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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Genomic Data Science with Galaxy by Johns Hopkins University

796 ratings
239 reviews

About the Course

Learn to use the tools that are available from the Galaxy Project. This is the second course in the Genomic Big Data Science Specialization....

Top reviews


Sep 06, 2018

This was a lot of work and rewarding to complete. The final project was challenging and the forum contributors helped a lot in pointing out good resources or strategies they had used.


Feb 03, 2018

Great Course if you are interested in dissecting the genome. Galaxy opens up this invisible world and allows even us little people to explore the world once reserved to only Academia.

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151 - 175 of 233 Reviews for Genomic Data Science with Galaxy

By Raquel F

Oct 29, 2017

Good course, but project was not well explained or executed

By Abdulaziz A E

Feb 20, 2017

The content of the course is not explained clearly

By Laurel A L

Jun 05, 2018

course project was not a reflection of the course

By Vasudevan M K

Jun 02, 2018

Final Assignment in Galaxy too time consuming

By David B

Mar 16, 2017

Not enough guidance for final project.

By Adur P

Apr 13, 2016

galaxy is broken

By John C

Aug 29, 2020

This course is not exactly bad, but I think it needs some updating. The course materials are now a little outdated for current Galaxy, although the explain the basics of the tool well.

The main issue lies in the peer-reviewed project, which is not well introduced and learning objectives are very unclear. The aims of the project in relation to learning about reproducibility and the many ways to go about analysis should be better outlined. Additionally, the grading criteria are laid out as though students are expected to get specific values, and it's unclear against which values projects are meant to be graded against, and there needs to be some more lectures outlining the nature of how to develop the pipeline needed for the final project - this is way out of the depth of the existing material.

With some refreshment, I think this could be a good course, but as it stands, it is a little frustrating and could be better structured to teach how galaxy aids reproducibility.

By Alan A

Jan 23, 2017

I am taking this course as a requirement for the Data Science Specialization. I appreciated the concept of learning a platform in which I could conduct bioinformatics, but I feel the course did not provide adequate guidance and information. The lectures were basically video workshops with a few gems of knowledge here and there. I am now at the end of the course but I feel like I learned nothing but a few steps to running an analysis or two ( which I could have done for free through the Galaxy website itself). More significantly, its not wholly clear to me why some of the processes were conducted, or what, explicitly, could be gleaned from the analyses. My expectations were that the lectures would be more in depth about the science behind the tools available, why you would use such tools, and when to use such tools. I think this course would have been perfect as primarily an intellectual course with a hands-on introduction towards the end.

By Lily Z Z

Jun 08, 2018

This course made me confused all the time. There was a great leap between the first introductory course and the second (current) one in this genomic data science specialization. The first course seemed designed for beginners, while the second one requires a decent amount of background knowledge about possibly programming and other data analysis technologies. However, information such that is unclear on the mainpage of this specialization; as it says, "Some related experience required." Also, the final project was somewhat so irrelevant from the course lecture that a great deal of self study was required, which was another great leap of difficulty in this course. I think that such challenge and difficulty would actually be acceptable if the students could be announced beforehand, before the project started or even before we got enrolled in this course so that we would evaluate the difficulty and be mentally prepared for the project.

By Maximilian K

Jan 05, 2017

The course Info was too simple. While the explanation of Why Galaxy and what the idea behind it was great, the content taught by the videos was more than basic. All this I have learned by trial and error myself, and I completely missed the info of WHY using THIS tool and not others. About extra options we did not talk at all.

Additionally, after all these easy lectures and quizzes we were left with the final assignment that was super-hard. The vidoes only prepared for 1/3 of the workflow asked for, and for the rest one was left alone with a tool that was suboptimally introduced. Furthermore, the galaxy instance was crashing regularly, making the convenient batch tool impossible to use.

While I liked the idea of grading each other, it was too much work, as everybody got different answers, because of too hard questions. Therefore I spent quite some time on grading, which I did not expect

By Keivon M

Apr 07, 2020

There is a lot of really essential information in this course. In addition to this, James Taylor is incredibly intelligent and a huge player in genomics. It's a privilege to have access to courses from such an individual. That said, I think a lot of the lectures are a bit without microbiological context. I found myself running through a lot of Galaxy operations and using tools to manipulate genomic data, but without really knowing why. I think it'd be more helpful if we asked a few biological questions, used Galaxy to run some analytics, and then debriefed on how the data can help us answer those questions. Instead you fly through a few tools, generate some data files, and have like a 15 second explanation as to why this might be useful. Personally it just isn't enough to keep me motivated to finish.


Apr 30, 2018

I found this course to include very little informative teaching. I felt like there was a lot of information that could have been explained, but wasn't. Even the lectures associated with learning Galaxy, was more an exercise in clicking things, than understanding what the goals were. I also don't like how there were lectures associated with setting up a personal instance and using AWS, when neither was a good/viable option, and neither was necessary for this class. Finally, I do not feel we got enough direction to do really much of anything on our own, without significant self-learning. I wasn't given even enough tools to understand remotely how to handle the final. I feel like if I wanted to just learn it all by myself, then I wouldn't have signed up for a course.

By Marta K

Jun 09, 2016

I have very mixed feelings after completing this course. I can hardly say I feel I have learned any valuable stuff, especially in contrast to the first course when I had a feeling "I am growing with knowledge".

Here, I was able to follow lectures' instructions but I did not fully understand why I was doing this and that. I believe not enough foundation was given to make people use the Galaxy tools consciously. The final project was ridiculously far more difficult than what had been covered in the class. I truly believe in the idea of giving ambitious final projects, but I do not believe in the idea of giving the project that is by no means doable based on the course content. Very discouraging.

By Pingna D

May 15, 2020

The course needs to be improved: the content provides minimal information to the course project; during the lecture, it keeps saying "ignore" the QC, should have said "due to time limit, we skip here in this lecture, but keep in mind QC is critical to all the sequencing raw data before further analysis". The course time is limit, and it is okay, but should provide "reading assignment" that helps to doing the course project. I actually have do do all the research and reading totally out of the course content in order to finish the project, as I have no clue at all. I appreciate that I could get so much through the internet.

By Jason T

Aug 02, 2016

I think this course might have been great if I did it like 5th or 6th in the certificate sequence. I think this course assumes you have a lot of knowledge about both biology and statistics that I do not have, nor will anyone else who has only taken the first intro course. Even after having submitted my final assignment and peer reviewing others, it is not clear whether or not I or any of my classmates used the correct methods to complete the assignment. A valid solution to the final project hasn't even been given to us as part of the course, so I'll never know whether or not I did it correctly.

By Abhinaya S

Oct 25, 2017

The course itself was not bad. I did learn a good bit about some of the tools in Galaxy. The project was a complete disaster. Very little of what was actually taught in the course was applicable to the project. I ended up putting in over 5-6 hours on just the project. The whole reason for taking a course is so that someone can teach me things and I can learn them. If I knew I would just be spending all my time self-learning, I'd save myself the money and just do it myself. Very poorly designed. I gave it a 2 star rating only because the actual course lectures were decent.

By Ian P

May 23, 2018

I was disappointed by this course. The course seemed to assume one already knew a great deal about genomics and simply wanted to learn to use the Galaxy platform. As the second (of 7) course in the "Genomics Data Science" sequence, I had expected to learn more about genomic analysis. The course felt like publicity for the Galaxy platform, and was generally uninteresting. Experiments were run, but the input data and output results were hardly discussed. Some of the examples didn't run. I did not complete the course.

By Valdir B J

Feb 18, 2018

Classes and quizzes are good. Final project is AWFUL (there is no lecture teaching about variant calling tools on Galaxy and how to manipulate VCF files and THAT`S what they pick for a final project!). Learners are left alone and lost to complete it. You have to dig through the discussion forum to get some kind of hint of where to start. The peer review system is also not a great way to do it, since as I mentioned the reviewers themselves (learners) are lost on the subject, so how can they even review something?

By Jason C

Feb 14, 2017

I am very dissatisfied with how there was absolutely no outside help/feedback from instructors or mentors in the forums when clearly the final project was outside the scope of the material presented. In the future it would helpful if either the lectures were modified to be more helpful in completion of the final project or the final project to be reflected of material in the lectures. Either way I felt like I taught myself all of this material using web resources and got absolutely nothing for what I paid for.

By Lisa B

Apr 01, 2018

This course isn't kept up to date, no one from the course staff answers questions on the discussion forums (I see unanswered questions going back more than 6 months), and the lectures didn't sufficiently prepare most people for the course assignment. I have a reasonably strong molecular biology and coding background so it wasn't a problem for me, but I can see on the forums that a lot of people (especially those coming from a CS background rather than bio) are understandably very confused.

By Dan S

Mar 01, 2020

I felt like I didn't learn very much on this course. I think this course could have a lot of potential, but the course was very lacking in terms of explaining WHY things should be done. There was quite a bit of explanation of how to use the Galaxy platform, but there was very little explanation on why you should actually perform those tasks on the Galaxy platform. I felt like for the most part, I was just pushing buttons, without knowing why I should be pressing them.


Jul 08, 2020

One word for this course: SUFFERING. The lessons given by Dr James Taylor (RIP) were not so good. The final assignment does not have any coherence with the contents; I felt that I received the knowledge for basic commands for galaxy (Rockie level) and suddenly I was searching for any resources on the web to accomplish the DNA Polymorphism of final project (Master level). Yes, I learned something, but I think that the course should be reviewed for a better e-learning.

By Dylan B

Oct 11, 2017

End course work was too difficult. A lot of the technical details were not covered in the lectures which you needed for the exams and course work. In the end spent a lot longer than the estimated 2-3 hours for the course work, because of tedious Googling. I'd cover variants a lot more during the lectures and how to go from a RNA-seq data set to a variant caller and how to get the data from the info side of the columns. More detail please in the lectures!

By Junior B

Jul 09, 2020

I have learned far more by doing the final course project than with the lectures and all I've learned while doing the course project I've learned it via internet.

The videos were not that intereseting, you could put all the interesting content of the 4 weeks in 1 or 2 videos of 10 minutes.

The final course project was a "nightmare" (but a formative one) as the indications didn't allow you to self check your progress.

By Casey K

Oct 23, 2017

The final project is TOUGH for beginners and requires you to implement skills that were not touched upon during the course. Course instructor is pretty much absent/non-responsive in the forums. Furthermore, you are supposed to grade your peers, and they you, WITHOUT an answer key in order to pass. Blind leading the blind, so to speak. I wouldn't recommend taking this course for credit. Just take the free version.