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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Computational Thinking for Problem Solving by University of Pennsylvania

1,246 ratings

About the Course

Computational thinking is the process of approaching a problem in a systematic manner and creating and expressing a solution such that it can be carried out by a computer. But you don't need to be a computer scientist to think like a computer scientist! In fact, we encourage students from any field of study to take this course. Many quantitative and data-centric problems can be solved using computational thinking and an understanding of computational thinking will give you a foundation for solving problems that have real-world, social impact. In this course, you will learn about the pillars of computational thinking, how computer scientists develop and analyze algorithms, and how solutions can be realized on a computer using the Python programming language. By the end of the course, you will be able to develop an algorithm and express it to the computer by writing a simple Python program. This course will introduce you to people from diverse professions who use computational thinking to solve problems. You will engage with a unique community of analytical thinkers and be encouraged to consider how you can make a positive social impact through computational thinking....

Top reviews


Dec 18, 2018

Excellent course for beginners with enough depth, programming and computational theory to increase their computer science knowledge to a higher level. It builds a good foundation of how computers work


Dec 13, 2022

I recommend this course to everyone who wants to learn about Computation Thinking in an effortless manner. I am delighted with this course. Thanks to UPenn and Coursera for giving me this opportunity.

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351 - 375 of 424 Reviews for Computational Thinking for Problem Solving

By Kingshuk D

Jul 24, 2020

The first 3 weeks were good content and testing, though i would request more questionnaires to test all concepts introduced. though i believe the content visuals & explanations could be improved, but that generally applies to most things we do anyway. Improvisation is a continuous process.

There is something humourous about the 4th week. The content and exercises appear to have been squished in with the same amount of haste like that of a student wanting to just finish the course( I was one of the students myself , so there!). The forum response rate went down as well (understandably!). In my humble opinion, the 4th week needed to be a bit more elaborate by at least 1 more week. More exercises with smoother notching up of complexity of exercises, testing out all possible concepts so that they get embedded deeper into the students' thought process irrespective of whether they take up computing later or not.

Thank you big time, Professors! :)

By Reece M

Feb 3, 2020

Overall I thought this course was very well done. It was at a basic level, so much so that you didn't need a background in computational thinking or mathematics to take the course. This was very nice!

The explanations were very helpful and the videos were well done. The instructors were overall quite engaging and the concepts were well-motivated.

I think the capstone problem (the Corpus example) could be modified to make it more engaging and interesting. I think a different problem would be more suitable, as the description of the problem was somewhat difficult to digest.

Some of the compiling and checking of the solutions was a little challenging at times. Sometimes you had the correct answer, but needed to alter the solution somewhat to fit the criteria of the test. This was not necessarily a bad thing, but it was frustrating in Module 4.

Overall nicely done!


By Daniel C

Aug 16, 2020

Very interesting course for beginners. In my professional environment, I am rarely exposed to this type of problem solving through coding (I am a CPA), yet, this course took me from zero to having a better understanding about how to "think" like a computer. One recommendation I would make is to somehow show students, onscreen, for each example on the PowerPoints, how each line of code is interpreted by the computer. The latter would clearly show things like why indentation is so important or how the computer understands a loop. Lastly, although I received multiple emails from the available support, it comes a point where you need somewhat of a live chat. Again, I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to wet his/her appetite for programming. Thank you for all the support and patience.

By Chris T

Nov 22, 2020

For the most part, the course is well paced and the content is explained clearly. However, the python module felt a bit rushed to me and the problem sets did not feel appropriate for someone with no prior python experience. I had to complete two other intro level python classes outside of this course in order to be ready to solve the final assignment in Computational Thinking. In the end, this class did challenge me quite a bit and I have learned about Python coding as a result, which was my ultimate goal in the grand scheme.

By wharheit g

Apr 26, 2021

This was a great intro to algorithms. Definitely take notes and screenshots or refer back to the presentations for assistance with the quizzes and assignments. I definitely got to see how Computer Science can be applied to day to day activities and real-world problems to find solutions. I will say the only concern I had was that the examples provided in the presentations are way easier than what is asked of students in the assignments. It can be very time consuming but when you figure it out you feel amazing!

By Timothy W

Aug 5, 2022

Not a bad class, but I wouldn't say that this class is for beginners. The first 2 weeks were very abstract and could turn some people off from CS, but they are not representative of how CS actually works. The flowchart and written exercises are not a good gauge of whether you can be a good programmer or not. Trust me. I wouldn't have known this if I came into this course without any CS training at all. However, the lasts 2 weeks were good and worth the time investment for beginner CS students.

By Ahmed S

Dec 22, 2020

This course learn you using Pillars of Computational Thinking (Decomposition, Pattern recognition, Data representation and abstraction, Algorithms ) to tackle problems and use flow-chart in case studies and write an algorithm to solve it to practice on it and this course ended by explaining computer history and architecture and teach you python but it needs more case study to work with it to enhance your this skills and some mentors to tell you what you miss and what you need to focus.


By Wei Q

Feb 6, 2022

Overall, it's a great beginners course to develop a novel mindset when people consider problems. I like it's big idea and the high level of thinking methods, the four pillars of CT, except for... the last week's lesson. I guess it would too challenging for novice learners to finish the codes by themselves if some knowledge is not taught in the lecture. But, it's still a rewarding learning experience for me!

By Igor P

Feb 22, 2021

Most of the course was helpful and understandable. Although the criteria for one of the examples remained unclear and controversial for real application.

Writing scripts in Python is not easy for beginners. Quite a lot of additional materials had to be done to really consciously complete the tasks. The support service responds for a long time, does not meet the deadlines set by them.

By Alon H

May 19, 2020

Really well put together course, clear audio and beneficial visuals. The earlier phases of the course didn't provide clear guidance on what was looked for in grading, so it took a while to get adjusted. Sometimes explanations on why something was done in a video were skipped over, leading to a need to read the forums to get clarity. Learned a lot, and enjoyed the exercises!

By Angelie X

Sep 12, 2021

It's a very beginner-friendly course for computational thinking. I like that the content is structured, interesting, and easy to follow. I also like that it doesn't jump straight into coding like most other courses. I do feel like the two case studies used in the course were a little confusing. I already know Python before so the second half of the course was easy for me.

By Syed O A

Dec 9, 2020

Was honestly a great course but the auto grade system was very tough for some quizzes. Where even if you had the correct answer but it displayed in a different way it would be considered a 0. Otherwise the instructors were wonderful to learn from and the one time I needed help I received it within 3 days and was able to finish the last quiz because of it.

By Thaddeus P

Dec 17, 2019

A well thought out, progressive walk into python programming and the paradigm of computational thinking. There were a few exercises that left a few details slightly fuzzy, and some instructions that were not 100% clear, but not impossible to work through. Presenters spoke clearly and slowly, and were helpful in understanding topics.

By Như P A N

Jul 29, 2019

Overall the course is interesting and informative to beginner. And this way of thinking is truly practical and helpful in the real life. But the last part of the course including the coding part is not truly adequate for the beginner, making the beginner has to go extra miles to be able to do it but I wondered its necessity.


Jul 9, 2020

Great course!

I learned a little bit about python before, so this program really broad my eye about algorithms. The 4th week is somehow challenging especially for 4.7. but after complete it. I enhanced my knowledge about some key point in Python programming like class and object.

By Arjun T M

Jan 22, 2023

Videos are well explained yet in certain assignments some stuff may not have been explained. Overall a great course that I would suggest for those who have dabbled in python already. But if you are new, I would suggest you to get ready cause this course will make you work!

By Patrick D G

Feb 21, 2023

Course fundamentals were great. The Python work wasn't too hard, but I did find the final assignment frustratingly unclear (which is ironic given that it's threaded throughout the course). Problem sets need to be refined for clarity, but good ideas.

By Robert B

Feb 24, 2020

Enjoyed the course very much. Only had issues submitting Assignments 4.7 and 4.8 to the Autograder. Running the code in the window would provide a correct answer but it wouldn't be accepted once submitted. Otherwise, I highly recommend this course.


Feb 6, 2021

This is not so easy, like some technicians could think, It requieres skills like order, method, and intuition about procedures, elements, steps, etc. I really recommend this course for beginners and intermediate programmers.

By santiago p

Aug 17, 2019

Great course and content. The responsiveness to questions and issues in the forum was not the best and could be improved. Overall the course was well structured, engaging, and insightful. Feel great to start coding in Python.

By Yash K

Aug 13, 2021

This course is helpful for learn and understood solution of any problem although by this course we got some knowledge of python programming. But at some point I'm also stuck but I completed it successfully. Thank you penn.

By Manaal K

Aug 4, 2022

Informative but the last assignment on Week 4 is misleading in that you can only submit the search function but the instructions say that you can test your code and the program will test it as well.

By Nidhi A

Jan 15, 2021

IT is a very good course. That being said, week 4 should be spread over two weeks, and have more explanation in order to make the projects more manageable. I struggled with the last two projects.

By Lluc R S

Jan 18, 2019

Useful course taught at an adequate rate. I recommend it for people who are interested in learning the basics of computational thinking, i.e. a systematic approach to problem-solving.