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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Science Literacy by University of Alberta

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

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.

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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51 - 63 of 63 Reviews for Science Literacy

By Luke R

Jan 30, 2021

I am very appreciative this course has been offered free for public enrollment. Certainly the overall scope and subject matter is very valuable for those looking to increase their understanding of the scientific process and how it relates to they interact with scientific concepts. I would suggest however that this course is audited by an instructional designer to help improve its structure and to better tie the learning objectives with the activities, assessments, and overall transfer of learning. Additionally, a number of technical errors (especially the drag & drop activities) and basic spelling or grammatical errors need to be addressed. Some of the quizzes too would benefit from revision as some were confusingly worded, and do not adhere to best practices in multiple choice format. I would still like to express gratitude for the course and would like to see it improve so that it can be more widely adopted to a general audience. Thank you!

By Douglas P

Dec 20, 2020

This has the makings of being a brilliant course for the learner. The videos that were created are fantastic and our two scientists/instructors were informative and down to earth.

The issue was with the design of the course. Too many drag and drops that were unmanageable and causes the learner to stop the course. Week 5 was where it shined and should be Week 1. We learned in Week 5 how to read Scientific reports; however, we read these types of reports before the 'how-to was taught.

The way the course was promoted was misleading. It took till Week 5 before we got to what the course was advertised to be. I am still not sure who the course is intended for.

Course information is great - curriculum design needs a lot of reworking when it comes to the readings and activity placements.

By Heidi C H

Apr 20, 2021

I really like the idea of this course and it does contain a good amount of useful advise. I took the course to get refresh some of what i learned at university, so some things I knew quite well. There is a weird shift between easy to understand parts, and parts that demand a lot more explanation, but where there is to little explanation and examples. You mostly get terms thrown at you and then you need to figure out yourself how to interpret them, because there haven't been given that many examples of how to use the terms. The drag and drop assignments did sometimes confuse more than they helped the understanding, especially because of all the little nuances that really demand a higher understanding than what the course gives.

By Stuart M

Nov 25, 2020

I enjoyed the course and believe that I learned a great deal I felt that the Course materials and resources were very helpful and interesting.

However I feel that some parts of the course sould be improved:

Drag and drop exercises were very poorly designed and distinctly unhelpful. In my view most had far too many elements, looked for unclear distinctions. The lack of specific feedback was also a big problem, as was the inability to change/move answers after scoring without starting from scratch.

Quiz and unit test design was of mixed quality. Numerous questions used unclear wording or didn't relate to the material covered.

Have a passing grade for unit the pretests is just absurd.

Overall a pretty good course.

By Annika B

Dec 7, 2020

I found that this course was decently educational. Overall, the information presented was useful and helpful for learning how to read and understand scientific papers and the process behind them. I was relatively frustrated, however, when the largest theme of the course was to think critically, but only one perspective would be positively represented, while the opposing opinion was negatively represented and bad-mouthed. I would not consider some of the sources used educational in the slightest, but most of them were legitimate scientific sources.

By Christine D

May 28, 2021

The course felt a little too long. I found there was too much reading material and drag and drop activities. The videos were the most useful part of the course, although at times became a little repetitive. A condensed version of this course would be beneficial and perhaps more accessible to more students. I especially feel that the older generation would benefit from the information in the course, more specifically about how to detect misinformation and be more critical of information being presented to them.

By Richard T

Jan 30, 2021

Interesting and useful material. The presentation was somewhat irritating. largely due to the peculiar use of prepositions following the work "based": based on (I prefer) based off and based from; partly due to the voices of the presenters, which seemed often to be harsh and grating; and the quizzes contained statements which seemed ambivalent and hard to classify in the ways offered.

By Randy d S

Jan 31, 2021

I found many test questions to not be clear. Also, found the drag and drop exercises confusing most of the time. It would have been great if I didn't have to reset the whole thing. Let the correct placements remain. I liked the interface and videos. I would take another course like this overall

By Sandra D

Jul 11, 2021

Drag and drop activities way too time consuming and not effective use of time; did not  add anything to  my learning aside from frustration

By Jason A E

Nov 27, 2020

I went through this course to see how the material would be presented. It was a mixed bag that wasn't particularly well organized, lacked variety in learning activities, and there were tons of spelling and grammatical problems throughout the class. The initial discussions of indigenous anecdotes as "science" were contradicted by material presented later in the course. Though there is some good content, I can't and don't recommend this class to anyone. A number of technical bugs and lack of any meaningful feedback or discussion from those presenting the class added frustration. Other courses use the forums proactively to promote participant interaction and spark additional discussions that could lead to learning. None of that happened here.

By Bev W

Jan 29, 2021

There is so much wrong with this course. It needs to be thoroughly reviewed for spelling, grammar and coherence. The "drag and drop" learning exercises are especially useless--badly written and confusing. It's like they were developed by a drunken TA at 3 a.m. The videos were mostly just talking torsos (hide those bra straps please!) and waving arms. The inclusion of indigenous perspectives was perfunctory. The use of dumbed-down "kiddie" versions of scientific papers was just insulting. The lack of examples to illustrate concepts was a real shortcoming. The course designers need expertise in pedagogy and curriculum development. The whole experience was a head-shaking, eyeball-rolling, teeth-grinding ordeal. I persisted only because I'd paid for "certificate" option.

By Deleted A

Jan 11, 2021

If I could leave zero stars I would. I can imagine later in the course there is other interesting content that would help me increase my understanding of science. The course creators decided to include tons of content that is inaccessible to read aloud programs. I have a learning disability and rely on a mix of visual and auditory to understand what I am reading. A good chunk, once you reach week two is drag and drop that is incompatible and than what is noted to be an important reading isn't compatible either. I am a bit mad because this is a class supposedly for beginners and inclusive but not if you aren't neurotypical.

By Michelle H

Jan 16, 2021

Despite this being a course on science literacy - presumably for those not so literate, it is not user friendly. Some sorting activities are so unwieldy as to be of no practical use. Some quiz sentences/questions are so long and dense as to be virtually unintelligible. I attended a class once where a fellow student described the instructional process as "pedagogical abuse"; I was reminded of this comment when attempting this course.