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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Epidemics - the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases by The Pennsylvania State University

1,359 ratings
341 reviews

About the Course

Not so long ago, it was almost guaranteed that you would die of an infectious disease. In fact, had you been born just 150 years ago, your chances of dying of an infectious disease before you've reached the tender age of 5 would have been extremely high. Since then, science has come a long way in understanding infectious diseases - what they are, how they spread, and how they can be prevented. But diseases like HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, or the flu are still major killers worldwide, and novel emerging diseases are a constant threat to public health. In addition, the bugs are evolving. Antibiotics, our most potent weapon against bacterial infections, are losing their power because the bacteria are becoming resistant. In this course, we'll explore the major themes of infectious diseases dynamics. After we’ve covered the basics, we'll be looking at the dynamics of the flu, and why we're worried about flu pandemics. We'll be looking at the dynamics of childhood diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which were once considered almost eradicated, but are now making a comeback. We'll explore Malaria, and use it as a case study of the evolution of drug resistance. We'll even be looking at social networks - how diseases can spread from you to your friends to your friends' friends, and so on. And of course we’ll be talking about vaccination too. We’ll also be talking about how mobile phones, social media and crowdsourcing are revolutionizing disease surveillance, giving rise to a new field of digital epidemiology. And yes, we will be talking about Zombies - not human zombies, but zombie ants whose brains are hijacked by an infectious fungus. We're looking forward to having you join us for an exciting course!...

Top reviews

Apr 22, 2016

Can't fault this course at all and nor would I want to. Very interesting, brilliantly presented and the range of experts really enhanced it. It was engaging and made me keen to find out more.

Apr 11, 2016

great course and its intensive learning . One might think its just another course . However, one needs to follow all the lectures and notes closely to be able to pass all their assignments .

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1 - 25 of 336 Reviews for Epidemics - the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

By Jennifer M

Oct 15, 2020

I feel like I learned a LOT in this course. I enjoyed having so many different instructors because I got to experience so many different teaching styles. As a teacher myself, I can also tell you that the great majority of these professors are fascinating to listen to (there is one fellow who seems terrified to be speaking publicly and I really felt sorry for him, but everyone else was great). I like being able to take tests at the end of each unit because I want to know if I have learned the material (EdX charges you for that, which is one of the reasons I prefer coursera). I cannot recommend this course highly enough if you are interested in Epidemiology.

By Matt G

Apr 23, 2020

This course was super interesting. I am just completing a MPH and this was a course I wish was in my program.

By Janet W

Apr 28, 2020

Excellent and highly recommended! Great faculty and guest speakers from diverse backgrounds providing a wide spectrum of opinions. I especially enjoyed the lively discussion forums in Week 8. Kudos to the course developer. Each topic was presented in “bite size” pieces and easy to comprehend. I can definitely apply this course to current events providing a foundation for understanding the Covid-19 pandemic.

By M.C. D D

Apr 18, 2020

I have started several courses on Coursera - this was the first one I successfully completed in a looong time. The instructors are amazing: able to succinctly and clearly communicate important themes and concepts. I particularly enjoyed the brevity of each lesson. I completed the entire course in three weeks and moved on to other public health courses.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Penn State!

By Fahd H K

May 1, 2020

This was a fantastic course. Especially given the current situation we are facing the world over. A very well structured course on a very important topic. Did a brilliant job in teaching the practical aspects of epidemics and epidemiology rather than focusing on the quantitative aspect of the discipline. A massive kudos to the team! Thank you for helping me improve my knowledge.

By 闰长青

Feb 9, 2020

Excellent courses! These courses were prepared by a combination of virologist, bacteriologist, immunologist and socialogist. They provided a comprehensive perspective on how epidemics emerge, spread and would be controlled by us. Quiet interesting. I learned so much from the courses!

By 冯峥

Feb 9, 2020

Wonderful introduction to epidemics. After finishing it, I've been able to distinguish whether a report about new epidemic is credible. I suppose it is important in today's society for that there seems to be more variable diseases while human society is continuously developing.

By Gracious A T

May 12, 2020

Online learning of Epidemiology via this media is very convenient, I was able to learn at my pace and I must say that this course is not just an addition to my CV, It would also be used for the development of my local community in the health sector.

Thank you Coursera!

By Helen W

May 3, 2020

Thank you so much for this fascinating course...which I really found so I interesting.I learned such a lot and I wish to congratulate all the scientists for explaining everything so clearly to a non scientist like myself..Great stuff!

By Ricardo Z V

Apr 13, 2020

This course is "prophetic" for what we are experiencing today because of the coronavirus. Not only does he have a biological visión but also a social vision about beliefs and behavior. Very good course, I recommend it.

By Donna B

Apr 23, 2016

Can't fault this course at all and nor would I want to. Very interesting, brilliantly presented and the range of experts really enhanced it. It was engaging and made me keen to find out more.

By Shaaz N

Apr 12, 2016

great course and its intensive learning . One might think its just another course . However, one needs to follow all the lectures and notes closely to be able to pass all their assignments .

By Pranav K

Apr 12, 2020

An excellent brief course on epidemiology to refresh medical school knowledge and public health practitioners.

By Gita E

Jan 15, 2020

The e-course was definitely very interesting, however, the quizzes were very annoying as well at times. I would spend more hours trying to pass these quizzes rather than actually learning from the course's content towards the end of it. Still, I recommend this course to anyone who wants an expansive introduction to infectious diseases.

By Suguna D

Oct 2, 2016

Of course, its a nice course but the calculations were little more for me to understand as I am a Medical doctor. I enjoyed the course. Thanks one and all for helping me to understand the course

By nicholas P

May 7, 2020


By Rodolfo R

Aug 25, 2019

Good course on Infectious diseases; rather broad which includes social and belief perspectives.

Good points are: the part on the "social networks" which enable the student in better understanding on the patterns of transmission; the part on agriculture and zoonosis and their impact on infections in humans.

Parts where I expected a bit more: the part on the "dynamics", mostly on the SIR framework (I actually I choose to take this course hoping to get a deeper and practical understanding of this type of modeling).

By Elize

Jan 30, 2018

The instructors state in the beginning, that they put a lot of effort into making this course fun... And it was! The course provides an overview on history of emergence and treatment of infectious diseases as well as developments and future considerations for prevention and treatment. The information is explained very well and supported by very entertaining animations, which help to memorize the course material. The additional readings and videos provided each week were informative and offered increased understanding of each topic. This was the 8th course I completed on Coursera, and eventhough I enjoyed all, this the only one I rated with 5 stars. Enjoy!

By Agustin C

Oct 13, 2020

Excelente Curso!!! Explicado de una manera que hace que sea de fácil comprensión para cualquier persona que no este este familiarizada con la epidemiología, y al mismo tiempo explicado de una manera que resulta más entretenido que ver una serie o leer una novela. Creo que es un curso fundamental para hacer en este momento con los problemas que actualmente el mundo esta viviendo, ya que con este curso uno realmente entiende que es lo que esta pasando, aprende a hablar con propiedad y entiende que hacer ahora como en un futuro para no enfermar ni propagar una enfermedad infecciosa.


By Ian B

Apr 8, 2020

I took this course on learning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Very pleased I did. It was clear, even from the early lectures, that Covid-19 was going to be more serious than initial reports were suggesting. As a founding member of our local safety & security forum, we were able to formulate an emergency plan and mobilise ancillary medical personnel (we're all still on standby).

The course content is presented in a way that make it easy to understand. And kudos to whoever did the background sketches and animations... nice touch!

Thanks guys! And good luck to everyone still under lockdown!

By Robert C S

Dec 12, 2016

Enjoyed the course tremendously, and it was a wonderful refresher course that I am using to keep me current with some of the tangential parts of my field of expertise. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in infectious disease, epidemiology, microbiology, or related fields. The videos were short, direct, and enlightening and not dry and boring light some educational videos can tend to be. I am planning on taking a number of other courses offered through

By Hasala S k G K

Jul 26, 2020

I am a mathematician who is primarily researching in mathematical control theory, who wanted to have a broader overview of epidemiology necessarily with biological aspects and mathematical epidemiology. This course was very helpful! I definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning epidemiology with possible directions of further studies and research. I make this an opportunity to thank everybody who taught the course and put everything together. Excellent job!

By Aparna S

Sep 26, 2020

I would like to thank the instructors for designing such a wonderful course which concentrates on every aspect of epidemics. I thoroughly enjoyed myself through this learning process. The concepts were explained in a simple manner with focus on arousing curiosity and interest in the mind of the learners while giving insights into the world of epidemics and its dynamics. Highly recommend this course for those who are interested in disease biology and its impacts on the world.

By abi

Apr 8, 2021

An extremely engaging, helpful and exciting course which I looked forward to continuing each week, thanks to how brilliantly it was put together and how the topics were taught (in depth without being too confusing!). The end of topic tests weren't too heavy and allowed me to reflect back on all the information and put it to use. It gave me a lot of insight into what work is currently going on behind the scenes during the COVID pandemic, too.