Winter 2021 - If you do the work for this class, you should get an A. You do have to go to class each week (is part of the grade). Essentially, you will be put into a group of 3-4 students and you will have to do 2 presentations with them on 2 articles that the professor assigns you. There were 10 presentation groups total and each did 2, and for each presentation you watched (so all presentations other than your own ones), you had to write a write-up about what the presentation was on as well as the strengths and weaknesses of that presentation. I'm not sure if he really grades these, more so just if you do them and put some effort into them, but these definitely got a bit annoying when you had to submit 2-4 write-ups each week (but there's no exams in the class, so I definitely understand that he has to assign some stuff). During finals week, the class takes place in a final debate (worth 20% of your grade) on 2 topics the professor tells you about on the last lecture. Seriously, the A in this class is yours to lose. If you are willing to do the work and go to class and prepare somewhat for the debate, you should be fine. Professor Blaisdell is so kind and is super knowledgeable and passionate about this subject. I HIGHLY recommend this class. It was interesting to learn about animal cognition and to be a part of such a small class (~30 students). It was also nice to just have a class without exams that I had to worry about. Thanks Prof. Blaisdell for being an absolute gem of a professor! Great class!
Fall 2019 - Blaisdell is a really clear and articulate professor -- the killer in this class is the exams. He used to do 2 exams (50 questions T/F) and that was your entire grade. Since then he's built in some homework points, so now the grade scheme is: -16 pts from HW -42 pts from exam 1 (36 T/F questions, 5 short answer) -42 pts from exam 2 (36 T/F questions, 5 short answer) The exams are super nitty gritty, he changes the smallest detail and it can make it really tricky. He also doesn't bruincast -- which is another huge con. If he bruincasted it would be a lot easier and more accessible to rewatch the lectures. I normally record them on my phone and have to upload them to my computer, convert them, edit them, etc. Its super annoying. Tl;dr: Super clear professor, but exams are HARD