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

1,749 ratings

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


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!


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.

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26 - 50 of 327 Reviews for Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function

By Hilary W

May 16, 2020

This course was extremely helpful and surpassed my expectations in multiple ways. The professor's style of teaching and presentation made a huge difference in my ability to absorb new information. I am a very visual learner, and her visual props and cartoons really helped me distinguish between cells and various parts of the Ig structure. Her humor kept my attention throughout all of the lectures. This is a very high-quality course offered at a very cheap price. The course is challenging, but very well organized with all of the material structured for successful completion. I am more than excited to continue taking additional courses offered by this professor. THANK YOU!

By Lucy L

Aug 15, 2020

I was very surprised to find that this course was highly engaging and taught excellently. I found myself looking forward to my study sessions (which is very rare, as I tend to find it a chore), and finished it in a week because I spent several hours a day working on it. Although none of the content is new for me (I previously studied this during medical school), it was a refreshing revision of all the concepts I had mostly forgotten about, and this time I think the knowledge is actually going to stick. Literally the best teaching I have ever experienced, miles better than any lecture I had at university, and I'm hoping to complete the next two courses too.

By Sveta 7

Aug 9, 2020

I am absolutely delighted with this course and this teacher Alma Moon Novotny! It seems that her head is just a bottomless source of knowledge.

Everything is very well thought out and planned. I liked how the material and video is structured and organized. Special thanks for the file with the lecture materials - this is very convenient. Individual applause for the style of the lecturer. these decorations and outfits with an owl are beautiful !)

It is a pity that there are no subtitles in Russian - there were difficulties with translating some concepts and speech turns. Some statements in the test tasks are difficult to understand when translating.

By Erick D

Nov 22, 2020

This is an extremely detailed course that focuses on the important aspects of the immunology field. The teacher is very good at explaining difficult concepts in an understandable, engaging, and approachable manner. The course provides a great outline for lecture videos so one can focus on the content instead of on note taking. Moreover, the quizzes and tests reinforce knowledge of the subject matter. This course is already providing value as I'm now better able to understand concepts being discussed at my work. I highly recommend this course!


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.


Dec 3, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated how important distance education is. Your university gains an intercontinental value with courses that provide such education. We are waiting for your Rice University patented courses related to the Histology, Embryology, Anatomy, Physiology courses of the Faculty of Medicine education, which are included in the basic medical sciences. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this course we took. Murat Yagmurca, Bursa, Turkey.

By Leah S

Dec 27, 2021

Really enjoyed this dynamic introduction to immunology. The course content was presented in a way that was logical and easy to follow and understand, while also going into sufficient detail to really increase my knowledge beyond the general grounding I previously had. I really enjoyed the course presenter's approach, passion for her topic, creativity in explaining concepts and the use of metaphors to help remember details.

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 Paul H

May 1, 2023

Great introductory course to immunology. Just enough detail to get you started on further research, bit not too much to get you bogged down and frustrated. I had just purchased the latest Janeway's Immunology and it is very detailed and hard to follow. After taking this course, it is so much easier to follow. I will complete this series, it is not only informative but fun too.

By Ashish R J

Jul 10, 2023

Exceptional planning and execution the course. The systematic deign of course syllabus coupled with the delivery in lectures is commendable. The analogies that Dr. Novotny employs are on-point.

The explanation of otherwise difficult-to-assimilate topics such as Gene rearrangement has been taken care of with extreme professionalism and has been simplified to a great extent.

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 Hitendra G

Jan 2, 2022

This is a fabulous course for anybody wanting to get started with Immunology and learning about the basics of Innate/Adaptive Immune system (B-cells). The course is well organized. Prof Alma Moon Novotny is awesome. Her presentation and teaching style is great. I thoroughly enjoyed the course! Thank you!

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 Sandra B

Aug 4, 2022

This was a great course in every aspect: an enthusiastic lecturer with amazing teaching abilities, a clear speach, well organized material and wonderful drawings. I was tremendously motivated to keep on learning and (hopefully) improved my english skills.

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.