Richard Harwood's Courses

Physical Geology 101

Physical Geology 101
Student Comments

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Below are some of the student evaluation comments for the Physical Geology 101 course. These comments and evaluations are collected by the instructor at the end of the semester. Comments are reproduced in their entirety as written by the student and are in no particular order. Opinions, views or grammatical errors are those of the student and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the instructor or Black Hawk College.

Most Recent Comments

Professor Harwood makes this course great.

get the handbook, don't skip class, be ontime, get to know Mr. Harwood, study more than you think you should, and don't write on tests.

dont buy or rent the geology textbook i never once used it all the material was provided online.

Dont miss a lab, study for tests, you'll get 70

This class killed my soul. Well, the tests killed my soul. You really have to study every single day to fully understand the material. Harwood knows what he's talking about and he is passionate and straight up about everything he teaches. Just study as much as you can and hope for an A. But when you get down to 85% you're suddenly okay with that B, but then you take another test then your at a C. So you know, C's get degrees. Good Luck! May the odds ever be in your favor.

I truly enjoyed going to this class and lab. I was hesitant at first because I had never taken an Earth Science class before, but I'm glad I did. Professor Harwood is a great teacher and really wants to make sure you understand the material that he is presenting to the class. ASK QUESTIONS. There is a good chance that you aren't the only one with that question. STUDY! I believe that I could have studied more throughout this course. I believe that if I had studied more, I'd have a better grade going into the final lab practical and the final exam. Come to class, do your work, ask questions, study and you should do okay in the class! Good luck!

Go into this course with an open mind. The subject of rocks may bore some people, but once you learn what really goes on in world it may be really interesting. Professor Harwood is very good at what he does and is very passionate about his job. Make sure to go out of your way to study! Don't give up just because you don't do well on your first few exams. They will be very difficult, but with the weight of the labs, you will be okay. Make sure to attend lab days as those are difficult to make up on your own. Good Luck! 

Past Comments

Very fun and informative class. As long as you pay attention and review the material the class is not very difficult. The tests are mostly multiple choice and true/false, but always have short answers at the end that can sometimes be a little difficult, but not bad. Notes are taken everyday so its important not to miss class or the labs.

This class is difficult! It is not just about looking at rocks. If you take this class be prepared for an in-depth understanding on how rocks and minerals are formed. Actually study!! Don't just wait until the last minute.

Show up, take notes, and ask questions. You'll do fine.

It will be helpful if you spend a lot of time looking at the different rocks and minerals so that you are able to catch on key features because in the lab practicals you will see different samples of the same minerals/rocks.

Take lots of notes and come to class! If you have a question ask it even if you think it's stupid and others can learn more too.

It was a good class. Harder than I was expecting, but that's college, yeah? Harwood is enthusiastic about the subject (especially volcanoes. He named his dog after one.) If you want to do well on the rock identification lab practicals you need to go in during office hours to look at the rocks.

If you are looking to take Earth Science(Geology) with Professor Harwood. I would recommend it. He still knows what its like to be a student. There really are NO dumb questions in his class. I stepped into that classroom expecting to look and identify rocks for 5 months. However, I came to learn what "creeping" means to a geologist, that if it reacts to HCl then its calcite, and not to have it on your marble counter-tops. Looking back at the beginning of the semester and now. I'm glad I took Geology 101.

Study your lecture notes.

Hello! This is a fun class and I think many of you will enjoy it. But you may want to be careful. A majority of the class sessions are power points in the dark. So be careful not to fall asleep. Most of the tests are essentially what we cover in class. Also, make sure you read the chapter for your rock atlas before your labs! It really helps and cuts down time. Thanks.

As with other ventures in life you get out what you put in. My advice: put a lot of time and effort into the class for the high grade that you seek. The teacher is fair, his expectations may be high, but he is consistent and fair. Just do the work and study. 

You will need a lot of time to study, but if you pay attention to his lecture, fill in the study guide questions and take good notes you can make it through.

Print out the notes on the website! Pay attention during class and you can understand most of everything.

This class is really hard so know what you are getting into. Also, we never used the textbook so don't bother buying it. Textbook does not go into nearly the mount of detail as he does in lecture.

This course is a very tough and fun class. It can scare during the first weeks, but don't worry, don't drop it and everything will be fine. Take time to do the lab practicals, review your notes after class, study before the exams, spend some time after class to look at the minerals and rocks, and the class will be very easy to you.

What to say about this class... It was hard. That is a fact. If you do not have the time to study then goodbye. The instructor was extremely nice and was pretty cool. Never used the book. Ever. Big waste of money. Other than that, good luck and happy trails!

READ THE BOOKS and if they confuse you ask the instructor. Also print off the power points ahead of time you can print them for free under the library and take notes not everything is in the power points. Take time outside of lab to work with the rocks it will help on the tests. The instructor was very enthusiastic about the subject. I would recommend taking him.

Stay involved and up to snuff on the material because tests are accumulative over the semester.

While the Mineral and Rock atlas was used in almost every lab the TEXT book that was required was never referenced in class during lecture or in any tests. i find that the textbook purchase could have been avoided with the way the class is run and could have saved me about 100 bucks. if you are not into studying hard for an exam then this is NOT the class for you. the exams are tough but doable if you put in a LOT of hard work on studying for them. the professor is a very enthusiastic man who has an infectious nature about him when he is lecturing or during lab time when he is helping students figure out where they went wrong in the tests they were running to identify minerals/rocks or when they were working on maps.

This course requires attendance and effort to do well in. That is all

Pretty fun class, know the short answer questions lol

Overall I enjoyed this class very much and thought that it was well worth the time. Not only is the instructor very helpful, but you can tell that he loves what he teaches so it makes the class interesting. This is because he has videos and pictures of everything that he will talk about in the class. If you are a visual learner than this will be very helpful to you. The only thing that I would say as a word of warning is that you will cover a lot of information so it is important to be in class because it is very easy to miss a lot of information in one day. The way to sum it up is that it was a fun class with a great instructor and you will end up learning more about rocks than you ever though that you would.

This class will make you work for every percentage, do not take it if you do not have the time to study. Know the lecture material. Do print the lectures they are really helpful. Attend class. Ask question. Note that Pr. Hardwood is very difficult probably one of the more difficult instructors you will have your entire college career; the likely hood of receiving an A is slim to none on that of luck ur gonna need it .

This is definitely a tough course. It requires a lot of studying and possibly some extra time and effort to make sure you understand the material. It's important to go to lab and make sure you know what's going on. The test are difficult too. I was a pretty good student and got decent grades, but you definitely have to put in a lot of time, work, and effort to do well in the course.

Do not expect to be handed an "A" or even a "B" in this course! Do NOT bother buying the book! Utilize Prof. Harwood's website; it has everything you need including lecture notes. He does cover additional material (rarely) that is not on the notes. Attend class and if you need help ask! Prof. Harwood makes himself available to his students. He is well organized and VERY knowledgable about his field. This course hurt my GPA, but I feel as though it was worth it to experience a true educator. Additionally, don't expect any extra credit; your grade is based on lab practicals, labs and exams only. Good Luck!

For future students, This guy knows that he is talking about when it comes to this class. It is a very enjoyable class butttttt.... It requires alot of work outside of class like studying your notes and lab materials. When is comes to test i learned that if you study, feel like you know the material and are confident... Dont psych yourself out! Be confident and you'll do just fine! another thing... come to class! its the best way to learn the material and a better understanding. Its a tough class but you learn so much once it is all over with.:) Goodluck!

This course is a good course, but challenging. A student must study in order to do well. It is not a class for slackers or those looking for an easy A.

attend class regularly and use your notes to study. do not buy the text book

Mr. Harwood is a nice guy that you would want as a neighbor, an uncle, or a fishing buddy. He is very passionate about this course, and that alone is nice to see in a professor. This class is hard though. Freaking hard. You might have to retake this class a couple times. Don't be too ashamed because you will see when he hands out the syllabus on the first day of class that he says, "welcome back" to a lot of people. You are probalby going to cry about this class. You might convince yourself that dropping out of college sounds like a good idea. You will dread the tests. You might feel as if your success in a geology class, determinds your success as a person in general.... even if you are an art history major. That is the class..... Mr. Harwood himself is a very nice guy.

STUDY more then one night for a test!!!

If you like rocks, this is the class for you. If you don't care about rocks, do yourself a favor and pick another course.

Study as much as you can, when the he tells you that you need a lot of study time for each exam, he means it. The exams are the hardest part, they are very detailed, and really test your knowlege on the class material. Print out the power points and take notes on those. They wiill be very helpful in your studying and also do the study guides for each section, they will help as well.

Study for all the lab practicles outside of class take extra time to get to know the rocks and minerals.

Study Study Study. One of the hardest classes I have ever had, the teacher expects you to be a geologist when you are done. If you think you have no interest in this class, do not take it just to fullfill a requirement. You are expected to know a vast amount of material. Go to class every day. If you don't have the time to study and make it to class, do not enroll in this one. A's on tests were extremely rare. Good Luck.

The lab practicals have questions taken directly from the lab material. To not do your lab work is academic suicide.

good class. you will learn a lot

Professor Harwood is an excellent teacher, is well organized and definitely suited to teach this subject. The book wasn't necessary. Abundant study guides and topic outlines were helpful

Study for all exams. Show up for every lab. This class involves a lot of studying, so be prepared. Print the study guides for each lecture--they really help prepare you.

When I started this class I read the comments from past students and got scared because I'm not an A/B student. I used the notes and study guides posted on the internet. There is a lot to learn in this class and it is crammed into a short amount of time but if you use the materials he provides, they WILL help you!

I feel that this class is a very good one to take, if you are interested in earth science. The labs are a good way to get in to the class and help you learn as well. You just have to make sure you show up to class and take the notes. Also study for the tests as well. If you do all of that you will succeed in the class

It would be absolutely ignorant of you not to use the printed notes & study guides. Seriously. You won't have to do the writing while your in class so you have more time to actually focus on the lecture while reading the notes you already have. Then when it comes time to study you can use those notes & things you've added to them to answer the study guides which HONESTLY really do prepare you for the tests. It's definitely a good class & I would recommend it to anybody. Dr Harwood is a good guy, don't ruin him! Do you work, study, & you will really find time to enjoy the class & Dr Harwood's silly humor :)

This is a very challenging class. You will learn a lot if you are willing to put forth the effort. Know the study guides and lecture notes inside and out. Professor Harwood is a good instructor but he is also fair; you will earn the grade you get. If you don't pay attention in class and cram for tests the day before then don't expect to do well. On the other hand if you are willing to pay attention and put in the study time then you will have no problem passing the class.

DO NOT TAKE NOTES! print them off of the website. this way, as he is talking, you can listen. it helped me learn the material much faster. and print of the study guides on line and fill them out during note taking. it helps so much for tests. and ask mr. harwood questions. he will answer any question you have about the material and he'll make sure you understand it.

This was a very interesting class and professor Harwood was very good at teaching it. He really knows what he is talking about and does a good job presenting the information to you. One thing he will tell you is to buy the book becuase you will need it but unless you are going to read it on your own dont buy it. He doesnt assign anything out of the book so if you know you wont read it on your own time dont waste your money. i am glad i didnt buy it cuz i never needed it. You really have to study hard to get a good grade the tests are hard and if you dont study chances are you will fail. but other than that it is a really good class and you learn a lot of interesting things i am glad i took it with Harwood.

This is a very intense course, if you do not have a lot of time to study then I do not recommend taking this course! I am currently only taking 8 credits. I studied diligently, read all the materials and the text, I spend time outside of class to study with the lab materials and I am going into the final with a 87%.

Not the easiest class to take. You Really don't have to buy the book - I Never used it. Study the class notes and you'll be fine. All tests including the final is comprehensive so watch out and be ready for that.

Every single minute from the first day to the last, pay attention. Do not fall behind the class.

the class was fun and overall interesting

As long as you attend every class and take thorough notes, the class is a breeze. By showing up to class and glancing over previous material every now and then, this class is not stressful or worrisome. Though not necessary, the textbook is very helpful and surprisingly easy to read. The professor is very enthusiastic and involves the class during lectures, so it is not at all boring. I highly recommend this class to anyone who has good school attendance.

This is a wonderful course! You will need to apply yourself if you are going to be successful. Go to every lecture and pay attention; take your time in lab; utilize the website; keep a positive attitude and you will do fine. This course is not as hard as some of the other comments make it out to be, but it is not for lazy individuals looking for an easy A. Professor Harwood is an outstanding instructor who really knows his stuff. Take advantage of having such a knowledgeable instructor. Oh, and buy the book and read it, it is a great suppliment to the lecture material.

The only real advise i have is make sure you are interested in the subject, and are ready to work hard. This is not a class i recomend for someone who wants an easy lab course. Also don't buy a book. I didn't open mine once. it was a total waste of money.

The instructor was very knowledgeable about the information presented in this course. He was very helpful. I don't suggest to buy the book, I didn't even use mine. It is a hard class, but if you put in the time and effort, you will be fine! So, be prepared!

If you study and treat this like a real class you'll be fine.

Good class,very well done, learned alot

The class is interesting, yet don't take it if you need an A. Don't buy the book.

Study your notes!!!

Thiws course is alot of work.

You can learn a lot from this course... you just need to do the work and try hard. This isn't like some courses where you can just show up and do well. You need to put in the effort if you want to do well in this course.

The course can be really easy if you study. Print out the lecture outlines and study guides before coming to class. It will be very helpful, and you will have a lot less to write down in a notebook. At times you will need to have extra paper for notes, because information is often added to his PowerPoint slides that are not in lecture outlines. Always start to study ahead of time for tests...especially lab practicals. The rock identifications can be a bit tricky when it comes to the lab practicals. YOU DO NOT NEED THE BOOK FOR THIS CLASS! I never opened mine once during the whole semester. If you are prepared study more than any other class, then you will do fine in this class.

You dont need the book, but the teacher knows his stuff. You have to study to be able to get a good grade. Dont expect to just sit back and just put the effort for it in class, there is a lot more time needed to do well in the class.

Professor Harwood is very knowledgeable in the course. You can tell that he loves what he does. The only bad thing about this class is that this stuff doesn't really interest me, so I tended to tune stuff out. If you are interested in geology or the study of the earth at all, I recommend you take this course because Professor Harwood is great and he really knows what he is talking about!

Do not buy the text book it is a waste of money. Do not miss a lab it could be the only thing to save you. Good Luck

This is an interesting class. It is a lot of information and if you take this class be prepared to study!

Professor Harwood is a great teacher. He's very nice and knows way more about Geology than any person should lol. He is always willing to help you out and has good ways of explaining his material. He has been all around the world and knows his stuff. I had a few problems with this class though. One was I never used the main textbook that was required for this class. I don't have much money and buying that book was a terrible waste. I never used it one time during the semester, and it really wasn't referenced to at all. Don't buy this book, you don't need it, trust me. Professor Harwood's rock identification book and lab packet is all that you need to do very well in this class. He covers everything you need to know. You can also print off all the lecture material from his website, which I recommend doing, so you aren't taking a ton of notes in class. The other problem I had, was that this class had way too much information for me to retain for the exams. The exams are super hard and are over a lot of information. It was way more in depth than I expected. If you go to class and study a fair amount you will do decent. The labs are really easy, he just gives you points as long as you do the lab, which is great because it's easier to learn if you aren't pressured to get a good grade. The lab practicals weren't too bad, but you HAVE to study for them. If you are looking for an easy gen ed class that you can slack off in, this is NOT it.

I took this class as a requirement for a transfer credit. I did have a good time in the class and learned a lot. I would like to see more quizzes however, or smaller tests. I didn't like the fact that grades were based mainly on the large test and final. A quiz here and there or smaller tests would have definatly made this class go by a little smoother as far as grades go. I really did find the study material online to be helpful and would encourage anyone coming into the class to print off that material and answer all of the study questions before the test. To future students good luck!

Go to the labs! It might take up some of your precious time but it can save you from failing if you show up.

Professor Harwood is a smart guy. But you have the opportunity to gain the type of knowledge he has. Just pay attention and go the extra mile if need be.

Great professor, he know his stuff and willing to help you learn and if only one student is in class he teaches as if there are 100 students present.

If you pay attention in class, do the course study guides, and study you will do fine.

This course covers a lot of material so make sure you use the study guides and lecture notes to help study for the exams and spend as much time as possible studing! Not everyting in the exams are on the study guides so look at notes too. Overall, class was interesting bc of power point /visuals and teachers enthusiasm.

There is nothing I can say to properly prepare future students for how difficlut this course can potentially be. This professor is honest about his expectations of his students and honest about his teaching methods. My grade in this class was well below my personal standard. But it is only because I did not have the time to devote to study for the exams. Do not underestimate them. They are VERY difficult. As a professor he is very understanding and will give extra time to try to help you. Students having difficulty should unitlize that. See him during his office hours. He wil help you understand what you are having difficulty with. His exams are hard because he wants to make sure that as students we "get it". Some of the questions seems unfair and almost like trick questions. But truthfully, if you spent the appropriate amount studying and answer the questions given in the study guides it will help immensely. As a class we should have had study groups outside of class. It would have helped us a lot.

This class was well organized and the teacher knew the material very well. I hope other students dont take this course expecting it to be very easy. But I feel if you follow the study guide, use the web information, come to class and write good notes, it is possible to do well in this course.

This course is a good opportunity to learn a lot of information. The information is on the internet and if you put the work in and study this course should not be a problem. If you are not ready to work for your grade this course might not be for you.

No need for book. Rock identification book helpful. Very hard to recieve an A on anything besides the labs.

It really seemed as if this course was meant to be at a higher level than a 101. Especially for those who aren't geology majors, there is a lot of information that really isn't relevant. I think there could be a lower base level for a 101 class. Not to say that it wasn't a good course, and I really learned a lot, but a lot of it might have been a bit much at this level. The labs were fun, and the lectures were very thorough. For future students, if you can handle the study load, by all means, take the course.

This is a good class to take to learn about rocks. Even if you wont use the information you are taught, it shows you alot of things in everyday life that you never would know.

"The only problem I had with the course was the amount of information required on each test. Maybe it was just me but it seemed as if the instructor was expecting an expert to be taking the exam instead of myself. Of course and expert would probably fly through such and exam. I am just trying to give the perspective of an entry level student. I have trouble with science courses and I thought this one to be especially difficult. The only suggestion I would offer is to maybe go into less detail and perhaps not to have the students remember so many different things for each exam."

"The study guides were halpful when preparing for tests."

"I thought that the tests were quite difficult, even after studying for hours I still felt as though I didn't know enough for your exams. It would have been nice if you could have either dropped the lowest exam score or curved at least one of the tests."

"Professor Haewood is very knowledgeable and assess any question from an objective scientific method standpoint."

"If your going to teach a 101 level class then teach it at a 100 level class. Why tell the students that the teacher is not teaching at that level. It is unfair for the non majors who just need the credit and dont' need a higher class."

"when you sign up for a level 100 class you are there to learn 100 level material. when you come into class and the teacher informs you that he does not teach at a 100 level because he expects more, that is not right. we are obvioulsy there to learn at certain levels, otherwise we would not be going to college, we would all have careers."

"You are a great instructor. The web material, packet at the beg. of semester, slides, ect. were very helpfull. You really know the material and are here to assist those who struggle. There is soooo much material covered that it is challenging to learn it all. There is so much that needs to be studied that it's hard to study for this class when you have A. other classes, B. job, C. children"

"The istructor's knowledge and interest made the class a pleasure to take. His organization of materials and class time make it so that students know exactly what to expect and where thy stand at all times. Personal anecdotes and visual aids show polish and aid understanding. Professor Harwood is one of the best instructors that I have encountered at BHC."

"I thought the class, lectures + lab, were very well organized. I also very much appreciated the web page notes to use during lecture. This helped me to pay attention to what was being said versus trying to write everything down frantically during lectures."

"This course is/should be ranked higher than a 100 level course. This course touches other sciences like Astronomy + should be more about geology aspects only. Tests or amt of course info is too large for original aspects of this course. Not many students gained higher grades in this class that should say something about the vast amt of information covered."

"A lot of material for every test. Sometimes was difficult to study all of it especially the comprehensive portion of the exams. Lab practicals were often difficult because of practicing with one rock size and then taking the practical with a much smaller image often made it difficult to place rock with info need."

"During the field trip the instructions weren't very clear on what to do. Since it was raining I wasn't sure if the lab materials should have been brought out or not. I did bring mine and tried to write on it, but it was pretty much ruined. Then in class you seemed a little reluctant to go over the material again. This bothered me because if it was going to be on the test I needed the information over again."

"I found the course very interesting. I usually look forward to this class. Your method and style of teaching is extremely effective for my learning style. I really enjoyed this course and I look forward to future courses with you."

"I enjoyed this class. Mr. Harwood is very knowledgable. I like the slide & pictures of real places. It's easier to understand when you see a picture and realize what happened there. Very good class."

"Your course was very well organized. Each new concept we learned was well thought out and you made it clear. I also found the website very useful in my studies. I know how much time can go into that alone."

"I wasn't sure about this class at the beginning of the semester but now I am glad I took it - I learned quite a bit and will most likely take more related courses. Mr. Harwood was an excellent teacher. If I had any complaint at all it would be that I had to buy that nearly useless lab manual, but no situation is ever entirely perfect! Thanks for the excellent semester!"

"I liked that as an instructor you were so into what you were teaching. I mean that you really like rocks! It helped me to understand the material better. I though identifying the minerals was the hardest part."

"I did not like the essays on the test."

"Exams could be a little easier, essay questions on tests also."

"The lecture notes that were availabl on the web page helped by allowing me to pay more attention to instructor lecture and it aided in the organization of my notes for studying."

"I felt the lab practicals and even some of the exams were to tough. However, I might have not put enough time in either. Working 40+ hours a week plus school can be tough."

"The only thing I believe that could be changed is a nother or more field trips. For instance the time I have spend at BHE in the soils class we spent a lot of time in the field, even if it was just on the BHE campus."

"The printable lecture notes made it much easier to receive all of the required information in the class because I spent more time listening and reading, rather than trying to hurry and write everything down."

"The web page and notes were really helpful. The visual aids worked exceptionally well in helping me identify geological forms."

"I wish more points would have been assigned to labs, or more homework assignments were given - so grades weren't so much based on exams and practicals."

"The course was well put together, I just wish there would have been a few extra assignments or extra credit to help if you did poorly on a test. The tests were difficult so it would have been nice to have something else to help your grade."

"Every in class was well done. I have no complaints"

"Thoroughly enjoyed a subject I thought was boring or irrelavant pryor to taking this course, Thanks."