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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function by Rice University

1,440 ratings
282 reviews

About the Course

Course 1 of a three course specialization called Fundamentals of Immunology. Each course in the specialization presents material that builds on the previous course's material. This is the first leg of a three-part journey through the defenses your body uses to keep you healthy. In this part we hope to give you the vocabulary and concepts you need to interact with the medical community and to provide them in a context that makes them memorable. Fundamentals of Immunology introduces students to the basic functions of the adaptive and innate immune systems. The early lectures survey cells, tissues and organs using metaphors, cartoons and models to improve understanding and retention. After describing the form, function, origin and varieties of antibodies, subsequent lectures provide details on the mechanism of the generation of variation. The course provides animations of gene rearrangement and class switching and descriptions of affinity maturation correlated with detailed physical models of antibody structure. The final lecture reviews these concepts in anatomical context. Testing employs multiple choice questions testing facts, concepts, and application of principles. Questions may refer to diagrams, drawing and photographs used in lecture and reproduced in the outline. What You’ll Learn: The difference between adaptive and innate immune systems, the characteristics of various pathogens that they protect you from and the overall strategies employed in this protection. The detailed structure of antibodies and related immunoglobulin receptors, the characteristics and function of the different antibody classes and the mechanism for producing both the recognition regions and stem regions.  Finally, how these structures are coded for in the DNA and expressed in the B cells....

Top reviews

Aug 5, 2019

So far the lecturer has been very entertaining and interesting in her explanation of various concepts of immunology. I am excited to finish this course, which will be relevant to my future studies.

Nov 21, 2020

Thank you very much Professor! I really enjoyed your lessons and passion for teaching. I am glad you are able to share your talent with the world via this medium. Looking forward to the next class!

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26 - 50 of 280 Reviews for Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function


Jun 5, 2020

The argument of this course is not an easy one, but the professor really tried to help us, by giving us an outline from where we could follow every lesson and explaining what we did wrong in the practice questions. Sometimes the videos may seem too long, and that's why it can take quite some time following this course. Professor Novotny did a great job at introducing Immunology and I believe this course really helped me to better understand how our immune system works, which is quite useful for me, since I'm a Biology student.

By Rodrigo d S M

May 3, 2020

Perfect. Just P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I can't even create a whole new adjective for describing how overwhelming this course is. It's certainly not a waste of time taking it. If you like learning or looking for getting deeper into what you already know about immunology, this is the RIGHT course. Amazing, just amazing. Thank you Coursera, RICE University and Alma Moon Novotny, Ph.D. for this incredible work and great complete material you've all prepared for us. They're all dynamic and truly favour for our learning.

By Mary R

Jul 9, 2020

This is a challenging course, but the subject is innately complex and also fascinating. I enjoyed the professor's wry humor. The course goes into great detail about the genes that lead to the formation of receptors. I found this difficult, because I haven't had a biology course in decades. It is helpful to read about gene expression, transcription and peptide formation before undertaking this course.

By Wenlei Y

Mar 25, 2020

This is an amazing course that helps you organize and gain knowledge in immunology. The professor is great at explaining and the quiz/exams are also helpful! I am a postdoc in biology (specialized in neurobiology), and the contents in the course will help me better understand how animal physiology works, and potentially come up with new ideas in my research! Thanks, Prof Novotny!

By Thais A H

May 16, 2020

I love it! Prof. Alma Moon Novotny is an amazing teacher! Her teaching method using models was very helpful to explain such a complex subject. It helps me finally understand the immunology concepts that I have been fighting for a long time to learn. Thank you for providing this amazing educational material. Certainly, it will be valuable for my future research projects.

By Ramon d T

Apr 12, 2020

Thank you for this opportunity. I truly appreciate the concept of free education, even when it is for a limited amount of time. Perhaps you could consider to give the opportunity to take course and exams for free if all is done within 7 days after enrolment. In this way only people that require more time to learn and practice will pay.

By Melinda L

Aug 2, 2020

This course is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The immune system is not easy to understand, but the quality of these lectures breaks down the material into a very organized, digestible course that you can get a lot out of. If you are interested in better understanding the immune system, I would highly recommend.

By Melanie W

Apr 20, 2019

Professor Novotny provided relevant context that made a complex subject comprehensible for me. I really enjoyed her analogies. Her thinking questions in the tests required me to truly apply my knowledge to get them right. This could be the best course I have ever taken in my life. Thank you so much, Prof. Novotny!

By Ghada G H

Jul 27, 2020

Prof Dr Alma was amazing in describing and repeating each detail of the course

the questions she offered after each video were very helpful to keep your attention

the duration of the video was very appropriate not too long yo be boring or distracting

the PDF of the course was very helpful

thank you very much Dr Alma.

By Gerissa F

Jun 7, 2020

Great course. I came into this with a basic understanding of biology and genetics but little to no background in immunology, and found the course quite easy to follow. I really like the shorter video lecture segments and the practice quizzes after each lecture to ensure the material was understood.

By Shashi K S V

Jun 1, 2020

This course was really amazing. I can now say that I have learnt the concepts very well. Concepts in this course are taught with pictures and animation, so it becomes pretty easy to understand. Quizzes at the end of each lessons make us thorough with the concept. I Enjoyed this course.

By Robert E K P

Jul 2, 2020

I enjoyed the class and found it an excellent way to review material that I haven't looked at in several years. I enjoyed the material on the molecular biology of the gene rearrangements that take place during Ig development. I'm looking forward to the next class.

By Alaa A

Dec 25, 2020

This is a great course for understanding basic concepts in immunology. The information was presented in an interesting manner, and the lectures were quite entertaining. Many thanks for the professor for her engaging and fun explanation for such complex concepts.

By Sakhile N

Oct 20, 2019

This was an excellent course, it helped me a lot, i took it co-requisitly with my university one, i felt i gained more here than i did with my university module.

Dr Alma Moon Novotny was awesome, she recapped and spoke slow enough for me to grasp the concepts.

By Diana B

May 26, 2020

By far, the best online course I have ever taken. It completely exceeded my expectations. The professor is inspiring and she teaches every topic thinking about better ways for you to learn (cartoons, animations, 3D models, etc). I am extremely thankful.

By Dr. P K

Sep 23, 2019

It is a nice lecture series. Helpful in understanding the concepts of immunology. Most of the concepts of immunology are clearly explain diagrammatically that helps me easily understand the things.

Lastly, thank you , professor, for such a lucid lecture

By K. J G

Jun 6, 2021

E​xcellent course - it was much more indepth that I had expected, but in a good way. Oftentimes courses can be a little underwhelming, but this was a real challenge. The cherry on top is that Prof. Novotny is also a charming, humorous lecturer.

By Janice R

Dec 6, 2020

Dr. Novotny is very cool! I like her personality. She makes this difficult course more bearable and easier to learn. I learned a lot of things about innate immunity and B-cells even as a beginner. Thank you so much for this wonderful course!

By Alisha S

Aug 24, 2020

This course is really good. The professor explained the concepts really well and the quizzes were fun to do and really tested my knowledge. I really struggled in immunology but now I feel so much more comfortable with the subject. Thank you!

By Iswarya S

Sep 5, 2020

A finely structured course with an efficient mentor who delivered it so beautifully! I am so looking forward to proceeding with the second part of this specialisation series! :) Biggest thanks to Coursera, Rice University and Prof. Novotny!

By Juan D M L

May 17, 2021

It was an amazing course, probably one with too many detailed parts, but the way this professor did it, was very helpful, also, her personality ROCKS!!!! all the models, the way she dressed as an attacker, she is just one of a kind!

By Sunil L B S

Apr 13, 2020

The best and well-organized course for beginners and also for intermediates. It was like blessing fro me to joining this course and learning and clearing the basics concepts of immunology. I am falling in love with this course.....

By Sumitra P L

Jun 11, 2020

So far, I am thoroughly enjoying this course. I love the enthusiasm and passion that the teacher teaches with. Moreover, I love how the teacher has summarized all the major concepts into tables, making it easier to remember them.

By Mike S

Sep 13, 2020

This course was a lot of fun! Definitely requires some basic cell bio and genetics as prerequisites, but nothing too deep. It ramps up near the end with some really nice, in-depth explanations of V(D)J recombination.

By Durbar S

Dec 4, 2019

Excellent! Videos are enough. may require re-watching. Professor

Alma Moon Novotny was really good. She's cute and has come up with lot of techniques to make things harder to forget. Would love to take more courses.