The high quality of videos and content makes this course an outstanding, fantastic and entertainment MOOC course for everyone who wish to learn the big history that is hidding in the Universe. Thanks coursera and macquare University for let us access to this beatiful show of altruism and openness, both of you deserve not only a big five star but a great standing applasue. Congratulations great course.

All my best Coursera community,

Carlos Arturo Pimentel.

By Alice Z

Nov 22, 2015

They speak clearly, allowing differences of opinions without insulting beliefs, break each segment into the components parts and giving current information on each so that a student has sufficient information to decide - and enjoy the 'claim tests'.

I have taken coursera courses in each of the segments as well as having higher ed in some that are nice to get up-to-date - and all in one place - to begin to see what Alex Humboldt called the web of the world.