WOW, I learned a lot form this and it was fairly educational but not overwhelming or difficult. This instructor really gets the points across without being to easy or hard. A very good class.
Celebrate your inner fish as you swim along with this awesome course charting our earliest ancestors. Very well constructed and delivered once again by the team at the University of Alberta.
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Although not as strong as the other palaeontology courses by the University of Alberta, the current courses takes much the same approach and uses the same teaching techniques as these other courses. As such, it easily and effectively gets the millions of years of early vertebrate evolution across clearly and concisely. The video lectures are both interactive and fun, and the course notes are both informative and well adjusted to the video lectures. If there is anything to be remarked upon, then it's the slight lack of depth as pertains to the material covered. This, however, is hardly surprising considering the highly complex material (drawing from fields as osteology, paleoecology, evolutionary and developmental biology, palaeontology and more), the speed at which it is discussed, and the level of accessibility that is provided. Overall, a very good course, and one I very much enjoyed following!
By Robert C D J•
While I don't believe in evolution, I'm very surprised that the university would subscribe to the notion that all land vertebrates came from some creature in the ocean. Overall, the presentation of the information given could have been a bit more cleaner and steam-lined, rather than attempting to give an abundance of information that pushed the notion that every living thing on this earth came from some aquatic form. The presenter could have been a bit older, possibly someone who had a bit more experience in the field, rather than a twerp who looked like he just came out of puberty. And he talked with this hands too much. Overall, however, just to get some online classes under my belt, in a subject that I'm very interested in, i'd recommend this class as part of an introduction to paleontology itself.
By Evelyn T•
Really enjoyed this course-- it was a little more difficult than Dino Paleobology101 but that's totally fine. I didn't particularly enjoy the long chapters about rocks and types of environments (although I understand that it's important to know to understand fossil preservation and the environment that the animals had lived in) but the rest was all really great. Looking forward to the next few courses in this series.
By Francisco L A B•
The course is very well structured, and the drawings are fantastic to help the people visualise the different vertebrates that lived once on the planet. However, I found that it would be more dynamic for the course to have short animations of those fishes while the subject is being explained in the background. I guess it would catch more the viewer's attention throughout the course.
By Daniëlle v d B•
A great way of getting me more familiar with palaeontology. With a background in biology, I had already a basic understanding of phylogeny but in this course, that was quickly explained and then moved onto other things that perfectly fitted my level of learning. I learned a lot and loved all the examples of different genera and different types of fish and early tetrapods.
By Zoltán V•
The professor could have been a bit more serious, he acted as if he was a kindergarden teacher. Seriously: do you really need to imitate with your hand how a fish swims? I don't think so.
Also, the pronounciation of the latin words was horrible - then again, all native English speakers have problems with it, so don't take this remark personally.
By Om M V•
A very detailed, comprehensive course for those interested in Vertebrate Evolution and have no background in Palaeontology. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. My sincere thanks to the University of Alberta and all its faculties involved with this course. I hope to see many more such courses on Coursera!
By Alexis P•
Very interesting and compelling course, and I liked the questions every few minutes during the lectures as that helps me to retain information.
My only complaint is that the lecturer's manner of speaking is very rhythmic and repetitive and that makes it kind of hard to lose track of his words.
By Charles R B•
Very fast short course, which does not go into much detail. Once again, the quiz questions are far too few to make a comprehensive test of knowledge. Save your $ for an actual full-on rated University credit course, with 30 hrs of lecture and 60 hours of homework/study/lab work.
By Paul A K•
All the anatomical details of early fishes got a bit too dense for me to fully absorb but I enjoyed learning about this crucial period of tetrepod evolution. There were certainly some strange looking creatures in the early seas.
By Karthy S•
I have learned so much from this course, thanks to Coursera and University of Alberta. This course is highly recommended for students with a passion for Evolution and Phylogeny. The handouts are also very useful.
By Henry F G•
I believe the course should have been six weeks long instead of four. I enjoyed the course, however should have contained more detail and the quizzes should have had more questions, at least ten.
By Lloyd V C•
Overall very interesting course and videos. It would be nice to have a page at the end of the course showing the evolution of each fish discussed (along with features and timeline).