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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat by University of Maryland, College Park

239 ratings
71 reviews

About the Course

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence housed at the University of Maryland, offers a course looking at the who, what and how of Terrorism Studies, by introducing students to cutting-edge research from the social and behavioral sciences and the experts investigating these topics. The course will begin with a unit looking at widely held myths about terrorism and utilizing empirical data to discuss the realities of broad trends and patterns in terrorist attacks over time. The course will then review the psychological factors at play in individual radicalization and recruitment into terrorism, followed by an analysis of terrorist group dynamics. The course will next look at terrorist group operations, including their attacks and some of the supporting behaviors that allow them to carry out attacks, including use of media, financing, recruitment, and training. The course will conclude by looking at the factors that drive terrorist group persistence or endurance versus terrorist group desistance, and will bring the varied course concepts together through a detailed look at the case of Al-Qa’ida. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to study and work with the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the largest database of terrorist incidents in the world, learning its capabilities and developing basic skills in searching and displaying terrorism data....

Top reviews


Oct 09, 2018

very dynamic, focused on factual accuracy versus popularized propaganda. the psychological models and structural organization are applicable and invaluable in many areas. well worth the time.


Nov 15, 2018

Really enjoyed the course, signed up thinking I would learn much because I had studied terrorism before. I was wrong, they had some great analysis using the database the school founded.

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51 - 67 of 67 Reviews for Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat

By Joan V

Nov 18, 2019

I had previous knowledge of global terrorism and jihadism, which have now made a quality leap in understanding aspects of radicalization, group functionality and those myths that the media bombard us with, as well as many other aspects.

Doctor LaFree and professor Braniff especially, as well as the rest of the participating professors are fantastic. Thank you very much.

By Marc G

Aug 13, 2017

Great course, although some of it was slightly sketchy, particularly what had to do with statistical material. Instead of sharing so much raw data, students at this initial stage might benefit more from a comprehensive analysis of the information in which the researchers share their own conclusions instead of asking the students to make their own.

By Kevin T

Jan 15, 2018

This is an excellent primer for someone looking to pursue more knowledge on the subject of terrorism. Although slightly dated and needs to be updated with all the changes that have transpired in past 5 years in the world of terrorist activities it is a well organized class that was educational and rewarding.

By Andrew B

Nov 18, 2017

Just a great class. Very informative. Helps you understand the scope of the issues that surround the subject of terrorism and counterterrorism.

By Donovan M

Feb 05, 2019

Excellent and a wealth of information. It would have been 5 stars if the content was current to at least 2017/18.


Jun 19, 2017

Very informative and helped me to think about my preconceptions about terrorism and terrorist actors.

By Shawn J K

Feb 20, 2019

Pretty good course! Some of the content is outdated but I am still likely to recommend it to others.

By Edson A M

Oct 27, 2016

That's a great course with a lot of updated information about the terrorism in the world.

By Jaime P P

Aug 14, 2017

Great Course, the study notes and additional resources are really helpful.

By Mohamed O

Mar 02, 2017

Excellent course and materials well researched!

By Brunaud

Jun 15, 2018

Very useful and interesting cours .

By Md J

Jun 22, 2018

this is a great plot to learn...

By Md A R

Sep 24, 2020

It's resourceful.

By André S

Nov 10, 2016

Great Course!!

By Dragana Đ

Feb 16, 2017

Some information must be changed because offer bad view. In last 50 years some states got independence, some states do not exist any more and staff must be familiar with that.

By Milko G

Aug 27, 2019

Before entering this course, I completed the "Terrorism and Counterterrorism: comparing theory and practice" course of Leiden University. This course of Leiden was very professional with a large range of examples and case studies from around the world.

I was very disappointed to find a badly delivered, outdated and frustrating course with sometimes technical issues which were not solved. The sound of the lectures was very poor, a survey (which was also a question of a quiz) didn't work. Questions about technical issues of the course were not answered and solved by the University of Maryland.

However, I learned some new things. But I think this course needs an update.

By Rain

Jul 19, 2019

Until they fix their glitch with my last exam, they're getting a bad rating. I've been waiting more than two weeks for them to fix it. I flagged the quiz itself, as well as creating a thread on the discussion boards. (Which I hate by the way...why are discussion boards necessary when none of the professors are around?) They made a survey mandatory for the quiz, but the survey didn't work despite me trying every single link they gave. The survey was supposed to give me a code word for the quiz, but it obviously could not do so, and so I got the answer wrong by having to leave it blank. I am NOT impressed. This also happened at the beginning of the course, but they removed the bad survey and the questions from the first quiz that were affected by it. So I invested time and effort into a course I actually paid for a certificate for, and I still only have 98.6% despite getting everything right, because my last quiz gave me a wrong answer. I want this fixed. If the University of Maryland is unwilling to monitor their courses, at least Coursera should be dealing with it, and yet flagging did nothing!