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

4.8
stars
584 ratings
167 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: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/courses/paleontology-vertebrate-evolution...

Top reviews

TO

Jun 21, 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.

JC

Mar 03, 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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151 - 165 of 165 Reviews for Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution

By Arash R B

Nov 15, 2018

A great course with useful and complete information. The only negative point is that there were not enough assignments for practicing and remembering.

By John P

Mar 03, 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 03, 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 01, 2019

Amazing information, but the instructor is a little distracting.

By Richard K

May 17, 2017

Well organized and excellent presenter.

By Francine

May 27, 2016

Very interesting and entertaining!

By サフイア ワ

Sep 20, 2017

très bien expliqué

By Daniel D J

Dec 04, 2019

t

By DC

Jun 15, 2018

The information presented was very good, though the heavy use of scientific names for various grades, clades, physical features, and assorted trait classifications was kind of overwhelming for such a short and introductory course. Perhaps the lectures could be broken up into shorter videos to have a narrower field of coverage for each one, so only a few new terms are presented at a time. The phylogenetic tree viewer still had many "locked" cards the last time I was sent to it, and no new organisms listed since module 1 or 2 even though many had already been discussed. The closed captioning and the sound seemed to be off in many places, though perhaps this was due to a poor wifi connection on my part.The biggest problem I had was with the presenter himself. Not only is he dressed like Indiana Jones for some odd reason; but his jerky, bouncy movements, exaggerated facial expressions, flailing hands and theatrical voice inflection made him VERY hard to watch and concentrate on the material presented. I actually had to pause quite a few times just to give myself a break from watching him twitching all over the place.

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 13, 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 02, 2016

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