LIFESCI 7B

Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology

Description: Lecture, three hours; laboratory, 80 minutes. Enforced requisite: course 7A. Principles of Mendelian inheritance and population genetics. Introduction to principles and mechanisms of evolution by natural selection, population, behavioral, and community ecology, and biodiversity, including major taxa and their evolutionary, ecological, and physiological relationships. Letter grading.

Units: 5.0
3 of 4
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
AD
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
AD
Overall Rating 4.2
Easiness 3.3/ 5
Clarity 4.2/ 5
Workload 2.9/ 5
Helpfulness 4.1/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2021 - ***I took this class during the COVID-19 pandemic in an online format. -- OVERVIEW: Maybe I had an individual bad experience, but I'm not sure why this professor's reviews for this class were so raving. Perhaps the online format is a little different, but I did not feel like Phelan lived up to the other reviews. "Going above and beyond" and "explaining concepts thoroughly" are phrases I would not attribute to Phelan. He seemed very reluctant to answer questions and help out, ignoring questions in Zoom chat and being unresponsive to emails. Lectures would often go on tangents about his personal life, which isn't productive when LS7B is so information dense and every minute is valuable. Dr. Pham was much better in LS7A, at least. Even considering that the LS series is just horrible, I still think Phelan wasn't the best choice. -- GRADING: Grading is pretty straightforward. There's mandatory lectures, enforced with clicker questions, of which you can miss about a week. LaunchPad practice questions and exams were the same, you could miss a week's worth and get full credit. Same goes for the labs. The two midterms and final were worth a lot more points, not curved, but there were extra credit opportunities if you did a "mini-final" and reflection assignment afterwards. Other EC opportunities were available for completing surveys about LAs. The class isn't curved, so you need to earn every point yourself. -- HOMEWORK: This section isn't really relevant to Dr. Phelan. I don't think he really controls the format of the homework and labs. But my god, if you thought LS7A was bad, LS7B makes 7A look like a cakewalk. The amount of LaunchPad material is crushing, even if you just skip the material and do the questions. I can't imagine how much time it would take to actually do all the material as they intended. Lots of stuff isn't gone over in lectures because of the sheer material density, and the practice exams make it feel like there's a full on test every week. Again, Phelan doesn't control this, so it's not his fault the homework is so bad. Labs aren't much better, they're very time consuming and I didn't find them very helpful, though that may vary with students. They seemed very poorly designed, like the entire LS7 series. Not much to say other than you just have to sit through them. -- EXAMS: Most in this section also isn't really Phelan's fault. LS7 exams are just horrible, and it doesn't get better in 7A. The actual length of the exams isn't bad, but the questions are consistently confusing, poorly-worded, ambiguous, or just straight-up wrong. No amount of studying will prepare you for a question you have no idea what it's asking. The main gripe I have with Phelan is that he seemed to be just as unaware as students of how to go about regrade requests. His policy is that regrades are not processed unless it affects our final grade, which puts the stress on students trying to determine if we will get the grade we need, when it was a mistake made on the instructor's part. Trying to reach out to him via email or during class won't result in anything, and the only saving grace is that tests are graded really fast because they are online and multiple choice. Just don't expect your grading to actually be right. -- TIPS: This class is the definition of grind. There's so much you're expected to do yourself, and while the LaunchPad makes it difficult to fall behind, they're also not comprehensive enough to truly prepare yourself. This class is 5 units, but it's probably about 6-7 units worth of work. It's much harder than 7A in my opinion, but this varies between students so take it with a grain of salt. I have quite a negative review here, but it seems that many other students had good experiences, and I'm just one view. To be honest, the class time is probably the most important factor for LS, since professor matters less for such a standardized series.
Overall Rating 3.4
Easiness 3.1/ 5
Clarity 3.6/ 5
Workload 3.1/ 5
Helpfulness 3.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2018 - Ahh, where to begin? I've been told that the redesign of the LS series that resulted in the abominations that are LS 7A, 7B, & 7C was spearheaded by none other than Professor Debra Pires herself. In High School biology was my favorite subject, and I could not have been more excited to take these classes in a college setting. Now, after having taken 7A with Roth Johnson and 7B with Pires, bio is the subject that I despise the most. Allow me to explain how the class is structured and graded: The entire 7 series is based upon a very interesting concept called "Flipped Classroom". The theory behind it is that if the students do all their learning outside of the classroom, the professor can review difficult topics and help students with their weak points in class. This could work in a small classroom setting where the professor could have time to speak with each individual student, but it does not work at all in a 330 person lecture. The lectures are an hour and fifteen minutes in LaKretz 110 (Even thinking about sitting in that room makes my blood pressure rise as I feel the anger of all my ancestors coursing through my veins) twice a week. Pires stands at the board and just goes through a set of around 15-40 clicker questions every day (oh yeah attendance is mandatory buddy, don't even think about skipping class). The clicker questions range from very easy and self explanatory to inexplicably confusing, and Deb often struggles to explain them and invariably fails to explain them well. Discussion is a two hour "lab" (its a computer lab where you fill out a worksheet every week, they call it a lab to justify it being two hours) where your TA will give you a useless worksheet that rarely correlates to the exams and is usually just busy work. Sometimes the worksheets are very long and take nearly two hours of highly efficient work to complete. If your TA's parents weren't nice to them as a child, they'll take off a point or so out of 15 every week, and you'll be sad to see them go when you're calculating what grade you need on the final to get an A. Also at around week 7 or 8 you'll have a group assignment that involves the botanical garden, have fun. Now for the worst part of the class: Launchpad. I have never felt more burnt out of school than during spring quarter, and Launchpad is the primary reason for that. Launchpad is an online textbook provided by Macmillian with interactive assignments built in. Every morning before lecture, there is work due. You'll read through 1-6 sections (average ~3-4) per day, each consisting of 2-7 (average ~5) pages of reading. At the end of each section there are questions that test that you've read the chapter, and they can be confusing and difficult. Quizlet is your friend. But it gets worse. Occasionally they'll have 1-3 minute long animations followed by around 5 questions to check that you watched the animation. Sometimes these can be very easy, but other times the animations will ask questions that weren't covered in the animations. And occasionally, the questions won't even be covered in the course. You'll just have to pray that some kind soul added them to quizlet for you. At the end of every week there will be a set of "Practice Exam Questions" which can be surprisingly difficult. Your best bet for these is to get in a group with other students and complete the questions together. Every assignment on Launchpad counts for points, and there is no way to make up missed points, so rushing through them can really screw you over. The content of the class is not hard conceptually, but the exams are very difficult not because the questions are pushing your understanding of the material, but because the questions are often extremely vague and it can be difficult to discern what they're asking you. There were even questions on the final that were on a topic that was never mentioned in the reading, lecture, or discussion, so I have no idea how anyone was supposed to know them. Everyone is asked said that they just guessed on those. My final complaint is that there is that the professor does not provide any study material for the exams, so the way I studied was I spent around 4 hours per Launchpad day taking detailed notes and reviewing them. I also went back through all the assignments on Launchpad and made sure I understood them, and I reviewed the clicker questions from the lectures, which were uploaded to CCLE. If you're going to be taking any of the 7 series with Deb and my review has scared you, take solace in the fact that there is very little difference in the class based on professor, and it will be complete ass regardless of who it is being taught by. As I look forward to August 7th and the first LS 7C lecture of C session, I fight back tears of rage and despair, and finally grit my teeth in calm acceptance of my inevitable doom. Deb also has around 5 shirts and she just cycles through them.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
AD
3 of 4

Adblock Detected

Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!