The book for this course is his own, so the lectures are pretty much just the main points from each chapter. Consequently, you really only have to go to lecture or read the book so long as you really do one of them. Missing lectures in the beginning is no big deal, but in the second half of the course it can get you behind. The second half is all about the human lineage and recognizing fossils and such, so it gets a little boring, but it's also a lot more memorization then the first part. Overall, this class is cake as long as you read the book and/or go to lecture. Discussions were useless, but were required as 10% of your grade. Final's half, midterm's the rest. Both tests are all short answer questions, nothing really surprising. Overall a very fair professor and very easy class. Great GE. Take Anthro 7 with Boyd if you can.
I didn't like Prof Coffing. I guess I wasn't that fair from the start with her because I was already biased. I have had bad experiences with female profs. All female profs that I've had have been overly enthusiastic with their material, which is annoying (for me), and made jokes that were so corny that I was actually embarassed for them. Prof Coffing is no exception. She seems to enjoy showing us slides of hominoid genitalia and sexual behavior. And she always makes a joke about them. Anyways, this course isn't hard really. But there's SO much material covered during the course. And, the test questions seem so easy because they are so general, but the answers they want are so specific, it's hard to know what they are really asking for. It's so frustrating because you finish the test thinking you did well because you knew everything they asked but you get a bad grade because they asked a vague question and was looking for a specific answer. I wouldn't say that this is a good class or a bad class, but a BORING one and don't take it if you are just looking for a GE class, there are much better ones out there.
First, the class itself. I took LS1 last quarter and decided I wanted to fufill my GE's with the easiest classes possible (at leats for Life Science). That is what I thought the class would be. While it is far easier than LS1, it is NOT and easy class. The material is interesting for a while, but not very applicable to anything unless you want to got into anthropology. My reccommendation, take this for a LS GE if you do better with short answer than you do multiple choice (his test are ALL short answer) and if you don't really care if you learn something super valuable for the future. Second, the prof...entertaining, though he gets a little out of control sometimes and talks very fast. By the lecture notes if they are avaliable but still GO TO LECTURE because they are very incomplete. Take you notes on the lecture notes because that way you will keep up and be able to write down the important info and not get hung up on the outline concepts. I would reccommend him, he cares about the students learning and seems to be very passionate about the subject.
Spring 2023 - I didn't love this class and would not recommend taking as a GE. The test questions were worded in tricky ways and the amount of random nitty gritty knowledge covered and expected to memorize was a lot. Discussion was sometimes helpful with covering major topics, but again, the nitty gritty details were not really emphasized ever again. The class required an online textbook with interactive homework, which was really annoying. Homework also included short written responses (fine and typical of a GE) and two bigger assignments using the online interactive textbook. Grading was curved so that the student with the highest grade is the maximum grade possible in the course. Overall, not a great class but if you have to take it you'll survive if you really put in the effort to study every single detail covered because you never really know what will be on the midterm and final. grading breakdown for spring 23: 70% EXAMS (35% Midterm exam, 35% Final exam) 15% Online quizzes using interactive textbook 15% Discussion section + optional 2% extra credit
I took IDS 100A this past fall with her and on the up side, it was hands down the EASIEST class I've ever taken at UCLA. On the down side, she is the WORST professor I've ever had. This was the last class I needed for IDS and I've definitely had some inspiring professors. The professor is intensely cynical and is unbeliavably biased. She loathes all the big boys in development such as the IMF, WB, UN and presents her material with an utter hate for neoliberal economic policies. She digresses a lot, her lectures are unorganized and broad and she does not she offer any strong, objective, academic insight into core IDS subjects. Her exams are in multiple choice format/some short answer and are extremely easy; however, that's only because finding the correct answer is not hard since the exams are biased and it always ends up being the most cynical option. I think I would be ok with her if she was just another bad professor, but her one-sided analysis makes me dislike her more.
Winter 2022 - Do not take this class. Manson is extremely unaccommodating and his lectures are impossible to follow. He was extremely rude to his students when they requested an only version of one of the midterms (due to concerns about the pandemic, immunocompromised students, international students living in their home countries, etc). It is pretty ironic that he spends so much time studying humans considering he does not care about his students. In terms of the class material, his lectures make no sense, are organized terribly, and are even worse in person. He obviously is educated on what he is teaching but it makes no sense to students without a deep background in evolution. Overall, I would never recommend this class to anyone, ever.