Rated 4.6 out of 5 by 67
Rated 4 out of 5 by PrinceKuyper Good Basic Geology course
This is a basic course for those who have no geology background. It is well-done for basic entry geology in college or high school level. I bought this course after Dr. Wysession's absolutely superb "World's Greatest Geological Wonders" -- one of the Great Courses BEST. Dr. Wysession is an excellent teacher and presenter, for that you will not be disappointed. However, those of us who took Nature of Earth: An Intro to Geology by Dr. Renton, had all the basics. "How the Earth Works" was only slightly more informative, but had few pictures or graphics just like Dr. Renton's course. Keep in mind, this is an older course, and not as visually dynamic or well-done as more recent courses. This was not the fault of Dr. Wysession.
October 20, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by DonP More science and less speculation
How the Earth Works, by Michael Wysession.
I have never had a geology class, but I have had courses that have been related or had components of what could be considered geology. To me the general subject matter of this course was very interesting. But having said that, I was frustrated throughout the course by the instructor’s tendency to speculate and lend scientific credence to his speculations. He also often used hand movements to explain a concept when a graphic would have been much more efficient. The course was taught at a low level, more what I would except from a TV Discovery program rather than a university level course. He also made a significant number of errors that should have been caught in the editing and re-taped. For example in Chapter 24 he miss-located Hoover Dam, and he repeated the mistake a few minutes later. Also I think some fundamentals were left out. For example, there was almost no discussion of basic mineralogy and the associated chemistry. Perhaps by cutting the lecture lengths to 30 minutes from a standard 50 minute lecture, he cut the substance and left much chafe.
August 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by OldFord "It's interesting"
It's interesting" says Dr. W. many times, and indeed it is. His enthusiasm for his topic is one of the strengths of this course along with solid content and engaging presentation. I especially like the way Dr. W. gives insights into how scientists think, not directly but through the way he organizes and talks about his material. "It's interesting" is one of those indirect expressions revealing the relentless curiosity of the scientist. I think a younger audience, high school, could benefit a lot from Dr. W's example and find the material itself both interesting and readily understandable.
May 16, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Ythrix Good, shorter would have been better
Much good content, making the course worthwhile. My main criticism is that it runs too far afield of its stated topic at times. When Professor Wysession describes topics close to his area of expertise, most explanations are clear. When branching into biology and astronomy, for example, his explanations are less clear, and at times one wonders what the discussed topic has to do with how the earth works.
Professor Wysession speaks well and avoids speech interruptions like “um” and “ah”, but says “interesting(ly)” and “it turns out” much too often.
I recommend the course, but could recommend it highly if it were a few lectures shorter overall and stuck closer to the expected topic.
December 16, 2013