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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Bioinformatic Methods I by University of Toronto

1,631 ratings

About the Course

Large-scale biology projects such as the sequencing of the human genome and gene expression surveys using RNA-seq, microarrays and other technologies have created a wealth of data for biologists. However, the challenge facing scientists is analyzing and even accessing these data to extract useful information pertaining to the system being studied. This course focuses on employing existing bioinformatic resources – mainly web-based programs and databases – to access the wealth of data to answer questions relevant to the average biologist, and is highly hands-on. Topics covered include multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, gene expression data analysis, and protein interaction networks, in two separate parts. The first part, Bioinformatic Methods I (this one), deals with databases, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, selection analysis and metagenomics. The second part, Bioinformatic Methods II, covers motif searching, protein-protein interactions, structural bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis, and cis-element predictions. This pair of courses is useful to any student considering graduate school in the biological sciences, as well as students considering molecular medicine. Both provide an overview of the many different bioinformatic tools that are out there. These courses are based on one taught at the University of Toronto to upper-level undergraduates who have some understanding of basic molecular biology. If you're not familiar with this, something like might be helpful. No programming is required for this course. Bioinformatic Methods I is regularly updated, and was completely updated for January 2023....

Top reviews


Jul 11, 2020

This course is very well organized, easy to understand, and explained everything steps by step which will help to grasp the concept easily. If you are a beginner like me, you should take this course.


Nov 2, 2021

Bioinformatics 1 was very interesting and enlightening for me. I learnt practical skills which I can now apply in to ace an impactful career. Thank you so much Coursera for this amazing opportunity!

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1 - 25 of 363 Reviews for Bioinformatic Methods I

By David U

Jun 14, 2017

Very light on details. For many of the assignments, the target web site tools had changed, or produced different results than expected for the answers. I would have liked a lot more written material over the lecture material.

By Kawshik K P

May 2, 2020

I have two opinions about this course. POSITIVE OPINION: It is helpful because one can know about the online gene bank and solving problem using web access. NEGATIVE OPINION: The assignments or the quizzes of this course are not helpful. The questions are not that much clear and all the answers are not easy to find and the referred websites gives different results , so one can't understand whether he is right or wrong and one must apply trial and error sometimes. And the FINAL QUIZ is just a disaster, question is very unclear and lack of information and four out of that five question can't be answered without applying trial and error. In conclusion, I am grateful about the POSITIVE side, but I am very much dissatisfied of the NEGATIVE sides. Thank you.

By Takeshi M

Aug 21, 2019

The course lecture is not updated for more than 5 years, but the tools the lecture use is updated because of outer software or internet site.

I couldn't manipulate the tools as the course indicated because of above reason some times.

By Rituraj C

Jun 21, 2020

Need better explanation of basics and terms.

By Jonathan G

Nov 22, 2015

Painful to watch and boring as hell!

By Sanzida A

Jul 12, 2020

This course is very well organized, easy to understand, and explained everything steps by step which will help to grasp the concept easily. If you are a beginner like me, you should take this course.

By Ramya G

Nov 5, 2017

I enjoyed doing the course. It is exciting to see how much one can learn from a few gene or protein sequences. Thank you for making the course understandable to a beginner in bioinformatics!

By Fiza A J

Feb 6, 2017

The videos were very clear on how to use various bioinformatic tools. I found no difficulty in understanding them. Really enjoyed the course. Looking forward to the next part of this course!

By Stefano G

Sep 7, 2015

A good, interesting and attractive introduction to Bioinformatic methods. Professor Provart is able to make thing easy, whilst showing you how to exploit data and tools freely - well ... usually, they are for free - available on the Internet.

I suggest this course to everyone approaching the topic. Personally, I will also take Bioinformatic Method II to be initiated to elements of structural Bioinformatic methods.

The 5th star is missing because I would like to have some more insights about some underlying "reasons why". But, I reckon this as my own peculiarity.

Good job, Professor Provart! And thank you very much for this!

By Manal E

Jul 23, 2018

Good course but I didn't liked the videos. He spoke too slowly. I guess, it would be better if the course offers besides to the video script a written script (such as in week 1).

By Mathias V

Apr 15, 2017

Course depends too much on multiple third-party sites to be as enlightening as I had hoped. I learned about some great resources, but that's about it.

By Jaeseok P

Dec 29, 2022

Wow. It was a great course. I would not classify this as a beginner course though: this would probably be a 300/400 level upperclassman course. At a bare minimum, one should have introductory biology knowledge. At least one biochemistry and cell biology course each is recommended as a prerequisite IMO.

I probably have more experience than most people taking this course, as I have a Ph.D. in molecular genetics but wanted to understand bioinformatics better. I have experience with BLAST and Clustal as part of my thesis project. Even so, I have learned inordinate amounts of knowledge from this course. I would say it was the right mix of lectures and hands-on lab material.

As someone who has teaching experience, I know how hard it is to design a course. There definitely has been an unimaginable amount of hard work and careful thought that went behind this coursework. Kudos to the professor!

By Anna-Maria H

Dec 6, 2020

This was the course I've been searching for — I needed a fast primer on bioinformatic methods and how to complete phylogenetic analysis using software and databases with no prior knowledge to complete my Masters thesis, and this course covered everything I needed to know in a way that was clear and concise. Learning methods were informative through step-by-step labs that allowed you work at your own pace, examine real data, and understand the methodology. This class, unlike others, lets you leave with a real set of skills rather than exclusively "textbook" knowledge. I'd highly recommend for anyone needing a primer on computational biology.

By Farah G

Nov 16, 2017

I've been on and off Bioinformatics beginner courses, without successfully completing any, until I took this course. Prof Provart gives the course in a way that is both challenging and inspiring, I was always looking forward to what I would study in the following course, so much so that sometimes I'd take two or three week's worth of courses in one! Thank you for making me believe I can traverse the intricacies of Bioinformatics with my purely biological training. I highly encourage absolute beginners to bioinformatics with no coding skills (like myself) to take this course. Many thanks Sir

By Rivaldy P

Sep 30, 2020

I really like the lecturer. What I love the most is that his laboratory experience. And although sometimes it is hard to understand, I finally can make it anyway. He makes me understand the concept of bioinformatic from the basic, that helps me to understand a lot of methods that I used to have no idea before. I wish he were my lecturer when I was in uni. His students must be luck to have him. There are a lot of things I want to write about him but I am not sure if he will read. So I wish he will keep the warmness of his teaching style. I will go back again to this course. Thank you

By Adna A

Aug 15, 2017

The course is thought by an amazing instructor who was obviously giving his best to explain the basic concepts in bioinformatics to his audience! I would especially emphasize how useful labs were, as well as the quality of weekly quizzes and the final course assignment. I am recommending this course to beginners in bioinformatics with prior background in genetics, molecular biology, or at least in biology in general, as well as to everyone who would like to refresh their memory and develop bioinformatics-friendly way of thinking.

By Erick D

Apr 27, 2017

Great course. All lectures provide a biological context for the tools you learn in the labs. The labs themselves provide a great introduction to the many tools available for bioinformatic analysis.

By Geert P

Dec 21, 2015

On the theoretical side, this is a very good introduction, and clearly a lot of effort has been poured into the practical part - only for that, the Toronto team deserves a lot of credit. Sadly, it suffers from the same problem as nearly every intro course in bioinformatics: the labs are merely a set of instructions to follow... even the very last. Still, if you never heard of BLAST or how to draw a phylogenetic tree, this is the course to do.

By Hitesh J

Jul 7, 2016

This course is nice but very lengthy videos and at one points i didn't understand some topics , quiz are pretty tough to solve .

By Arif S

Jun 8, 2017

Lab inspection should be more clearer .Pictured instruction will be more helpful.

By Aseel A

Jun 8, 2020

not what I was looking for

By Eric T

Jul 11, 2019

This is a great course to learn about the variety of tools available in Bioinformatics. The lecture videos give a general overview of the topics for the upcoming lab. The lab handouts were detailed and clearly explained each lab instruction step by step. Unless you are using these tools everyday, it is easy to forget how to use them because the labs cover only the basics. I have already forgotten a lot of the details from the earlier labs, but I know that being exposed to these tools will help me in the future if I ever encounter them again. I would recommend this class as a good overview of Bioinformatic Methods.

By Leah B

Dec 31, 2015

It's great that the course is self-paced, I could start the course immediately to learn things that I immediately need in my work and classes. The bioinformatics tools discussed in this course are very helpful and explained in a clear manner. The instructor provides a lot of useful tips. In all, this course touches upon each of the major fields of bioinformatics that any student entering the field should know. It is suitable for those who are knew to this field, and also fascinating for those who have some prior knowledge.

By Benson N M

Sep 5, 2016

This course is great! The materials provided are topnotch. In addition, the instructor was very active in the discussion forums during the period i enrolled; He was very helpful. As well as students who had enrolled at that period of time. (July to September 2016)

I think anyone with some background in molecular biology can handle this course. Plus, do most of the labs in Firefox or any other browser namely Opera, Safari as an example. Google chrome doesn't support the Java apps you'll use in this course.

By sara c

Sep 26, 2019

I have learned a lot. All the lectures and laboratories are carefully explained and prepared. The course teaches how to use different bioiformatic methods, but also explais in a clear and simple way the background behind. It is the first course that I do, and I am sure I will do more (at least Bioinformatic Methods II).

I liked a lot that there were explained also some research proyects done in the field of bioinformatics (e.g. the examples in Lecture 5), as well as practical applications.