R Programming

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5/10 stars
based on  49 reviews
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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4715 reviews

Course Description

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.
R Programming course image
Reviews 5/10 stars
49 Reviews for R Programming

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Greg Hamel profile image
Greg Hamel profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 116 reviews
  • 107 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
R Programming is a remake of Computing for Data Analysis, another course offered on Coursera by the same instructor. This course covers R basics such as R data types and objects, reading and writing data, control flow, functions, scoping, dates, loops, debugging tools, simulation and code profiling. The slides and lectures are a bit smoother than Computing for Data Analysis but the content is mostly the same. This course has good information but suffers from a lack of instructor face time and heavy use of static slides with voiceovers, which are less engaging than videos of instructors actually running the commands they are talking about. Additionally, there are no in- lecture quizzes or interactive exercises to help you absorb the material as you go along. If you want to get as much out of the course as you can, I recommend that you follow along with R Studio open on a second screen or window and try out commands discussed as you wa... R Programming is a remake of Computing for Data Analysis, another course offered on Coursera by the same instructor. This course covers R basics such as R data types and objects, reading and writing data, control flow, functions, scoping, dates, loops, debugging tools, simulation and code profiling. The slides and lectures are a bit smoother than Computing for Data Analysis but the content is mostly the same. This course has good information but suffers from a lack of instructor face time and heavy use of static slides with voiceovers, which are less engaging than videos of instructors actually running the commands they are talking about. Additionally, there are no in- lecture quizzes or interactive exercises to help you absorb the material as you go along. If you want to get as much out of the course as you can, I recommend that you follow along with R Studio open on a second screen or window and try out commands discussed as you watch the videos. Overall, this is a decent intro to R, but it is not particularly engaging. Try R from Code School is a much more engaging, albeit brief, intro. If you take this course and want to apply what you've learned or want to learn R somewhere else consider MIT Analytics Edge on EdX, Duke’s Data Analysis and Statistical Inference on Coursera and Exploratory Data Analysis on Udacity. Each of these courses teach R basics in the context of learning other things like predictive modeling, statistics and data analysis.
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Helen Kres profile image
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Helen Kres

2/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 10 months ago
This is a poor course, moreso because enough students have given this feedback, explained what could improve, but without any improvement. Mentors tow the line answering specific questions with abstract answers, somewhat as though discoursing philosophy in Socratic method. Discussion forum culture would improve if Mentors were not going through existing discussion and redacting the code that was being posted (as though in fear of cheating) whilst full code answers are available elsewhere on the we. Thus those who want to learn, have their posts redacts so that relevant code to the question is incomplete. Cannot say how frustrated I am. Terrible that this is only R programming class.
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Matt Cooper profile image
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Matt Cooper

4/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 11 months ago
Poor quality. The course instructor sounds thoroughly uninterested and spends the time simply reading out slides explaining very little, as well as frequently correcting himself, mumbling and littering the tutorials with ums and ahs, giving the impression of being utterly unprepared in his presentation. By the second week I found it very difficult to generate interest, and as a teacher myself increasingly annoyed by the instructor's style. He may be a great data scientist, but his teaching skills are non-existent. Furthermore, the quiz questions bare little if any relation to what it learn in the tutorials, and regularly ask obscure theoretical questions regarding function calls and scoping rather than focussing on real practical skills with data manipulation. I have good knowledge of Javascript's closures, scoping etc. and so was able to muddle through, however, I dread to think how I would have coped had I not this experience pr... Poor quality. The course instructor sounds thoroughly uninterested and spends the time simply reading out slides explaining very little, as well as frequently correcting himself, mumbling and littering the tutorials with ums and ahs, giving the impression of being utterly unprepared in his presentation. By the second week I found it very difficult to generate interest, and as a teacher myself increasingly annoyed by the instructor's style. He may be a great data scientist, but his teaching skills are non-existent. Furthermore, the quiz questions bare little if any relation to what it learn in the tutorials, and regularly ask obscure theoretical questions regarding function calls and scoping rather than focussing on real practical skills with data manipulation. I have good knowledge of Javascript's closures, scoping etc. and so was able to muddle through, however, I dread to think how I would have coped had I not this experience prior to the course. Having watched many high quality tutorials on Youtube for free, I am sufficiently irritated by this course and its nonsensical, outmoded and structuring and slapdash presentation to leave a review, which I very rarely do. For 50 euros a month and, with many students enrolled, I expect better quality.
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Willie L profile image
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Willie L

2/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 1 month ago
I am really disappointed. The assignments have nothing to do with the bad lectures. Professor Peng, please. Fix this. I would like other people to take this specialization, but it will not be until I am able to explain this material in a way that they can understand it. The way I am going through this is by also taking R Programming at pluralsight and books on safaribooksonine.com. I am just disappointed at the way this course is taught. Very, very, very, bad. Thanks.
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Student

2/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 4 months ago
Very hard to follow. This is not a class without programming experience. I agree with the comments their is a disconnect with the videos and assignments, Very disappointed
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4/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 1 month ago
I second the complaints regarding the disconnect from the lecture to the assignments, which I find inexplicable. I just can't conceive of any pedagogical justification to force students to go far outside the scope of the lectures to be able to complete assignments. The instructors might argue that getting information from everywhere else and trying to scrape it together and figure out what they are talking about is part of the real world. However, that would run contradictory to the purpose of having a course- efficiency of learning. I am sure if I just plopped myself down in an engineering library I could eventually learn as much engineering as a PhD in the field. The problem with that strategy is it would take someone triple (or more) the time doing things that way. The whole point of a school or a course is to increase efficiency of learning. So if you are going to bother to host a course and assign material then TEACH THE MATERIA... I second the complaints regarding the disconnect from the lecture to the assignments, which I find inexplicable. I just can't conceive of any pedagogical justification to force students to go far outside the scope of the lectures to be able to complete assignments. The instructors might argue that getting information from everywhere else and trying to scrape it together and figure out what they are talking about is part of the real world. However, that would run contradictory to the purpose of having a course- efficiency of learning. I am sure if I just plopped myself down in an engineering library I could eventually learn as much engineering as a PhD in the field. The problem with that strategy is it would take someone triple (or more) the time doing things that way. The whole point of a school or a course is to increase efficiency of learning. So if you are going to bother to host a course and assign material then TEACH THE MATERIAL. This course actually reminds me of why I never developed the computer skills I should have. I don't find the details of computer code particularly intellectually stimulating. But what's more, the people who do find it interesting are so often those who, if you try to ask them about it, fire back at you with weapons grade autism. The second assignment was so foreign to anything taught in the lectures that it inspired me to try to google my way into understanding what is the social dysfunction of computer programmers. I still can't answer that of course, but my distraction led me to finding out that there is actually a contest held by programmers called the International Obfuscated C Code Contest in which programmers vie to see who can write the most opaque code imaginable. This course seems to have been designed by people who would participate in such a contest, who seem to want to put up unnecessary hurdles to understanding.
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8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years ago
Content is interesting. instructions to to peer examination are insufficient and porely displayed The last program on Hospital Statistics is fun and useful to promote the tool's value Otherwise, I put too much time trying to understand to intricacies of GITHUB As for my background: BI specialist - It is managerial knowledge and skills assisted by computer software that are the valuable information trasnsmitted to corporate executives, directors and managers. This is what I possess. Cognos, Brio, B.O., Microsrategy and Media are the tools used to implement the BI systems. Furthermore, fielding and understanding corporate communication situations is key to implement a BI system. Asking questions and extremely listening are the first and foremost stepsbefore designing and proposing a solution. The basic, fundamental and inevitable rule to take into consideration is that, in truth, the medium shapes the mesage, and ha... Content is interesting. instructions to to peer examination are insufficient and porely displayed The last program on Hospital Statistics is fun and useful to promote the tool's value Otherwise, I put too much time trying to understand to intricacies of GITHUB As for my background: BI specialist - It is managerial knowledge and skills assisted by computer software that are the valuable information trasnsmitted to corporate executives, directors and managers. This is what I possess. Cognos, Brio, B.O., Microsrategy and Media are the tools used to implement the BI systems. Furthermore, fielding and understanding corporate communication situations is key to implement a BI system. Asking questions and extremely listening are the first and foremost stepsbefore designing and proposing a solution. The basic, fundamental and inevitable rule to take into consideration is that, in truth, the medium shapes the mesage, and has the listener underdstand what the medium can contort, distort or at least change color. The medium is the image, its pixels, the reprocessing of data, the voice and/or music supporting the raw information. My work is to provide an uncluttered view of an event. Business Intelligence (BI) brings forth a dynamic temporal and spatial point of view that the system highlights. My work deals with a hierarchy a directors, managers and executives that decide in a specific time-frame. This ultimate action is that for which a BI syste is put into place. R programing is a tool that contributes to the decision taking action here described. That is what I do. Paul-André Dupuis
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Student

6/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 1 month ago
I once got to the data matrix. The next day I could not reopen though I thouroughly reviewed the process. That is getwd(), then read.csv("mydata"), then go to file menu to change directory, to C drive, do click on I as user and finally choose desktop. then write dir() command and have returned "desktop.ini" Googgle chrome though I use Fire fox. Then I command read.csv("mydata.csv") This does not return the matrix! After downloading R64 many time and suppressing a clutter of other programs, I do not know how to follow your teaching.
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Johan Niekerk profile image
Johan Niekerk profile image
2/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
I have a PhD in IT and have been teaching programming in many languages for the past 20 years. Despite this I really struggled with this course. The instructional design is simply terrible. There is virtually no relationship between the content and the assignments. The estimated workload per week is probably a quarter of what it should be. Sadly I bought the data science specialization package as a whole and this is one of the must have components. Otherwise I would have dropped the course already. I really believe the instructors need to rework this and add a SIGNIFICANT amount of scaffolding to lead the student from simple topics to more and more advanced ones. A lot of additional interactive assignments are needed and these should be substantially simpler and then gradually build up.
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4/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
This is the first time I took a MOOC. Overall, I found the "R programming" course interesting and I did learn things that I'm happy with. That said, I was a bit disapointed with the course because it's somehow outdated and poorly presented. As other reviewers said, this course misses its target audience: if you already are a programmer you will find this course too easy and frustrating, at least until week 4 assignment in the very end. OTOH, if you never had exposure or are new to programming, you'll probably hate this course and learn R in a hard and painful way. Now, regarding more technical aspects: - Slides: probably the worst. The look like they were written in 1990: plain text, small characters, no color, nothing. Why is that?? - Speaker: overall adds no value to the slides because he simply reads the text written in the slides. There are 1 or 2 videos where you can see him, which is much more engaging and m... This is the first time I took a MOOC. Overall, I found the "R programming" course interesting and I did learn things that I'm happy with. That said, I was a bit disapointed with the course because it's somehow outdated and poorly presented. As other reviewers said, this course misses its target audience: if you already are a programmer you will find this course too easy and frustrating, at least until week 4 assignment in the very end. OTOH, if you never had exposure or are new to programming, you'll probably hate this course and learn R in a hard and painful way. Now, regarding more technical aspects: - Slides: probably the worst. The look like they were written in 1990: plain text, small characters, no color, nothing. Why is that?? - Speaker: overall adds no value to the slides because he simply reads the text written in the slides. There are 1 or 2 videos where you can see him, which is much more engaging and motivating. Why just not have more videos like that? Also, if found the diction and the lecturer rythm of the speaker so-so ... sometimes he speaks too fast, and other times he makes noises with his mouth, etc. This could be improved. - assignements: I really liked the peer reviewing part on week 3. Otherwise, assignments are quite dull and not very challenging, at leat for weeks 1-3. Strangely, all the difficulty has been concentrated in week 4, which requires a LOT of efforts compared to the rest of this MOOC. The last W4 assignement is also poorly presented (a pdf, as if you were takin an examp in college in 1994) and has misleading comments. Some of the text is vague, and the data is poorly documented and hardly understandable. I fould myself struggling for hours just to understand what was I exactly supposed to do. I do understand that the last assigment is supposed to be a "real situation" project, but the overall lack of clarity really adds no value in the end. It would have been much more interesting to have the audience purely focus on the R programming language and have a sexier project (counting heart attack death rates? how sexy is that..). Finally, there are few if none to mention (at least in the slides) of some popular R packages like ggplot2, data.table, ... which really are what's used in production these days. Also, for the validation of the assignments, if would have been clever to have a test set instead of asking the user to copy/paste random outputs of his own programmed functions. Indeed, the user has no way to know which errors he might have done in his code but to see he failed for the quizz (not my case, but if you don't know programming you probably will fail). Lastly, it would be nice to have at least a cheat sheet or a pdf summary of the mooc in the end. Having to browse the video when you forgot something is not very handy.
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8/10 starsCompleted
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
Prior to taking this course, the only experience I had with R was from an introductory statistics course I had taken at my university years ago. We had very few R assignments, so my exposure was limited. That said, this course was a good way to start. I do think it tried to cram a lot into one course, and I frankly forgot a lot of what I had learned. Nonetheless, I am aware of what is possible in R, and it has been a lot easier for me to come back to R when I needed to use it for one of my university courses. Overall, this is a great course to get you started in R, but you need to continue to use R immediately after if you want to retain it well.
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Mike Turner profile image
Mike Turner profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 2 completed
2 years, 10 months ago
I actually liked this class a lot. It is mainly Roger peng reading from slides, but he covers a lot of good ground in R and explains a lot of nuance. I had prior programming experience, but zero R experience going in and now after this course + the rest of Roger Peng's courses I am able to work in R. I think this course is best for those familiar with programming basics and no R experience.
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6/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
The material is challenging, but the "submission" interface for submitting results from the exercises is a shambles. For many students trying to submit results takes more time than programming. Also NOT a beginners course, no matter what they say, starts at too high a level. If you want to learn R, try edX's R series offered by Microsoft.
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
3 years, 10 months ago
It was a nice introduction, but it could have been better with more practical approaches. Loved the Swirl, and I believe it could contribute greatly if the course oriented more in practical learning, rather than on theoretical approaches.
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John Doe profile image
John Doe profile image
4/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
The videos in the course are helpful as well as the slides. The problems come when its time to turn do the assignments. The assigned work is vague at best with very little descriptions of how its supposed to be turned in. In fact without examples of finished work you will never figure out what they want. When it comes time to submit assignments you must figure out a): how to get a user name and password for the submission process (its not your login name and password but registered or given else where) b): how many parts to turn in and what consists of a 'part' of the assignment anyway (they don't tell you). I learned alot, but I will not stand for being left to twist in the wind while guessing what the instructor wants due to poor instructions and worse descriptions.
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2/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 11 months ago
Horrible. I just gave up on watching lectures. There is no point on watching them considering that they are basically the instructor reading the slides with minimal extra information. And the assignments are completely unrelated to the lectures, being quite a bit hard. I don't know if I'll continue this specialization (obviously will finish this course). I just don't see a point in doing that considering that the instructor is very bad in explaining things. If this was a university course, I would have filed a complaint for the quality of the lectures.
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2/10 starsDropped
3 years, 11 months ago
Absolutely terrible and pointless class. You need to be familiar with programming before taking this course, or you need to have a huge amount of spare time. The course material is disjointed and unrelated to the assignments. They should tell you to take an introductory R programming course before taking this introductory R programming course. What they should have done is shown you some simple R code and how they are used to extract subsets and perform calculations. This is where you should start. At least if they show you the basics, you become familiar with the concepts and can work towards more complex analytical goals, but the instructors seem to be oblivious to this fact. The fact is, you will learn very little about data science if you take this course.
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2/10 starsDropped
3 years, 11 months ago
The course material and video lectures were not very helpful in completing the assignments. Students were given tasks with no instruction and were left to fend for themselves. The TAs were not very helpful.
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8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
This is a good course for people with some programming experience who want an introduction to R as a data science tool. It's tough sledding for those without that background. The material isn't spoon-fed, so be prepared to google and use Stack Overflow. The course positioning seems to create mismatches. If you plan to learn data science without programming, this course will disappoint. But that's probably not a good plan anyway. The exercise on lexical scoping seems out-of-sequence. It isn't required for effective use of R in many data analysis contexts. The assignment instructions could be improved. Peer assessments can be a little problematic. When newb students review work they don't understand, they sometimes get it wrong. There's an extra credit opportunity that compensates.
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4/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 1 month ago
Don't take it if you are unfamiliar with R and hoping to learn. You will not. It makes sense to learn programming in R by other means, first, then take the course to get the certificate.
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6/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
The course claims to be for beginners but assignments are way to difficult for that level and take an awful lot of time. Tasks in assignments are also unrelated to the video lectures. If you are a total beginner, I recommend starting with doing a full 15-lesson swirl assignment, then do all 4 weeks of lectures and quizzes, and then go the first programming assignment. Doing swirl first will save lots of time trying to figure out things by yourself, and watching all video lectures first is almost necessary, as I used a function in week1 assignment that was only introduced in week 3 lectures. Overall, the course helped me to get things started and forced me to sit long hours to learn but I definitely learnt more from Stack Overflow trying to solve assignment problems than from the course itself. It may be easier for people with previous programming experience but if you're a newbie be prepared to get frustrated.
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Michael Devereux profile image
Michael Devereux profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 4 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
My first course that actually just focused on programming in R, as opposed to using R for statistical analysis. I have no education whatsoever in computer science/programming so needless to say that some of the concepts/homeworks were quite painful for me...however I felt that it was worth understanding because you come away with such a better idea of R's capabilities and usefulness, which are of course totally transferable to other courses that require R.
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8/10 starsDropped
4 years, 4 months ago
I feel that i need to learn basic commands of R first. As I don't want to do wrong assessment for others. If there is any basic course of R for beginners is available, I will definitely join the course. i really feel sad to drop the course.
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6/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
The difference in what was taught in the video lectures and what was expected in the assignments was extremely unrealistic, and I think I am being extremely charitable here. There was just NO CONNECT. Yes, the practice assignment by Derek Franks was excellent. I would like to sugges that this course be increased to 8 weeks, with the difficulty levels of exercises ramped up gradually rather than as a step function; perhaps Dirac delta function would be a more apt description
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2/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
-- Be warned -- This course is hard for anyone who has no concept of programs like Python or C. I recommend you buy a book, go to YouTube or research the web before embarking on this course. Although the Quizzes are covered in the lectures, the assignments are most definitely not! There are few helpful hints where to find some material for few things, but this will not help solve the assignments!
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Eric Cohen profile image
Eric Cohen profile image
2/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
Absolutely horrible. Poor structure. Topics very badly explained. Very theoretical with terrible lack of hand-on practice and real life application. Quizzes and assignments poorly related to video lectures.
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Bernardo Freitas profile image
2/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
Wow, that course was disapointing. When I read the syllabus of all the courses within this specialization I got very excited about learning so many stats techniques. Sadly, this course was awful !! The instructions given for the assignments were very confusing. The instructor rushed to explain every single function and concept about R. in the end you end up not knowing when to actualy apply these functions. I will finish the courses from this specialization, but only because I want to have a specialization degree from a credited university. I want to point out that all the other MOOCs I have taken were very well designed and the teachers really commited to the students, this a huge exception.
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6/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 5 months ago
The course was definitely hard for beginners - but that's a good thing because the best things in life don't come easy. What good is learning a skill if it's easy to acquire and use? The course assignments were tough and essential to pass the course. For a newbie programmer, the course was insightful and very challenging. For someone with good programming command - you probably don't need to pay for a course to learn a new language.
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2/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 5 months ago
There is a huge gap between the material covered and the assignments. The material is simply presented with no explanations, steps taken or exercises to follow.
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2/10 starsDropped
4 years, 6 months ago
I am an experienced analytics professional and have learned SQL and SAS pretty well. I could not get through this class however because it is so badly structured. The course lectures are ok, but the assignments are completely disconnected from the course material. You have to figure out how to write complex functions early in the course, using multiple syntax and concepts that is not covered in the lectures. The best way to learn programming is to follow similar examples, going from simple to complex. This class just throws you, there is no reinforcement of content or skills. If you are new to programming, stats or analytics, don't even bother.
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