- 5 reviews
- 4 completed
This is a reasonable introduction to the subject, and would be great for kids interested in the topic (as most of them are!), but if you've already done any reading about dinosaurs don't expect to learn much that's new. It's definitely an introductory course (as the "101" title suggests).
This course consisted of a series of lectures by different lecturers affiliated with the Natural History Museum of Denmark. All were experts in their subjects (and some had accents that some students reported having difficulties with, although I had no problems). I was very impressed by the depth of the coverage in this class. Some Coursera classes tend to skim over the surface of their material; this was one of relatively few that I thought was legitimately a college-level coverage of the material. It addressed the history of the solar system, went into detail about the development of life on earth including various extinction events and geological phenomena such as glaciations and warm periods, and briefly discussed the development of the human species. I really though highly of this class - would recommend strongly.
Wonderful lectures, providing excellent insight into how planetary scientists figure things out. There were 4 units, on Mars; Jupiter and the giant planets; smaller bodies like the asteroids and outer sub-planets; and the possibilities of life on planets other than earth. I found the instructor very engaging - and he finally explained why Pluto is no longer a planet in a way that made me believe it.
This course was an excellent overview of where humans came from, with an attempt to emphasize that evolution is an ongoing process and we are still evolving now. I took the class the first time it was offered, and its reach exceeded its grasp somewhat - some ambitious plans for exercises and student participation fell apart. But the lectures were excellent - recorded all over the world by the professor who traveled to important research sites such as South African caves, the site of Dmanisi in Georgia, and the Rock of Gibraltar. A very good way to get a fundamental grasp of how we came to exist.
I took this in 2013 and really enjoyed it. I did most of the homework problems, which involved math I found challenging after not having done anything like it in 20+ years (since college), but with the help of a sympathetic TA and fellow participants I made it through that. The lectures were excellent and gave me a good overview of the current state of thought in cosmology (and what the heck a Higgs Boson is). I would recommend this for anyone interested in the bigger questions of the origin of the universe.