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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Genetics and Evolution by Duke University

1,548 ratings

About the Course

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution is a college-level class being offered simultaneously to new students at Duke University. The course gives interested people a very basic overview of some principles behind these very fundamental areas of biology. We often hear about new "genome sequences," commercial kits that can tell you about your ancestry (including pre-human) from your DNA or disease predispositions, debates about the truth of evolution, why animals behave the way they do, and how people found "genetic evidence for natural selection." This course provides the basic biology you need to understand all of these issues better, tries to clarify some misconceptions, and tries to prepare students for future, more advanced coursework in Biology (and especially evolutionary genetics). No prior coursework is assumed....

Top reviews


May 28, 2020

I recommend this course for someone who is interested in learning of basics of population genetics and evolutionary processes. Prof. Noor is a very good teacher and I like his explanation of concepts.


Oct 12, 2022

This course help me a lot. I am very much grateful from coursera and specially Duke university for providing me this great opportunity. It's help me a lot for creating my CB. Thanking you Coursera.

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1 - 25 of 407 Reviews for Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

By SiefElDin S

May 25, 2020

The course content : The course content is 3/5 I think there is more to be provided especially at 2020, more actual application than just explanation of major concepts. For example we haven't constructed a phylogeny tree using a computer program, maybe the course should try and approach online students with more Online practical tools. (I consider it abit outdated 3.5/5)

The course explanation : Prof. Noor is a wonderful instructor, he constructed the course beautifully and explained it the same, the existence of interactive slides and varied topics is wonderful (5/5)

The quiz and support : That's the terrible part of the course, the course is Dead, no instructor support or rarely you see any, I have asked multiple questions across various weeks and expected atleast an answer after a week, nothing so far. Instructor support is more than necessary to make the course outcome 100%, however I consider my outcomes about 70%. The quizes are sometimes phrased in unnecessarily difficult to comprehend structure, maybe revisit that. (1/5)

The external material : They are mostly over comprehensive and not focused just on what we have learnt instead they are a broader line up and deeper focus on the topic itself, meeting stuff we haven't actually learned and having no one to go back to and discuss it with makes the external sources utterly useless. (0/5)

Course access : Coursera has provided incredibly easy interface, wonderful customer support and financial aid to developing students like me, Having myself learnt 70% at a course from Duke university is INCREDIBLE, all thanks to the efforts of the professor and coursera team. Thank you.

By Theresa R N

Sep 28, 2017

Very good course that prepared me for Genetics at Pima Community College in Tucson. I am able to follow the lectures and actually understand what is being presented. I am glad I took this course.

By Yuqing H

Jul 4, 2017

The course is really interesting! I love the way the professor demonstrate genetics theories by countless examples and evidence. And those questions about debates in genetics are thought-provoking!

By Ariel K

Mar 31, 2020

An amazing course that explains so many natural phenomena. Dr Noor is a passionate, interesting and fun lecturer and was able to fit so much interesting and helpful sections into this course.

By Shruti S

Jul 12, 2020

The course is great for students who are particularly interested in genetics and evolution. As the weeks go by, the lectures get trickier and more professional, but we just have to stick with it. Prof. Noor is a great teacher and will give analogies and metaphors to help explain the concepts better. The weekly quizzes are quite challenging, with the questions changing after every try. Aim at encountering newer questions than just passing. However, I would have really liked solutions for the quiz answers somewhere, perhaps at the end of the course after the grade is locked in.

Overall, I had so much fun learning and it has strengthened my will to make my career in it. Thank you, Prof. Noor and his staff!

By Ramanuja-Chary A

Jul 6, 2018

Thoroughly enjoying the course content. I am a Software Engineer and am doing this course out of personal interest. I was a bit hesitant if I would be able to sustain the interest through the length of the course. Dr. Mohamed Noor has done an amazing job in introducing and building on the concepts week after week. My sincere thanks to the Dr. Mohamed Noor and Duke University for offering this course online.

By Iromi W

Jan 8, 2016

Excellent course. Would recommend it to anyone who wants to delve in the subject matter. Wonderful instructor and interesting lecture videos. One of the best courses I have taken in Coursera.

By Vanessa L

Jan 17, 2017

I really enjoyed the classes and the supplemental materials available. I loved how the lessons were taught and explained by Dr. Mohamed Noor and I really enjoyed the content of the classes.

By Patrick M

Aug 9, 2019

Really great course. Has a lot of interesting real life examples and covers all of the basics of genetics in comprehensive detail. Really glad I did the course and hope to use the knowledge gained in my future career.

By Abhinav T

May 29, 2020

I recommend this course for someone who is interested in learning of basics of population genetics and evolutionary processes. Prof. Noor is a very good teacher and I like his explanation of concepts.

By Stephanie E

Jun 21, 2018

I have just completed Week 3 of the Introduction to Genetics of Evolution, and am truly impressed with the program. Not only is Dr. Mohamed Noor a brilliant professor, but he explains everything in a matter that can be universally understood. He is funny, thought-provoking, and truly helps guide students through problems effectively through every video. I have also seen how he replies to people's questions across the message boards, which is greatly appreciated as well. I find myself excited to watch his video lectures, and find the work per week a perfect amount. I am a rising high school junior, working currently at an internship for 6 hours everyday while also taking the Duke Introduction to Physiology course, and find the work load is not overbearing at all. If you have the slightest inkling of interest in taking this course, I strongly recommend you do. I bet you will be truly impressed by such an amazing program :) P.S. now I really want to go to Duke Just to meet Dr. Noor! Such an amazing guy!

By Simon C

Dec 31, 2015

I thought I knew a bit about Genetics & Evolution when I enrolled, but the first Genetics lecture showed that I was wrong! Prof Noor has taught me a lot about Genetics. He is an engaging and inspiring lecturer. It is also obvious to me that he takes a keen interest in the students, as he has been quick to reply to questions that I have asked in the forums. I'm looking forward to the Evolution lectures.

I am not sure why I enrolled for this course, since I was sure I already knew the material, but I am glad that I did. I recommend the course if you belong to any of the following categories: people who think they know the subject; people who don't think know it, but are interested; everybody else (because I think you will find Prof Noor inspiring.

By Corinna M

Oct 8, 2016

Great introduction-- not a single lesson was lacking. Professor Noor is engaging, feels approachable (even behind a screen), and I found the class appropriately challenging. There were times I felt I completely grasped the "important" parts of lectures only to begin a quiz and realize that I didn't. The quizzes really helped me to see that I had to understand much more about how to apply the messages to other situations, or compound scenarios. Good lesson in logic. Computation also matters in this course, which can be tough for someone more used to reading pop-science analyses. I appreciated being held accountable and learned far more than I would if I'd just read a book.

By Kai F

Jan 10, 2016

I found this course very well taught. Especially the lectures wre conceived in a way that it was entertaining and challeging at the same time. Coming for a social science background myself, I was delighted by the way the course eased people from outside the subject area into the field. Additionally, I was able to to do the course without it conflicitng with my job (in my case it actually helped my own research in social science, which made even mor eof a success for me). Prof. Noor did a great job in teaching without overburden and keeping a light tone while making me learn.

Only one minor problem:

Having never encountered multiple choice during my academic career, I was sometimes thrown off by the wording of questions and answers. I know it is hard to creat quiz-formats that are not based on multiple choice, but it would maybe make the course more comprehensive, i there were. Since this is likely to be a problem with my own experience and does not affect others so much, I would not go as far as deducing anything.

A future wish: Maybe a course on the subject, specialising in some subareas based on this course woudl be great.

All in all, Prof. Noor and his team did a good job in conceiving and conducting this course.

By Inés K

Nov 23, 2020

I enjoyed this course, especially the way it was presented. The one thing I found a little annoying was the fact that in the tests, we were required to do a lot of calculating. I would think that someone interested in the general ideas of genetics does not need to do specific calculations as if we were really counting mutations. But maybe this helps people who are working in a job related to research on genetics.

I am an avid reader of books on genetics (before taking this course), and must say that the last weeks of the course did not present anything new, so the course did not dive as deep as I thought it would. But again, other people may not have read about genetics, so the topic would be totally new.

By Qamar J

Feb 7, 2018

A big big thanks to Dr Noor and team for creating this course and delievering it in a very effective and reader friendly way. It help me to understand evolution more than Darwin theory and controversies exist with Darwin. One of the best course on coursera platform to learn and gain knowledge. The quizes aredesigned in such a way to practise your knowledge and go through lectures again and again to pass initially it irritates but latter you enjoy by understanding subject and eager to gain more and more. once again thanks for such a great course.

By Neha T

Jul 15, 2020

I found this course super interesting and really learned a lot from it! I think this is one of the best ways you can spend time during your time at home, owing to the pandemic and current global crisis. Prof. Noor has done an excellent job and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this course. Hats off to him! I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in the field of biology. I never thought I'd learn so much from an online course! I'm really glad I took this course!

By Carlo

Feb 7, 2017

AWESOME COURSE!!! Professor Noor is both a high profile researcher, a very gifted teacher and a nice and fun person. He conveys a lot of difficult ideas in a very organized and very clear way, with lots of examples and occasions to practice given along the way. His enthusiasm for genetics and evolution is contagious! I have just one comment. It's a pity that he didn't include in the material a list of readings accessible to someone who has taken this course.

By Dania G

Nov 29, 2015

Excellent class, and an even better interface now that it changed to always available.

Prof. Noor explains with such clarity that even a 5 year old can learn about DNA.

This is my 2nd time taking this class, and I've seen already many positive changes in this 1st week alone.

Thank you Coursera, Duke University, all participants in general, and a very special thank you to Prof. Noor, your contagious love for science spreads like wild fire.

By Dr. P C T

Aug 24, 2020

Amazing Course !! Dr. Noor is an Excellent and Commendable Professor. I wish, I could meet him someday . Thanks and Kind Regards Sir 😊🙏

By Richard K

Aug 21, 2017

Good course - the end was difficult. I would like to see the explanations for the correct test answers.

By estevao o

Jul 9, 2020

Estou no momento realizando o curso, e no final de cada semana tem uma prova que nos permite realizar somente 1 (uma) tentativa, se não alcançarmos a nota necessária, devemos aguardar 8 (oito) horas para realizar a próxima prova. Isso realmente é extremamente desgastante pois as questões são alteradas a cada tentativa, em um curso que eu esperava terminar em menos de 1 (um) mê, irá se estender para agosto. Todos os outros cursos das outras Faculdades nos permitem ter ao menos 3 (três) tentativas por prova, antes de aguardarmos as 8(horas). Estou realmente decepcionado e terei que replanejar o meu mês.

By James K

Oct 18, 2020

I'm a retired engineer, but my current interest is anything to do with birds. Due to the pandemic, I was able to attend the 2020 North American Ornithological Conference virtually (first time I've attended). Many of the presentations contained phylogenetic trees that illustrated speciation in bird populations (often separated geographically). I really couldn't interpret the trees as I had no background in avian genomics (never took biology or genetics courses the entire time I was in school, although I did take a biochem course in grad school). It appears that avian genomics plays a huge part in on-going bird studies. One of the attendees at the conference suggested Dr. Noor's course as a place to start, which turned out to be a most excellent suggestion. Dr. Noor's enthusiasm and clear presentation of the subject matter made learning the material relatively easy, even for someone of my years. Dr. Noor mentioned there is a Coursera course on animal behavior which I'm going to check out. Thank you Dr. Noor for a truly great course!

By Mehdi S

Oct 24, 2016

The course is great in various aspects. The course is given in a way that covers learning requirements and also tells you what are the today challenges and research areas. The sequence of the syllabus is very reasonable. The course auxiliary material such as the slides, more links to read and quiz are all made in a professional way which help you understand the concepts of Evolution and Genetics. You even learn a lot from the exams. The lecturer has successfully tried to direct the the suitable both to evaluate you and to reinforce what you have learned from the tuition videos.

In all Great for you if you are a beginner in evolution, genetics.

By Rohit G

Oct 13, 2022

This course help me a lot. I am very much grateful from coursera and specially Duke university for providing me this great opportunity. It's help me a lot for creating my CB. Thanking you Coursera.