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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Planet Earth...and You! by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

511 ratings

About the Course

Earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, ice ages, landslides, floods, life evolution, plate motions—all of these phenomena have interacted over the vast expanses of deep time to sculpt the dynamic planet that we live on today. Planet Earth presents an overview of several aspects of our home, from a geological perspective. We begin with earthquakes—what they are, what causes them, what effects they have, and what we can do about them. We will emphasize that plate tectonics—the grand unifying theory of geology—explains how the map of our planet's surface has changed radically over geologic time, and why present-day geologic activity—including a variety of devastating natural disasters such as earthquakes—occur where they do. We consider volcanoes, types of eruptions, and typical rocks found there. Finally, we will delve into the processes that produce the energy and mineral resources that modern society depends on, to help understand the context of the environment and sustainability challenges that we will face in the future....

Top reviews


Jun 20, 2020

Excellent course. The content was well delivered. If you are not a geology student and don't intend to be one but wish to find out more about the planet you lived on, this is the course for you.


Jul 21, 2020

Best course I have taken out of all the courses. It is presented really well, easy to understand and there is a lot of thought put in the creation of the materials and assignments

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1 - 25 of 88 Reviews for Planet Earth...and You!

By Ibrahim K

Aug 11, 2020

Excellent Course for Geoscience students! Lab parts are so challenging and informative. I really enjoy this course. The explanations are clear. The forum parts a bit tiring.

By Sebastian P

Jul 23, 2017

Very good information - I loved the Google Earth Labs you guys set up for us. Really useful and a fun way to connect knowledge with real life.

By Megan C S Y

Jun 24, 2020

I enjoyed Planet Earth... and You! very much. The content of all five modules flowed naturally with the next, and it was thus easy to understand and take in all the material. The use of Google Earth Pro for the Lab assignments was also very interesting - in no other course can you travel around the world from the comfort of your home to identify the various features learnt in the lectures.


Jan 15, 2021

Lectures are well explained and clear. One of the most interesting course that you will not get bored going through. The labs made use of Google Earth which takes you around the world looking at geological features. The discussions are fun and made you expresses how you feel about the scenario given.

By Ng Y Z S

May 23, 2020

The professors make learning fun and fruitful. This course is interesting and provides great insights into Mother Nature and why we should protect the one and only home we have.

By Suzan H

Sep 11, 2017

This is the second time that I took this course. It was more in depth in topics than the original course, and I enjoyed it. Good presentation. Thank you.

By Amber B

Aug 13, 2017

You have to purchase (50 dollars!) the entire course in order to do the quizzes and assignments....that ruined the entire course for me.

By Leonardo M

May 6, 2020

The course is very useful, the teacher explains clearly and provides a solid foundation. I am fully satisfied.

By Mariusz K

Oct 11, 2017

Nice entry to geology.

By Phyllis C

Dec 11, 2020

I enjoyed the course, particularly the lectures because it was as if I was being told a story that I had long forgotten. I was mesmerized video after video. My only criticism is not being able to select the right measurements off of Google Earth during the labs more than once and I never did figure out the plate motion calculator. Instructions for how to applicably use this could have been a little more explicit. And I ran into a couple of links that were no longer functioning that was disappointing. If someone would spend the time auditing the course to ensure that it is working as intended, you would not hear of any further issues down the road.

By Chua W Q

Jul 27, 2020

Q: Where is it always 90 degrees, but never hot?

It has been a great course, and I especially like the case studies that come with it. The most unforgettable one was the earthquake case study of Pompeii in 79 A.D. (which allowed me to finally understand why Bastille named his song Pompeii!). The lessons on mining were also interesting as I got to understand the changes in the mining industry throughout history. I especially enjoyed the lab lessons and getting to see geographic landmarks, allowing me to apply knowledge into real-life applications. Thank you for this well thought out module!

A: The North and South Poles


By Felipe N

May 23, 2019

An incredible course with incredible teachers and full of new and complex information. It was a dream to study this subject and now I'm trained and certified. Thank you for this opportunity to share and acquire more knowledge on this subject that is increasingly important to know, after all, the world needs to be studied and known so that our decisions are rational and not harmful to the environment. Finally, I hope that someday I will be able to study at the University of Illinois.

By Vincent T T A

Jul 5, 2020

I'm astounded at how in depth the course's resources is, the weekly quizzes, assignments and lab sessions really opened my eyes to the geology of our planet earth. I now see the connection between mankind's action and the earth's impact, as well as understood the role I play in taking better care of our planet. Special thanks for Dr Marshak and Dr Herrstrom, I'm humbled to have been their student for these past 5 weeks!

By Jola F

Jun 7, 2019

I love this course, though I have only audited it - I am going to do the whole course when I have more time! Professor Marshak teaches with ease, engages students and makes geology a passionate subject matter. I would love to see more courses by Him covering the other chapters of his book Essentials of geology. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand science in action.

By Aljosa V

Jan 24, 2022

Great course, very thorough course.

The only thing I would like is less emphasis on week 5 fossil fuel resources (since we are transitioning away from this), and more on geothermal resources. It would also be great if we could learn and intepret geological survey maps, and explore the different rock and particularly soil types (i.e. the different zones of soil) in more detail.

By Hong Y L

Jun 24, 2020

The Course itself brought me plenty of knowledges on Planet Earth by knowing the 5 different topics that have been taught. In this course i do not only just learn online lectures and quizzes but also given the opportunity to use Google Earth Pro and understanding the different features on Earth. This is a course that gives you plenty of knowledge on Planet Earth.

By Aw Z Y

May 23, 2020

The team put in a lot of effort to design this course regardless of the lectures, quizzes, lab assignments, peer-review assignments etc. Personally, I had a great time doing the lab assignments as several of them requires me to use the Google Earth app to do. I recommend everyone to take this course as it uses a novel approach to teach the course content.

By Rafael C

Sep 6, 2021

I liked a lot the course, it was a bit harder than I thought, maybe because I was very amateur and I knew less of geology related subjects than I thought, but I've learnt a lot of new exciting content that makes me want to know more about geology processes. Thanks for the couse! =)

By Dhanashree S C

Nov 17, 2020

Its the best course for geology lovers. The content is so well delivered even the lab assignments were very interesting and one can get good knowledge about google earth in this course. Students pursuing Civil engineering should absolutely do this course for basic knowledge.


Jul 30, 2020

I've enjoyed the course. I do not have much knowledge and information regarding certain aspects of this course. However, through the detailed lecture video, it helps me open up my perspective and knowledge. Importantly, I can better appreciate 'Earth', our home. Thank you.

By Teng W K

May 23, 2020

Material was extremely engaging and the use of Google Earth Pro was incredible! Lesson was well-designed and structured, extremely interactive and immersive. Assignments were short and sweet, allowed me to apply my learnings in a succinct manner. Highly recommend!

By Eileen H S Y

May 30, 2020

I enjoyed the course! While it was somewhat challenging as it was unrelated to my major, the content remained largely interesting! I found the assignments quite interesting (I took it fairly seriously) as I researched and read up on.

By Koh Y S M

Aug 14, 2020

Really good course overall, learnt a lot of intersting facts about geography. And had fruitful discussions in the forums when discussing with peers about our perspectives regarding the different scenarios listed in the course.

By Farhan A B

May 28, 2020

It was an excellent course ! Anyone from any field of study can learn a lot of things about geology and earth science. I just love the course and the the lab of the course too. Waiting for more courses like this in future.

By Jessica T

Aug 10, 2020

Lecturers could explain the topics very succinctly and clearly, to a geographic newbie like myself, and I've actually learnt a fair bit more about the state of our physical world around us! Highly recommended!