Great fun, I really enjoyed this course. Sometimes the dialogue was somewhat repetitive but overall you can see a lot of effort went into finding experts and giving quality, accompanying video clips.
So interesting! So well made, every lesson is thought out the interactive mountain map was a joy to complete each time! Incredibly thoughtful and sensitive to every aspect that touches the mountains.
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The course did an excellent job of providing a broad overview of mountains, from many interesting and important perspectives. So it was completely successful in its primary goal as a 101 course. I also really enjoyed the map section. It was a good decision to bring in different experts to add variety to the videos.
Some constructive feedback:
The quiz questions need some polish, in particular, the "select all that apply" questions. Also, because Coursera randomizes the order of answers, some choices like "all of the above" simply do not work.
The course notes could easily be improved with some nicer formatting. They also do not always cover every question on the quiz, which would be nice for students who want to revisit parts they got wrong or didn't feel solid on.
I believe that the tech tips will only be useful for a very small number of viewers. The idea of a quick tip on a related topic to the week's lesson probably sounded great, but the end result was far too superficial to be of any use. For example, instead of listing various navigation equipment and telling viewers to practice before heading out, it would have been more helpful to just pick one and give pointers on how to use it correctly.
The sections of video where David is talking with an expert are very awkward. I know it's surprisingly hard to pull off, but those scenes really should have been rewritten when it was clear how wooden the interaction was. The question and answers are very unnatural, and the slow walking toward the camera is so clearly contrived as to be distracting. At the very least, fade the scene in with them already walking, rather than have a beat with them just standing still before starting their next take.
That last point isn't a big deal, of course. Students didn't take the course to see great acting. And in general, the videos were good enough. But the production values can only slip so much before flaws begin calling attention to themselves and begin to distract from the material. Maybe one final point on the videos; Zac, was generally able to read the script more naturally, but David's earnestness endeared him to me more.
As I said at the top, I think Mountains 101 largely succeeded at what it set out to do, and I am glad I took it. Some polish on a few areas would have improved my experience somewhat, but even as is, I would recommend this course to others. Thanks for doing it! I can only imagine how many hours on the script and in front of the greenscreen David and Zac must have spent.
By Arkady S•
Very pleasant and interesting course covering a broad range of topics on Mountains. I really enjoyed taking it!
However, I would have loved to see a little more depths and focus on more technical parts of each lesson. For example, how the pressure changes cause circulation patterns around the globe could have been explained more in depth, as well as more about geology.
I also felt that the tech tips were very basic and not useful for people who have experience going into mountains, and for people who don't have that experience, they are both too shallow and a little overwhelming. I think the best way of getting out into nature and exploring mountains is to do it a little at a time, starting small and getting a feel for what you're comfortable with. The tech tips imply that you need a lot of expensive gear all the time to be able to enjoy the mountains which is an idea that holds a lot of people back from going out and exploring. It can be very challenging for people without the financial means to get all the gear, so when they see it in the tech tips, they can be overwhelmed and discouraged from learning through experience.
By Joy S•
The course itself is great, wonderful, special. However, and I blame Coursera for this rather than the University of Alberta, when I was trying to re-attempt the final, week 12 quiz, suddenly I was unable to access the course at all: instead every link now goes to the course description/sign-up page. So: now completely inaccessible, I cannot finish or pass this course. I have, in recent weeks had to re-sign up for several courses that I had partially done and then put on hold by switching dates. I think due to Coursera's addition of the greedy money-grubbing green banner ad attempting to get me to subscribe. Not only does every page now take even longer to load but it has messed up access to supposedly free content.
By Lorenzo B•
Great introductory course to Mountains in all of its aspects.
I found some of the lessons a little superficial and I was hoping to acquire some deeper knowledge, especially concerning geology, snow, weather patterns and mountain cultures. It feels more like a divulgative course/documentary for the general public than a university course. I do have some experience in mountains, though.
The lessons on altitude adaptations of plants and animals where insightful. and I enjoyed the interviews to different experts.
I finished it learning more about mountains then when I started and I enjoyed listening to it.
By Corey B•
Awesome content. Really inspired me to bring out my love for biology, chemistry and nature. The downside is that in order to fully absorb the content, its necessary to take notes while watching the lectures. This added effort turns what says is a 20 minute lesson into an hour at the very least. Besides the time consuming nature of this course, it was awesome. I love the awareness that it brings to people from all disciplines about the potential harms that we are creating for our environment.
Excellent course, interesting and wide-ranging in the selection of topics. As a student from Africa I would have liked a bit more of an international flavour, particularly around the dependency of populations on rapidly degrading mountain environments. The course is a bit Canada-centric, which is also very interesting for us foreigners, who envy the resources you can bring to the protection and study of mountains.
By Andrea G•
I found it to be a great way to learn and expand my knowledge of mountains. However I sometimes found the videos or additional information a bit distracting at times. But maybe I was also expecting something a little more scientific or focused on the building, formation, and science of mountains from a strictly geological aspect. Anyways still very happy I participated and experienced this course!
By Elena M•
This was a great course. I am retired so I do not want extremely high level courses with quizzes that are very hard to pass. I feel this course was respectful of learners intelligence without going over the top. Well presented topics made it enjoyable. Also liked the interactive map learning, and tech tips. Thank you.
By Kevin J C•
Was very interesting until the last lesson. Don't agree with the whole man made climate change theory so it seemed to detract from the course, as did the cameo from our poor excuse for a prime minister. Skipping those parts made no difference in the course outcome so all good. Thanks for the rest of it tho.