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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Science Literacy by University of Alberta

93 ratings
39 reviews

About the Course

Fake news or good science? In a world where we have access to unlimited information, it is hard to sift through the echo chamber of opinions fueled by emotions and personal biases, rather than scientific evidence. Science Literacy will teach you about the process of science, how to think critically, how to differentiate science from pseudoscience, how indigenous wisdom can inform science, how to understand and design a scientific study, and how to critically evaluate scientific communication in the media. Every module will build your new skill-base with real life examples, and at the end of each module you will have to apply these skills to scientific questions, talking points and controversies in the world. Warning: this course requires an open mind and the ability to self-reflect. In Science Literacy, you’ll hear from special guests: Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and star of Netflix’s “A User's Guide to Cheating Death” on pseudoscience Dr. Torah Kachur, Scientist and CBC journalist on science communication (and miscommunication!) Christian Nelson, Citizen Scientist and creator of Edmonton Weather Nerdery, on experimental design Metis Elder Elmer Ghostkeeper and Cree Elder Kokum Rose Wabasca, on the holistic nature of Indigenous wisdom and how it can work with the scientific process Associate Professor in Psychology, Dr. David Rast on uncertainty and decision making...

Top reviews

Jan 1, 2021

This course was practical, informative and presented in an engaging manner. Anyone who wants to increase their science literacy or brush up their skills will find this course valuable.

Nov 29, 2020

Excellent course for the science-minded and those who aren't. The course study is definitely needed to help navigate the tsunami of info that can so easily drown us all.

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1 - 25 of 39 Reviews for Science Literacy

By Adam G

Nov 28, 2020

This course was a very well-delivered collection of scientific principles and critical thinking skills. It comes at a very pertinent time when the world is dealing with more uncertainty than ever, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. I believe that the spread of misinformation is a "great filter" for the human race, and will limit us from achieving our potential if we do not take an active role in quashing it. The presentation of the course varied, with videos, readings, assignments and quizzes. I felt this kept the content engaging and fit very well with the take-away lessons of forming your own conclusions through evidence-based thinking. I have a degree in science, and am passionate about the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, but this course has made me want to do more to help foster critical thinking and promote open data for a brighter future. Thanks to Claire, Rachel, and their guests for putting this together.

By Larry F

Nov 21, 2020

I enjoyed the pace of the course. The use of different type of media, evaluation tools and enthusiasm shown in the videos kept me challenged and involved. When I found myself challenged with the readings and content I knew that I would come out the other end of the lesson with the concepts in place. How? Because the design of the evaluations was built that way.

The relevance of the course with current issues made me think about interactions with science, social media and personalities around me. I practiced different scenarios using the skills I had obtained while interacting with the people around me.

I appreciated the positivity, enthusiasm, energy and depth of the course. I have recommended it to friends and family as a way to help navigate the current mire of our world.

Many thanks for your expertise and commitment to spreading the science.

RL Fisk

By Helene T

Nov 18, 2020

I found the weekly work quite heavy , particularly Module 5, as I work during the day and I am quite elderly. However, I enjoyed the course immensely and recommend it to those engaged in science or interested in science. Although I worked in clinical laboratories four decades ago before changing careers, and had a science background, it was great to refresh and relearn statistical concepts and become more familiar with the role of both traditional media and social media in the communication of science today. I am a great fan of Open Access publications as well and hope that Open Access will become ever more popular and acceptable as the scientific world evolves in the 21st Century. A sincere thank you to the course presenters.

By Marie N B

Nov 22, 2020

This course really helped me to enhance my critical thinking skills and continue to be skeptical with every information that I read or watch on the news or social media. I will use my learnings to spread it to the youth. THANK YOU!

By Markus W

Nov 8, 2020

Quirky content, long-winded, grammatical flaws in the wuizzes that makes some wuestions hard to understand. Intention and necessity of course are good, but execution is moderate (and level for beginners).

By Cassie P

Nov 23, 2020

Although science literacy is a very important subject, this course was flawed in several ways, and I would not recommend it to anyone. It seems like it was hastily thrown together without much review. The structure lacked cohesion and lessons seemed to jump around without much connection between each section. The presenters were condescending. There were several grammatical and spelling errors in the quizzes. And, although I appreciate giving indigenous scientists a voice, and indeed would like to see it happen more, they were not included in a way that made sense. Rather it seemed like they were included haphazardly to make sure the course checked off the diversity box. It has a lot of potential, but it has not met it.

By Keith M

Dec 17, 2020

Excellent course. Very informative. Provides the basic tools required to evaluate the veracity of health and science articles in print and online media. Stimulates much thought re the importance and relevance of good science esp in this covid/ fake news world we are confronted with on a daily basis. The course identifies and emphasizes the impeccable nature of good science practices and its importance in combating the endless stream of misinformation . The course will consolidate or initiate a faith in science for the believers and non believers alike. A very relevant course for these Covid times

By Kelly B

Dec 13, 2020

You may think that you are a logical and skeptical person and can see through much of the bias and rhetoric that comes at you, but take this course. You will be surprised at how much you have taken for granted from all the information bombarding you on a daily basis.

There are some great pointers for developing better methods to evaluate information and new sources for more disciplined and objective references presented in this course. Sign up! You will not be disapointed.

By Patti B

Jan 4, 2021

Very well put together course for all learners.

Knowing how to critical think is a lost art. This course should be provided over and over to capture more people. I agree with others in that the drag and drop exercises were somewhat tedious. But they were beneficial in the end. Thank you for this free course. I learned a lot.

By Cynthia D

Jan 10, 2021

I have learned so much, and really challenged myself, so thank you! I will look at things differently from now on, and feel more powerful in my choices and interpretations in the future. I believe every human should take this course, especially the ones with no or little formal science education prior (like me!).


By Philippe P M

Dec 17, 2020

Amazing job ladies, i enjoyed this science literacy course so much, it was generally easy understanding and explanations were concise except for maybe some drag and drop exercises were difficult, but I still learned and ultimately that's what matter, Thank you so much

By Joan G S B

Nov 27, 2020

I really learned a lot from this course. The topics and examples are very timely and relevant to the present situation. I enjoyed learning this course. It made me realized that there are so many things that I haven't known yet.

By Stephanie L

Jan 2, 2021

This course was practical, informative and presented in an engaging manner. Anyone who wants to increase their science literacy or brush up their skills will find this course valuable.

By Bev P

Nov 30, 2020

Excellent course for the science-minded and those who aren't. The course study is definitely needed to help navigate the tsunami of info that can so easily drown us all.

By Flavio G

Dec 16, 2020

A lot of interesting things for a (scientifically) illitterate as I am.

Relatively easy to follow, despite of my italian mother tongue. :-)

By Nathalie R

Nov 28, 2020

Feeling more comfortable around other people when we our discussion is about scientific studies.

By Wendy L C

Nov 19, 2020

Learning the ability to think critically is tough. This course is a great way to start.

By Rizzalie L J R

Dec 5, 2020

The best course that I have taken. Thank you! WIll always think critically.

By Jay G D

Jan 21, 2021

Thank you very much. This course is so timely. I highly recommend this.

By Steve M

Dec 1, 2020

Well put together with great examples and loved the videos!

By Judith R

Jan 9, 2021

excellent instruction and presentations

By R.E. o

Sep 10, 2020

very interesting

By Don M

Nov 30, 2020

Overall, this was good course. Most of the readings and videos were interesting. Some of the drag & drop exercises were excessively long and the fact that you had to start from scratch if you made an error made them irritating. On the positive side, I liked the instructors and their overall style and approach to the material. I also liked the interviews with Timothy Caulfield, and Torah Kachur, among others. There was lots of good information about the scientific method, logical fallacies, statistics, the peer-review process, and scientific communication (in the media and on social media) - all of the things I would expect in a course like this. Obviously, the course could not go into the details of how to perform some of the statistical calculations, but it did highlight the need for greater statistical education not just among the public, but among journalists, and scientists themselves. On the negative side, while the sections on indigenous knowledge were interesting, I don't think they were appropriate for this specific course since, as far as I'm aware, such knowledge was not gained through the use of the scientific method. I also felt in a few cases the discussions, questions, and issues were too political and designed to get students to associate certain policies and ideologies with scientific literacy. It's for those reasons I gave the course a 4 / 5 instead of 5 /5.

By Loretta H

Dec 1, 2020

The videos were very informative, interesting, and easy to understand, Presented information is a very clear and concise manner. Enjoyed watching the guest speaker presentation, they gave a different prespective on how to view science. The phrase modern science is about numbers and how, while the traditional view is about relationships and why, really had an impact on me. Some of the Drag and Drop were very confusing, and wasn't really connected to the information just presented. even after a couple attempts, i still had difficulty figuring out the correct answers.

By Annie F

Dec 7, 2020

The science that I learned in the course was fantastic. At first i couldn't get the drag and place to work which was frustrating , and I found for some of them I couldn't really understand the subtle differences of my mistakes in placing things in the wrong box. But what I learned about studies and how to look at them critically was fantastic. I live in a community with a large number of people who fall prey to internet garbage that influences their decisions. For example abut vaccines, there are still people here who believe that vaccine causes autism.