Fundamentals of Learning
I don't really understand what everyone is complaining about. Either Prof. Balleine has changed his methods entirely, or there is some other Balleine masquerading around in the psych department. The tests are not based mostly on the book, rather, most questions come from lecture. Very briefly, I must take issue with the person who complained about Balleine's accent...it is English for God's sake!! He pronounces like 3 words slightly differently from the way we do, and people start having seizures. Balleine recognizes that he is teaching a pretty dry subject, but his droll sense of humor and occasional outbursts of hilarity (Politics of Fruit lecture) made class interesting. In short, I think he did about as much as he could do with the subject at hand.
Like several others, I dreaded 110 due to many warnings. But I was pleasantly surprised. Professor Blaisdell was able to make the lectures quite upbeat with humor and funny slides. I also found his teaching style easy to follow as he makes the subject matter very comprehendible. First exam was very easy. The rest were fair, no real curveballs or anything. I also loved our TA (I forgot her name but she has a cat that plays the drums) - Cynthia? Anyways, she was great too. If you're going to take 110 - take it with Blaisdell!!
Professor Castel is a really nice and interesting lecturer, but besides that his exams are tricky and ridiculously hard. I wish he gave us more time on the exams. Too many detailed questions. Besides knowing the textbook you need to understand the concepts very well from the lecture slides.
Fall 2020 - PLEASE READ PLEASE READ PLEASE READ I have never left a review in my 3 years at UCLA. So I went ahead and made an account just to warn anyone who thinks about taking this class. It is currently Dec 8, 2020 and there is an Essay due in 2 days. There was no rubric, no prompt, no information whatsoever regarding this essay (not even on the most updated syllabus). Many other students posted on the discussion board, inquiring about the essay, but no response. Instead, the Prof and TAs replied to other posts that were not time sensitive. Those posts were just about further implications of content discussed in readings/lectures, and was basically irrelevant at this time. It's as if they purposely avoided Essay posts, because there were a LOT, and only a FEW posts that were content related. Oh and also, Fanselow doesn't allow emails to him or the TAs and tells us to use the discussion board. But like bruh. Like bruh. idk what to say more to say. The above example is just one of the many cases of unresponsiveness and unhelpfulness. This dude comes off as really rude, and it seems like he's got a stick up his butt. The content is hard, the tests are hard, the class is boring AF. The profs and TAs don't seem to care about our learning whatsoever. It's like they go out of their way by making our life hell, ESPECIALLY during Covid and everything that's going on. It seems like the only thing that Fanselow cares about is animal sex. I kid you not, he seems more passionate about fish sex, rat sex, bird sex, bird trying to have sex with a human, and I could go on. I kid you NOT, in one of his lectures, he talked about rat sex and said something along the lines of "I hope this brings you comfort/pleasure in your quarantine." If you don't believe me, just look at all the people upvoting this review. Like bruh, how can you answer 1 post about content, but ignore 10 other posts asking about the upcoming essay. And yes, I am currently writing this, and not working on the essay or a final that I have tomorrow because this class is absolute dong water. I'm heated AF. I don't think I've ever developed actual hate for someone I've never even met. I could go on, but I really should get back to this essay. I got everything off my chest. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.
Winter 2020 - So I actually wanted to write my first review for any class I have taken in my four years here since I just feel like people won't trust some Bruinwalk reviews because the reasoning behind a review could have been just because a student didn't receive the grade they hoped for entering in. I got an A in this class but the amount of studying and honestly unnecessary tactics to get that grade felt like it wasn't me showing that I learned something from this class at the end of the day. Taking this class felt like I was just trying to avoid all the stupid obstacles she placed on her tests just to get by. I want to attest that everything that is said in the 20+ reviews is all true (except for the positive review). Her fault as a teacher is being very ingenuine and superficial in the way she says she is "helping" or "concerned" about students. This was largely seen on the second exam where she made a remark in a lecture saying that she was surprised that students in her office hours knew so much of the material that was covered in the second exam. That wasn't because the majority of students who complained didn't study well or not understand the material. She was blind to the fact that there could be a fault in the way she was testing the concepts. It felt like she couldn't be at fault, especially when she kept uttering that the average of the second test was higher than the first as a claim to support herself in justifying the test. While grades do matter for people's GPAs, that's not a reason to say that your tests are actually good in any sense. The amount of ambiguity and the number of questions from previous exam materials on the tests made it so hard for absolutely no reason (for somehow ensuring that student learning is " priority #1"). If a test was supposed to test you on integral concepts that were covered in the exam's lectures, then how is it justifiable that testing previous material and creating weird application questions is a good measure of student learning? My final remark is just the language and unprofessionalism she displayed in the emails she would send to the class. Students who get angry will make comments on forums or emails that will not be as professional as they ideally should be (especially during unprecedented events like the coronavirus), but that doesn't mean that the professor should reciprocate that same level of unprofessionality in her replies. When she tweeted things about her students being entitled (and the appropriate effect of students reporting this to the Deans), her language thereafter completely showed disregard to the level where her twitter apology was forced, her emails about exams showed an unprecedented level of passive-aggressiveness I had ever seen from any professor, and finally the total disregard for student's situations by saying that it's "good for student learning" to not adhere what Academic Senate suggested about finals in the wake of the coronavirus. She always backed her statements saying that the averages of the class were good just to show the impression to the department that she ran an effective class. Numbers don't lie, but in this case, they really do and these reviews don't lie at all. I don't think most students in the class were able to learn having to deal with an obstacle known as this professor to have to prove that their studying felt worth it to try to succeed in class. I may have gotten the grade I got but I did look forward to this class and its material when I first enrolled. It really left a bitter taste that this was the way this whole class (and one of my last classes at UCLA) was handled. Shoutout to TA Nancy and Mary though. They carried the team on their back in making sense of a lot of the concepts in class and actually being really nice and approachable. Even when a question in one of the section quizzes seemed to trip a lot of students, Nancy really tried to understand the students to help understand a quiz question. It's a sad thought that the TAs were much more successful in being better teachers than the actual professor of the class.
Professor Stahlman is young, upbeat and knowledgeable about the subject material. He's generally nice enough, but also somewhat hotheaded and gets stressed out easily and on those days he can be a jerk and very arrogant. He explains things really quickly in lecture, so if you're thinking about taking him, I would definitely consider podcasting. You have to be able to diligently keep up with lecture material because everything builds on previous lectures. His exams are very conceptual and very hard to do well on considering they are only out of 30 points. The means are usually in the low C and D range. Also, he's the kind of professor who will try to trick you based on subtle wording (eg. always, never) even if you actually understand the concepts which is kind of dumb. And then half the questions aren't worded clearly so you don't even know what he's trying to ask. Most of them are hypothetical questions/experiments based on the concepts from the experiments he went over in class. I think this was probably one of the worst classes I've taken at UCLA because the material is super dry and circular and the theories you learn about are all flawed, so at the end of it you still feel like you didn't learn much. And I don't think Stahlman is funny at all, as hard as he tries to be.