Chevron Left
Back to Introduction to Python Programming

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Python Programming by University of Pennsylvania

1,072 ratings

About the Course

This course provides an introduction to programming and the Python language. Students are introduced to core programming concepts like data structures, conditionals, loops, variables, and functions. This course includes an overview of the various tools available for writing and running Python, and gets students coding quickly. It also provides hands-on coding exercises using commonly used data structures, writing custom functions, and reading and writing to files. This course may be more robust than some other introductory python courses, as it delves deeper into certain essential programming topics....

Top reviews


Jun 29, 2023

All the contents are expressed direct and clear and no previous experience is needed, that's why I really enjoy this course. I would like to also understand Python comprehension lists in this course.


Mar 26, 2021

Great explanations and lots of examples to follow on. The course built throughout so I had confidence in completing assignments though they were not easy. Great interaction in discussion forums.

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 313 Reviews for Introduction to Python Programming

By alireza r

Feb 11, 2021

good slides, good explanation, and very clear. But the actual and biggest problem is that the examples are not as complex as assessments, the 4th assessment was a real disaster, too hard and you must expend much more time than the suggested time by default.

the questions in assessments are not very clear, you must work very hard to understand what the question wants and actually not mentioned in subcells. again; this is very obvious in the 4th assessment.

By Alex C

Jul 9, 2021



THE GOOD: this course gives a *very* concise overview of the basics of Python: conditionals, loops, lists, dictionaries, files. As such, it is an ideal course for an experienced programmer who is new to Python, but not to programming or computer science. Or, as a review/refresher for those who previously took a Python course and looking to strengthen what they've already been taught.

I took this having already taken Python courses elsewhere (namely, the "Python For Everybody" courses offered on Coursera here through U-Michigan). It goes through the same material, but in a more substantive way.

THE BAD: While the instructor was clear, it merely goes through the syntax of Python - basically how it works. It doesn't go into WHY or the underlying framework for computer programming (that transcends Python). As such, if you are new to computer programming, you'll be even more lost. But if you've got some programming background, this may be for you.

THE BAD #2: The course is structured and paced very poorly. Each "week", you watch a ton of 30 sec - 2 min videos, where the instructor *blazes* through a ton of material. The weekly quizzes are typical of Coursera (multiple choice, mostly recall, not challenging). And then just *one* monster assignment to end the week.

The problem with this approach is they throw you a bunch of new concepts (in tiny 1 min videos), and then expect you to put it all together in one monster assignment. It's like explaining to someone very quickly all the components of a car, and then expecting you to fix it all in one go. Or showing someone a list of vocabulary for a foreign language, then some rules of grammar, and then BOOM - expecting to write an essay in one go.

The more effective way of learning is cumulative - building one idea on top of the other. That deepens understanding. This course instead feels more like a Python cram course for those who already know it and need a refresher.

THE BAD#3: The validation checks for the weekly assignments are done poorly. It seems configured in a way where there is just *one* way to reach the result, and you need to do it that *one* way. This is actually bad practice because in the real world, there are often multiple ways to code something to get the same result, each with their benefits and tradeoffs. Learning that there are often multiple ways to get the same result is essential, which this grading system does not account for. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:

1. Smaller, more frequent, mini-assignments that focus on a subset of the ideas being taught, rather than one monster assignment each week. This will also encourage more people to continue and learn, while being more effective in allowing students to accumulate concepts.

2. If the lectures are as they are (Penn isn't re-recording these again), then have Coursera re-label this as "Mixed" or "Intermediate". This is an intro to Python, but it's not a "beginner" course.

By Michael S

Jan 18, 2021

I am considering dropping the course and switching to Udacity. One simple reason: absolutely no feedback on any homework assignment, except a public chat room with an occasional hit-and-miss response by a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants cannot review code, so, if you have a specific question or are stuck - you are out of luck... you'll have to help yourself. Even if your code works and does what is assigned, auto-grader can give you '0' because of the 'how'/method you use. No way to know how to correct because ... go to the beginning of my review. Assignments are not based on video lectures or course notes - I had to research a ton online to get close to what I was supposed to do. Again, no support, no Q&A, no explanations. Black box.

By Rafaël J F

Dec 20, 2020

Really bad course. I had to cancel my subscription because of this course because they didn't explained you anything in any detail. I DO NOT recommend it

By Jessica H

Dec 14, 2020

If I had never taken an introductory course on Python before, I would find this course very frustrating. There is a lack of "why" things are the way they are and there are certain formats used in code along exercises that were never previous taught. The tests are also a bit difficult to grasp because there was no example given as to how take them. It's a bit of a plug and lay, but it's note innately obvious. It is a manageable course otherwise.

By Tashi M

May 11, 2021

The content is all over the place, the chapters are incredibly too long, and it is NOT a good course for someone just learning Python. I took it as a refresher course and it still confused me. The homework assignments are a joke. There is little to no information to let you know what is expected for each assignment. They just present you will incorrect codes and say, 'fix these;' again seeming to forget that this course is for BEGINNERS!!!! It is too late for me to un-enroll so I am stuck with it. But I wish I had could have sampled it before getting stuck with this headache of a course.

By Czarina A

Mar 13, 2021

This is '"SUPPOSED" to be a beginner class, but the HW assignments prove this class to be otherwise. You'll spend less than an hour reading/listening to lectures, but hours, or in my case days, trying to do/figure out the homework. What makes it worst, is that there is a lack of guidance/help from TAs albeit there being a lot of them listed. When help is provided, responses are so vague that it's difficult to understand. It's almost not even worth asking for help. Waste of money if you've paid to get the certificate.

By Michael L

Jan 21, 2021

Really great final "exam" question, as I learned a lot. However, only 4 out of 5 stars because the final exam is SO MUCH HARDER than the rest of the course, that it catches a lot of people unprepared. I suppose this might be all right for an online course, but just a flag for people wanting to take the course: be prepared to take it seriously, or the ending will be hard. :)

By kelly m

Jan 24, 2021

This is not organized well. It is not a beginners course

By Jim S

Dec 23, 2020

I feel I learned a lot about python by taking this course. I rated the course as low as I did because I found the homework assignments VERY frustrating. I spent much more time trying to figure out what was being asked and the specifics requirements than I spent actually programming. The instruction was good and I didn't have difficulty DOING the assignment but figuring out the requirements was almost impossible.

Thank you for asking. Jim

By Ruth K

Apr 7, 2021

The course itself was good enough, but I have to agree with all the other reviewers criticising the last assessment. I also thought it was very strange and simply frustrating. I guess the coding itself would have been doable, but I wasted so much time trying to figure out WHAT exactly they wanted from me. If I wrote different codes that worked, it was still wrong because it was not what their automated system was testing. I get that, but then at least the instructions should not be confusing and contradictory. When I asked a question in the forum, after 1-2 days they would respond to only the one error message I'd have and once I fixed that specific error, I would get new error messages, would have to ask again, wait, etc. It took me 2-3 weeks instead of the supposed 4 hours and I spent almost one full course payment on this. In the end I just aborted the whole thing once I was sure I'd have enough correct answers to be able to pass the assessment, in order to move forward at last. I started the second course today - with very little motivation.

By Ahmed M

Mar 24, 2021

Not beginner friendly as claimed. I have 5 years of experience in JavaScript and I still struggled with a lot of issues. Needed to research a lot of methods on my own which is a great thing to do as a developer but at least inform the student with hints that they might need to research on google (for example, checking if characters are uppercase/lowercase and numeric when validating the password in the last assignment). Also, the assertions are not descriptive enough.

By Rani M

Apr 12, 2021

The course was really good. The assignments were challenging. It was very pleasure to solve the assignments and practice them to become perfect with the basics of Python language

By Mo K W

Feb 6, 2021

This is an interesting course. The instructor introduced the content in a simple and clear way. However, the main problem was the huge difficulty of the last assignment. It was hard for a beginner like me that the instructions were not clear. It is normal to spend you a few hours to do that.

By Regine J

Aug 16, 2021

I never thought I had the "stuff" to code. This course gave me the skill and the confidence to acquire new coding skills in Python, and I could not be more thankful. The course is well organized... I like the rigor of the module assignments, which expect students to apply the skills to interesting real-life situations. The TAs respond to questions right away. I never felt "abandoned" in this class. And its "success" acquired from the coding assignments increased my confidence and love for the language. I absolutely loved this class. And I passed at 96%. Never thought that would be possible. I plan to take all 4 courses in this sequence. Well done!

By Stacey B

Mar 27, 2021

Great explanations and lots of examples to follow on. The course built throughout so I had confidence in completing assignments though they were not easy. Great interaction in discussion forums.

By Jose G R G

Feb 23, 2021

Super great course. However, graded assignments requiere better information regarding how to present the results and the response time form TA's is extremely long, if they ever respond

By Daisy H

Aug 10, 2022

Although the homework gets difficult, it is progressive and is manageable is we spend enough time on it.

highly recommending this class to people like me with no coding expereience!

By David T

Jun 13, 2021

The course is mostly fantastic.

However, I do feel like the fourth programming assessment is really difficult compared to the other three assignments. I almost gave up because of it.

I certainly appreciate a rigorous class, but the disparity in level is extremely high.

By Valerie S

Jul 18, 2021

Gives a few minute video examples, then gives a long complicated assignment. Posted on the forum for help, but the responses make no sense and seem to assume we have more experience than we actually do.

By James W

Apr 27, 2021

The first assignment was broken, and I got no support to fix it.

By Sapanil S

Jan 30, 2021

Auto grader is pathetic. Does not understand any thing

By Gabriel T

Nov 1, 2021

The material in this course was very accessible for beginners, and does an excellent job of scaling with each week. The quizzes and lessons really help in developing the baseline knowledge of Python syntax, rules, and terminology. Depending on your skill level, the assignments can get difficult, but the forums provide excellent assistance from both peers and course TA's/volunteers. Overall, a highly useful class for both learning and/or brushing up on old concepts.

By Christopher S

Apr 10, 2021

Well conducted course for a beginner in programming. Appreciate the content and Hands on exercises. It has definitely helped come to grips with a growing programming language.

By Pacharanakorn N

Feb 17, 2021

Sometimes, it is difficult for a total beginner to perform the given assignments, as the instruction and sources provided way too little.