If you are looking to bring your bits and pieces of historical knowledge together into a coherent whole, and understand the trends and interactions of this period of history, this is absolutely your course -- it's superb, and the professor is terrific. Also really helped me better understand the global world we are living in today. The course is accessible to a beginner, but may be overwhelming, and it really helps to come in with some exposure to the topic. As usual for a Coursera class, the discussion forum is hit-or-miss with weak participation, although there is an active moderator. (For a better discussion platform, try FutureLearn.) The quizzes are helpful -- there's a lot of learning here, and the quizzes help cement it.