Feb 03, 2016
"R Programming" forces you to dive in deep.\n\nThese skills serve as a strong basis for the rest of the data science specialization.\n\nMaterial is in depth, but presented clearly. Highly recommended!
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.
por Melissa P•
Aug 03, 2017
I would not recommend this course to anyone. I enrolled in this course because I am familiar with statistical analysis and wanted to become more adept at using R, and this course was very disappointing.
The lecture material and practice assignments in Swirl are nice, but they leave you totally unprepared to complete the quizzes and assignments. There is a massive leap in difficulty from the practice assignments and lectures to the quizzes and programming assignments. Going back over the lectures, practice assignments, and textbook will provide only minor assistance for assignments - there is not enough information to complete the assignment.
Because the course resources are inadequate, students must spend hours Googling and troubleshooting in order to finish assignments. An article posted on the course discussion board claims that this is due to the creators wanting to instill a "hacker mentality" in students, so they will work to find the answers themselves.
While I agree that students should not be spoon-fed the answers, this is a course that charges an admission fee. I took this course because I was looking for resources to learn - if I wanted to spend hours searching random corners of the internet for the answers to R programming questions, I could've done that on my own time at no charge. I feel like I took a basic anatomy course and the first test required me to safely remove someone's appendix.
In short, do not take this class.
por Ertan Y•
Jun 07, 2016
If you are planning to learn R, then go and buy a book. This course is a complete scam. At least don't pay any money. The reasons;
1.) They advertise that you need couple of hours of study per week. That's a lie, you have to study much more than that unless if you know a little R programming.
2.) The quiz questions are totally unrelated from the lessons. They teach you the basic stuff but they expect you to accomplish intermediate quizzes.
3.) The instructor has no idea how to teach. May be he is trying to prove something. I couldn't really understand his motives. If you really want to teach that's simple. You do couple of extra videos and teach whatever you are asking in quizzes, or tell us to read a certain material. He didn't do any of them which means he either doesn't know how to teach or this specialization is a complete scam.
4.) And I don't really understand what coursera is doing by the way? What kind of a business model is this. I was planning to enroll many specializations but now I am not going to do it. So think about how much they are loosing. Where is the quality assurance. Just because one guy comes up to you and say that he teaches this and that do you believe them?
MY ADVICE TO YOU: DON'T PAY ANYTHING FOR THIS SPECIALIZATION. AND FOR ANY OTHER COURSE READ THE BAD REVIEWS FIRST (WHICH WAS MY MISTAKE).
por Glynis D•
Dec 09, 2017
The materials in this course are very poorly thought out. (Content of lectures does not match quizzes and assignments, for example. This is obviously intentional, as what the course calls hacking skills is emphasized. By this they mean googling things and figuring stuff out on your own. However, this course gets you barely a step above buying a book on Amazon and just having at it. Yes, the course is nearly free, but your time is valuable.) For example, the unit on missing values explains NA and NaN, but does not mention complete.cases, which is the one you need for the assignment. It's only like a 5 minute video, so why not cover that as well?
Worse than that, the assignments and quizzes are deliberately designed to trip you up. You will think you have fulfilled the assignment and then when you get to the quiz you realize that you cannot answer the question using the code you wrote because now you are being required to add extra bells and whistles. This process is demoralizing and is obviously intended to make the learner feel as though they are at fault for struggling, when in fact at no time is the learner informed that the educational materials provided are intentionally insufficient.
Underlying all of this is a weed-them-out educational philosophy that really has no place in the 21st century.
por Tyler B•
Dec 22, 2016
I had really high hopes for this course. I am not a programmer, though in college I learned C, C++, and used MATLAB a fair amount. I wanted to learn R because it is a free software versus paying a licencing fee to use SPSS which I have done in the past. I had already completed the first week of the course and the first week in this course. I went through the slides and I didn't really feel like I learned any actual programming so then to expect to answer questions where you had to program seemed a bit out of left field. As a comparison it felt like they had an hour worth of slides talking about different trees and how to differentiate them then asked you to drive a tank.
I then took the time go through two swirl assignments which I hoped was going to fill in the many gaps left by the slides. They were definitely more helpful than the slide show, but I still felt like they would teach you how to add then ask you to multiply.
So in general my recommendation would be not to take the course unless you have a fairly solid understand of programming, otherwise you will do what I did and just wasted $50.
por Marc m•
Mar 14, 2020
Terrible course. The contents, thrown as a videocast dumpout, have nothing to do with the assignments. Remember this is a beginners' class.
eg. on Week2, the elements or functions necessary to carry out the assignment are simply not taught, and despite the excellent SWIRL and doing over the entire course ( in case I missed something) I was irretrievably stuck. As many have been if I judge by the forums.
What is the point in teaching a beginner's courses to beginners and then applying Graduate school thinking that just discourages? for me this is just an excuse for poor and unfocussed teaching.
I suggest to be very wary of the J.Hopkins school course moving forward, they don't deliver a course that meets the expectations: in real life, when a student is stuck, you help out, at least you highlight the course material: which of course can't be done here, because the course material is NOT related to the Assignment. as has been pointed out numerous times in the forum.
Marc Messier, PhD.
por Noah M•
Feb 11, 2016
Very poorly constructed. There are major jumps in the difficulty of material that are completely unnecessary. The material could very easily be broken down into more manageable and comprehensible chunks. There is no repetition of any exercise or function to engrain any of the material. This course suffers grossly from the "curse of knowledge". If it were structured in a way where (a) material was broken down into smaller bits, ideally as beta tested by true rank novices and (b) all materials or specific functions were presented with repetition, similar to how khan academy structures its math section, then this course would be much better. I would also assume, given a and b, that there would be higher retention and comprehension. The expected time requirements are also wildly amiss. Try beta testing this on TRUE rank novices. The program suggests that this is for "beginners". I find it doubtful that a true beginner would fare well in this course.
por Diego L•
Sep 22, 2016
A University Course should be a place where you advance your knowledge with a "limited and reasonable" amount of time spent in the course. The role of instructors should be to "invest" the time to provide the concepts and information for the students of the course to "learn" faster than if they had to research (the planet) by themselves to find the knowledge. The information provided by instructors therefore must be "accurate and complete". This course has so many "incomplete" pieces of information, that it requires insurmountable amounts of time to "find" the concepts required to apply the knowledge, hence it becomes a gigantic "time waster". Unfortunate! the tool and the concept of data science is necessary, but a course organized this way is only for "full time students" that have only one obligation, study. This course as it is should not be in Coursera.
por attila n•
Sep 12, 2018
This course is a joke. The concepts of the language are not explained, the assignments - which are very simple conceptually - cannot be done with what is taught up to the week, materials are poorly structured. (Eg. when class is introduced its operators, properties, etc should be mentioned right away.)
The point of taking a class is to get guide to move forward fast, save the time spent on reading forums, walking though books of hundreds of pages. This class will save you no time at all, but causes a lot of frustration. (Eg.: to cast a character in a data frame (used in the 1st assignment) is done by as.numeric(as.character(char)), instead of as.numeric(str) which seems natural to me. There must be a reason why you need to cast(?) the char to character before casting to numeric, but the instructor thought it wasn't worth to mention.)
Don't take it.
por Ginger J•
Jan 28, 2016
Don't take this course unless you have a programming background. Week 2 has a programming assignment that is way to advanced for students without any programming knowledge. This assignment deals with functions, where the code is complicated. What's unfortunate is that you have to finish ever assignment, including this impossible assignment (for beginners) to get recognition for the course. I spent most of my time researching other sources for information because the lectures, and the supplemental information given on a different site, by the instructor (which indicate knowledge that the lectures are insufficient) give trivial examples when the programming assignments are anything but. This course needs some serious adjustments, either with the prerequisites needed for success in this course, or with the material within the assignments themselves.
por Vania I R•
Jul 28, 2019
Coming from a PhD student who is by no means dumb, this course is terrible! Too much theory with little to no examples/sample exercises. You will see a symbol once and expected to remember it for future assignments. Speaking of which, the assignments are 10 times harder than the theory and examples shown. If the lectures talk about doing something with a vector of numbers going from 1 to 10, the final assignment will ask you to do that same thing but with several different data files with their own rows and columns of data. You're basically being asked to swim (not even run) shortly after being shown how to crawl. Terrible experience and I would not recommend it to anyone who cannot pick up on this stuff quickly. My main regret is I quit few days after my monthly payment so unfortunately that's money I'm never getting back.
por Alessio V•
Mar 01, 2016
there is a huge distance between what you teach in the videos, which is fine, and the programming assingments which seem to be apt at an expert audience.
to solve these problems I have to spend hours and hours on the internet looking at other people doing similar projects or asking for help.
I agree that by looking you can get insight into what you are doing, but the lessons need to be built little by little and supported by practice.
You can't slam me with these cache problems giving me an example that is hard to understand (much harder than anything seen during class) and expect me to do it in 5 hours per week. Maybe 5 hours per day.
Disappointed. I wanted to use the whole course to learn about rprogramming but I will most likely try to get back the money I spent on this and let it go.
por Ryan D•
Mar 13, 2016
The video lectures will help you to pass the quizzes, as they are primarily theory and background. The lectures will not, however, aide you in any way in completing the programming assignments. The first programming assignment is extremely difficult and very little is done in the lectures, the textbook, or in swirl to pull all of the pieces together prior to the first programming assignment/quiz. There are so many disparate concepts, that it would be nice if the instructor could at the very least, demonstrate a full analysis of some kind of tabular data in R. How to properly import the data, create the file, structure the data, and then perform some analysis. These concepts are introduced throughout the course, but never brought together in one complete project.
por Solt B•
Apr 10, 2016
I managed to complete this course, but that was because of my four years of "MOOC-level" "programming experience" and duckduckgo (~google), not because of the course material. Videos are dull readings of the pdfs, with many "ummmm"s and annoying lip-clicks. Examples are useless, explanations are often vague or even incomplete. The assignments are relatively hard in that you don't get all the necessary info from the course, sometimes even R's own manpages aren't enough. (Which is a shame, as you'd expect a course to teach you how to use the tools you will need for the assignments.)
If you have no programming experience, stay away from this course!
Otherwise, if you want to learn R, look for other resources, and save yourself some time and money.
por Tim B•
Apr 28, 2017
Although the information on the course states that it requires no prior programming knowledge, that statement isn't accurate. You will quickly become lost in the assignments and questions as they are a not a logical progression from the lecture material. The instruction from Mr Peng is all over the place and doesn't give you a good understanding of the language. I found SWIRL to be 100% more helpful. But looking at the upcoming materials, you need to have a solid background in programming to complete this specialization. Which SHOULD have been told to students prior to them spending money on the course. I would NOT recommend this course to anyone.
por Greg M•
Jun 04, 2016
Videos are poorly narrated and are marginally effective: vocabulary + key concepts only. The "swirl" exercises are woefully inadequate to prepare students for the quizzes. Foundational tasks (i.e. establishing a valid connection to the sample data) are conspicuously absent from the guided exercises; leaving too many students to seek help from message boards and google. Lastly, the "professors" are completely unreachable: they may as well be dead. After 30 years in the IT industry, I found this course to be profoundly aggravating and a complete waste of my time - I have abandoned this course and bought a "Teach Yourself" book instead.
por Melanie F•
Aug 20, 2018
If you enjoy floundering helplessly and feeling incredibly stupid, this is the course for you. Expect a few slides on basic concepts (all of which you need a VERY large screen to read because they seem to all be in 8 point font), and then get flung full force into coding. There are no worked examples. You might as well just buy a Reilly book. My partner and I both wanted to learn R for econometric analysis. He can do more after a 1 day seminar than I can do in a month struggling with this course. I had considered pursuing a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins, but if this is the level of instruction I can expect, then no chance.
por Roy H•
Apr 15, 2016
not the model of learning that is encouraging or sticks. hard for a student (even one who has a programming background) to sit through hours of slides explaining what the functions and definitions in the language do without a layer of use context upfront.
The content jumps from specific examples to unrelated specific definitions without carrying a sense of integrating the new knowledge with any past knowledge in the course. the whole course seems disjointed.
would have been much more effective as learning through examples and to be taught functions and definitions as they come up in problem solving.
Apr 12, 2016
The lectures and Swirl exercises are extremely easy to understand and follow, but then the assignments are incredibly complicated and difficult. The assignments ask for techniques that aren't focused on or even covered in the lectures. The tips offered by Al Warren in the Discussion forum make the assignments possible to do. Since the tips are so critical to understanding and completing the assignments, I think Al Warren's tips should be incorporated as part of the core course. This course needs more time to be covered in depth - it's a lot of ground to cover in just one month,
por Emmett M•
Jun 25, 2016
Course does not do a good job actually explaining R or training you on how to properly use it. The lectures go over the material very fast and you do not get much out of them, and then the assignments throw complex problems that are very difficult. You spend most of your time Googling to learn it, and I find that I would have learned R better if I just did that to start without this course. Maybe if you aren't new to R and have a programming background, it may not be so bad, but if you are new to R and not an experienced programmer, this is not the class to take to learn it.
por lupupa f m•
Feb 06, 2016
i generally think the course needs a lot of improvement as after week 1 the assignments and quizzes don't seem to relate to the course content. we are at very different levels so a more gentle easing and explanation of ideas is necessary other than this apparent quantum leap from one stage to the next. i have had to do a different course else where and i am getting the sort of good introduction into the R language, its not practical to expect everyone to understand the ideas in 4 weeks.programming is hard enough as it is.
por Kevin A O M•
Jul 09, 2020
This course is outdated and the fact that they don't teach you essential libraries like diplyr, tidiverse and ggplot2, makes it harder thant it should be. Learning R should be fun and easier by learning this powerful libraries. Also the lectures are just plain slides with little to no value. They won't teach you the tools you would need to do your assignments so there is a huge gap in difficulty between the material of the courses and the assignments. This is a big struggle for newcomers into R.
por Anthony T•
Oct 25, 2017
I somewhat resonate with the content expressed in the blog:
1, Not Beginner Friendly, better you are already in the position of Analytic field, Statistician,
2, Instructor read out the slide and I don't feel connection in learning, I resolved to other website for better understanding.
3, However, I would give credit to the only mentor (Len), who is really helping, explaining things in simple way.
por Dr. A D•
Sep 02, 2019
Exceptionally bad course and worse instructor. I started this course with lots of interest in R and the way it is taught has made my interest much less now. Why is that?
the way videos are explained does not mean anything, It actually makes it harder to understand. the course assignments are very hard and one cannot do unless one learn on his own. Here is the catch the learn on your own is also not explained in the course. The only good thing about the course is the swirl().
por Alessandro B•
May 24, 2020
Peer-graded Assignment: Programming Assignment 2: Lexical Scoping
In the peer-graded assignment is requested to completed an exercise using an operator never explained in the lectures, nor in the texbook, nor in the swirl package.
I don't like this learning method having very light lectures and heavy assignments, this is not the way I like learning as I find it very frustrating not to be able to complete the assignments using the material just learned.
por Federico M T•
Jun 24, 2020
The speaker has his microphone far too close to his mouth so you can hear any(!!!) noises he makes (and he does it a lot!). Further he uses a lot of non necessary commands he does not or just sparsely explain. this would be okay if he wouldnt slip every second sentence or repeat one word several times. He also does not execute code, so you can't see, what the code actually would do. some youtube videos guided me much better than this through basic R. Sad.