History of the U.S. and Its Colonial Origins: 20th Century

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Jacqueline Braitman See Full Profile

Overall 2.1 Easiness 1.4 Workload 1.6 Clarity 2.4 Helpfulness 2.1

Most Helpful Review

I agree that her lectures are very unorganized and all over the place. You're better off just reading the book yourself. But going to lectures helps to see where her focus is and catch the main themes which she stresses throughout the course. For the final and midterm she stressed what she would focus on and ask questions. TA's are helpful and help make the test questions which is good because students can have a say too. Finally, I really enjoyed the paper assignment because it made me put a relative's life into the context of history and therefore my life today. Overall she has good intentions but given the short amount of lecture time doesn't do her lectures justice.

Dec. 10, 2001
Scot Brown See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 5.0 Workload 4.7 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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Really fun light class. Basically high school AP US History but a lot more in depth. Discussions for this class are also pretty fun.

Prof. Brown seemed like a really nice guy. His outfits were absolutely off the chain (the pink blazer was pretty sick) and he was a fairly charismatic lecturer.

Workload was easy. Tests not a cake walk but as long as you study the text (take notes, look at key terms and such) you'll be good.

Recommend this class.

Spring Quarter 2020
D Gantner See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 3.2 Workload 3.2 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 3.5

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He lectures really well and is pretty funny. He gave us the final questions before hand, but they were pretty tough questions overall. If you have to take a history class, take his. Its not dry, as most history classes can be and you know whats going to be on the exams.

Sept. 11, 2009
Frank Higbie See Full Profile

Overall 4.5 Easiness 4.5 Workload 4.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.5

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VERY EASY CLASS. This class is a great GPA boost because there isn't a tremendous amount of work to do. Basically the assignments in the class are limited to a five page paper and weekly reading responses (around 250 words).

Do not worry about having to attend lecture. However, make sure to read the textbook (whether you go to lecture or not) because his powerpoint slides and his lecturing aren't as reflective of the exams as it could be. Give yourself 30 minutes each day during the school week dedicated to reading the textbook and the historical documents and you should be totally fine.

Spring Quarter 2018
Lauren Hirshberg Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Lauren Hirshberg See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Peter Hudson See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 3.2 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 3.5

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Overall a solid GE choice. I took this class while I was taking Biochem 153A and Physics so I really was not invested in this class whatsoever and managed to get an A still. I don't think I ever did any of the reading and it was fine. I think American history is pretty boring, but it's something most people have spent several years learning about throughout elementary/middle/high school so it's not like the material is anything very challenging. There weren't any ridiculous assignments and my TA was a pretty easy grader. I think that's probably the biggest factor in your experience in this class, so it's good to try to make time to go to your TA's office hours to get help on writing the papers. Showing them you're trying usually tends to help with your grade.

Spring Quarter 2017
Robin Kelley See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.0

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I thought I would write a quick review for those who are planning to take this class as an online GE during summer:

There are basically only 2 aspects to the course if I remember correctly - one is to reply/post on the CCLE forum, and the other is a set of 3 papers you do over the 6 week period. All 3 papers are really really short (the first two are 5 pages and the last one is like 7 pages or something). Once I had detailed plans for each paper, I made 15 minute zoom appointments with my TA, who was really helpful. She gave me insight on what I was doing well and what needed to be improved. I ended up getting 100% on all 3 papers, and a A+ in the class. Dr. Kelley is really cool in real life but his recorded lectures were actually a little monotonous. The lecture lengths range, but it usually took me 3 hours to get through a 1 hour lecture because of the notes you have to take. He speaks really fast.

P.S. You don't actually have to do the readings, but you must have some general idea of what is going on because you will need to cite the book for the papers.

Summer Quarter 2016
Kathleen Lytle Hernandez See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 2.7 Workload 2.8 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 2.3

Most Helpful Review

Welcome back to high school! But no, really, I was kind of confused about why this is advertised as a college-level course. I realize it's a GE and that 20th century American history is not on the cutting edge of academia...but if the goal of this class was to transform my historical thinking, then it failed spectacularly.

But yeah, set your expectations for this class pretty low. Professor Hernandez will trumpet the importance of the theme of "freedom." Don't be fooled; this is code for "understand how people in different eras were shaped by social currents." If you can articulate vague ideas about labor, race relations, immigration, and economic thinking while sprinkling in a few examples, you're good to go.

Unfortunately, the course is so broad in trying to hit all of those themes that it never really delves into any critical examination. Example - a substantial chunk of time was devoted to explaining what containment was. Zero time was spent debating whether or not containment was actually effective.

Is the class hard? Well, it kind of says something when your TA sends an email literally begging people who couldn't bother to show up to section (read: not participate, just SHOW UP) to drop the class rather than get a C or fail.

Translation: if you're smart, you have nothing to worry about because this class is full of people who don't give a shit. Just make sure you go to lecture. Reading the textbook is wholly unnecessary; there may be some test IDs from the book, but it's largely irrelevant since that section allows you to discard 3-4 terms.

In terms of grading, there's two midterms and a final, all of which are worth 20%. All the tests have the aforementioned IDs and a short essay asking you to evaluate a primary source. The final also has a question asking you to compare ideas about "freedom" from two different eras, i.e. post-WWII and the New Conservatism.

Section is worth 40% - I know, right? So yeah, you kind of have to show up. Your TA will assign free writes, where you'll analyze a primary source and explain its content, context within the era, and significant. It's a completely vapid exercise because there's zero specificity in terms of how you're expected to respond. Even if everything you say is factually correct, if you don't mention exactly what you're looking for you'll get a 9 out of 10 at most instead of full marks. You also have to take a cultural field trip and write a two page report - not very hard.

I got an A despite literally not studying for the final. If you're looking for an easy class, go ahead and take it, I guess. Just prepare yourself for canned lectures (drinking game: take a shot every time you hear the phrase "orgy of consumption") and uninspiring material.

June 17, 2011
Richard Weiss Full Profile > 2.5 Overall 1.5 Easiness 1.5 Workload 3.0 Clarity 2.2 Helpfulness
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Richard Weiss See Full Profile

Overall 2.5 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 2.2

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