Achim Herrmann
Earth Science, Geology
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
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    Education Standards

    Review for "An Introduction to Geology"

    Review for "An Introduction to Geology"




    This is a review of "An Introduction to Geology", a free textbook for college-level introductory geology courses, by Dr. Achim Herrmann (Department of Geology and Geophysics, LSU).

    The textbook is here:



    This is a very comprehensive web-based geology textbook. In scope, coverage, and topics covered, it is comparable to non-OER textbooks. Geology is a very visual science and many of the figures and photographs of this textbook are excellent.

    The main topics generally covered in an introductory geology class are covered. The textbook also features "did I get it" quizzes at the end of many sections within a chapter, as well as review quizzes at the end of chapters. These quizzes are instantaneously checked and are a great interactive feature.

    The textbook also has an online glossary that is very comprehensive.

    Content Accuracy

    The content of the textbook is very accurate. It shows that the textbook has several authors and was edited and reviewed by many geoscientists.

    Relevance Longevity

    The concepts covered in this introductory geology textbook are unlikely to change much in the near future. I expect that future editions might update some data (e.g., newest data for the global climate change chapter), but overall this textbook will not be obsolete any time soon.


    The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used. Where jargon is used, the jargon is underlined and hovering the mouse over it brings up a definition. This is a very useful feature.


    The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The terminology is explained in the glossary and within chapters, the same terms are used. 


    The textbook has several individual chapters. Each chapter has many fairly short units that are oftern ended with a "Did I get it quiz." Some chapters refer to earlier chapters. These self-references however are not very common. Nevertheless, the textbook does not have to be taught in its entirety and adopting instructors can pick and choose a subset of chapters without a problem.

    Organization Structure Flow

    The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion that one would find in a commercial textbook as well. The flow of the textbook lends itself to being incorporated into a variety of physical geology classes at the introductory level.


    The web-based interface allows for easy navigation of the document via hyperlinks for both the overall content of the book, as well as the "table of contents" sections for each chapter. Figures and photos are embedded within the sections that refer to them. This interface also works nicely on mobile devices and makes it very portable. 

    Grammatical Errors

    The text contains no grammatical errors.

    Cultural Relevance