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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution by University of Alberta

982 ratings
272 reviews

About the Course

Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution is a four-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the origin of vertebrates. Students will explore the diversity of Palaeozoic lineages within a phylogenetic and evolutionary framework. This course examines the evolution of major vertebrate novelties including the origin of fins, jaws, and tetrapod limbs. Students also explore key Canadian fossil localities, including the Burgess Shale (British Columbia), Miguasha (Quebec), and Man On The Hill (Northwest Territories). Watch a preview of the course here:

Top reviews

Jun 20, 2016

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.

Mar 2, 2018

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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251 - 271 of 271 Reviews for Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution

By Mahendra A

Aug 23, 2020

This course is very informative to students as will as teaching profession, we learn basic concept about early vertebrates

By Cameron M

May 17, 2020

Interesting content and informative lectures. Wish the course was longer and more in depth on certain subjects.

By Zenab b

May 10, 2020

i really enjoyed it aloot and learn alooot of new knowledge about early vertebrates....thumbs up...

By (25) B Y

Jul 5, 2021

It was little hard to keep the names of all the strange named livings. Also the quizzes were hard.

By Vivek S

Jun 5, 2020

Nice Course on Early Vertebrate Evolution. The interactive sections of the course were Amazing.

By john p

Mar 3, 2018

Definitely an appetiser for the subject although the names and terminology are a challenge.

By pamela h

Oct 22, 2019

enjoyed the course very much, lots of good information in manageable pieces.

By Adam M

May 3, 2016

i like this. this is good. good can be fun. fun has rewards...yay, i win

By Clotilde D

Sep 28, 2019

Very interesting course and concepts clearly explained, thanks !

By Nicholas S

Jul 1, 2019

Amazing information, but the instructor is a little distracting.

By Kathryn M

Mar 22, 2021

Awesome information, easy to follow readings and videos.


Mar 28, 2020

Very interesting lesson , congratulation!

By Richard K

May 17, 2017

Well organized and excellent presenter.

By Francine

May 27, 2016

Very interesting and entertaining!

By K.Suriya R

May 15, 2020

Excellent Course...Loved it

By サフイア ワ

Sep 20, 2017

très bien expliqué

By Daniel D J

Dec 4, 2019


By Sachin R

Jul 22, 2017

This is a very informative course, but the information is extremely complicated. I had to go over the notes several times.

By Kent R C

Apr 24, 2018

Interesting, but assessments are too easy.

By Richard H

Aug 12, 2017

Three stars seems too much, two stars too few.

First and foremost, I couldn't stand the lecturer. The course description says "Taught by: Alison Murray, Ph.D, Associate Professor" but she never so much as appears on camera. Instead the material is delivered by some graduate student dressed up in what I would have assumed was a cartoonist's stereotype of paleontological field gear, and he has the most annoying, grating presentation style I've ever seen. I ended up covering his half of the screen with another window just to not have to watch him. Still had to listen to him though, delivering a script which I infer was written by Murray and other faculty. (I signed up for Ancient Marine Reptiles allegedly taught by Michael Caldwell and Halle P. Street — and in reality it was the same grad student. Same outfit. I said "oh no" and didn't continue. Couldn't take four more weeks of that guy.) Come on, how about courses taught by actual faculty members? Like The Science of the Solar System, taught by the engaging and accomplished Prof. Mike Brown, discoverer of Eris?

The material is largely "here's a Latin name of a family, here's a Latin name of a member of that family, here are some of its physiological characteristics (more unfamiliar vocabulary) — lather, rinse, repeat." Forget about passing the quizzes if you can't remember which Latin species name goes with which characteristics. I felt there was too much emphasis on individual species and not enough on overall concepts. I didn't feel I came away with a real understanding of what happened and why it happened in early vertebrate evolution... some of that was there, but it wasn't clear enough, obscured as it was by emphasis on vocabulary and rote description.

By Alma D

Apr 2, 2016

A jurassic park image, with material you can read by yourself?