Mar 15, 2018
This course was great! It explains everything clearly, and it keeps you involved by asking questions about the material, and keeps you amused with some interesting anecdotes. Highly suggested by me!
Aug 22, 2017
I loved this course. It was informative, easy to understand, and exciting. The lecturer's knowledge and passion shone through in the lectures, and the course notes were a great supplement too.
von Daniel T•
Jan 08, 2019
W. Scott Persons is a spectacular presenter. He speaks clearly and articulates himself in such a way that he can explain a complex subject in an easy-to-understand way. He doesn't speak too quickly nor too slowly. If anyone wants to be a better presenter, they should follow the example of Persons.
I like the questions being asked during the video. Sometimes they are just to make sure you are paying attention, but most times they require you to make inferences based on what you have learned, which is great. If you complete the reading material before watching the videos, you should have no problem at all answering the video questions.
The reading material is extremely in-depth and very informative even beyond what the videos offer. One complaint I have would be that the estimated time of completion for the reading is inaccurate. They say it takes about 10 minutes but if you want to actually read and get a good grasp of all of the material presented in the notes, it will take far longer. Personally, it takes me several hours to consolidate the material in my head and to take notes. Like I said, the reading goes very in-depth.
The reading material also uses anatomical terms of location very frequently. I would recommend learning the anatomical terms of location (rostral, caudal, distal, proximal, etc.) to assist you while you read the notes. Also take some time to learn how to interpret cladograms.
One thing that stands out to me is the Tree of Life, which is basically an interactive learning objective that shows how ALL life to have ever existed on this planet is connected. It is an AMAZING supplement to the course and a lot of fun to explore.
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this course to anyone interested in dinosaurs; paleontology as a whole; evolution and phylogenesis; and ornithology.
von Brice B•
Sep 09, 2017
Fascinating class! Covers a lot of material very clearly in five weeks. The use of the media is good with in-video quizzes, some games and an interactive phylogenetic tree of life. Course notes are provided for each lessons (they are very well done). The presenter, Scott Persons, a PhD student at the time if I am not mistaken, is great, though he is very surprisingly not credited on the homepage of the course, which is a shame (especially given that he has also written his scripts among other things...) I have attended all four paleontology courses from the University of Alberta and this is the one I preferred. Having first hand accounts of the discovery of Therapod fossils by Professor Currie is great and as a result the course strikes a good balance between giving facts and explaining the scientific method. Moreover, the historical part of the course, on the debate on the origin of dinosaurs, is very interesting and, as an added bonus, gives an idea of what the state of the field is today.
von Michael S R•
Oct 03, 2017
An excellent course......so well presented, so very exciting! I just loved it! I'm a retired neuroscience researcher (dementia) and held held positions as a Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor, Australian Catholic University. Since retiring I have been pursuing a long dormant passion for palaeontology and have worked on dinosaur projects in Outback Australia and have studied formal units in Palaeontology through the University of New England, Australia, and now this course through the University of Alberta! I have also obtained credentials as a laboratory technician with the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. I look forward to doing another course via Coursera through the University of Alberta! Bloody beauty, mate!
von Dhaval S•
Jun 11, 2019
That was one of the Best Experience of Learning u people Nailed it Perfectly, waiting for some new courses from your side, Dhaval Shukal
von Matthew M•
Apr 16, 2019
Excellent and informative course! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and the class notes will be cherished and re-read every now and again. I'm really happy that the course wasn't too easy and was more aimed at those of us with already a decent understanding of palaeontology and zoology as it really taught me a lot.
The only thing I would mark it down on is that the course notes did not always correspond correctly and were out of order to the videos. I like to make notes and highlight as I watch and it took a lot of page jumping to do that. At the same time I am uncertain if the notes were supposed to be done this way, or worked through after the course.
I look forward to other courses by this University as this one was absolutely fantastic! I would love to see a course that goes more into detail on modern bird evolution and adaptions, the last lesson felt very rushed. I would also love to see courses covering other prehistoric species, perhaps the evolution of cats, whales etc or other dinosaur clades.
The instructors were a joy to listen to and easily understood too. I felt very involved and now have a much better understanding of theropods and their descendants. As an amateur paleoartist this helps me a lot!
Thank you so much for this wonderful course!
von Anne J•
Oct 15, 2019
Entertaining, well designed and organized, thought-provoking course with enusiastic presentors and spectacular graphics.
Because I have never paid any attention to dinosaurs from the Mesozoic, and din't have a clue about the variety and naming conventions, I was initially overwhelmed by all the 15+ (seemed like 100+) character long names that were tossed about like popcorn tossed at the villan in a melodrama. It took a while, but I adjusted. Beware if you are not a dino connisseur.
While the course offers a primer in bird anatomy at the very beginning, the more you know about modern bird anatomy the better you will see the convulted map of evolution (and where you are heading) from the outset. My knowledge of bird anatomy was a helpful counter balance to my ignorance of Mesozoic dinos!
I thought that this course would simply be a nice side bar to my understanding and appreciation of birds. Instead it added a remarkable depth to my understanding, respect, and appreciation for the birds I observe and photograph every day.
Many thanks to the University of Alberta faculty and staff that make this course available!
von David M J•
May 03, 2018
Exceptional course! This course is great for anyone trying to get into Paleontology or even get a basic understanding of the evolution of adaptions for changing to evolutionary needs and ecology. All lessons are incredibly informative and easy to understand. i took this course because I have always had an interest in Paleontology, but never knew whether I wanted to pursue a career in it. I am in the US Navy and thanks to these paleontology courses presented by University of Alberta, I am now looking to continue forward with a career into Paleontology and pursue this interest that has been there since childhood. Paleontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the origins of Birds is only one of the courses from the University of Alberta I would recommend. To the University of Alberta, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to dip my toe into this field and truly differentiate whether or not, I just loved the concept of dinosaurs or if I actually wanted to pursue a career in Paleontology and research. Fantastic course overall and truly changed my idea of what i want to pursue in my future career. Thank you.
von Diana P B•
Jul 09, 2019
A very good and in-depth course that can be taken with very little previous knowledge on the subject. Lecturers go in great detail, not simply giving you information, but really making sure you understand how we infer dinosaur's behaviour and function of different body parts. Biomechanics are taught at a level that is very easy to understand and allow you to apply your learning to different areas. The course is interactive, with many quizzes along the way that ensure you are not just memorising, but actually engaging and learning how to develop your thinking so that you can also interpret fossils to determine function and behaviour. Both illustrations and fossils are shown throughout the course, which are helpful in guiding one's learning. Recommended even for those not interested in Paleontology but are passionate for biology in general.
von Christiane U•
Nov 29, 2016
With Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds MOOC I finally completed all Paleo Online Courses offered by University of Alberta. I enjoyed all Paleo MOOCs given their very interesting content and outstanding presentation, but I must say that Early Vertebrate Evolution was far the best one, in my opinion. It is also true to say that all University of Alberta MOOCs, as usual, provided first class lecture notes. I would like to thank all the personnel involved in developing and making available this amazing tool for propagating science and knowledge. And I would like to suggest standardizing the measuring unit system throughout all courses, because there is an interchangeable use of either imperial or metric, and since most of the world uses metric system, that could be a good way to go.
von kathleen C W•
Feb 19, 2016
One of the first big books I remember reading was about dinosaurs and their world: much of the information changed with further discoveries, but the book gave me such a sense of wonder at the big "lizards" that roamed the earth!
I found this course fascinating, especially since it follows on Dino 101. This helped me to see the various evolutionary tracks that were possible, and how the wide avian diversity came about. Looking at the anatomy development was very helpful to this bird-watcher/dino-watcher.
Thank you so much for opening this program -- it has been a joy and I am looking forward to the other course openings as they come up.
von Bobby H•
Aug 15, 2016
Loved it. I wish there were a 10 minute review at the end where everything is pulled together in a meaningful and cohesive way with a summary of the key evolutionary paths from dinosaurs to modern birds. I will go back through all the course material to sketch this out for myself. It would be nice to have an overview/summary/chart to study from though. I'd like to memorize key points and some more signposts to help with that would be great.
I finished the course in less than a week and loved every minute. I am left wanting more. P.S. I have a master's degree in biological sciences.
von Raphael B d O (•
Sep 17, 2018
I'm a ruge fan of Coursera style of learning. I think this is a powerful tool for knowledge and a way to spread it. And this course about the connections between theropods and birds just ratify my thoughts. I'd like to say i'm much obliged to you (paleo)scientists of Alberta for the experience and opportunity to learn such a valuable subject for someone that's always fascinated with life's history and Evolution's ways to transform. One day, i shall visit Alberta to see by myself these amazing fossils records you have. Thanks again, you got a (another?) fan from Brazil.
von Joel A C•
Feb 27, 2016
This is truly a very interesting and informative course on the origin of birds! My only preference would be that the rich lecture notes would be more thoroughly covered in the video lectures... even though that would make those videos longer (oh, what a "shame" that would be -- yeah, right!!). I was impressed that the video lectures reflected some of the latest findings in fossil & genetic findings. Last but by no means least, the professional yet personal style of the video lectures was not only helpful in my learning but made it that much more enjoyable! Well done!!!
von Yang Y•
May 05, 2018
A very comprehensive introduction to theropod dinosaurs. It's rare to see good courses on this topic so gave it a 5 star. I have always been intrigued by dinosaurs and finally get a chance to learn more deeply about it. The instructor was passionate and explanation was clear and helpful. I just found that, without these lively explanation, some part of the materials with mere long texts explaining the animals' characteristics get too abstract for me. It sort of gave me headache remembering all the strange name for different groups. But, it was also the fun part:)
von Daniel A V•
Apr 10, 2017
The course was simply amazing. I am a Brazilian student of veterinary medicine with an special interst in birds. I love to watch and learn about them, and, if possible, I will work with the medicine and rehab of that incredible group of living dinosaurs. The course was extremely didactic and clear on all past information, making my interest only increase. Unfortunately I can not afford to buy the certificate, which makes me sad in a way. However, I am very grateful to the entire mini-course team and I congratulate you on the incredible work you have done.
von Robert H S•
Jul 10, 2017
After completing Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, I wanted more!!! Palaeontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds was such an interesting course. I started taking Coursera sponsored courses starting in 2013. The two Palaeontology courses I have recently taken are two of the best. The presentations are excellent. Please extend my sincere appreciation to the staff of the University of Albert's Palaeontology team for their hard work and dedication - just an excellent course. Your hard work is very much appreciated. Thank you.
von Isabel B•
Aug 29, 2016
I had such a great time taking this course.
Is the second I take from the University of Alberta, I'm sure going to take them all.
The classes are comprehensible, with well made videos, and written material that's great to study later on, or before you watch them.
This written material frees a lot of time on the class, as I usually take notes when watching online courses, this let's me concentrate on watching the material without having to pause over, and over to write down what seems important.
von Nathan L•
Jul 21, 2019
This course presents fascinating current evidence for the evolutionary path that leads from non-avian theropods to modern birds in a way that's both fun and accessible. I learned a great deal from this course and feel that I could now explain the basics of this transition to others. I found the interactive phylogenetic tree particularly useful for working out the relationships between the many theropod groups. Highly recommended if you love dinosaurs - the extinct or the extant variety.
von Jeff Y•
Aug 05, 2016
Even if you've never had a lifelong fascination with natural history like I did, this course should be fascinating and educational enough to draw you in. Scott Persons is an amazing teacher: clear, concise, knowledgeable and passionate enough that you will never feel lost, learn a great deal and yet never feel bored. Philip Currie is also very informative. Highly recommended for anyone with even a modicum of interest in dinosaurs.
von Carol B•
Jun 28, 2017
This course provided excellent information about the evolution of Theropods. Careful examination of adaptations, changes in environment over time, and predator-prey aspects of these dinosaurs all created a good foundation of knowledge to see how modern birds are the only surviving dinosaurs. This course included great diagrams, details, fossil evidence, and interactive features that made it enjoyable and engaging.
von Catherine T•
May 08, 2017
This course helped to expand my knowledge of theropod dinosaur biology, their relationship with each other, and evolutionary progresses that lead them to the avian forms they bear today. This course provided a complex set, and range, of information that was carefully and efficiently tied together to help the overall understanding of the concepts and themes. I really enjoyed this course!
von Arturo M•
Jun 09, 2017
An extraordinary journey through from last theropods to modern birds. I congrat Scott Pearsons and Dr. Phillip Currie for their amazing course, funny and very interesting exposures complemented with very well documented resources to go back and to read once again the lessons of this course. Thanks to all University of Alberta's team that made this course possible.
von Sayan T•
Aug 30, 2018
Really a great course , not only for paleontology enthusiasts but also for general zoology and biology enthusiasts. the assignments were way too easy in most cases. I hoped to get questions that made us more indulged with the excellent detailed content provided by the University. Had a real great time learning in such detail with such simple yet elaborate way.
von Marcos G M•
May 22, 2019
Está genial este curso, sí que es verdad que algunas palabras son muy técnicas y yo algunas no las supe, pero en general se entiende y la traducción está perfecto. Me encanta este curso, está muy bien elaborado y para todo aquél "friki" de los dinosaurios, este curso es idóneo para aprender a conocerlos y estudiarlos. Muchas gracias. Un saludo.
von Sourav C•
Jun 13, 2017
It was a real pleasure to learn so much about this course. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned huge amount of new things which would very important for me in future. Some questions were confusing and did not had straight forward answers which I think could have been better, otherwise in context of overall learning , I am extremely satisfied.