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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introductory Human Physiology by Duke University

4,812 ratings

About the Course

Explore the fascinating world of human physiology and learn about the body's organ systems, their functions, and how they maintain health. In this comprehensive course, you will: - Master key concepts in human physiology and homeostasis - Delve into the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, and urinary systems - Examine the role of senses, muscles, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems - Apply knowledge to real-life situations and medical conditions This course is perfect for students, healthcare professionals, and anyone interested in human physiology and biology, building upon a basic understanding of human anatomy. This course is an excellent resource for MCAT preparation or as a refresher for health professionals. As a bonus, enhance your learning with a unique immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, accessible on both VR and desktop platforms, that takes you on an incredible journey inside the human body. This course offers a captivating way to explore and understand complex physiological concepts, as you virtually shrink to navigate through blood vessels and then return to normal size to measure blood pressure. The course comes to life as an educational adventure....

Top reviews


Jun 1, 2016

I'm a high school student interested in human physiology.

This course is AMAZING! Though sometimes I felt overwhelmed and couldn't remember everything, I think it was worth every effort and energy.


Sep 11, 2020

Very informative, straight forward, and was practically free too! The teachers were very easy to understand, had a real passion for their subject, and I really learned a lot. Would totally recommend!

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1 - 25 of 1,062 Reviews for Introductory Human Physiology

By Chan C K

Mar 5, 2020

this course is so reasonable in price and with good assignments! At first, im annoyed if i got only 70 or below, ii will need to redo. but it does help me to consolidate my knowledge. so thank you!!

By Lucy L

Jun 1, 2016

I'm a high school student interested in human physiology.

This course is AMAZING! Though sometimes I felt overwhelmed and couldn't remember everything, I think it was worth every effort and energy.

By Kin I R N

Apr 16, 2018

I am an incoming medical student here in the Philippines and this course has provided me with enough background about the human body and the underlying machinery of every system associated with it.

By Vinayak B

Sep 12, 2020

Very informative, straight forward, and was practically free too! The teachers were very easy to understand, had a real passion for their subject, and I really learned a lot. Would totally recommend!

By Maxine P M

Jun 27, 2020

The primary reason for enrolling in the course was to enhance my knowledge base of human physiology. Although it has been many decades since I've taken anatomy and physiology as well as pathophysiology, I have taught it twice at the secondary level. Upon reviewing the description of the course, it indicated that it was introductory, but knowledge of biology/science would be helpful, I thought it might be a great refresher course. I beg to differ! This course WAS NOT introductory. Let me give you the positives first: pdf's and readings were extremely helpful. The negatives, the instructors were not impressive. One instructor talked absolutely too fast and much too often wouldn't complete the sentences OR she would repeat words or phrases that didn't make sense. I found it difficult to grasp the lecture when this instructor couldn't get through a sentence without stumbling over her thoughts, mumbling, trailing off and not finishing her sentence, etc. More often than not, the information provided in the lecture was inconsistent with the notes/pdf's. One other thing, she constantly smacked her mouth which was nerve-wrecking! During the lectures, she would write on the powerpoints, which was either sloppy or not legible. After the fifth week, I honestly wanted to withdraw from the course, but decided to finish it out solely because it was half way completed and the time that had already been invested. Many viewers gave the course 5 stars, I could not. Although I completed the course with a 93.4% grade, the level of information was extensive, to some degree over the top. The course needs to be restructured so that it stays within the context of an introductory course. In my opinion, this course is more suitable for a first-second year medical student. BTW, this is the sixth course that I have completed through Coursera, including a specialization. Good luck!

By Jade D

Jan 4, 2021

Best course I've ever taken! Detailed and thorough explanations of the systems of the body. Fascinating, enlightening, and enjoyable. Highly recommend for anyone interested in how the body functions.

By Sylvia Q

Jan 17, 2020

Great class - very dense, like drinking from a fire hose, but wow I learned a lot! I took this just because I wanted to learn more about how the body magically does what it does, every day, without me thinking about it. I had no prior experience in physiology or anatomy, so this required me to do a LOT of note-taking and a little bit of Googling on the side for further understanding. If a week's videos totaled 2 hours, I spent about 4-5 getting through them and taking notes. I should add that I did not use the forums regularly, but I saw that many students had, and that their questions were answered fairly promptly, often by Emma Jakoi herself. The end-of-unit quizzes always included questions which forced you to apply your new learning to cases, and these could be challenging! Thanks to Duke for making this great class available online for free.

By Dave H

Oct 10, 2016

I gained a deeper understanding and greater appreciation for how my body works. Thank you to the Teams at Duke and Coursera for making such a wide body of information available to the motivated.

By Joshua S

Dec 9, 2019

It is so hard to learn from a professor who can't get through 2 sentences without stumbling over her thoughts, mumbling, trailing off and not finishing her sentence, etc. Perhaps if she spent less time pretending to be John Madden with her little board, she could focus on being an effective orator. Perhaps the second professor would have been better, but after 2 hours of listening to Dr. Jakoi, I now have to contact Coursera to see if I can get a refund or switch courses.

By Anastasiia N

Oct 23, 2015

The effect of this course in understanding the body physiology and understanding the terminology of other courses can be compared to learning to read. Now I can take other, more specialized courses without having to Google every other word and actually understand the processes they're talking about instead of simply memorizing them.

Especially, now that I am taking several other courses, I have the opportunity to appreciate the depth clever systematic approach to explain such complex processes of our body. Sometimes I got the feeling that I lack some background as many terms used to explain processes were not explained. But that was greatly compensated by teachers' and mentors' participation in the forum and answering questions on every subject. I was amazed that such free course offers the luxury of teachers replying to your questions, and this actually motivated me to study even more diligently. And yes, come up with new questions :) By the end of the course not all my questions were answered, but on the other side, without this course I never would even think of asking those questions about work of human body! Such great interest and inquiry have you wakened in me, thank you very much!

I would like to note that the course used a wonderful array of tools to create understanding of the subject. One of the best was storytelling by Dr. Jakoi. Stories in the best way to learn as theoretical information is related to real-life situations, and in fact, I remembered all stories that she told, like stories about her son who had high parasympathetic tone, about guy who drank too much water to remove kidney stone, etc. Along with remembering the stories, I remembered the information it was about.

One more thing I would like to note is that I liked your tests and practice quizzes. Not all courses have practice questions after the lessons and it’s excellent way to memorize info. Also, quizzes include tasks of application of knowledge in some practical situations - makes you think and analyze the info to explain real-life phenomena. It’s difficult to correctly reply to such questions only relying on information: you need understanding of the process. In this way, these are excellent quizzes.

So thank you very much for such high quality educative course, it helped me a lot!

By Dustin J

Aug 22, 2020

I'm a college freshman (majoring in nursing) and I took this course due to the pandemic. I found this course challenging since it focuses more on the physiology of the human body in more detail than a regular my anatomy and physiology class back in high school. This course isn't really an "introductory" course, you may need some background on science courses like chemistry, biology, anatomy, and physiology (So keep that in mind if you want to enroll). I have a limited background in science these courses (Biology, chemistry, etc) and finished this course, and yes it is possible to finish this course without knowing all about science stuff, it just took a little more effort to quickly learn science terms and stuff. With all of that, the course was great and for a nursing major like me really helped me developed surface-level knowledge about the function of the human body. Lectures are good, a little fast for me but they provide great PDF that I can refer to. Practice quizzes did help me a lot, but I hope that they provide feedback or explanation on why I got it wrong instead of just showing "correct" or "incorrect". It's worth my time learning physiology and I highly recommend it! Big thanks to the instructors and staff, especially Coursera for making this course free to the public!

By Karen J

May 9, 2020

Definitely, this is not an introductory course. Actually, you need some prior background in physiology, biology, chemistry, anatomy before taking it. It is also very challenging!

In some lecturers, I found the sequence and explanations were a little bit confusing, not very clear. Maybe because teachers used diagrams to represent anatomy and functions that were hard to understand and visualize. It required me a lot of search and note-taking to really get into it.

Regardless, it was a great opportunity to explore physiological topics of interest in greater depth.

Thank you Emma Jackoi and Jennifer Carbrey and all support staff and Course Community for making this great class available online.

By Ariane M

Nov 3, 2017

Very very interesting but also very challenging. I would not say this is a beginner's physiology course. Very much worth doing if you are interested in the medical field of some sort.

By Lucie P

Jul 26, 2016

This course seems to require a high level of foundation knowledge that I don't have. I had to leave the course before completion because of that. In fact, most of the videos were too complex to understand without prior knowledge on the matter and the deadlines are quite tight to have time to research all the topics.

I believe the course content is quite interesting; but too complicated. I would appreciate less text and abstract drawings on the slide, maybe an intro with images (maybe 3D) of the human body to give a little bit of background on what's going to be discussed in the class...

By Andrei H

Mar 17, 2017

Very hard to follow. Needs to clarify more on it's work.

By Henrio J

Jan 15, 2019

Decomposing the course into shorter videos would make it better.

By Mick H

Sep 21, 2015

Very informative - but I don't like the dry delivery style.

By Jonathan H

Sep 21, 2019

An extremely wonderful course to a non-medical but with only high school biology background person like me. It helps me to gain better knowledge and information to what happens to our body in response to all those external influences of stress, intake of food and liquid. All the lectures are very professionally conducted with clear notes in the resources. Many times, video lectures provided very good external cases beyond the texts. I must also respect that both of you continue with the lectures despite hearing coughing many times throughout. Great professionalism demonstrated, even in such course.

By Christine A

Apr 20, 2020

This course is excellent, if physiology is something you need for your career/personal interest. Mimi Jakoi and Jennifer Carbrey are magnificent in their field, and they both provide their tremendous insight to a high-functioning foundation level for the subject. However, if you are someone like me, a middle school science teacher who was only looking to find a novice level of physiology, you are going to get above and beyond what you imagined. I would definitely recommend this course to those who are highly invested in the subject, as it provides a great breadth of detail to 10 human systems.

By Parvathy s n

May 28, 2022

it was a fun ride to be a part of this journey of learning HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY was very much helpful for understanding the basic concepts of our body how our body functions internally as well their hormonal capabilities. i feel really confident now because the lecture was easy to understand i thoroughly enjoyed. thank you.

By Pei-Hsuan L

Jun 12, 2020

I don't speak for everyone, but this course was relatively difficult for an introductory course. It required an adequate amount of base/foundation on the subject in order for one to understand what the lesson is talking about.

By Fong C C

Apr 20, 2020

I find it challenging, and the instructor is quite poor in delivering message

By Andreas A

Jan 18, 2018

Great course, good as a supplementary to taking the university course.

Videos are of a good length, but could use a bit more depth into the intra-cell pathways.

I personally would prefer the course being longer and having more focus on the details e.g. important enzymes.

The sound in the videos are loud and clear, which makes it much easier to listen to (even to non-native english speakers like myself).

10 out of 10 would take the course again.

By Bryony R

Feb 9, 2019

I am about to start a degree in nursing and this was an excellent introduction. The pace was quite fast and the content is quite technical but through rereading the materials and watching some supplementary explanations (such as Khan academy) it all made sense. Thank you for all for all of the hard work required to create such a comprehensive course

By Calista L

Oct 7, 2020

Great things first: It’s a great course, with quite an amount of information each video each module. For each week’s two to three video hours, I spent 5 to 6 hours researching through googling or textbook reading, and an intense note-taking all along. I highly recommend anyone who wants a ‘warm-up’ in college physiology to do this course. This is perhaps a first college level physiology, but it’s no way ‘introductory’. For a student with mostly humanities background like me, it’s going to be a challenging course. But it is really worth doing.

The course’s texts (ebook), video-transcripts, lectures, in-video questions, practice quizzes and graded quizzes are all very helpful.

It would be more helpful if explanation can be provided for some quizzes’ questions.

In some lectures, I found the explanation a bit confusing. V/Q mismatch is an important topic in respiratory system. Week 6. At 5:07 of a video titled “CO2 Transport and V/Q Mismatch”, after a literal explanation of what ‘Q’ and ‘V’ each stands for, I expect a concise explanation of what V/Q Mismatch IS, but what I get is: “The idea is that even though we've been talking about the lung as if it is the same in all regions, actually it is not. This is due mostly to just gravity.” Dr. Cabrey is explaining why the bottom of the lung is much more distensible (less compliant) than the top part of the lung. Of course this is what the figure shown on the slide is about. But clearly the aim is to illustrate the concept of V/Q Mismatch via the ventilation & perfusion situation of the lung. But what is V/Q Mismatch in the first place? The professor is no doubt very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject material (which I really appreciate), but I would appreciate a teaching approach which is more straightforward.

Again, thanks to the Teams at Duke and Coursera who make this course available.