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Learner Reviews & Feedback for R Programming by Johns Hopkins University

19,268 ratings
4,091 reviews

About the Course

In this course you will learn how to program in R and how to use R for effective data analysis. You will learn how to install and configure software necessary for a statistical programming environment and describe generic programming language concepts as they are implemented in a high-level statistical language. The course covers practical issues in statistical computing which includes programming in R, reading data into R, accessing R packages, writing R functions, debugging, profiling R code, and organizing and commenting R code. Topics in statistical data analysis will provide working examples....

Top reviews


Aug 12, 2019

Very challenging, but good course. I've been programming in R for over a year, but there were still some things for me to pick up in this class. Assignments were a challenge, but satisfying to tackle.


May 12, 2020

Really interesting course. The interactive coding sessions with swirl are especially useful. Would be great, if you provided sample solutions for the programming assignments, in particular for week 4.

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3651 - 3675 of 3,986 Reviews for R Programming

By Rob B

Oct 26, 2016

This course is "1-dimensional" and not of high didactic quality. I have followed several other courses ( also Python in Coursera set up) and this one really disappointed me ( I'm in wk 2 out of 4 now). It is a bit of a pitty that the instructor speaks too rapid ( it is ment to be also for non-native US speakers?). The material is hardly explained step by step. So what I do at the moment: I watch the video and than go to Yuotube to find other videos that deal with the topics in an easier and didactic better way.

Examples of good cousres in my opinion are stats and probabilty course/ and the python course

PS "all of the data toolbox" course seem to have the same flaws.

Of course my knowledge level is low concerning programming ( I am a MD, so hardly scientific educated...). Nevertheless I hope this feedback can be of any good.

By Phillip C G

May 13, 2020

This course features great Swirl exercises and decent if bland lectures. Unfortunately the homework assignments are highly problematic. They (a) do not build enough upon what is taught, (b) all too often require skills that have not yet been taught, (c) are extremely advanced for what is supposed to be a beginner R programming course and (d) often require you to look up things in Google rather than in the class lectures or exercises. You can easily put 20 hours or more into this course per week and still struggle to complete or pass it. I would recommend beginning R programmers to steer clear until they improve the assignments.

If however you're a more experienced R programmer this might be a worthwhile challenge, but I would caution that the assignments are not well-tied to lectures and exercises.

By Alla C

Jan 25, 2016

I am very frustrated by the disconnect between the lectures and programming assignment in this course. The lectures are very basic, but that makes sense for an intro-type course. The programming assignments, however, have very little connection to the lectures. I have some experience using software with command-based interface (including R) for statistical analysis, and I am relatively good at searching and finding information independently, but this course was way too hard even for me. I might revisit programming assignments again once I have more time and more experience with the application, just for the sake of completing the course, but I kind of find it silly that I need experience with R to pass the course intended for people with little to no experience with R.

By Chadrick A E

Apr 15, 2018

Some of the assignments in the course require coding that is quite a bit more advanced than what is taught. I felt there was insufficient direction and instruction provided in how or where to begin to complete the homework in week 4 especially. This made the homework quite frustrating for me as a true beginner in R programming, and as someone with limited programming experience. I spent a maddening amount of time wandering the stacks and wondering how to even do what was being proposed. If you are a genuine beginner in R and do not have a lot of experience programming in some other (possibly related) language I would hesitate to sign up for this course. It is my opinion that previous experience really is required for the course to be accessible.

By Janet K

May 08, 2017

For my level of expertise in programming, there were huge jumps between what was explained about the R language in the lessons and what was expected from the programming exercises. So I needed to spend A LOT of time Googling and studying various examples on the web, and then, just trying again and again and again. No way could I have passed the course in a month if I hadn't been retired and been able to drop everything else to put in the time I needed. I did learn a lot, but, would have preferred to do it with less wear and tear on my stomach lining.

Also RStudio is not quite as stable or unbreakable as I'd like, nor is there any real way to get feedback on programming style when just getting the answer took 98% of my available time.

By Yun C

Sep 25, 2016

There are huge gaps between learning materials (videos) and assignments. Assignments are very difficult and definitely not for R beginners. Also assignments' instruction are a little difficult to understand. I wonder if the purpose of assignments is to exam our reading and understanding abilities or the skills of R!!!

I also took courses <Getting and Cleaning Data> and <Exploratory Data Analysis> at the same time and these two courses' assignments are much easier than the course <R Programming>. Writing function in R really isn't that easy especially for an R beginner who only has little knowledge of R packages and functions. I really don't think this course should arrange as the second course to take in this Data Science course series.

By Jacob D

Dec 09, 2017

The lectures that the professor provides are quite clear, and the practice exercises created for this course do well to reinforce the lectures. However, the assignments are impossible and have little to do with the material. It is as if one is taught introductory algebra and then given a calculus problem to solve.

The professors who designed this course need to go back and review the way they design their assignments because they ruin this course. Even submitting the assignments is difficult as they somehow expect you to know how Github works. Unless you have taken an R course before or you are an experienced programmer, I would avoid this class. It will be a waste of your time.

By Bekele D

Mar 23, 2020

Well, I learned the basic of R programing , I very impressed with the assignment questions; they are so challenging and I got a lot out of it. At the same time the swirl package come along with course is so helpful. Having say it, I was very dissatisfied with the way instructor present this course; it so embracing to teach programing course by reading slides. How so ?????

This is not history or music/Art course; you have to show each and every example on IDE.

I should have give this course a lone star rating , but for all resources come with it made to be nice to add one more. otherwise 1 star would have been fair review, for there is no rating option below 1 star.

By Ashly Y

Mar 20, 2017

Love Coursera but was disappointed in this course. Being a true beginner w/no background in programming or data science, I felt the programming assignments were way too far a stretch from the Swirl exercises (which I felt were super helpful and beginner appropriate) and lectures. I spent 8-12 hrs on each one just googling and trying to decipher the programming jargon that most responses were written in. I was able to figure out workable code for most problems but I feel like I am still lacking the basic fundamentals underlying the solutions to these assignments and would have a hard time reproducing solutions to similar problems.


Aug 04, 2016

The first 2 weeks have too many videos, which make it difficult to follow. This breaks the flow of the lectures and makes a lot of unuseful repetitions.

The slides only have words and are hard to follow, no graphs or illustrations, this means that you rely on the voice of the lecturer to guide you, which is difficult sometimes.

Furthermore, the code presented is not run 'live', and results are often lacking, which makes comparison with 'my own results' hard to do.

Summary: Not that its a bad course (SWIRL is a great tool), just look for another course that's easier to follow.

By Theresa B

Aug 12, 2018

This course had all the required content for learning to program in R. However, the presentations were hard to understand. There was a lot of information jumps that were more than an intermediate level. I feel these instructors were very knowledgeable, but didn't know how to teach. They need to understand that when you teach a person to read "cat" you start with the sounds "c" "a" "t" and slowly put the sounds together.... You don't just say cat says "cat".

My previous experience in R & my R "hacker mentality" are the only thing that got me through this course.

By Erika R

May 12, 2017

The instructor explained functions to use in R, but did not do a good job of demonstrating how to properly use them in conjunction as the course progressed. The programming assignments had almost nothing to do with what was taught in the course. As a person with beginner experience with R, this course required more advanced knowledge for coding in R to complete the programming assignments. I was very disappointed with the instruction though I managed to get myself through the assignments with the use of google and R help prompts.

By Tirth B

May 09, 2020

Huge difference between the concepts taught and the quizzes/assignments give. NOT for a beginner level coder. This course is good for those who already have apt knowledge of coding and minimum 1 year of coding experience. Would absolutely NOT recommend this course for those learning how to code. Better to first learn Python and then do this R programming course. The ONLY THING GOOD about this course is the SWIRL package, which really teaches the foundation for coding in R, hence the 2 stars, otherwise I was going to give just one.

By Fabiana G

May 26, 2016

It feels like this course was abandoned by the instructors. The Programming Assignments are practically impossible to be done unless you have previous programming experience. Other than swirl, it would be very helpful if there were basic optional exercises for those who have never programmed before. I worked hard to be able to follow it, but if I knew how uninvolved the instructors were, I would have saved my money and spent it on a course with active involvement from those who developed it. Disappointing.

By Antonio M

Dec 12, 2017

The way of talking in the videos is erratic. It looks like he is always in doubt of what to say. His speech is full of "eeer" and non-completed words. I don't mean to be a fusspot, but when English is not your mother tongue, this is key to stay engaged. A script to read would probably solve most of these issues. He seems to have a great understanding of the topics he is explaining, however, not being able to communicate it properly results in a bit of a failure for me. I'll maybe try again in the future.

By Nina L A

Apr 19, 2020

Although the content that is covered is presented in a clear, logical manner, the expectations for completing and passing coursework/assignments/tests that require knowledge that is:

1) Not included in the training materials/presentations

2) Extremely more advanced than a "beginner" level (which is how the course is described)

Trying to pass the Week 2 assignment and quiz has consumed an exorbitant and unnecessary amount of time; I am going to seek training in R Programming offered by another instructor.

By Amy B

May 06, 2016

This course is *NOT* for beginners. I would not have asked my work to pay for the specialization if I knew it would take me 3 months to complete R Programming. I have a degree in economics, magna cum laude, so clearly I'm not dumb. Also, I have non-trivial experience with Stata. When I read that this would be a suitable introduction for anyone, I had no idea that what it would really take was a professional programmer (which I am lucky to have as a partner) to fill in the gaps.

Extremely misleading.

By Constantin S

Feb 15, 2016

The content and the speed that they teach you R are actually good. But considering that we now have to pay 45€/49$ for the course you will expect more polished videos and quizzes. Some of the videos are just stutters, repetitions and filling words. It's seems like they have been in a rush without decent preparation. Also one of the quiz questions was simply wrong. This should be fixed. Furthermore some of the commands they present are deprecated and cannot be used anymore.

By Douglas P

Jun 27, 2016

This course is a little too deep into programming and a little light on learning the basics of R. I would recommend splitting out the more advanced programming concepts in this course and offering them in a course near the end of the specialization.

This course should be higher level and give the user a wider view of R. Currently this course seems to assume significant knowledge of R or programming in general, making it not a good early course in the specialization.

By Joy A

Jan 17, 2017

Good intention but the programming assignments were much much harder than what was covered in the mostly theoretical lectures and the more practical but not as advanced swirl exercises. After reading other reviews of this course, and struggling to complete the FIRST programming assignment, I canceled. Please do not advertise this as for beginners - I think people who have had some programming experience before would find this great, but not for the newbie.

By Shannon P

Apr 17, 2020

The videos aren't narrated by a robotic voice-over, which is good! Unfortunately, they are very simplistic and not actually that helpful at teaching R functions. The swirl package they have you use is actually a much better way to cover the source material, and I advise doing all the exercises. Unfortunately the programming assignments are very random and don't really apply what you have just been taught, so all in all I do not recommend this course.

By Vasilis S

Feb 18, 2016

This is NOT a step-wise introduction to R for the novice. Useful in many respects, but the uninitiated to the field need more time, slow increments in project difficulty and more thorough, step by step explanations. I think the designers of the course wrongly assume that ALL R programming should be taught in THIS course which is erroneous; it should be about laying the foundations, on which the student can then expand his/her R programming abilities.

By Sima S K

Feb 10, 2020

I found this course to be very poorly structured. Although the lecture material was interesting and engaging, very simple examples, functions and codes were presented in lectures and the assignments were completely at a different level. I spent hours researching online to be able to complete assignments. This should not be the case for an introductory course and I do have programming experience, although not in R. Very disappointing and frustrating.

By Michael P

Apr 24, 2020

I found that material presented in the course initially seemed useful. However, the programming assignments go far beyond what was presented in the learning modules and optional practices. I recognize that additional research is common in coding projects, but I found this major feature of the course to be unnecessarily painful and ultimately unhelpful. Only do this course if you absolutely have to. I believe there are better ways to learn R.

By David R C

Aug 28, 2019

The course is interesting, but is very focused on informatics and programming codes, it is not recommended for beginners. If you are looking for a course on statistical programming in R it is not this course. It is a good idea to give the manual for free, although some lessons are tedious and long. It also requires some previous handling of GitHub to complete it, for those of us who are not familiar with the environment is really complicated.