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Learner Reviews & Feedback for A Crash Course in Causality: Inferring Causal Effects from Observational Data by University of Pennsylvania

435 ratings
144 reviews

About the Course

We have all heard the phrase “correlation does not equal causation.” What, then, does equal causation? This course aims to answer that question and more! Over a period of 5 weeks, you will learn how causal effects are defined, what assumptions about your data and models are necessary, and how to implement and interpret some popular statistical methods. Learners will have the opportunity to apply these methods to example data in R (free statistical software environment). At the end of the course, learners should be able to: 1. Define causal effects using potential outcomes 2. Describe the difference between association and causation 3. Express assumptions with causal graphs 4. Implement several types of causal inference methods (e.g. matching, instrumental variables, inverse probability of treatment weighting) 5. Identify which causal assumptions are necessary for each type of statistical method So join us.... and discover for yourself why modern statistical methods for estimating causal effects are indispensable in so many fields of study!...

Top reviews


Sep 11, 2021

Great introduction on the causal analysis.The instructor did a great job on explaining the topic in a logical and rigorous way. R codes are very relevant and helpful to digest the material as well.


Dec 27, 2017

I really enjoyed this course, the pace could be more even in parts. Sometimes the pace could be more even and some more books/reference material for further study would be nice.

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126 - 146 of 146 Reviews for A Crash Course in Causality: Inferring Causal Effects from Observational Data

By Alvaro F

Aug 25, 2020

Great course, the title is exactly what you will get: the basics on inferring causal effects from observational data

By Yahia E

Jan 9, 2020

Great course. I have learned a lot. I just wish to have more programming exercises to cement our knowledge.

By Jeesoo J

Jan 25, 2021

The course is very helpful for beginners to understand. Also, to be able to practice through R is helpful.

By Chris C

Aug 28, 2018

Could use a bit more guidance on the projects, but overall a helpful course. Gets straight to the point.

By Manuel F

Oct 21, 2018

Interesting introductory course about causality. Good "compilation" in just 5 weeks.


By Naiqiao H

Feb 27, 2019

The course is very useful for beginners. The materials are clear and easy to understand.

By Lorena L

May 2, 2021

I really enjoyed this course and I appreciated the practice exercise in R.

By Fernando C

Nov 24, 2017

They could offer more applied exercises in R. But, it was also great.

By Lyons B

Sep 20, 2020

The lectures are good, and they might consider covering more topics.

By Gavin M

Dec 4, 2020

It was well laid out, and overall helpful.

By Javed A

Nov 27, 2020

A good course. Bit difficult for novices.

By Juan C

Oct 7, 2019


By Andrew L

Nov 28, 2019

Clear deliver of engaging content. Very disappointed the course lacked an IV program or some capstone to evaluate learning. Why would you complete the course with a quiz compared to a practical assignment. I also do not understand why the slides are not available.

By Robert S

Dec 17, 2021

I​ think it would be nice to have a bit of an overview how the methods compare to others in the field of causal inference. Also the slides could contain more illustrations. However, I liked the selection of the material.

By Enrique O M

Sep 4, 2021

Good content. But irregular assignments, most with no feedback. Moreover some exercises could have errors, or at least ambiguous enunciates.

By Kasra S

Aug 14, 2021

I think there are parts in the course where further discussion is needed.

By Ignacio S R

Apr 30, 2018

The course is ok, but not having access to the slides is very annoying

By Francisco P

May 30, 2019

Hard to understand

By Scott M

Feb 16, 2022

The course material is excellent, but the course description dramatically under-estimates the study time needed to complete the course. This is especially true for the R assignments if you are not already *very* comfortable in R. There are also many problems with link rot and software/version compatibility issues for the R exercises.

I would have given the course 4 stars were it not for the unforgiving nature of the R exercises.

Overall, I would recommend this course for someone if they are already quite comfortable in R, or are willing to pout in at least 20 hours of work for each of the R assugnments.

By Siyu H

Feb 14, 2021

This is a very theoretical course with much math formula and less well-explained practical examples to better illustrate those formula. I came to this course hoping to learn about new ideas and techniques of experiment design for causal effect when randomized experiments are not possible. Unfortunately I did not achieve this goal. This is just my personal view. If you come with a different purpose, you might find this course more useful than I did.

By Eva Y G

Sep 28, 2019

Can not download slides which make the source material very inaccessible