Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology is a 12-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of non-avian dinosaurs. Topics covered: anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, environmental and behavioral adaptations, origins and extinction. Lessons are delivered from museums, fossil-preparation labs and dig sites. Estimated workload: 3-5 hrs/wk for non-credit; 7-10 hrs/wk for credit

About The Course

In Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, students will learn about the many kinds of non-avian dinosaurs that roamed the earth during the Mesozoic Era, from 250 to 65 million years ago. Numerous topics are covered in order to deliver a comprehensive survey of this important group of animals. These include adaptations for attack and defence, anatomy,  appearances, behaviors, birth, deep time, evolutionary theory, feeding, fossilization, growth, integumentary structures, locomotion, major groupings, origins, paleogeography, plate tectonics, reproduction, species definition, stratigraphy, and the extinction event that brought their dominance to an end.

Course material is delivered in a student-friendly short-form fashion, with numerous formative feedback sections. Many lessons are delivered from actual dinosaur dig sites. Students will gain access to a number of special interactive modules designed specifically for this course. These modules will grant users access to their very own virtual fossil collection, allow them to build dinosaur skeletons and provide them with an interactive visual representation of geologic time. This course's unique lesson delivery, combined with a classic quiz structure, will enable students to quickly gain a solid foundation for understanding dinosaurs, their adaptations and behaviours, and their place in the long history of earth.

UAlberta students can earn course credit: Learn how

Dino 101 is part of an ongoing program of research into digital learning conducted by the University of Alberta and therefore anonymized data provided by Coursera and survey information can be made accessible to the researchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources will I need for this class?
An internet connection and a sense of adventure.

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?
In addition to learning about dinosaurs, you will learn about how they lived, what they ate, how they fought, about their origins and extinction.

Can I receive credit from other universities for Dino 101?
Dino 101 is an open, free MOOC, and all learners are welcome. This course is being taken concurrently by University of Alberta students for credit at the University of Alberta. If you are a learner interested in earning academic credit, but are not enrolled at the University of Alberta, there is a way you can potentially receive credit from other universities.  Please remember there is no requirement for you to pay to take the exams if you simply want to take the course for free or if you are only interested in a Signature Track verified Coursera certificate. 
You will need to do two things if you are not a University of Alberta student:
1. Register for Signature Track   
Only students who are registered for Signature Track will be allowed to take the midterm and final exams. See Signature Track Guidebook for more details. You can also just take Signature Track for the verified Coursera certificate if you are not interested in taking the exams.   
2. Sign up for the midterm and final exams   
Signature Track students who are not enrolled at the University of Alberta who want to take the exams will pay a $263 Canadian fee. The exam option for students not enrolled at the University of Alberta will be available soon and all Signature Track students will be alerted by email that they have the option of paying to take the exams. 

It is important to understand that Coursera and the University of Alberta can't actually grant you credit at your university or college. The decision to grant you credit is always up to the professors at your university or college. The University of Alberta and Coursera are committed to giving you everything you need to take to your university to request credit. We have built a complete course explanation package available to you when the course starts that gives you everything you need to take to your professors at your university for them to evaluate.

You can take the exams to add to your resume or CV or for the sheer challenge of taking a university-level midterm and exam and be graded, but if you are hoping your university will grant you credit for Dino101, please make sure you have your university's support before you pay to take the exams.

Recommended Background

No background is required; all are welcome!