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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Learn to Program: The Fundamentals by University of Toronto

6,421 ratings

About the Course

Behind every mouse click and touch-screen tap, there is a computer program that makes things happen. This course introduces the fundamental building blocks of programming and teaches you how to write fun and useful programs using the Python language....

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Very good indeed, the course is very helpful to learn how to code in python and to learn to think in python to do what we want to do, I have made many programs using the knowledge i gained from it


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Great course for refreshing your python basics, and any beginner looking to pick up Python basics will be in a comfortable spot after completing this course and a bit of practice with the assignments.

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1 - 25 of 1,860 Reviews for Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

By Malika M

Feb 13, 2017

This course is not for absolute beginners. Even though I passed every exam and assignment, I found this course extremely difficult. I found myself having to rely on other lectures on python and book and internet blogs. This course is not a stand alone course as it if stated.

I wish that there were more exercises where you could practice the lesson that was learned. I think each lesson should be accompanied by an optional exercise.

By Jenkins

Dec 28, 2019

Jennifer was a good instructor for beginners. Paul was not and, unfortunately, he teaches more than half of the class. He speaks very quickly and skips a huge amount of explanation about what he's typing and then just shows you the outcome. It makes it difficult to know how to apply what he's doing to a different problem - to learn. His rushed style may be appropriate for people who already have experience with Python and just want a refresher, but I was an absolute beginner (and this course is pitched for beginners). I got through the class because of the enormous help of the forum mentor, Patrick, who writes line by line explanations that are extraordinarily helpful. But I had to spend many, many extra hours to make sense of Paul's lessons and the assignments. I received an A in the course, but I don't feel like I have a solid introduction to Python that prepares me for the next level. I'm actually going to retake a version of this course for 1/5 of the cost at Udemy or for no cost at Udacity. I've never taken a course with them so I can't say if they are better but I can say that, in my experience, Coursera is expensive for what you get. Bottom line, if you're looking for a refresher, you may enjoy this course. Patrick and Jennifer are very good. But if you're an absolute beginner, perhaps save your money and look for another option with more thorough explanations. Last, Coursera, please offer video samples of your classes and please list the prerequisites -- those missing elements are big flaws, particularly at your higher price point.

By Marge O

Jan 22, 2017

Not for beginners unless you are willing to invest a significant amount of time with outside sources, beyond what is stated as needed to complete the course. disappointing.

By Viktor H

Feb 28, 2017

Hey guys.

I've seen the new session started and enrolled just to write the review and a little story about myself.

I've taken the course few years ago ( in August 2013) before all the recent changes on Coursera (Specializations etc.).

At the moment I was finishing my university and realized - I had no clue what I was willing to do in my life (my primer occupation was "Manager" - like that's not depressing enough :) . *Joking* ). I saw the course and remember I had fun programming on Pascal in high school so I've decided: there is no harm to try programming once in a while.

I was so amazed about my first steps, I started few other courses here and at MIT platform. I googled and read everything I could found. That was my "idee fixe" at the time.

Long story short, few months later I got my first job as a software developer. Today, 3,5 years later, I'm Team Lead at my current project and one of the most payed employee at my company.

I just want to thank Jennifer and Paul, as well as all the course team involved.

Also to those who just studying right now - take your time and work hard. It totally worth it.

Best regards, Viktor.

By Dave E

Feb 10, 2019

Videos and instructors are good but Not enough practice exercises and the interface is frustrating. The left navigation pane shrinks becoming unusable so I have to restart the browser. The quiz interface changes your answers during the quiz if you use the arrow keys.

The first programming assignment for week 2 is needlessly complex. the instructions arent clear. its a shame to start with good lectures and ruin the course with nonsense. lots of time required to understand what they are looking for instead of spending it on programming.

By Christopher V

Nov 17, 2017

This is a introductory course i would recommend. I especially liked that the instructors took the time to go through the python visualizer and try to unveil some of the background workings in python.

By Piyush L

Nov 10, 2022

Brilliant Course, I am a total beginner with no knowledge of programming whatsoever. The only thing that I know that can help my programming is my typing speed and that's it. And I was able to understand python without any difficulties. There's a little effort in learning new syntax but it gets way much more fun when you think about working on some problems with that syntax. And many such examples are given in this course which are practical and makes programming fun! Definitely recommend it if you are a beginner like me and do not know anything about programming. Also, python is an object oriented language that falls on the easier side when it comes to learning. So, that's another advantage.

By abdallah m

Nov 13, 2017

instructors use simple examples and put difficult ones in the quiz which most of them does not describe how it can be answered in the right way, also it focuses on tricky questions not practical trials for real life situations....overall i found alot better tracks on different sites which made me feel that i wasted alot of time here on coursera.

By henloy A

Aug 18, 2019

Great for a fundamental course. I have to admit that I had learnt python a few years back and was using this as a practice and revision course. But I learnt a lot more which I can add to my knowledge.

By Sandra B

Jun 13, 2020

It is a course advertised as for beginners in programming, but there is a lot of information that is not explained in the written theory or in the videos, so it is necessary to learn these concepts outside the course (Youtube, programming forums, etc.)

The tests are excessively long, it can take between one and two hours to do a test. The questions never indicate the correct solution or why the answers marked as incorrect are so. The questions are very long, ambiguous and difficult to understand what is being asked. Passing a test is often more a matter of trying answers or luck, and you leave the lessons without having learned practically anything and without being able to correct your doubts or mistakes. You are expected to write your questions in the forum, instead of improving the contents of the explanations, the theory and the practice.

The practice consists of 3 projects throughout the course, in which you are given half the code (without explaining how it works) and you are asked to complete a series of functions without knowing very well what you are doing or what the purpose is.

After finishing the course, you are not even able to program basic programming by yourself, and you are left more confused than at the beginning. Not recommended for beginners at all.

By Jack C

Oct 6, 2019

I studied it for about 5-10 hours a week (more than needed) and read the (optional) book too. I gave it three starts because of the free demanding exams and assignments at the end of each week. Teaching is fluent at first, but during the last weeks it becomes not difficult but ragged and unnatural. Superficiality grew to be felt more.

For the Instructors: File reading, opening, and processing were taught too fast. There was no depth, and I struggled to grasp the methods. Since an important part of a programmers' know-how, this section should be better prepared. Thanks

By arduino d

Nov 1, 2020

This is a waste of time. You watch videos that are mildly related to the questions asked on the quizzes. A very brief explanation is presented and then a question is asked that is either completely unrelated or it's an advanced concept that wasn't touched on in the brief synopsis.

By Reyhane B

Oct 1, 2017

I didn't know a thing about programming. Now after two weeks I feel I've learned a lot already! The instructors are awesome! I believe this course is very compacted and it needs a good deal of work!

By Kartikeya A M T

Jan 23, 2020

Don't hesitate even a bit before joining this course. It would prove to be one of the best decisions of your life. I had learned C and Python to some extent before joining this course but, I learned so many new concepts in this course which I didn't know before.

Both of the instructors have designed the videos, notes, quizzes and assignments so beautifully that you would never stop progressing through the course and the mentors especially Sir Patrick Dennis is always there to guide you.

Things which I think were unique about this course:

Use of python visualizer

Use of Python IDLE and the inbuilt debugger

Very informative and summarized reading material

By Anshuman G

Dec 16, 2020

Great course for refreshing your python basics, and any beginner looking to pick up Python basics will be in a comfortable spot after completing this course and a bit of practice with the assignments.

By Joseph I

Jan 18, 2020

I took 2 Python courses before this course. With effort I passed those with 100%.

This course is supposed to be for beginners with no prior experience but the difficulty level seems unnecessary. This is not a "learn the basics of programming" class, it's a "learn the meat, bones, guts, anatomy, and how to make an elbow out of a tailbone" class. If you're like me you will learn a lot but you have to invest so much time and effort if you're not savvy at math/algebra/computer science.

By Minh D

Oct 24, 2018

Teachers not only teach python, but they teach how to think like programmer, and precedure to create quality code which is very very rare and value content. Include with his craft on teaching people fundamental of Python for so many year. From professional working ethic (western) or councious working ethic (eastern), they do their very best in the field.

I subcribe to a few computer science, computational thinking, how to program, introduction to computer science, etc. But the content here is the best that I un-enroll all other course. I also highly recommend to any other people who would like to learn to program. Thank Teachers!

By Sean C

Oct 10, 2018

The course material (lecture videos and readings) and the assignments are clear, concise, and informative. I found these to be engaging, bite-sized means of absorbing critical concepts. All of my problems with the course are rooted in the quizzes. I found the interface clunky, as I could not quickly switch between the quiz and IDLE or copy/paste code portions to easily try them out. Additionally, Having to repeat a quiz again (and again), without any ability to view the nature of the mistakes was very frustrating. When I make a mistake, I expect to be able to review it and assess how I can improve—I do not merely want to be informed that my answer was incorrect, and instructed to repeat the entire quiz. There is not a learning moment there and I found that to be an impediment to my experience. I also feel that, while there are multiple correct answers to many coding problems, expecting multiples of correct answers to be marked was unnecessarily complicated for an introductory course. Ultimately, I think the quizzes could be eliminated and, instead, replaced with more smaller assignments. Still, I will consider taking the next course.

By Hanna J

Jan 27, 2019

This was a fantastic class. The course covered a lot more than I expected and the material was quite challenging, but the professors taught in a clear and concise way with interesting examples that made the concepts easy to understand. It's a strange thing to say for an online course where the communication is one-direction, but I actually felt like they were warm and friendly. The discussion forum is very active with quick and helpful responses from the moderators. The exams and assignments weren't just there as a formality as is the case with many online courses, but they actually prompted me to think hard and put in a lot of time and effort to put the things I learned to use. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning Python for the first time, and I would like to thank the professors again for a wonderful learning experience. Thank you Paul & Jennifer!

+ I finished the entire course in 2 weekends because it was so fun and I couldn't wait until the next week. I think that says a lot.

By Shahab A

Aug 6, 2017

You're quiz question are too long and too ambiguously worded. I spend more time trying to understand paragraphs than actual code

By Ginger d R

Sep 20, 2022

Over the past couple days, I considered throwing in the towel many a time. But what kept me going after failing a quiz for the nth time was that at the end of it I knew I'd be able to write a review and warn people and hopefully the course designers of this course.

First of, I fell in love with programming and Python in particular after completing the PY4E specialization (highly recommended!). That course does a great job testing your programming skills by letting you, well, uh, program. Also, it shows real-life application. This course instead seeks to bore you with dozens of useless quiz questions that have little to do with programming. Honestly, had this course been my introduction, I would have never continued in my programming journey.

Imagine taking a literature class, and instead of being asked about themes and motifs, you're asked to count the word that occurs the most on page 97 of "A Farewell To Arms". Not really relevant, right? (btw. this would be a great programming question to show how useful dictionaries are). I spent more time redoing quizzes than I did actually coding, which isn't really the point of a course like this.

@UT Professors

Please replace the quizzes with some simple 8kyu/7kyu codewars problems. You can still check if people understand the material by letting them code.

@Prospective Students Take a different course and then come back here to do the assignments. They're actually really great for beginners and show you how to write slightly more complex programs. Review:

Course Materials: ***

Lecturers: **** (5* for Jennifer)

Assignments: *****

Quizzes: -10**10

By Semenov I A

Jul 16, 2020

Horrible course. Too difficult for begginers. Not enough practice before programming assignments. Teacher do not prepare you for this. They just throwing you in to the water and watch whether you could swim or you will drown.

By Daniel S

Oct 21, 2016

An excellent course, showing what is possible for basic instruction in computer programming in the MOOC format. The lectures are clear and interesting, the quiz material tests the presented material (sometimes in challenging and subtle ways) and the three programming assignments provide a gentle introduction to developing one's own code without the headaches of having to decide in advance exactly what functions to write. Employing an autograder for student-submitted code may have necessitated this approach, but the observant student can benefit by paying attention to the insights obtained about how to conduct top-down design. The skills to be learned in this course beyond the introduction to basic Python syntax are fundamental, indeed, and will stand any beginning coder in very good stead.

By pedro c

Jun 5, 2021

Well taught, assignemnts are just right in complexity, its hard enough to no be easy and but not to be frustrating and tests challange your knowledge enough for it to be rewarding to complete with 80%

By Aditya K

Mar 12, 2019

If you're completely new to programming AND do not come from a math-physics-chemistry-engineering intensive background, you'll find this course to be a wonderful introduction to programming. The lectures and readings are very well-thought-out and organized. The choice of assignments and questions for the quizzes will enable one to reinforce and apply the concepts being taught in each lecture in the course. I wholeheartedly recommend!

If you do come from a technical background, like the one I mentioned above, have facility in abstraction, and are particularly meticulous in the reading of instructions, this course will be very easy for you. That being said, it can be a very fast-paced introduction to Python since one can easily complete the entire course in less than a week. This was the case for me. I highly recommend it for a quick introduction to Python.