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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Python Functions, Files, and Dictionaries by University of Michigan

4,957 ratings

About the Course

This course introduces the dictionary data structure and user-defined functions. You’ll learn about local and global variables, optional and keyword parameter-passing, named functions and lambda expressions. You’ll also learn about Python’s sorted function and how to control the order in which it sorts by passing in another function as an input. For your final project, you’ll read in simulated social media data from a file, compute sentiment scores, and write out .csv files. It covers chapters 10-16 of the textbook “Fundamentals of Python Programming,” which is the accompanying text (optional and free) for this course. The course is well-suited for you if you have already taken the "Python Basics" course and want to gain further fundamental knowledge of the Python language. Together, both courses are geared towards newcomers to Python programming, those who need a refresher on Python basics, or those who may have had some exposure to Python programming but want a more in-depth exposition and vocabulary for describing and reasoning about programs. This is a follow-up to the "Python Basics" course (course 1 of the Python 3 Programming Specialization), and it is the second of five courses in the specialization....

Top reviews


Jun 24, 2020

Good course, had a great hands on practice with the Runestone Notebook Environment.

Appreciate the efforts of the instructors and whoever has designed in making the course and helped delivering it.


Sep 15, 2019

It's amazing learn for beginner .A wonderful learning resource and very simple way explains everything . Excellent lessons ,check your understanding ,e-book ,practice, and quiz work and lot of thing

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1 - 25 of 796 Reviews for Python Functions, Files, and Dictionaries

By Deleted A

Jun 14, 2019

Finally, some challenge!

Sorting using anonimous lambda functions is awesome.

Final project is a bit confusing at start, because it supposes some independence (for the first time in a course I had to google some information). I think, it's a good practice, because in the end you become more confident in yourself.

By Anastasios P

Jan 10, 2020

Course is very easy for someone with some background in Python (or programming). What I didn't like is the fact the coding exercises are repeating themselves within one course. You can c/p and change a value to pass all exams... Another issue is the instructors answering all multiple questions or practice quizzes during the lecture videos. This does not allow someone to really practice, think and learn.

By Umut S

Mar 7, 2019

Incredibly well put together course from UMich. I found the content to be between entry and intermediate levels. All the efforts that went into the preparation of this course are much appreciated. All details that were optimized such as pacing, consistent practices, ideal difficulty, fun factor, subjects, articulate explanations etc. made a huge difference in the MOOC experience. Many thanks again!

By Annamalai I

May 17, 2020

The course content and the instructions was awesome and the step by step approach of guidance in the project helped me a lot in the fact that I have learned how to approach any problems statements.

By Jason D

Jun 24, 2019

I absolutely enjoyed this course. Not only did it help me gain an insight on Python files, dictionaries and functions, but it also helped me use these concepts smartly to create a project. A very well paced and well structured course. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Python, and especially to those who have completed the first course of this Python specialization.

By Eloy P D

Jan 8, 2020

Very nice course, it could be a little bit challenging if you have no programming experience, but if you have done the past course and you put your attention you will definitely be able to pass it.

By Timothy P

Apr 15, 2019

Very good course. I would recommend to anyone wishing to learn to program in python.

By Hanno H

Apr 20, 2020

In itself, a good course. If you want to take this course, I recommend it. If you are, however, taking this entire specialization I suggest you walk away. The final course (course 5) is a course by someone who has not been lecturing in the course, presenting something they obviously are very fond of. The course work is, and I quote, "a project with minimal scaffolding. Expect to use the the discussion forums to gain insights! It’s not cheating to ask others for opinions or perspectives". In other words, part of the learning target is to work through bad or incomplete documentation and to solve an exercise that is stated without providing the information you need to solve it. Unless someone else already went through the moves, the lecturer fully expects you to fail by yourself.

If I wanted to feel the pain of learning without help or instructions, I would have just worked with the online manuals ... which is what this exercise openly tells you they want you to do. Its a shame for the other 4 courses, which are well done and have passionate lecturers.

By Rameses

May 28, 2021

Excellent course, great instructors and an awesome textbook. Even though I have taken another Python course before , I learned a lot of new stuff in this course. The interactive textbook was superb. It helps you trace your code, gives excellent feedback and suggestions for corrections.

The final project was well designed and the incremental manner by which it was presented guided me in completing the project Definitely recommend this course

By William C L

Aug 31, 2020

Great course, with good classes and an excellent textbook. The only thing that in my humble opinion could be better is that sometimes the assessments' exercises are repeated on the same test, only with a change in variable names or context. It would be nice to have a more varied set of exercises (or talking simply, to have slightly harder assessments).

By Kamran P A

Apr 23, 2020

More in detail than e.g. Py4everybody but unfortunately everything has to be done in runestone.

Runestone is a nice tool but i would appreciate if students would be more encouraged to install python on their own computer and use an editor or IDE of their choice. You could at least provide the files used in runestone for practicing purposes.

By Ivan M

Sep 30, 2019

The course is very sloppy. The negligence is just beyond my understanding. There are typos in the text. There are false statement in what is said (e.g. about some Windows operating system long ago not supporting long file names - Windows 3.1 wasn't an OS, and Windows 95 already supported them). There are obvious lapsus linguae in what is said. There are arrogant mistakes in TESTS! E.g.: it asks "sort-5-1: What will the sorted function sort by?

and says: "first country name (alphabetically), then temperature (lowest to highest)" but in the task script are "Reykjavik, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Berlin and Caloocan "

Since when Reykjavik, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Berlin and Caloocan are countries?!?

And it gets even more interesting in the next question! I.e. "sort-5-2: What how will the following data be sorted?" and among options:

A. first country name (reverse alphabetically), then temperature (lowest to highest)

C. first country name (reverse alphabetically), then temperature (lowest to highest)

The answers A and C are exactly the same. BUT! - The "A" is correct, while "C" is not!

And the microphone used within the specialization is very sensitive - so you hear them swallow every time. And since they are visibly uncomfortable being in front of a camera, they gulp down A LOT.

The course should be proof-read, proof-heard, the videos should be edited and the exams revisited. So far it is a disgrace to Coursera and american education.

By Subrata G

Sep 16, 2019

It's amazing learn for beginner .A wonderful learning resource and very simple way explains everything . Excellent lessons ,check your understanding ,e-book ,practice, and quiz work and lot of thing

By Ahadul I

Aug 9, 2020

This course (and the specialization as well) is a bit more challenging than 'Python for Everybody'. I enjoyed a lot. Runestone is an amazing feature that really helped navigate through the course.

By Michael N

Jan 5, 2019

This is the course to do because it makes use of spaced repetition learning - scientifically proven to be the best for recollection.

By Jose6alejandro

Jun 11, 2020

El curso es muy completo y consistente me ayudó a comprender cada concepto para desarrollar el proyecto final de manera adecuada.

By Christopher M

Oct 4, 2019

This course is extremely well organized and offers not only a lot of practical programming tools, but the best practices for implementing them successfully. Unfortunately, a lot of the assignments (including the last assignment) depend on files that the learner can't actually access, so some of the assignments are painfully tedious with a lot of guess-and-check work to figure out how the theoretical file is formatted. That said, the extra challenge does make you think more critically about your debugging options and the course as a whole is definitely worth it.

By Kristin J

Jul 25, 2020

The content is good, great even. I took one star off for the CONSTANT flipping back and forth between a short video (like 1-8 minutes) and their external resources. Give me an actual lecture, not a lecture tidbit. I took the second point off for the course ending with a "peer review" assignment that tested your ability to create a graph in excel (which is wholly outside the scope of this course) and seemed just plunked onto the end to ensure waiting time before you can "officially" finish the course because you're sitting around waiting for peer reviews on a project that required excel, not python, knowledge. I've got coursera pro so the delay didn't much hinder me, I just went to the next course - but I bet that peer review nonsense is a manufactured hurdle to thwart people trying to learn quickly on a 7 day trial. Pretty sleazy in my opinion.

By David P

Aug 25, 2019

The course material and videos are good, but it is impossible to get help from anyone from the University of Michigan if you have questions. You might get lucky and a fellow student may help, but if you want help from U of Michigan don't hold your breath.

By Joshua M

Jun 16, 2022

I am not a computer whiz and this course hurts my head. I never want to see it again

By Ashwin J

Jul 21, 2020

The assignment for the course is too lengthy too understand.

By Alexander A

Apr 30, 2020

This course and the balance of courses 1-4 of the specialization were fantastic - I would highly recommend each. Course 5 (the capstone project) was an abomination. Basically zero instruction / guidance and very frustrating for anybody except decently experienced programmers. If courses 1-4 are your only exposure to Python, you could easily spend a month or more on this project. If getting the Specialization Certificate is very important to you, there are resources online that you can leverage to complete the project but that is done largely at the expense of any real learning, so I really hope UofM comes up with an alternative final project that is more consistent with the level of expertise attained in courses 1-5 (maybe something on implementing classic algorithms?).

By jie

Apr 10, 2020

This is a great course, I've learned a lot from this course. What made this course great is that students could follow the instructors and do basic practises along the instruction. Lots and lots of basic practises solidified our learning. For example, all kinds of loops, string, list, dictionary etc handling take time to be proficient. You can understand these simple concepts by only watching videos, however, it takes lots of basic practices to really master. I took other python courses before, and I quickly forget everything because these courses lack the most critical part: many and many basic practices.

After all these practices and assignments, the final project looks like a piece of cake. Thank you UMich team. You guys are awesome!

By Michael K

Mar 25, 2020

Very good course. Good instructors and great production quality. The supplemental textbook is exceptional and adds far more value to the courses for those who choose to take advantage of it. Covers some of the more advanced areas of the Python language, and also shows some practical uses of these features. The final course project was interesting and that should provide a challenge but without being overly difficult.

My only complaint, similar to the previous course, is that other than the final assignment it's almost too easy. I wish students were challenged more because it's when you are pushed to your limits do you learn the most. But not worthy of knocking a star off the review, it's still excellent.

By Renee

Jul 4, 2021

Excellent introduction course, very thorough and slow paced. One downside is that you aren't working in an actual IDE, so are missing the experience of reading/writing files "for real" on your computer, so be aware of that. The repetitive practice in the textbook exercises and the spaced repetition of the textbook daily review feature are good for cementing concepts. Highly recommended to do them both even though not required as part of the course. The course is 5 weeks but plan on it taking a lot less than that if you have any programming knowledge already.