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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Using Python to Access Web Data by University of Michigan

43,134 ratings

About the Course

This course will show how one can treat the Internet as a source of data. We will scrape, parse, and read web data as well as access data using web APIs. We will work with HTML, XML, and JSON data formats in Python. This course will cover Chapters 11-13 of the textbook “Python for Everybody”. To succeed in this course, you should be familiar with the material covered in Chapters 1-10 of the textbook and the first two courses in this specialization. These topics include variables and expressions, conditional execution (loops, branching, and try/except), functions, Python data structures (strings, lists, dictionaries, and tuples), and manipulating files. This course covers Python 3....
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Top reviews


Jun 18, 2020

This course was really interesting and did a good job introducing complicated topics in usefully simplified form. It was a pleasure to listen to the instructor and I got everything I wanted out of it.


Aug 19, 2022

Interesting course, I consider information about XML and JSON as very informative. I will continue specialization "Python For Everybody". Thanks for Dr. Chuck and everyone, who created this material.

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6251 - 6275 of 7,760 Reviews for Using Python to Access Web Data

By Mark J O

Aug 16, 2020

Very good introduction to how to scrape the web and how data is transferred on the web. Dr. Severance is an excellent instructor.

That said, I can't give this course a 5/5 because it still uses the urllib.request module to make 'Get' requests, when the 'requests' module is far simpler and possibly faster. I appreciated learning how to access data using the 'socket' module because it seems to give a more nuanced understanding of what's going on when you send a 'get' request, but I don't see any reason not to use requests.get() instead of urllib.request.urlopen().

By Ngoc D ( T

Mar 11, 2020

I find the target of the course, to use Python to access web data, extremely useful. Been always wondered how to do it, and now at the end of the course, I've made myself familiar with these techniques. The only reason I didn't give it a 5-star is I feel like it can made more focused by giving a lot more practice and examples about what we will actually use, and maybe forget about scratching the surface when mentioning the lower level of http. I find it sort of frustrating just copy and past some lines of codes from the lecture and didn't really know it is.

By Lecker D

Dec 5, 2019

I think the course has some room for improvement, e.g. the quiz questions eps. in the first couple of weeks didn't exactly seem to fit with the content of the videos - this was different in previous courses. If additional reading of the textbook materials was required, it should have been explicitly mentioned. Also, their are some hickups with the disconnect between the content of the videos and the actual state of the google and twitter API, but I think for the assignements it was nicely solved, so no issue there. Overall very content with the course.

By Nikki T

Jul 11, 2021

This course was definitely a bit more challenging than the previous 2 course, but at the same time, it was extremely exciting to be learning so much more and the applications of it. You get to learn a lot more difficult coding and see how it applies to the real world. Professor Severance is such a wonderful professor! I wish I actually had come across this course sooner in my life because I wouldn't had wasted my time paying thousands of dollars to a University that puts no effort into their students learning at all. Cheers to Professor Severance :)

By André C V

Oct 8, 2017

Very instructive and interesting. Was able to understand the basic of Web Data and will be able to easily get deeper into it if I wish so after having a solid basic knowledge.

I do, however, have a couple of constrcutive comments:

1st - Is it possible to release a couple of commented alternative solutions to the graded assignments to those who have already passed it? This would help us students to learn even more.

2nd- Please keep the Quiz questions solely to contents discussed on the video lectures. (some questions were not discussed in the videos)

By Alessandra T C

Oct 8, 2018

Sadly in comparison with the first two courses of this specialization in 'Using Python to Access Web Data' the difficulty increases exponentially. For me it was definitely harder to keep the pace with all the infos. Instead of the office hours and the interviews to VIPs and other relevant people to the field I'd like to see more worked exercises. Also, after May 25 2018 both Google and Twitter changed their policies about the retrieval of data. So it was impossible to follow the instuctions step by step on how to build an API in Twitter.

By Gregory L

Jan 4, 2021

Quite good material and presentation, with two caveats.

First, the TA is terrible. They respond rudely and with a great deal of condescension to nearly every comment they make. Avoid interacting with them if you can.

Second, some of the templates for assignments have significantly more sophisticated approaches than are necessary to complete the assignments. You might learn the most by starting from scratch each time, but nonetheless I think Dr. Chuck is a pretty great teacher. He really makes you feel like you can do this. And he's right!

By Richard C

Jun 30, 2022

It's a good course, but I think I had some issues with parts of it. I passed everything, but I can't help but think that I really don't know what I did most of the time. The exercises mostly involved modifying a given file to parse some kind of data from a given url. I could do it each time, but I don't think I learned how to do this well enough to do it again without having a script to use as a template.

There are a few places where the videos didn't feel like they prepared me for the exercises. It was just kind of frustrating.

By Calvin B

May 18, 2017

I loved this course, however, there is some room for improvement:

(a) Putting code side-by-side with video of Dr Chuck (like it was done in previous lectures) would be better.

(b) Make the end-of-week assignments more challenging. I felt that the quizzes were good, but, the coding assignments were too easy and the solution was practically spoon fed.

Other than that, the course was really good. Dr Chuck is a natural in front of the camera. I also really enjoyed some of the more complex code samples presented during the lectures.

By Jason A

Oct 27, 2017

Great coverage of the material, however some of the sample scripts were nearly complete and required little, if any, modification to complete the assignment. They clearly tried to find the balance between providing challenging exercises and providing working packages of scripts so that students can accomplish more complicated tasks using additional tools that are, on their own, beyond the scope of the project. I just think they could have provided a bit less to make some of the later exercises a bit more challenging.

By Hyun K

Apr 19, 2019

I found this course to be a lot harder than the previous 2 (which is not an issue per se). I feel like I understand a much smaller proportion of the content than the other courses and I am having to copy a lot of code without truly understanding what they achieve (I merely know that I must for the code to function properly). The last task in particular didn't even require me to change any of the code from 'you will write a python program somewhat similar to... '. Was I supposed to write all of that from scratch?

By Justin R

Apr 3, 2022

This course is definitely a great introduction to how Python can interact with web data. Towards the end it gets a bit overwhelming because of the complexity of dealing with APIs, but I feel like I came away with the fundamental skillset necessary if I wanted to explore the topics further. I appreciated that the assignments emphasized the way key programming concepts from prior courses apply to these topics (instead of sending students down rabbit holes of understanding the nitty gritty of pulling web data).

By Cheng C C (

Sep 14, 2021

As a beginner to coding, I was lost at the week 2 assignment. I don't even know where to construct my code and test it at first. I was struggling for days and searching for further help on the Internet. It would be great if there is a guide for where to put the code, where and how to save the code file.

In addition, Dr. Chuck is trying to squeeze too much content into one course in my opinion.

However, it's a fantastic course overall and I enjoyed it!!! Appreciate everyone's effort on preparing this course :)


Jun 7, 2020

This course is like a new territory compared to the two courses before. The first course is simple and easy. the second course is a little bit confusing. This course is very very confusing(the teaching is good, but the knowledge is very new to me). But being confusing is not bad, I've learned many new things from this course and the confusion i got from this course encourages me to go back to review this course and previous course before jumping into the next course and get more confused. Good course!

By akash p

Feb 26, 2020

The course was good. I got to learn so much things, though it was introductory and just basic in nature but it gave me an idea that what I can do next.

I learnt Regex, parsing data using XML and JSON and Beautiful Soup. I think that there needs to be a little more depth to these topics. Though it was overall a good experience my suggestion would be to include a project at last that requires to do a real world problem solving where the students can apply their knowledge on each of the skills learnt.

By titus l

Jun 29, 2016

This course got very technical very suddenly which was really fun! From normal python to regular expression python, to surfing the web with python (by suddenly writing a web browser) and then suddenly using python to leverage on APIs. Each chapter is a really fun quantum leap in understanding!

However, I felt that the lectures could be better delivered for that chapter (less wordy, chunky notes, more examples) because it's really a whole new world each time.

Really worth the time and effort though!

By Kanishtha D

May 28, 2020

The twitter api chapters confused me a lot during the later stages. But i think the assignments and quizzes are very very well thought for such a complex set of topics otherwise students just get lost and get stuck at some assignments and quit altogether! 1 star deducted because i thought Dr. Chuck could have explained the worked twitter api assignment in a better way as he got stuck in some places and it confused me lot at that moment! However the exercise made things very clear so over happy!

By Francesco B

Jan 7, 2017

Nice course, you get an introduction to using python to access different types of widely used formats of web data.

I liked that, apart from showing how to "get the stuff done" with Python, the course also explores a bit of the history of each of the tyeps explored and tries to "scratch the surface" about how each of them works.

On the down side: I think the code already provided for each assignment is too much. One ends up not writing his/her own code, if not for a couple of additional lines.

By Tan Y H J

May 28, 2018

Professor Chuck could have reviewed the more difficult concepts in greater detail or by providing more worked examples. For example, in the quiz for Week 6, the concepts of REST and SOAP were not covered in the presentation slides but were tested in the quiz. In the HTML week, I found the assignments hard because of inadequate knowledge of the various tags which exist in html code. This is a challenging course but not impossible to learn. More resources would be greatly appreciated, though.

By Ruoming Z

May 15, 2022

First of all, I have to say the courses from Charles Russell Severance always remain high quality, and the learning process (except for the assignment part) is pretty enjoyable. After three courses of PY4E, I feel excited to acquire systematic knowledge. Second, this course is a little bit difficult for a "newbie" like me. More detailed explanations would be appreciated, as we can absorb the knowledge easier and become more confident. Thanks for the fantastic lectures from cute Dr.Chuck!

By Aarya P

Sep 5, 2020

The course deals with how to get data off a website. Basically helps in parsing different types of data in the JSON and XML . Its a little difficult for those first timers but eventually you will get to know some of the stuff . It would have helped if it would have been a little easier.

The Instructor is great and let me go ahead and tell you that he is one of the best, but some concepts in this course were pretty difficult for me to understand. You have to work a bit to get hold of it.

By Dumidu H

Jun 21, 2017

A well thought out course which goes above and beyond just teaching you how to code python. You get to hear from some of the pioneers, shapers, and creators of network related technologies on how they were able to do the things they have done and how what they did changed the course of the technology. Pretty cool.

Tip: Avoid using an IDE if you want remember what you learn better. The chances of something blowing up in your face is more but because of it you will remember better.

By Joel T

Nov 14, 2015

This course is well-developed and well-delivered. If one is a complete novice, start at the beginning of this specialty on one's own schedule (on demand at the speed of light) and at an affordable price ($0) and be confident of significant advances in one's knowledge of internet function, in general, and Python, in particular. It is a brave new world. I often feel like Wylie Coyote staring through my toes. Suddenly realizing things have changed. This course fixes that feeling.

By Jeremy M

Jan 26, 2021

Interesting topic. There is a wealth of things to learn with respect to using Python to Access the Web. The materials presented here just scratch the surface. I enjoy the video lectures and book. The assignments in this course are interesting, but wonder a little from the presented materials. I am taking away 1 star due to a bug I encountered with the autograder in the final assignment and for the aforementioned discontinuities. Overall, a fun class and I learned a lot.

By Levi M

Jun 5, 2016

I really enjoyed this course and found that I am feeling more confident with my skills from the previous two. However, as a point of improvement I would suggest making the final module a bit more challenging. Perhaps this was intentional but, although the final module introduces JSON well, I don't feel as though my skills improved while doing it. (Then again, the counter argument could be that it is good practice and repetition before moving on to anything too much harder...)