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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Bioconductor for Genomic Data Science by Johns Hopkins University

359 ratings

About the Course

Learn to use tools from the Bioconductor project to perform analysis of genomic data. This is the fifth course in the Genomic Big Data Specialization from Johns Hopkins University....

Top reviews


Sep 25, 2023

Great course and great teacher. Not a basic course, I'm developer since many years mainly in JAVA, etc, and I can say that this doesn't feel like a relaxed course.


Aug 27, 2019

Before you can run, you must learn to walk.

Kasper's well paced tutorials will give you confidence using the tools you need for genomic study.

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1 - 25 of 77 Reviews for Bioconductor for Genomic Data Science

By Miglė P

Mar 13, 2016

Very frustrating and disappointing experience. The lectures were hard to follow on many levels:

1) The enunciation was unclear and subtitles were often of-the-point, plus they covered-up the code lines that were being discussed.

2) The lecturer often failed to explain logical constructs that were being used, despite the fact that the course should have been understandable with no R cran/Bioconductor experience.

3) The method arguments were either not explained, or very vaguely mentioned, which means applying them to new situations was unnecessarily complicated.

4) No feedback at all was offered from course organisers/reps to anyone, even after complains in discussion forum about quiz questions.

5) No feedback for solving the questions/correct answers even after the deadline.

6) Quiz questions required methods and logical constructs that were not explained/used/mentioned in the lectures. One quiz lacked background information of what data needed to be used (the info was available in the previous version of the course). Some quiz questions were biologically inaccurate i.e. confusing genes/transcripts/exons.

By Patricia

Apr 20, 2020

The course is outdated. There are no active discussions, no help at all in the forum. There are no mentors available which makes it difficult if you are a beginner. Not worth the money, this course should be free.

By Kasper T K

Jan 22, 2018

Great subject, yet a very difficult field to teach, and unfortunately, this course doesn't do it well enough.

The course is sloppy compared to all the other great courses on the Genomic Data Science Specialization.

Since Use of R and Bioconductor can be tricky, it would be nice if better examples were much more elaborated.

The Quizzes have a lot of questions, which are too difficult to answers, generally because the revolve around using 10% of the introduced material to do 90% unexplained analysis. You would need a lot prior knowledge to Bioconductor packages, to be able to answer and even sometimes understand many of the given questions.

Quite a shame!

By Graziano P

May 13, 2018

Lectures are poorly understandable and the code examples are not explained in their meaning. Also some questions of the final quizes are difficult to understand. All the lectures and the quizes should have be constructed on a simpler use case

By Luis F R C

Apr 11, 2016

There is not support in the forum

By Gabriel M

Apr 29, 2016

I struggled so hard! No way near the same level as the other courses.

Came from Computer science background and felt that I missed so many terms and concepts that were required for this course

By Kanvar K

Apr 3, 2019

Extremely complicated, not for beginners!

By Robert G

Jul 22, 2020

While this is a very challenging class, its worth it! Imagine learning about a database and query language designed specifically for dealing with genomes!

You will need to know R very well, and Bioconductor. At the heart of this class are the quizzes and solving the problems there is a real challenge.

There are ample materials, in the form of slides, videos and code, as well as a textbook whose chapters are in the instructors archives and also available in pdf form on the Internet.

Key to understanding the material is knowledge of the structure of the Genome, DNA and RNA. Knowledge of transcripts, Exons, Introns, and other data structures is assumed. A bibliography of papers and references would have been helpful. Like all classes in this specialization, do not be shy about seeking help --Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube are your friends.

This software is used frequently in the real world and is worth your time to learn it.


Apr 6, 2021

I think this course is really useful for those who have been relatively proficient in R but are lack of experience in applying R for genomic analyses. [This course is not for R beginner in my opinion] The instructor has an accent but at least it doesn't matter for me, a non-native English speaker. The content is not that outdated as others said, since these packages are still widely used and they are the fundamental basis for other advanced applications of R in genomic research. I really appreciate this course!

By Janani S

Jul 1, 2020

This course was extremely hard to follow, especially for R novices and Bioconductor beginners. As a novice myself, I found that while I eventually got acclimatized to Dr. Hansen's speaking style, his pace and the amount of information covered through the course was far more than I had initially believed. I was only able to complete the course through a multitude of sources, including the Coursera weekly help forums and the various Bioconductor forums. If you would truly like to learn Bioconductor and implement it effectively, I would advise that you take a comprehensive R class as well as a brief introduction to Bioconductor before delving into this complex and high-level course.

By DBel

Jun 15, 2023

This course teaches some very useful and important aspects of Bioconductor data types and packages for the analysis of genomic data sets. I would agree with the previous criticisms towards the course. Still, all the material taught in the lectures is provided on the instructor's github. So even if it is sometimes hard to understand what is being said, everything shown and told can be also read in the Markdown files. There are quite a few outdated commands, but you can quite easily find the recent commands by googling or examining the help files. A lot of helpful comments have also been posted in the discussion forums. One warning should be issued before taking this course: you should really have some experience with R already, otherwise it is going to be very hard to pass the quiz exams. I am still giving the course 5 stars because I personally learned a lot about Bioconductor that I did not know before although I have been using its packages for a while now. I understand much better now what I was dealing with (AnnotationHub(), GRanges, SummarizedExperiment, ...).

By Enrique E S C

Jun 13, 2019

So practical! I learned a lot about specific and useful cases. It is true that I have to learn a lot yet but with this background, I will get used to any code soon.

By Geoffrey K

Aug 28, 2019

Before you can run, you must learn to walk.

Kasper's well paced tutorials will give you confidence using the tools you need for genomic study.


Dec 13, 2016

The course is hard and needs previous knowledge of R. The time for for doing the "quizes" are not long. On the other hand, the questions resemble real world bioinformatics problems. The real inconvenience with this course is that the Forum does not work. Because not all that is questioned in the "quizes" are thought in the classes. So a help from the Forum is a real need for this course to work smoothly.

By Michael R D

Mar 25, 2017

Lots of good data. Really a walk through of coding without too much theory. Would prefer a little more theory. Would have helped in completing the course and capstone. Ended up having to take Eric Lander Intro to Bio course on edx to really understand what I had done. In particular, a better explanation of what is going on at a basic with methylation marks and how the Epigenome Map was constructed.

By Xing Y

Nov 7, 2018

Lots of knowledge but not systematic. Hard to follow for R beginners and there should have been quiz in lectures (like the "Algorithm for DNA sequencing" course). A lot of knowledge used in the homework was not mentioned/addressed in the lectures.

By Sofya K

Mar 13, 2016

Discussions in this course are voiceless and dead and the instructor never appears in discussions. I couldn't understand anything from video lectures: cannot understand enunciation not enough detailed, lack of examples related to the assignments. So the only source was repository with html files. And a lot of searching through bioconductor forums.

I liked the relevance of quiz questions to real life genomic questions, but all quiz questions were outstandingly difficult, because of both lack of examples in lectures and errors in some packages inside bioconductor.

Overall I expected much more from this course and I cannot recommend it to anyone.

By Valdir B J

May 11, 2018

Confusing, not straight forward, transcription is all wrong.

By Yang Y

Aug 18, 2016

the class gave me nothing. nobody wan's to waste tons of hours to learn nothing. so I personally think this course is on of the worst classes among the Coursera.

By Ammar A

Aug 7, 2016

Course is not good at all. The instructor assumes that you have a good genomic background.

By Mohammad Z A

Mar 12, 2016

Excellent introduction to Bioconductor. Thanks to the team. However, absence of inputs from TA or Instructor was felt in the discussion.

By Arpan K B

Apr 12, 2018

Amazing course, motivated me to use bio conductor for descriptive seq studies of DNA.

By Chunyu Z

Feb 10, 2016

I learned a lot from this class and the instructor is good.

By Marc B

May 13, 2020

Pretty good class. Thanks a lot! One downside: Understanding what we are doing for the exames from a biology perspective was pretty hard. We switched datasets very often (meaning also a lot of waiting for downloads...) and getting the meaning of the answers was somestimes quite tough.

By Amy G

Mar 30, 2019

The content is relevant and presented well, though slightly out of date. It would be very helpful to update this course. Note that the discussion forums haven't been tended for years so they are not at all helpful and some code is deprecated without warning.