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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials by Johns Hopkins University

3,920 ratings

About the Course

Clinical trials are experiments designed to evaluate new interventions to prevent or treat disease in humans. The interventions evaluated can be drugs, devices (e.g., hearing aid), surgeries, behavioral interventions (e.g., smoking cessation program), community health programs (e.g. cancer screening programs) or health delivery systems (e.g., special care units for hospital admissions). We consider clinical trials experiments because the investigators rather than the patients or their doctors select the treatment the patients receive. Results from randomized clinical trials are usually considered the highest level of evidence for determining whether a treatment is effective because trials incorporates features to ensure that evaluation of the benefits and risks of treatments are objective and unbiased. The FDA requires that drugs or biologics (e.g., vaccines) are shown to be effective in clinical trials before they can be sold in the US. The course will explain the basic principles for design of randomized clinical trials and how they should be reported. In the first part of the course, students will be introduced to terminology used in clinical trials and the several common designs used for clinical trials, such as parallel and cross-over designs. We will also explain some of the mechanics of clinical trials, like randomization and blinding of treatment. In the second half of the course, we will explain how clinical trials are analyzed and interpreted. Finally, we will review the essential ethical consideration involved in conducting experiments on people....

Top reviews


Jul 3, 2018

High quality course ! covering important areas and detailed lectures, more and better than a mere introduction. Congrats ! My only regret : I'd have liked to hear more about NI and equivalence trials


Sep 18, 2019

This course would be most useful to the participant if pursued within a short time-frame, of maximum of 6 weeks. Both lecturers were clear and good communicators. I would take more of their classes.

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51 - 75 of 662 Reviews for Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials

By Huynh L D

May 22, 2016

A rare course in clinical trials, and also a good one.

Strongly recommend for those interested in clinical research!

There's a reason why Bloomberg school of public health is one of the best healthcare research institution in the world. It is very fortunate to learn from such expertise in clinical research through this course.

By Maria G

Jun 4, 2017

I've taken a couple of courses in Coursera and this was the best one so far! The lectures are engaging, clear and comprehensive, and the discussion prompts very useful. I would certainly take an advance course and recommend this one to all those interested in learning more on how clinical trials are designed and reported.

By Sergio A S A

May 9, 2020

Even though some previous knowledge is required, I think it will be a very useful program for all of those who are in one way or another involved in the world of clinical trials. It made me understand better many things in my current job that I was just passing by without knowing what was happening on the other side.

By Jesse P Z

Aug 2, 2019

Very thorough and engaging course. Sometimes the information is a little complicated, but the professors are clear and efficient in their explanations so the material is always "doable." The videos were engaging and the few readings were very interesting. Overall a great course with a lot of thought put behind it.

By jiaqi z

Jun 8, 2019

This course is really helpful for me to learn the structure of clinical trials. I think it`s appropriate for people who have some experiences in clinical trials and the materials would be more helpful. If you want to learn statistics with respect to clinical trials, I don`t think this course is a good fit for it.

By Shelby P

Jul 24, 2021

This course gave a great introduction to the design of clinical trials. Although it only provided an overview of randomized clinical trial (RCT) design and the pros and cons of RCTs compared to other design formats, many diverse topics were presented. This is a great course for all individuals new to the field!

By Yousof Y

Jan 7, 2018

It's a very good course to learn basic information about design and interpretation of clinical trials; however, it would be much useful if it included more details about the studies designs and outcome analysing. But in general, it's a valuable and necessary course to take. Thank you very much dear professors.

By Arkar H M

Apr 21, 2020

Very well explained lectures. I could really refresh my knowledge about these topics which I studied during my preparations for USMLE exams. This course explains in depth about certain topics which I didn't cover in that depth during my USMLE preparations. I am really thankful that I could join this course.

By Paulius P

Jul 15, 2019

In the tests, when you get the wrong answer it would be nice to get the reason why is that wrong. Sometimes it is obvious, other times not su much. Apart from this little nitpick, I really liked the lectures and the structure. The course provides enough background to continue on reading/studying the topic.

By Tabassum S

Apr 4, 2021

Coursera organisation is wonderful.Iam highly satisfied with lecture ,lecture notes and above all evaluation system. Only one thing comes to my mind that after putting much effort in solving assignments,will this certificate worth enough to enroll me in aberdeen university in biochemistry department

By Rodolfo V D

Jan 9, 2020

Excelente curso acerca del diseño de ensayos clínicos. Se podría considerar como un curso inicial para adentrarse al mundo de la investigación. No se toman en consideraciones nociones de bio-estadística, por lo cual habría que complementarlo con otro curso para hacer el conocimiento de mas global..

By Erick M J T

Aug 26, 2020

Un curso excelente, bien diseñado y con gran cantidad de información relevante acerca de Investigaciones Clínicas.

Todos los recursos multimedia proporcionados son de gran calidad y además incluyen información acerca de donde buscar mas conocimiento o profundizar lo aprendido en el curso.

By NevineTaymour

Jul 14, 2019

This a top high quality well organized course. It helps many researchers in the medical and dental fields understand the designs of clinical trials and different ways of interpretation. It also help researchers understand the key strengths of clinical trials and observational studies.

By Christos K

Jan 3, 2022

An excellent introductory course on the design and interpretation of clinical trials. After successfully attending this course, the participant should be able to grasp the main concepts of clinical trials design and decide in which area to invest for specialised learning down the road.

By Ken J

Feb 18, 2021

This is a well-down introduction to the clinical design methodologies and considerations. A great starting spot as a Program Manager looking to transition to this field. I am hoping they will release additional courses and make this into a Coursera certificate. Kudos to the authors!

By Muhammad K H

Nov 9, 2017

Very good course. Did it at my pace - though not a fast one but could finish it eventually. Will help me in my professional life. Thanks to coursera for launching a course like this for people like me who cannot afford a regular or dedicated time due to professional commitments.

By Ramya B

Feb 3, 2018

Firstly, I would like to thank both the professors for their valuable lectures.

I was particularly looking for the basics of clinical trial and this course has covered most of its information.

I would highly recommend this anyone looking for the knowledge in clinical trial.

By Sofia J

Mar 3, 2022

Great course: excellent lecturers, well-structured, complex concepts explained very well. I have previous experience with operations and in drug development and still learned new and valuable concepts here.

Kudos to Dr Drye and Dr Holbrook for a great learning experience!

By Aishwarya R

Dec 17, 2020

It was a very well designed and informative course . I took it as an introductory course for understanding how clinical trials are conducted. This course has guide very well from the beginning to end of clinical trials in the most comprehensive yet educational format.

By Kevin R M

Feb 2, 2020

Excellent course for me, as I'm a pharmacist, I'm working in clinical research area and I was looking for acquiring more knoledges and reinforme my previous knowledges regarding clinical trials, I'm gonna llok for more courses regarding clinical trials.

By Massiel R

Sep 6, 2020

Although this whole topic is new to me, all the learning I acquired in this course was very valuable. I am very grateful to Dr. Janet and Dr. Lea for their contributions and knowledge, and for using simple and very complete language on the subject.

By Ana G O H

Dec 8, 2019

Lo bastante simple para ser accesible aunque hayan pasado años desde la última clase de estadística o investitación, pero lo bastante complejo y sistemático para valer la pena de ser revisado. Realmente aporta conocimiento importante en el área.

By Tiago V

Jun 5, 2017

Even if some of the topics might be considered "heavy" and boring, the organisers and presenters of this course made sure that everything was easy to understand.

Overall: Very useful for future work and topics were presented in an interesting way.

By M C

Dec 12, 2017

Great course - lectures well done. I loved the last last lecture and just wished there was more of the comparisons they drew between studies to bring the point home. Its always good to see good and bad studies to understand flaws and strengths.

By Austin E

Aug 2, 2020

Very helpful for learning practicals of why studies are designed certain ways, and how to understand and extrapolate from the research to determine if this research is actually helpful for advising the treatment of our patients in front of us.