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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Text Retrieval and Search Engines by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

897 ratings
186 reviews

About the Course

Recent years have seen a dramatic growth of natural language text data, including web pages, news articles, scientific literature, emails, enterprise documents, and social media such as blog articles, forum posts, product reviews, and tweets. Text data are unique in that they are usually generated directly by humans rather than a computer system or sensors, and are thus especially valuable for discovering knowledge about people’s opinions and preferences, in addition to many other kinds of knowledge that we encode in text. This course will cover search engine technologies, which play an important role in any data mining applications involving text data for two reasons. First, while the raw data may be large for any particular problem, it is often a relatively small subset of the data that are relevant, and a search engine is an essential tool for quickly discovering a small subset of relevant text data in a large text collection. Second, search engines are needed to help analysts interpret any patterns discovered in the data by allowing them to examine the relevant original text data to make sense of any discovered pattern. You will learn the basic concepts, principles, and the major techniques in text retrieval, which is the underlying science of search engines....

Top reviews


Sep 20, 2016

Great course for those trying to understand how ro analyse and process text data. It has the right amount of tools to help you understand the basics of information retrieval and search engines.


Dec 28, 2020

Great introductory course. It has opened my eyes to new challenges that face information retrieval. DON"T TAKE THIS COURSE IF YOU WANT TO LEARN elasticsearch.

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151 - 175 of 185 Reviews for Text Retrieval and Search Engines

By Tom H

Nov 15, 2016

The course was great. What I had a real problem with was the lack of response for problems with the Honors programming assignments. I never received any feedback from the TA's and when I submitted to MeTa support, they said the school design the programs so they can't help. I got a Segmentation Fault on Assignment one which I never did get resolved. Because of this, I was unable to get the Honors status.

By Vivien A

May 26, 2019

The course conveys a lot of well-structured content. The theoretical concepts are taught well by the videos, although some videos are a little bit too long.

Unfortunately, I was not able to do the practical assignments due to technical problems with the installation of the required development environment. I missed experiencing in practice what I have learnt in theory.

By Peter B

Dec 15, 2018

Lectures are fine for those who does not want to read a book and want to get a quick overview. Quizzes are very un-useful and buggy. There are questions presented that are not covered in the section. Programming assignments are optional because instructor did not want to adapt them for Coursera format so that they can be completed using tools of choice.

By Vadim P

May 3, 2019

The course does not give much of practical knowledge, mostly theoretical. For example, presented material does not teach you what is required to build a good search engine. Even theoretical part is mostly based on old view, which is proven to be not working. For some topics the exam was given before the topic was presented in lectures.

By Michael B

Jun 20, 2016

Very theoretical and somewhat dry. If you are interested in applied machine learning techniques (for text retrieval and analysis) this is not really the course to take. Gives a solid background though which, in my opinion, every aspiring data analyst needs.

By Stian F J

Oct 22, 2017

Essentially a very interesting and well structured course. Unfortunately, its honours track programming assignments are plagued by technical issues, and there are inconsistencies between the schedule of the video lectures and what is asked in the quizzes.

By Chen Q

Apr 8, 2019

Some courses lack lecture notes. There are some mistake in the week exercise (some question regarding topic in wk5 appears in wk4). So the overall feeling for the course is not well considering it is a part of the school's graduate program

By Phillip J V

Sep 10, 2018

The quiz content is out of sync with the lecture content and has not been fixed after what appears to be 2 years of comments in the course error message board and weekly discussion boards.

By Taha M M

May 12, 2020

The course topic is very interesting but i found some difficulties to follow up some lectures. I had a concern alson on quizzes; some of them is not related to the current week.

By Alex C

Nov 5, 2016

excellent material and great explanations! The main problem here is that quizzes will sometimes cover subjects not introduced until the following week.

By Sarath K A

Jun 26, 2020

Concepts are not much clear. I think the equations should be explained with some real life problems and not just general idea.

By Peter

Sep 3, 2016

Ok. It was a rerun and there wasn't much help in the Forum and there were too few exercises. But it was really interesting.

By Theodor G

Dec 10, 2016

Interessant, but it wasn't organized too well. Some questions referred to topics which came in the next lesson

By David M

Dec 2, 2021

T​he code that is used with the (optional) programming assignments is badly out of date.

By vibhor n

Jul 30, 2019

Heavily focused on formulas. I prefer courses which focus on basic concepts more.

By Ziyue L

Dec 2, 2016

Too much theories ,I hope the professor add more programming assignment.

By Vivian Y Q

Jul 23, 2017

i like the theory, wish more hands on with some softwares

By Xiaolong Z

Jan 16, 2020

The assignment have all sort of issues.

By liz a

Feb 16, 2019

very hard to understand teacher

By Elio R

May 19, 2018

I expected more exercises

By Daniel B

Jun 28, 2020

This course covers text retrieval well. The topics are well chosen and the lectures are excellent.

However, there are small content issues that need to be addressed. This course has now been out for ~4 years, so they will likely never be addressed: 1) The smaller issue is that quizes are not written correctly to follow the lecture material. Various quiz questions come from material that's covered later in the course. 2) The larger issue is that the programming assignment is broken in many, many ways. In order to pass, you may need to read a large number of forum posts .. and hope that someone with your operating system and version has already solved the error. Further, some tasks even when completed correctly will not be accepted; it will be very frustrating trying to "trick" the online grader into accepting your correct answer.

If you want to learn the material and are prepared to deal with the problems that I mentioned, I would recommend this course.

By James M

May 25, 2016

The material is compelling and the lecturer is engaging, but the course is not well prepared. The assessments are not relevant to the material covered and there are no collateral materials (e.g., downloadable slides/handouts) available to assist in learning.

By Jbene M

Jul 4, 2020

Boarding Lectures.

By Felix K

Jun 16, 2018

The presentation of the lectures is done quite poorly:There is a constant humming of the presenters computer on most of the videos. The examples given are all very specific and concepts are not explained themselves in detail.The quizzes are not very well adjusted to the presentations in that sometimes tiny details of mentioned information are asked and on the other hand non straight forward transfers from the lectures are expected.Also in one of the quizzes topics from the next week are asked and the problem has not been fixed since 5 months even though there are heavy complains in the forums.

By Andrew S

Jul 31, 2017

The week 4 quiz has some questions from Week 5 material causing a low grade for my week 4 quiz. I've asked to have my week 4 grade dropped in the week 4 discussion fourm since it was based on a flawed quiz. Please read the forums and reply to everyone who had issues with the week 4 quiz and the honers project errors. No one seems to respond to these issues on the fourms except for other students agreeing that the week 4 quiz is flawed and that the honors section also has errors.