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

6,394 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....

Top reviews


Dec 15, 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.


Aug 17, 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.

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101 - 125 of 1,851 Reviews for Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

By Diego

Dec 26, 2022

The tests are terrible, it don´t give any useful information for us to understand our errors

By luis l

Jul 2, 2023

old software , not relevant , dont bother

By Levi T

May 24, 2023

Programs don't work

horrible experience


May 14, 2023

Very bad

certificate are not getting

By Cilpa B

May 23, 2023

no use

By John H

Jun 11, 2020

I successfully completed my programming course today!! Yay me!!

During this course, I often got interested in a part of a lecture and would experiment with things on my own. A three minute video might take me an hour to watch because I wanted to try each thing on my own, not just see it done. They would describe a problem and I would try to figure out the solution on my own before watching them do it. Sometimes I wouldn't be able to figure it out but I'd be in a better position to understand the solution when it was presented.

One other aspect I enjoyed was that if I wasn't sure about a test question, I could just use the tools and try it out. Sometimes things would work in a way that was surprising to me but I found that I learned a great deal in the process of testing. It is one of the big reasons that I like formative assessment - its effectiveness as a tool to improve learning, not just to test it after the fact.

As much as I enjoyed the course, it also made me think a lot about how I'll do my courses in the future. While I very much enjoy in-person teaching, I've looked at the course as a model for how I might change the way I do retests, allow use of notes, and opportunities for design projects. I know that this first year back in is going to be a busy one but my brain is working and planning.

I think part of this is just that as teachers, it is important for us to try things outside of our comfort zones. If we're going to try to help kids, we have to remember what it is like to have those, "what are they talking about" moments? Online lectures aren't as much fun but the ability to pause and take a sidequest was super-beneficial to me. How do I make that possible for my students?

I guess part of all this is that after spending half my life teaching in Blue Valley, I am far from having all the answers. I think having the vulnerability to model that you are still learning and still messing up gives students some room to do the same.

The ability to learn might well be our greatest gift. Let's keep using it.

By Courtnie G

Aug 18, 2022

I signed up for this course knowning ZERO about programing other than that there was different programming languages and they each really serve a different purpose depending on what you want to do. After days of trying to figure out which one I wanted to dive into I landed on Python which seems to be the number 1 most reccomended right now. This class has been a fantastic in simplifying things enough that even someone like me with zero experience can understand but hard enough that you have to put forth the time to pay attention to what is being said. I had a few times where it tripped me up but looking over videos/ notes again and the disscusion boards definitly helped build a better understand and showed that the course teachers are really there to help if needed. I feel like I gained a lot of foundaton with this class and discovered that this is somthing I definitly want to continue leaning which I feel is a big part to do with how the class was created. The information was laid out beautfiully, the questions made. you think about what you where learning and actually make you create code, which for a hands on learner is really nice to have to do. Thank you for this course and all the work you put into making it what it is!

By Muhammad K A

Jul 28, 2023

This fascinating and highly educational course, Learn to Programme: The Fundamentals, is the ideal introduction to the world of programming. This course, which was written by Jennifer Campbell and Paul Gries, offers a superb educational opportunity that could help students succeed in the field of computer science and programming.

This course changed my life, I have to admit, and I finished it in October 2022. I was looking for a thorough yet approachable course to use as a launching pad for my programming endeavors as a student pursuing a Bachelor's degree in computer engineering. How to Programming: The Fundamentals turned out to be the best option, far beyond my expectations.

Personally, I discovered that Learn to Program: The Fundamentals improved both my academic performance and my programming abilities. This education gave me a strong foundation, which gave me the assurance I needed to succeed in my computer engineering degree. In addition, I saw a considerable increase in the effectiveness and inventiveness of my programming tasks and projects.

By Varun R

May 4, 2020

What an amazing introductory course for beginners! After watching all the videos and completing the quizzes and assignments, I really feel that I have got a good foundation in the basics of Python and I'm eager to further develop my skills. Both the instructors were very good, and went through each concept step-by-step in an efficient manner. The regular quizzes were a great test of my understanding of the subject content in the particular week. Personally, the best part of the course were the three assignments, which were wonderful opportunities for the learner to put their knowledge into practice. I had tons of fun completing the assignments, especially the last one involving a word game for which we were to write a major piece of the code. Finishing the assignments and quizzes was very rewarding. Finally I would like to mention how incredibly helpful the discussion forum is. The mentors reply to your questions within hours with comprehensive answers. For absolute beginners looking for a introductory Python course, look no further!

By Santiago V M

Apr 2, 2024

Considero que es un curso muy completo e interesante. Los módulos fueron de lo mas simple a los mas difícil, abarcando desde la tipos de datos fundamentales, funciones, llegando a ver temas muy novedosos como mutabilidad, tuplas, diccionarios y archivos. Los videos y lecturas, así como los cuestionarios y tareas demandaron mas tiempo del programado, pero es entendible no avanzar hasta comprender perfectamente el tema en cuestión. A pesar de que en ocasiones, se me dificultaba atender el curso por mis actividades en mi trabajo y familiares, estoy muy contento y seguro de haber logrado los objetivos en cada módulo. Agradezco a los profesores J. Campbell y P. Gries por su forma tan amena de conducir el curso y a la institución por permitir oportunidades adicionales para enmendar los detalles de las actividades que permitió hacer un análisis mas riguroso al momento de programar bajo el lenguaje de Python.

By Rieko E

Oct 25, 2022

I found out about this programming language by chance, that there is a programming language called Python, and it can be used for the full spectrum. So I decided to learn this programming language even though I'm learning it at a surprising snail's pace. I hope in the future I will know what to do and how to do it in Python. In my opinion, the course Learn to Program: The Fundamentals is very important, for sure it will help me to know a programming language that can be applied in a real work environment then I can find a job that pays handsomely. The challenges of learning Python, forced me to do detailed analysis and focus on solutions, taught me to be patient and persistent through testing, trial and error. This is a whole new world! I also want to thank my mentor Patrick M. Dennis, MD, who often opened my eyes when I had obstacles in doing assignments. Thank you, Rieko Erlangga

By Giang N

Sep 6, 2023

This course is really a BASIC curriculum for beginners learning how to program. The theory always comes with exercise, which significantly helps me consolidate my knowledge and skill. Though I struggled sometimes, but everything Teachers taught, I could watch again, or visit the discussion forum where Teachers gave hints for every unexpected learning problem, and then ... I could figure out about 91% of everything I hadn't understood.

I want to thank University of Toronto, Professor Campbell, and Professor Gries for having created such a fantastic online course, where 0-experience students like me can gain the most fundamental first step while beginning to learn about programming using Python. And I really appreciate the support from Mentor M.Dennis, and the teaching staffs crewd in Dicussion Forum that helped me a lot while I didn't get something clear.

By Peter K

Dec 13, 2017

I liked this course. Even though I am experienced programmer in different languages, I chose this course to learn Python. Although I found the Visualizer sessions boring, I completely agree it is very important to teach young or beginning programmers how the memory and data structures behave. I also liked the programming assignments as they were either funny or giving an example of real life problems that can a beginning programmer face in the future and shows him how they can solve them by programming (ant that they can!). The only recommendation I have is to include more programming assignments as people learn programming the best when really programming - answering quizzes is not the same, may work for schools and for grades, but here we are to learn to program ;-)

By freeman

Jan 19, 2019

I retired as an engineering manager 6 months ago after 41 years in the computer hardware business. I never really did much programming and wanted to take it up when I retired. I tried some on line reference books but didnt really stay with it. I really needed more structure. This course was the answer for me. I got enough programming from the exercises, lectures, and quizzes that I can now move ahead with more self teaching as I have a grasp of the basics and have learned to use on-line references to fill in the gaps. This was my first Coursera course and I will be taking others. Big kudos to Jennifer and Paul, University of Toronto, and their team for this great class. I would sincerely recommend this course to others.

By Abdulelah F

Jun 29, 2022

I already have years of experienceas a programmer, so I managed to complete the course in less than a week. But I think the lesson on variables and computer memory should've been moved to the end of Week 1.

And I think this course is good for absolute beginners in programming. But they must practice what's in the course, so they can avoid the typical mistakes programmers faced when they started programming, such as missing parenthesis, missing square bracket, logical errors such as "Hello, Wold" instead of "Hello, World", or maybe the instructors have something configured in their computers, but not the students'. All in all, you must practice what you'll learn, so you can make mistakes earlier in your lives rather than at work.

By Ganesh K

Jul 13, 2021

I was very happy with this course. I was made to write code which would accomplish some tasks. I became quite adept at the syntax of the language. So, when I entered wrong code, the messages generated made sense to me, and I was able to quickly rectify the mistakes and go ahead with the work. Some of the questions in the quizzes and the final exam were quite challenging, and needed sound reasoning. Now, I am continuing on my own. I wrote code to add a message if a student has failed or passed the problem of 'assignments grade.' Now, I am writing code to arrange the 'assignments grade' in the descending order of grades and assign ranks. I am also thinking of writing programs which I may use in my small business.

By William L L

Mar 31, 2017

In this fine introduction to computer programming, I covered a lot of ground. The course lays out an elegantly constructed approach to the fundamentals of coding with Python 3.4. The videos and materials were filled with elucidating code examples and sensible development practices, all meticulously explained. I've never found a more approachable guide to building well-documented functions or a more useful explanation of how relationships between variables and values are managed during program execution. The quizzes challenged my preparedness to apply a solid understanding of the subject matter. I applaud presenters Paul Gries and Jennifer Campbell for the top-notch way they crafted this excellent introductory course.

By Michael H

Oct 6, 2021

This is an exceptional course for beginners to programming in general, and specifically to programming with Python. The content has helped my programming in another language, so the skills you learn are indeed transferable. Although I thought some of the assessment questions were challenging, none were so hard as to frustrate me, but they do present enough of a challenge that you need to exercise your brain, which is what I expected, and wanted. The assignments were sometimes challenging as well, but not impossible, and deal with the exact content of the course, so there were no surprises.

Overall, I learned much from this course, and I recommend it to anyone as a first step in the domain.

By Lawrence S

May 24, 2017

I enrolled in this MOOC because I saw from one website that this was the best introductory course in Python programming. It lives up to its reputation of being the best because the topics were presented in good chronological order. The in video quizzes were challenging and the lecture quizzes forced you to think and therefore apply what you have learned. The only thing I could ask for was more programming exercises. There were only three and I felt like I could do one more. Kudos to the instructors and the team for preparing a very comprehensive introductory course in Python programming. For someone like me who wants to start a career in Data Science, I definitely recommend this MOOC.

By Jon M

Dec 6, 2017

Years ago I sat an intro to C++ course at university and really struggled, it was just too deep down the rabbit hole at the time. Now completing this course has renewed my interest in the subject.

Easy to understand videos with excellent explanations of concepts and thought processes. Relevant questions and tests to ensure the subject matter sticks. While it's still only a starting point to continue learning, I'm now a lot further down the road than I was when I started.

I would spend 30min during my lunch breaks each day at work to do the course and managed to complete around 85% of the course (excl. quiz/tests) like this so time commitment isn't excessive.

Highly recommended!

By Leonardo R

Feb 22, 2020

Excellent introduction to program, focused on essential data structures and concepts at programming, including how to debug. it prepares you to further go on your own in your programming journey. After not programming for +10 years, It was exactly what I was looking for: To start again from zero. I wish I had this course when freshman at university :-) In addition, excellent programming language choice: Python's syntax is simply very easy, and very friendly for newcomers. I already recommended this course to a friend of mine which wishes to introduce his kid (11yo) into programming. Last but not least, big Thanks and Kudos to Jennifer and Paul for this, you guys rock...!

By Alan S

Jul 17, 2020

I just completed the course and could not offer a stronger endorsement. I have tried several avenues to learn Python 3 and this course was perfect for me. The videos are brief, while completely explaining their topics. The textbook is a great reference against the course content (I strongly advise purchasing a copy via the instructors website) The many tests for comprehension were really appreciated, and the Weekly Quizes, Final Exams and Class Projects solidified what I had learned and where my understanding was incomplete. I venture that over half of my understanding was gained by solving the test/project questions. I am looking forward to the follow-on course.

By Andrew K

Apr 3, 2018

I really enjoyed learning Python with this course. The pace was perfect - I never felt lost and rarely felt bored. There were several instances where the instructors seemed to anticipate a question that I was wondering about. No sooner did a thought occur to me than they had already explained how a certain concept is applied in a specific situation.

This might go without saying, but you must follow along in Python and experiment with each concept as it comes up. I found applying the concepts to be invaluable experience. You might try to burn through the course (it's possible to do more than one week in a single day), but try not to get ahead of yourself.

By Ed W

Oct 2, 2018

This is a great course to gain a fundamental sense of programming; it is perfect for a fresh beginner. However it is very fundamental, the load of knowledge and questions in exercises etc. are very minimal given that the focus of this course is to warm-up for a more progressive studying later on. So if one finds the study material not so challenging I would encourage such to play with python out of the course or find thoughts-provoking problems online just to make sure you have a solid foundation of understanding. After all there is no limit on learning and great problems can be solved with such easy-to-use yet powerful tool like python.

By Harish

Jan 14, 2018

Lots to like about this course as an introductory course to programming. I have been a student of programming for 7 years, but still this course helped me relearn the familiar topics as well as introduce me to new concepts that are indigenous to python. Python makes life a lot easier when it comes to programming. About the tutors of this course, their videos were really engaging and they never presumed that the viewer knows the programming vocabulary and traversed every concept step by step leading to the unveiling of the overall lesson. Looking forward learning the second part of this course.

PS: Paul, you look a lot like Mark Hamill