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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Age of Sustainable Development by Columbia University

2,429 ratings
857 reviews

About the Course

The Age of Sustainable Development" gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development - that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable....

Top reviews

Jun 1, 2020

Very informative and detailed. Prof. Sachs covers all aspects of sustainable development in detail. Though the course was designed in 2013 hence does not cover the latest development to SDGs to date.

May 18, 2017

This course was perfect for those wanting to explore the world of development, broad enough to include all interlinked themes, with sufficient reading materials to spark one's specializing interests.

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Aug 30, 2016


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By Daniel G G

May 20, 2020

It is really a shame that such a content quality is not followed up by proper assessments in place. A substantial amount of questions are actually outdated or have the wrong answer. One has sometime the perception that passing the Quiz is a matter of luck rather than knowledge as if you fail in one or two, you may encounter that the ones that are supposed to be right are just wrong due to any of the issues earlier mentioned.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs compile a compelling, interesting, high quality and eye-awaking content that it is worth while going through regardless. It is just such a changemaker and you feel and end up becoming one of his at the end of the course.

I would recommend this course to anyone regardless of the your background. How is it possible that we the society are now aware of the business-as-usual problem and its magnitude? I have got the feeling this has changed me in many ways, not just intellectually.

By Syed A R

Sep 18, 2018

I am excited to select this course. I learnt many many new things, above all the way of delivering lectures with pictorials and graphical presentations was really interesting and the main reason that I didn't lose my interest. Since I am part of UNDP team, implementing SDGs project in Pakistan, I learnt many innovative things which will help a lot to improve the quality of the project. Most of the links given, during the assignments, needs to be updated as the sites have later been updated however questions still relates to old data, few links are giving errors and not opening. Overall It was an excellent course and I am happy to learn much more about the world economy, the ecosystem, impact of climate change, greenhouse impact and the sustainable development. I strongly recommend this course.

By Henri R

May 26, 2018

Overall, this course was an excellent balance between introductory concepts, technical knowledge, and global political context. Throughout, it was communicated by Professor Sachs in a clear and compelling way, which did not sacrifice simple communication for intellectual rigour. I have learned a huge amount about the world and its challenges through this course. The one major issue is that the course is somewhat out of date - much of the information relates to 2013. This means that not only are we not working with the latest information, but major political changes since are not accounted for. And practically, often many of the data sources referenced, which are needed to answer questions, are unavailable or incorrect.

By Evgen V

Aug 12, 2017

This is a well-structured and thought-provoking course which weaves together the biggest issues in global development. Its major value for me is that it promotes an attempt to rigorously measure the key global challenges to come up with an adequate (inter-)governmental policy response. The tests do not simply rehash the content of the lectures, but often seek to make the student look for additional information. Alas, sometimes these questions may be somewhat too formalistic. Prof Sachs is an eloquent speaker, and one feels that he really cares about the issues he discusses in the course and wants to impart this enthusiasm on his students, even those, like me, watching his lectures from thousands of miles away.

By Chandrakant G

Jan 9, 2016

the course is of immens use for the whole world as the globlisation in all spears of human activities

has taken place . People and many small governments are unaware of the impact of the development in different spears of its state activities such as economics, social and environment etc. This course with its solutions and applications for , will help the human habitations on this Earth will make living worth for every one The Paris Aggriment is really a triumph for the human race on this earth, this course will definatly will make us understand the shared objectives to end poverty, establish peace and ensure a life of dinity and opportunity for all.

By Ravinder M

Dec 10, 2016

Prof Sachs takes us through a very interesting and engaging course on the need for sustainable development. It is simple in most parts. While I enjoyed the number crunching questions in the quiz, I can imagine that it is not for everyone. It is extremely informative, and I have filled up a notebook with my notes from all of the 15 lectures.

Just taking a star away for some of the links or course material not being updated. For instance the links to external websites are not valid any more. Also, the actual SDG's are different from the ones in the lecture, as the ones in the lecture were proposed as against the current actual ones.

By Marta R

Jul 9, 2020

I was interested in learning more about the climate change and ended up learning that there's much more to learn, so much more to do and so much more to look ahead. We as society need to get involved to solve the problem that we created in the first place. Climate change, social equality, education and health for all, protecting the oceans and the forests... there are so many topics to choose from to get involved that it's impossible to just look somewhere else.

I believe this course is a good start for anyone who wants to contribute in making this planet a better place for us and for the generations to come.

By Laura L

Aug 13, 2020

This course was extremely interesting and I learned a lot of things that I did knot know of before and honestly should have. The only reason why I did not score it 5 stars is because there were several issues with links that were either not updated or no longer worked. However, the forums were very helpful when it came to solving those kinds of issues since many mentors were there trying to help students get the correct links and resources. You can also use the internet and eventually you'll find the resources. Although it is a bit too long for my liking, I would do it again. I loved it!

By Reem M

Aug 12, 2020

This course has provided in-depth thought into the history and sequences of events that lead to the need of sustainable development for our modern world. It had provided many resources to read though statistical data and charts to grasp the practicality an reason behind the challenges that world is causing and truly believing that we a humans are the reason behind it. This course changes your perspective to the economy and how little you can do can make a difference in your profession. However some links in the tests and exam need to be updated which is why I gave it a 4 out of 5.

By Lisa B

Dec 8, 2016

This course has been deeply informative. The instructor is outstanding, sharing his deep experience and knowledge of economics, geography, international development, and earth science through the lectures. The time commitment required for this course is minimal considering the immense treasure of learning it represents. My only issues with this course (hence 4 stars instead of 5) are: 1. no one is monitoring the course, so questions/comments are only answered by other students; and 2. there is no certificate. Thank you Coursera and Dr. Sachs for this fantastic course!

By Julia C F

Oct 25, 2019

Overall it was very interesting to go through the material of this course and to learn a little bit more about social, environmental and economic aspects of development. The questions are very well tailored in the sense that makes the student go through the material provided and have a good understanding of the topics.

However, some of the links provided to answer some questions were outdated or broken or nonexistent. It would be good to have all links updated so students could perform better.

Thank you for sharing this knowledge online!

By Rodolfo E

Jan 20, 2016

I really enjoyed how expert Professor Sachs is on sustainable development. He seems to know a lot about the subject and we can see a spark on his eyes when he is teaching. Moreover, the lectures and quizzes are comprehensive and well organized.

However, apart from the last Week, I think that solutions for the many problems that Professor Sachs presents are not showed properly. Although there are many issues unsolved, there may be a lot of good examples throughout the world to be presented together with these issues.

Kind Regards,