PEERS Collabrative Learning Workshops for Life Sciences Majors
Fall 2021 - BruinWalk hasn't added Professor Lannan under Chem 14C yet, so I'll write this review here instead. Here is the grading distribution for the class this quarter: 22.5% MT1 22.5% MT2 40% Final 15% Problem Sets - (2.5% EC for attending 8/10 discussion sections) (2.5% EC for optional video project) (0.25% mid-quarter TA feedback) LECTURE Unfortunately, lecture was the weakest part of the course. Professor Lannan’s slides were almost a direct copy from Pham’s old slides and, as a result, he often got confused while lecturing. Sometimes he would pause and stare at the slides trying to figure out a concept for minutes on end while trying to understand the slide. Many of my friends ended up not going to lecture frequently and taught the majority of the course to themselves (and ended up understanding the material way better than me). In addition, we ended up skipping over entire concepts like CNMR and peptide bonds/amino acids. Instead of buying and using iClicker, Prof. Lannan hoped for us to use a free software called Mentimeter for participation. By the second lecture this plan had fallen apart and the original participation points were now a group extra credit video project that we had to complete outside of class. This video project could be about pretty much anything covered in the class but was pretty much busy work. In addition, there was a campuswire for the class for people to ask questions on and he often held office hours late at night and uploaded lecture recordings which I appreciate. DISCUSSION Discussion was not mandatory but we had the chance to get 2.5% extra credit for attending 8/10 of the classes. I really enjoyed my discussion section with my TA, Thomas. I’m sure many students can agree that Thomas was a great TA to have and honestly saved the class for me. Since it wasn’t required, we could do pretty much anything we felt necessary during discussion. Sometimes Thomas would lecture on topics from class or we would work on that week’s problem set. Thomas’ explanations were always super helpful and his flexibility was much appreciated. Also, the problems that he created for the problem sets were genuinely really thoughtful and helped us to understand the material at a deeper level. PROBLEM SETS There was around one problem set due each week during the quarter. It was graded on completeness except for one question the was graded on correctness. These problem sets were generally helpful, not too time consuming, and had questions very similar to ones on the exam. EXAMS Overall, the exams were definitley not as challenging as other 14C ones that I have seen. BUT WITH THAT BEING SAID, the vast majority of the class are second-years that, up until now, had not taken any in-person college exams up until this quarter. We also had not covered the same material as the other 14C exams. Having to re-adjust to the pressures of an in-person test is difficult regardless of the material ESPECIALLY when exams are worth 85% of your grade. Lannan’s tests tended to be extremely unforgiving as well. By the final, he had shifted away from reasoning/explanation questions to “circle the x that” questions with no partial credit. There were 3 dedicated in-person review sessions before each exam. The ones for the midterm were run by the TAs while the one for the final was run by Professor Lannan himself. Also, Professor Lannan did end up curving the tests by around 3-6% each time and accepted regrades, which I appreciated. The class itself is graded on a standard scale. Note that the other section with Ow had their tests completely online. OVERALL At the time of enrollment, Pham was the listed professor for both sections. Around a week before the quarter started, Pham was switched to a different class and Lannan became our prof. Professor Lannan seems to really care about teaching and chemistry, but the sudden change of classes made him unprepared for the quarter.