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Back to Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows by Tel Aviv University

1,701 ratings

About the Course

For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form—from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems and flowers to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. This course intends to present an intriguing and scientifically valid look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the sensations they feel. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, we will delve into the inner lives of plants and draw parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. We’ll learn how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the music you’ve been playing for them or if they’re just deaf to the sounds around them. We’ll explore definitions of memory and consciousness as they relate to plants in asking whether we can say that plants might even be aware of their surroundings. This highly interdisciplinary course meshes historical studies with cutting edge modern research and will be relevant to all humans who seek their place in nature. This class has three main goals: 1. To introduce you to basic plant biology by exploring plant senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, balance). 2. To introduce you to biological research and the scientific method. 3. To get the student to question life in general and what defines us as humans. Once you've taken this course, if you are interested in a more in-depth study of plants, check out my follow-up course, Fundamentals of Plant Biology ( In order to receive academic credit for this course you must successfully pass the academic exam on campus. For information on how to register for the academic exam – Additionally, you can apply to certain degrees using the grades you received on the courses. Read more on this here – Teachers interested in teaching this course in their class rooms are invited to explore our Academic High school program here –

Top reviews


Aug 14, 2021

I really liked this course, the professor was engaging, clear, and informative, and did a great job explaining and simplifying the more complex biology topics so that it was digestible for beginners.


Dec 12, 2016

Love the clarity of the instructors deliver which is supported by great explanations and most importantly visual aids & demonstrations. Ps... Especially loved the bloopers at the end. Nice treat! :)

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151 - 175 of 491 Reviews for Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows

By Valéry B

Feb 1, 2021

Superb course. I learned so much things about plants. I loved the videos and the quiz were kind of challenging. Thanks to Daniel Chamovitz ans his team.

By Lucas M M

Mar 12, 2019

Awesome course! The teacher is really nice and gives a good comprehension of what a plant knows and how scientists develop their hypothesis and results.

By Sara A d S M

May 18, 2021

I recommend this course 100%. An incredible learning experience, with a teacher who loves what he does and clearly loves to teach. Everything perfect!!

By Anna

Apr 19, 2021

Awesome course! I strongly recommend it! You will never look at plants the same! Highly scientific and fun, well organized, well brought and engaging.

By Gabriela G

Nov 12, 2022

I loved the course! I studied Agronomy and it was a good refresh of information. The Professor Chamovitz makes de lesson really interesting to follow.

By Guy L

Dec 3, 2020

Great course! Very interesting and informative! Definitely recommend!

One caveat - the final is NO JOKE. Take notes and make sure you're ready for it.

By John N

Sep 6, 2017

Amazing course, explaining plant evolution on molecular biology level, showing differences and similarities with animal kingdom with amazing clarity.

By Inger v d

Sep 16, 2021

Great course, very interesting, great teacher, very well explained and right balance between tough technical and interesting background information.

By Michael K

Jul 20, 2020

Very accessible, great reading lists, sufficiently taxing (I still haven't worked out the answers to some of the final quiz!) Thanks & Best Regards!

By Dylan L

Mar 6, 2019

love it so far. Its informative and fits my schedule. i love that i can watch the videos as much as needed to learn, and that doesnt put anyone out.

By Yarin

Dec 12, 2016

I think the tests were a bit difficult and the fact that many students taking this course aren't native speakers should be taken into consideration.

By Ou A

Oct 25, 2020

Interesting and vivid course to get deep knowledge of plant biology. Really thankful to the lecturer Professor Daniel Chamovitz from Tel Aviv Univ.

By Mohamed A

Jul 26, 2017

This is a great introductory course to Plant Genetics! Be sure to take notes so that you can easily answer the final quiz by the end of the course

By Royston M

Aug 1, 2020

I am extremely happy that I came to know lots of details on understanding plants. I thank the Coursera community for availing this course online.

By Poppy N

Mar 22, 2022

This was a wonderful course! I really loved the engaging lessons, diagrams, and tests. Thank you so much, and I look forward to starting part 2!

By Chris D

Nov 22, 2020

Great info. Good experiments and interesting topics instructed by a easy to follow lecturer.

Anyone interested in caring for plants should do it.

By Jie W

Dec 27, 2018

I really like this course. I never thought plant science could be so interesting to learn. Moreover, it could help with my furture research work

By Larisa T M

Nov 2, 2018

Este curso es muy claro. Comienza con los más sencillo y va subiendo poco a poco el nivel de la información.

Entretenido, completo y estimulante.

By Annelise M

Feb 26, 2021

Very interesting, a great first look in to higher plant biology and understanding what they didn't teach you in school. I very much enjoyed it!

By matthew s

Sep 8, 2017

A great study and very enjoyable.

Plants are food for thought as well as the table; who would have thought it.

Thanks for creating this course !

By Paola A V O

Jul 16, 2020

Gran curso, la forma de explicar es buena por parte del docente y se aprenden muchas cosas y te ofrecen mucho material para leer y aprender.

By Rosemary M

Apr 30, 2020

Super-fun course for anyone interested in plant biology. Danny Chamovitz is a very engaging and clear lecturer. Looking forward to part two!

By Alejandro M M

Aug 6, 2019

Dr. Chamovitz is able to expose complex and interesting topics in a very engaging way! I enjoyed all the lectures of this course. Thank you!

By Constantino D D R

Oct 14, 2020

Very enjoyable course. Topic is pretty updated. I am grateful for the review of recent advances in plant bioacoustics (or phytoacoustics) .

By Sudipto B

Aug 13, 2021

Very nice course, delivers enough knowledge and creates interest to learner whichever the level of the learners prior knowledge level is.