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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases by University of Pennsylvania

1,003 ratings
288 reviews

About the Course

This course offers an introduction to the U.S. Constitution and landmark Supreme Court cases interpreting it. It explores the Constitution’s origins, its amendment over the years, and methods of constitutional interpretation. Topics include the nature and structure of the federal government, the powers of the federal government, and individual rights....

Top reviews

Jun 20, 2020

This course was very didactic and easy to understand. I liked the way that the different theories about each subject were presented, allowing me to build my own opinion and perspective on each matter.

Aug 5, 2021

This course was very helpful and informative. I enjoyed the information and the knowledge I retained. I believe this course would educated an individual (Layman) not knowledgeable in legal profession.

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251 - 275 of 285 Reviews for Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases

By Asante A

Feb 2, 2021


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Oct 26, 2020


By Berat T

Sep 6, 2017


By Hunter S

Sep 25, 2017


By Natalie E

Feb 6, 2017


By Timothy K

Mar 7, 2020

I think overall this a great course for those looking for a refresher of the foundations of the constitution and bill of rights or those looking for a comprehensive introduction. Personally, I took this course so I could reinforce things I have studied before. As for the pros, I really liked how the course went through each amendment and contextualized it through case examples. There were some cases that I had not previously heard about. For instance, the cases that prompted the exclusionary rule of the fourth amendment. Moreover, the professor did an excellent job at presenting both sides of constitutional arguments which conflict Supreme Court justices. For the most part, the professor was very straight-forward in his explanations although there were times where he seemed to go off on a tangent. In particular, Week 4's lecture on campaign finance didn't really go into detail about the issue but rather just seemed to ramble. So that brings me to my cons. I thought the professor's demeanor was a bit too contrived so I think it would have been great if maybe he had another person (perhaps a student?) who he was interacting with to make it more of a natural presentation. In addition, one of the major downsides were the supplementary tasks or lack thereof. Most of the course was passive learning in which you are just watching lecture after lecture. I would have given the course a 5-star rating had there been sequential discussions with content-related prompts. I have seen these in other courses and I find them a great way to reinforce concepts and see how other people perceived the content. While there were quizzes, I didn't find the quizzes useful in retaining key concepts. They were overly specific more about facts than concept comprehension. It would have been better if questions were posed as hypothetical situations and the quiz-taker had to decide which amendments or clauses this relates to. I think this might be a better way to gauge whether students comprehended the concepts rather than the specific content. Overall, however, it was a course that was both a comprehensive and concise overview of the constitution as it relates to the Supreme Court. I definitely feel like my knowledge on this has been expanded. I now see the 14th amendment as one of the most significant and contentious amendments. I thank the professor for taking his time to make this course as I think it can help both people new to US politics and people with preexisting knowledge of US politics. The last lecture on health care was particularly insightful! I didn't even think how it interstate commerce could be invoked to justify the individual mandate. Good stuff.

By Tom F

Jun 21, 2021

Good course overall. There were many important Constitutional concepts that I was largely ignorant of-- Shameful, being American! I have left this course more enlightened. My only issue was that some of Professor Roosevelt's explanations seemed circular and convoluted, especially regarding the Fred Korematsu case in Week 4. I only further understood the case via outside research. I additionally wonder if he does not overinterpret the Incorporation Doctrine of the 14th Amendment, given how many times state governments have challenged (if not brazenly violated) this doctrine. Ultimately, however, I highly recommend this course.

By Panda

Jun 7, 2020

Solid effort at explaining key historical developments surrounding the Constitution's history, and in applying the Constitutional provisions and amendments to key Supreme Court cases throughout history. Would have liked a little more in-depth analysis of specific key cases, or perhaps discussion to interpret the case briefs prior to the lectures, or visa versa. Some of professor's summaries of the cases are extremely brief on relevant details like procedural history, or other issues presented to the courts.

By Ella B

Apr 6, 2021

I found the course really interesting. It was a good refresh of my US politics from university. I also thought it was really well designed and clear to follow. The videos had lots of great examples and the text on the videos was really clear, especially with the review highlighting the key points at the end.

However, I did struggle with the last quiz. I found the question's quite difficult in the way they were worded.

Overall, really enjoyed! very interesting and learned some new things!

By William R H

Oct 11, 2019

Good course. Even though I would have liked to see more up to date material, this course taught me some things about our Constitution that I wasn't aware of. I enjoyed answering some of the discussion questions but was extremely disappointed that I did not receive any responses when I posed a question to the professor. But again, overall, it was interesting and set up appropriately to learn. Thank you.

By Kevin C

Aug 15, 2016

The course is well done, and informative however I would disagree with the instructors assertion that originalists and living law philosophers have no real argument it's just a misunderstanding. It sounds like doublethink from 1984 the book by George Orwell. To argue that we are changing the application of something without changing its meaning! Other than not he's pretty good.

By Melanie R

May 1, 2017

It was really easy to listen and read each course. But I felt that some information was inaccurate. In order to get a passing on a test ,I had to pick the answer I know you wanted me to. But that answer was incorrect. My boyfriend said it was propaganda. ...but I rated it 4 stars ,because of ease of information.

By Vicki M

Aug 16, 2020

the course provided historical perspectives while incorporating current topics. Would like to see discussions on some of the constitutional issues surrounding the Trump administration. Some of the links to resources were not working.


Aug 11, 2020

I found it very interesting how the teacher didactically explained each topic in the class. It forces the student to have knowledge and critical thinking. I learned a lot about the American constitution. Excellent teacher!

By Sasha K

Dec 12, 2020

Provided a nice concise review of the fundamental tenants and history of the federal constitution. My opinion is that there was a little bit of a left-leaning political bias on the part of the professor.

By Miura R

Jul 11, 2018

The videos can seem kind of awkward, so I followed along with the transcript at the bottom. Overall, very helpful! I used this course to prepare for a Constitutional Law class that I begin this fall!

By Nichole S

Jul 4, 2016

Could have more analytical and interactive elements. I'm not a fan of quiz based assessment. Otherwise, the information is presented well.

By Conor O

Aug 11, 2020

A bit monotone, but it got quite in detail about constitutional cases for an introduction! Very good learning tool!

By Janet D

Nov 17, 2020

Just needs a few updates. As a foundation reminder, it was very good.

By Abdihamid H

Jun 19, 2018

very interesting and benefiting course. Don't miss out this course

By Joseph H

Jan 7, 2017

Pretty informative for the amount of time required.

By alex s

Jun 21, 2017

Would also like more discussions and a paper due.

By Brian T

Feb 24, 2020

Excellent overview and review of fundamentals.

By Nona

Jul 25, 2017

Great course, but could be more challenging.

By Samantha M

Apr 17, 2019

lots of information and easy to comprehend!