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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Science Literacy by University of Alberta

4.4
stars
148 ratings
61 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

SL
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.

AG
Aug 26, 2021

A course that is fit for the times. Excellent resource for teachers like myself to help develop ideas to help high school students develop scientific and critical literacy.

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26 - 50 of 63 Reviews for Science Literacy

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 Tajbibi S

May 5, 2021

An eye opener course. Except for drag and drop

By Judith R

Jan 9, 2021

excellent instruction and presentations

By Daniele F

Sep 22, 2021

didático, digerível e rico.

By R.E. o

Sep 10, 2020

very interesting

By Beth r

Mar 5, 2021

I came to the course as a scientist and lecturer who wants to teach science literacy to college freshmen. I "knew" the value of science and the process, but I did not know the components that go into teaching it. The course was valuable to me. It inspired me to think about the process and to reflect on expereinces. It also provided great ideas on examples and apporaches to teaching to others. Thanks from Cornell University!

The interviews were helpful. The topics were relevant. The exercises were the least effective component, especially in weeks 4 and 5. I did not participate in the discussion forums, mainly in the intersts of time, but when I did look into the one for week 4, I saw that the comments were not cohesive nor helpful, anyway.

The gems of the course were 1. including traditional knowledge for consideration, 2. awarenwss of bias, 3. effects of uncertainty & hallmarks of pseudoscience, 4.video on scientists' changing theory of hte universe and 5. Dr. Kachur's interview.

The areas for improvement are 1. most of module 4, espeically discussions of stats. They are not quite relatable. 2. all drag and drop activities on Modules 3-5 They are too difficult to understand. Consider including a few examples. I could not figure out what was being asked of me in several of them. 3. ALWAYS identify when more than one selection is required to get an answer right on a quiz, and 4. lost opportunity for examples of social media misinformation. They examples in modules 1 & 2 were so wonderful. I had hoped fr equally enlightening examples for the laster modules.

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.

By Julieta G

Apr 11, 2021

I really enjoyed the course a lot. I learned many new things and reviewed other information. The videos were excellent! I am giving four stars however because at times it felt that content was not distributed equally throughout the weeks, making it hard to plan study sessions. Also, some things were really hard and more videos or clearer examples would have been nice, like when studying statistics. All in all, however, I really enjoyed myself and learned, which is why I did this in the first place. Thanks!

By Claudia R

Sep 16, 2021

I​t's been awhile since I looked deeply at a scientific journal, or was really sceptical of the media I am consuming. I will apply the information I've gleaned from this course to future readings, be they scientific or media derived.

A​lso, this course should/could be mandatory for returning students. those of us who have been away awhile need a remider

By Miguel M

Jan 10, 2021

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was informative. I found some of the drag and drop assignments were difficult to follow; they could be pared back without too many problems. Also, there were some typos in the video manuscripts that were distracting. But overall, I found this course useful. Thanks!

By Javier P

Apr 28, 2021

The course is interesting and provides a lot of information, the videos have quality and are well-edited. However, some relevant topics are discussed with some lack of depth while some other issues are not so appealing in my humble opinion. Overall, I recommend the course

By Bill E

Nov 29, 2020

Good overall. It was a little sketchy in the early going as I felt some of the test questions weren't covered by the material presented. The course could use some polishing as well. There are a couple of things that don't work and text that doesn't make sense.

By Gilles l

Jan 12, 2021

Very interesting. I learning to be skeptical, to think critically, and to insist on evidence. With all the informations we have today on media, social media, YouTube, political rhetoric, etc) this course is a must. I'm glad I took it. Good Job well done. Thanks.

By Steven G D

Dec 2, 2020

As I stated in the discussion forum providing the final answers on the "Drag & Drop" exercises would improve the learning value of this course as a student could think through the correct answers that they were unable to figure out themselves. Thanks!

By Vicki d

Nov 29, 2020

This course was exactly what I wanted and needed. Great length and quantity of activities. At times the 'drop and drag' assignments were tedious.

By Cathy E

Jun 9, 2021

Great course! Is there an official evaluation as I have a few specific pieces of feedback I would like to offer.

By Christian T

Jul 13, 2021

Sehr ausführlich und manchmal etwas zu kompliziert aber in Summe sehr empfehlenswert

By Rick F

Dec 12, 2020

Technical glitches were a worry, however the content was wonderful.

By Dawn F

Dec 7, 2020

I sure had trouble with the drag and drop questions.

By Fred V

Nov 16, 2020

This mooc is probably the best form of retaliation we can think of against anti-science, fake news and other trumpisms.

On the form of delivery side, a bad surprise occurs with dubious semantics, loose language, strange and neglected syntax, and the over-use of the expression 'based off' rather than the customary architectural metaphor 'based upon'. Such routine failings and absence of any decent proof-reading invalidate a lot of the quizzes questions.

Regarding the substance of the course, we deplore that the course concentrates on biology as if this was the main branch of science, brushing aside a wide spectrum of social sciences. More regretfully, a critical question is left aside, that of what should be the place of the scientific community in society: a self-proclaimed elite, the guardian of the sacred libraries, the priests in charge of the common people's knowledge management, or the stewarts of the transmission of objective knowledge? What are the motivations of the people who create anti-science and obscurantism? And a few more questions that can verge on metaphysics.

Anyway, we are looking forward to discovering for version 2.