Based on 61 Users
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
Professor Blaisdel is a great professor, his lectures are very engaging and interesting. He makes boring biology subjects very interesting and easy to understand. In order to get an A in the class you need to get every point there is to get. His grading system is out of 100 points. 16 points are from homework which is very easy to do; so the 16 points are a given if you put two hours a week on it. Then there is the midterm and the Final which are each 42 points. These tests have 42 questions in them so losing one question will lose you 1% of your grade. The questions could be tricky so the student has to know the lecture slides inside out and understand everything in the class. In my opinion if you listen in the class and memorize and understand the lecture you will get an A in the class. Overall he is a very caring and helpful professor.
Overall amazing class, I'm shocked by the other reviews on here. The class is very straightforward, only lectured material is on the midterm. There is a short assignment due every week which involves textbook reading and writing out 10 true/false questions. You can work in groups on this and submit the same questions as long as you include everyone's UID. This is about 16% of your grade which is absolutely easy points. There are also 2 extra credit points that are offered if you partake in psych research (takes 2 hours). The midterms themselves are exactly like the slides, just memorize and understand the main concepts and you'll be totally fine. I got high As on the midterm and the final without an insane amount of work. Besides all this, the lectures are very interesting and engaging, and Dr. Blaisdell is very helpful if you're ever confused. The person saying that he yelled at someone is cappin. 10/10 would recommend this class.
I took this class during Spring 2020, which was when all classes were online. As such, I can't really speak about what this class was like in person. Because of the new online format, the professor made our midterm and final open-note and open-book.
All of the midterm questions were fill in the blank and a lot of questions tested students on minute details in the textbooks or in the pre-recorded lecture slides. If you did not have the ability to search for key terms in the textbook, this midterm would be incredibly difficult because you are asked specific things and had I believe under 2 minutes per question. Additionally, you could not go back to previous questions so you had to be strategic with your time and confident in your answers. This resulted in a very low midterm class average. Thankfully, the professor curved the midterm grades up to compensate for this.
For the final, the professor changed the format to incorporate a blend of multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions. This made the final much easier than the midterm, and the class average for the final reflected that. One thing that many students did not like was how adamant the professor was in his decision to make the final mandatory considering the circumstances of the time. Although I found the final to be much easier than the midterm, that is something to take note of. If the professor changes the midterm format in the future to match the final then this class would be much easier.
Regarding the homework, those assignments were really easy since they just required you to write 10 T/F questions on the week's assigned chapter. They were pretty much free points. Also 2% worth of extra credit was offered for recording a short video about the class.
Lectures were pre-recorded and the professor provided annotated power-point slides. Some lectures seemed a bit unorganized and the slides would often jump between different topics. The textbook is also very science-heavy, so unless you have a strong background in evolutionary biology and neuroscience, this class can be very difficult. With that being said, it is possible to do well in this class. I highly recommend downloading the powerpoint slides and getting the searchable pdf of the textbook.
+ 2% extra credit
It is really hard to describe this class. First of all, Blaisdell does not care about his students at any price. If you are so motivated to learn, he is a real motivation killer. He makes you hate a subject that you have a lot of passion for it. Most of his lecture materials are based on the past researches that he had done for example from 2002,2001,2000, and even older. He just brings part of experiments in his researches and leaves you with a big ambiguity and if you have some questions about the experiment either he does not know it or he refers you to the link on his slide. Honestly, many times, I tried those links and none of them worked since they are the old research papers. Second, his personality very sucks. He is very rude and gets hostility if you show that you understand too much. Sometimes, he showed aggressive behaviors toward some students in the class by yelling at them. He does not do any Bruincast and most of his midterm and final questions are based on what he said in the class. He does not emphasize the important points. His Midterm and final questions are really tricky and he changes one word and that changes the whole meaning of his question. Reading in-depth highly suggested. He is a traditional profession and does not use any creativity in his teaching style. He does not curve the scores even if a class does not have the perfect score. He had only one-
hour of office hours in a week which was after the class and was not a big help. His TA sees the questions for Midterm and Final and makes a review session and TA does not know many of his slides' questions. I highly do not suggest taking this class with Blaisdell unless you think that you are very confident with all of these cons.
Psych 118-I have never before felt compelled to write a review but this time I felt the need to because this class is horrible... I received a C after studying like crazy and truly trying my best--the grade distribution you see above is truly accurate...Professor Blaisdell is a very discouraging teacher who makes you feel like a complete idiot when you ask a question...isn't the point of a teacher to foster learning and encourage the student to learn? He does the complete opposite and instead makes an otherwise interesting class completely boring with a terrible curve. I have never met a man more condescending than him--AVOID at all costs. He also has some Mental Health problems.
Professor Blaisdell is a great teacher and I would highly recommend taking this class with him.
The class only consists of a midterm and a final which may seem intimidating but his tests are more than fair consisting of 50 true/false questions and a fill in the blank page. Of those questions there are less than 5 from the book (the text book is awful, boring and unclear).
The only thing you need to do to do well in this class is to record his lectures and study everything he says. He explains things very clearly but there is a lot of material and it move fairly fast. This was the technique that I used on the Final and did very well and made up for my midterm. If you are on it for both tests there is no question that you can get an A in this class.
The material is very interesting and will help you tons in your other psych classes!
He's a good guy too there is no harm in asking for his help.
Blaisdell is an overall terrible person and poor instructor. It appears he attempts to project his own mental health issues and personal trauma onto his students and this is likely the reason he has such poor ratings online for multiple websites. His capacity for empathy and expressing basic level human emotions is likely inhibited due to his his delayed action in taking so long to get his academic career off the ground. Although this may seem harsh, it is not as harsh as his blatant racism and lack of regard for helping his students learn. Despite his tenure, I sincerely hope he gets the help he needs and gains at least some social competence so he can enjoy the rest of his life and repair his tumultuous marriage (which he shouldn't talk to his students about).
Shoot me in the foot. I did not care for this class AT ALL. The best part about the whole class was a little comic relief in his slides. I believe he liked rats and pigeons a little too much. His tests were not at all representative of the material from the book and the lecture. Grading is tough and a very small amount of points are offered. And so, I would say, avoid this class and avoid this teacher at all costs. But then again, who am I but another confused psych 110 student.