Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

“Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” is a college-level class being offered simultaneously on Coursera and to new students at Duke University. The course gives interested people a very basic overview of some principles behind these very fundamental areas of biology. We often hear about new “genome sequences,” commercial kits that can tell you about your ancestry (including pre-human) from your DNA or disease predispositions, debates about the truth of evolution, why animals behave the way they do, and how people found “genetic evidence for natural selection.” This course provides the basic biology you need to understand all of these issues better, tries to clarify some misconceptions, and tries to prepare students for future, more advanced coursework in Biology. No prior coursework is assumed.


  • One of the MOOC students developed an iOS app designed to help students master concepts in the course. Professor Noor and this student co-authored a paper on the design and use of this app. The app is now available for iOS and Android.
  • Translated into Chinese.
  • Noor uses the online course materials to flip his on-campus Duke course.
  • One of five MOOCs on Coursera recommended for credit equivalency by the American Council on Education.

Media & Publications



  • Biology

Project Uses:


Launch Date:

  • October 2012

View the project