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Learner Reviews & Feedback for An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1) by Rice University

3,247 ratings

About the Course

This two-part course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple. These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond to buttons, the keyboard and the mouse. In part 1 of this course, we will introduce the basic elements of programming (such as expressions, conditionals, and functions) and then use these elements to create simple interactive applications such as a digital stopwatch. Part 1 of this class will culminate in building a version of the classic arcade game "Pong"....

Top reviews


Apr 5, 2016

Muy buen curso, excelente introducción a python y que mejor que aprender con ejercicios que motiven como los juegos propuestos en clase. Gracias a los profesores y a Coursera por brindarnos este curso


May 28, 2017

The best python course i ever had thanks to the teachers therereally awesome, and the classes are very pleasant. if your aout there trying to start with programming, i definitely recommend this course

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1 - 25 of 938 Reviews for An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)

By Ian B

Jun 12, 2017

It's not bad, but not amazing. I would recommend University of Michigan's Programming for Everybody (Python) over this course. While the game-oriented approach is fun, I don't like the excessive focus upon the simplegui module which was created by the instructors specifically for this course. You will learn some basic python concepts, but you'll spend way too much time learning how to use this module which you will likely never use again, and this is at the expense of learning how to use some of the more commonly used standard modules (eg datetime, sys, etc). I also found glitches in the materials, and many of the questions and grading rubrics are unclear or ambiguous. Very frustrating. Edit: If you stick it out and move into their subsequent courses, things get a lot better. So despite this course's shortcomings, it's worth doing as a prelude to their later courses.


May 3, 2016

I wouldn't give a star for this course; materials are prosaic (wordy); professors have not designed a truly high-tech course with automated grading; they want peers to grade each other - I don't like this euphemism, which is equivalent to the blind leading the blind; I do not want to spend my energy correcting other peoples' programming assignments; I want to spend the time thinking about programming and working on my own programs - the concept of collaboration is false - everyone wants to develop their own stuff not share with others so the premise of the course is inaccurate; also, the course has many long-winded texts of little use to the student; this is a course more about indoctrination in a legacy system than it is a course to liberate the mind through computers; while the content is interesting I am completely turned off by the amount of time I have to devote to commenting on other peoples' stuff - I am not a teacher - that is the teacher's job not my job - also, I do not like the condescension and clownishness of the profs in this course - I do not need to be entertained and all the talk about Monty Python, one of the corniest programs on TV trivializes the material - a no-nonsense, MIT type course is preferable - this is a course that I would avoid from the logistical perspective, although I will follow the material side of the course because it has substantial content and that includes the specialization - hello teachers in the course - automate the grading and remove all of the peer evaluations and start offering authentic instruction, not lazy instruction of students teaching students - the approach is typical of all legacy-oriented courses - the same goes for the Severance course at the University of Michigan - if the Rice course is supposed to instill interest in Rice University, this offering turns me away from Rice because one realizes that Rice is too legacy-oriented in its approach, same old, same old.

By Prasad K

Aug 16, 2019

The course uses Python 2 and forces you to use their own IDE. Most people starting out programming would probably have no interest in interactive programming (which is largely useless outside this course.) RICE University needs to scrap this course and replace with an updated and more relevant course. Try the University of Toronto course on Coursera and MIT's python course on Edx.

By Jeremy L

Dec 9, 2017

I can't recommend this course enough. I came to it with little Python experience (just Coursera/U Michigan's Python for Everybody). The professors were excellent and do a good job of keeping things fun. The interactive model for learning programming - making small games - was excellent. Each mini-project gave me a chance to practice the skills and put into use the knowledge I learned from that week's lectures. The profs have also designed the course to maximize chances for success. Each mini-project incorporates a video and textual explanation (with tips) for completing it, a separate set of solutions to common problems, discussion forum, and a last-resort email address when all of the above fails to let you produce a working program. I'm definitely going to take the second part of the course as soon as the next session begins on Coursera. This is an excellent course.

By Jeremiah T

Oct 9, 2018

A great intro that puts the topic into achievable steps! I have a mechanical engineering background and I found it to be straightforward. The professors do a good job of making it fun and enjoyable.

By Peter S

Jan 18, 2017

You cannot submit your quizzes nor your program assignment unless you're a paying member.

This is the first time I ran into such a class in Coursera.


Please allow non-paying people who want to learn, to participate in quizzes and peer graded assignments, like other institutions are doing.

By Humberto C

Jul 28, 2017

I wish we didn't have to rely so much on codeskulptor. What happens when I want to move away from codeskulptor and program on my own? How will I know what to do?

By Phil S

May 10, 2018

This is a great course with interesting and engaged presenters. I found that I got much more insight into good programming techniques and when to use them from this than previous reading through books. You do all your programming in a browser rather than actually using Python itself. Initially I wasn't sure about this (as I already had Python installed) but it works really well and means that, unlike some courses, you don't have to spend the first hour or so trying to install software. The documentation is really easy to use (you use this a lot!) and the ability to step through your program and see exactly what's going on at each step has been really helpful as well. I've almost finished Part 2 of this course but already I've got the skills to start building some programs that I thought would be well beyond me. As usual, the different ways of accessing Coursera (PC, iPad etc.) don't seem to line up very well but that's not the fault of this course. Overall, highly recommended.

By Vinay G

Apr 25, 2020

it is really a good, and interesting course offered by coursers. the teaching staff and the proffers exp land in a detailed and understandable way and made the course essay to understand and workout.

By Chitrank D

Jul 13, 2017

It was nice beginner course for the new programming to learn programming and practice the concepts with most intuitive way, the way is to build a game and that interests anyone who takes this course.

By Jenny W

Aug 15, 2016

This course needs you to PAY!!!!

By Javier A

Apr 7, 2016

Excellent Courst but you have to pay in order to access the quizes and assignments... very dissapointing.

By Troy W

Aug 20, 2017

Not free, no good.

By Alfonso N J C

Jan 11, 2017

I can access to some contents: videos and lectures, but I can not send quizzes or assignments and to get feedback without paying a fee for this course, very limited! :(

By Ryan M

Jun 17, 2016

Fantastic! Joe Warren and Scott Rixner hit one out of the ballpark with this course. They really make programming accessible to anyone with the way that they teach, and they make the content really fun. Yes, the material can be challenging at some times, but with all the lectures, homework and support, I truly think anyone can finish this course.

I'm enrolled in the full specialization and a note to others. Enroll in all the courses at once and then in your enrollments page you can adjust the sessions that you want to take by hitting the three dots button. I made the mistake of waiting till I finished part one to enroll in the next course and it caused me to skip a session so I had to sit around waiting for two weeks until the next session started. Programming is a language so it helps the learning process to work on it every day, don't make the same mistake I made!

By Michael G

Sep 30, 2018

Although this is a class that can be taken by (smart and determined) people who have never programmed before, the programming projects are much more advanced and interesting than what you would expect from a "beginner" class. This is possible because the course provides the architecture and a step-by-step guide for the student. It's sort of like programming by the numbers. The student does have to figure out little bits and pieces on his/her own and the challenges are substantial, but a smart and determined person can do it. As the course and subsequent courses progress, the student has to do more on his/her own. This course (and the whole specialization) has been perfect for me because I know the basics of programming pretty well and I mainly need interesting projects to practice on.

By Sushant S

Sep 6, 2018

Following are different sections of review:

Overall: Just enroll, you will love the concepts

Extended: The content is awesome. Here, practical approach based learning is focussed. You will not only learn the concepts or fundamentals and also learn how they are used in real world applications which is the best thing about this course.

The Instructors are awesome, everything is taught in perfect manner.

Although, you might say that it focuses on Python 2 and it's an older version but believe me, there is not much difference in Python 3 and Python 2.

One more thing, Your thinking about a problem will not be same after this course. You will start to think the right way required for solving a problem.

Just Go for it

By Richard M F

Sep 27, 2020

I've read two Python books, and tried several Udemy courses, but this Python course on Coursera has been the best tool for learning Python. Not only do I feel like I have learned, but I understand intuitively what I am learning and the process was very fun and painless. I look forward to completing the Fundamentals of Computing course offered by Rice University.

By Daya_Jin

Nov 30, 2018


By Ells M J T

Feb 4, 2017

Proprietary. To me is unacceptable. But the professors really do have a charm to them so I will give them an extra star for that.

By Recep Y

Oct 7, 2017

You cant submit assıgnments quizes and projects. So it is not free.

By Angel O C C

Nov 10, 2020

Python 2 in 2020. Lol

By Seongwoo K

May 2, 2020

It is a wonder to me that a specialization created seven years ago still excels in many aspects while there have been a lot of new CS courses available online, which means this course has some unique and long-standing qualities in it.

First of all, everything is organically structured. Videos, readings and exercises are designed with the greatest care to deliver each week’s key concept. Quizzes are not only for testing but make learners ready to implement mini-projects. You would realize the projects are best implemented only when you thoroughly understand and rigorously apply what you’ve learned. The projects are technically integrated into Codeskulptor, a web-based platform that was specially customized for this course.

Secondly, these interconnected materials are delivered in very humane manner. Learners may be having hard times because of a strangely new way of computational thinking. But don’t worry: the professors’ energy and friendliness will raise you up. The chemistry between them created a welcoming vibe which reminded me to come back to the class for nine months.

Due to the good impression from this course, I got great interest in the master of CS program at Rice University. I know, as of May 2020, the entire academia is going through tough times because of COVID19 and the application numbers may be under the professors’ expectations. But I hope MCS will be back on track with these great faculty members and pedagogical quality.

Many thanks to Scott, Joe, Luay, John, and all the other people who helped to create this specialization. I am grateful to have this class.

By Ieva S

Aug 18, 2021

Perfect for the almost-beginner. For me, someone who had written exactly one program in basic back in 1984 on an Apple Plus, the pace felt rapid. The content is really solid, but to someone who has had lots of recent practice with some of the concepts, like a contemporary high school student, it probably doesn't come across as high-density. I could have used a slower pace to aborb the new ideas in each lesson before plunging into the next assignment, but I imagine this course is just right for a lot of people. I'm taking a break before starting Part 2 to take a course with Charles Severeance @ U. Mich. "Python for everyone" on EdEx, for more practice before I get in deeper here. If you think you might be more like me and need an "on-ramp," you might try that course first before taking Part 1 of this course. Just don't give up on this course, it's great! I enjoyed being back at Rice where T-shirts rule over neckties, even in cyberspace. Thanks for the fun and worthwhile course, professors!

By Muratcan A

Feb 18, 2018

I had completed the Python for Everybody course on Coursera, from Michigan Uni. and this 2-part IIPP course was a great follow-up to that. I enjoyed the assignments very much and the instructors were really enjoying themselves which made the class very fun to follow. This is a great course which will teach you the basics of Pyhton and also how to implement GUIs and how to code simple games. Now I'm continuing with the rest of the specialization...