Based on 38 Users
I was very disappointed by this class. At the beginning, it seems super interesting because you read cool journalism case studies and the professor requires you to participate in class without technology. As the course goes on, however, most people became overwhelmed by how long the readings were and how in-depth you were supposed to know them for the tests. Your grade is almost entirely based upon the midterm and final, which are long, difficult, and require a lot of writing. If you struggle with test-taking or want to take an easy Communications elective, this isn't the class for you.
One of my favorite professors I have taken at UCLA so far!!! Makes the class super interesting and interactive. Get ready to do a lot of group work and participate in class. Midterm and final were a breeze as long as you attend the lectures and stay engaged except don't spend too long on questions or timing may be tight!
I could not recommend this class more enough. You learn all about what constitutes journalism, the ethical decisions that go on in the newsroom, and are always encouraged to think critically and deeper about each side of the argument. Abbe is a phenomenal lecturer, and her past experience in working at the LA Times really shone through. She is highly receptive to feedback and you can tell she truly cares about her students. Bonus! she has the cutest dog you can pet during office hours.
The workload is pretty light - every week we're given two controversial ethical cases to read through, do 2 postings advocating for a side, then in class Abbe writes our ideas onto the whiteboard and facilitates class discussion. If you're lazy like me, you can get away with skimming the readings and learn the main points during class. Since each lesson relies on the points that we provide on each case, the class is super engaging and you never know what interesting points will come up. This style of work means that what you put into this class is what you get out of it - you're given more free time to think critically about each case, rather than slave over assignments and deadlines.
Exams were the opposite of rinse and repeat memorization. You write 6 mini persuasive essays, taking different stances on an issue by answering the guiding questions she gives you. Have an understanding of each side of the case and the general themes of this class, and you'll do great. However, your existing writing ability will be important as both exams are essay-based.
Comm 186 with Goldman has definitely been one of my favorite classes here at UCLA. It teaches you a whole lot about persuasion, critical thinking, and you get to hear great ideas from your peers. Give it a try!
Professor Goldman's class will whip your writing into shape. Overall, it's a great class to take if you're interested in a career in journalism or in a career where clear, concise writing is important. She really cares about her students and expects a lot from them, but she's willing to work with you to get your writing to the next level.
She grades assignments anonymously, so you know she's judging each writing piece independently and without any bias.
She also grades writing assignments on a rubric, which can make getting a high score more difficult. But she provides a list of common problems after the first assignment and updates it every week. If you use the list to self-edit you will score fine.
The workload for her writing class is relatively light: two short reading assignments (between 10 and 40 pages) and one writing assignment of 400 to 500 words per week. She builds in breaks around midterms to give students a chance to focus on other classes which is pretty generous.
Goldman holds office hours two days each week and will go over assignments to help you score better when you turn them in.
Abbe is one of the best professors I've had thus far. She's very willing to work with students and help them improve their writing, regardless of the level at which they start.
I'm impressed with her organization, especially in lectures; I've learned a lot from every class sitting.
She grades fairly, with a rubric, so I always know exactly what she expects and what to improve on, and she grades anonymously, so you always get the grade you deserve.
She has several office hours every week, and she's very willing to work with students on assignments before they're turned in. Going to office hours and having her look briefly over your work is super helpful; she'll tell you what to improve on and you'll end up with a better grade.
The workload is manageable: light weekly readings and weekly writing assignments (400 or 500 words). Make sure you go to class; it's helpful when you sit down to do the writing, but attendance factors into your grade too.
Abbe's experience in journalism makes her great for this class. She effectively and efficiently taught me a valuable skill set – I'd recommend her to anyone who wants to learn to write well.
Anyone interested in journalism or just improving their written communication should take Professor Goldman’s seminar! It’s almost impossible not to become a better communicator after 191a.
The class covers a different topic each week (profiles, opinion, explanatory, PR, etc) which is discussed in lecture, and usually you have a short (<500 words) writing assignment as homework. The assignments are returned with detailed comments/feedback, which can be surprising if you’re used to just getting a grade on a paper with no explanation, but this is part of what makes the class so great.
Professor Goldman is awesome and knows a lot about the industry from first-hand experience, and she’s happy to answer any questions in class or in office hours. She has a refreshingly unapologetic sense of humor and will tell it like it is, but is extremely caring as well.
Abbe is one of the best and most dedicated professors I’ve had, and it shows in her class. This isn’t one of those classes where you can skip lecture and just cram right before the midterm/final. You need to put in some effort, but Goldman will meet you halfway and more. I’ll definitely be using what I learned in this class long after the quarter is over.
This class was great in so many ways. It helped me to develop better writing skills that are more applicable to real-world situations than the academic style of writing. Abigail Goldman challenged us to write well within tight deadlines and in different formats (opinion, breaking news, etc.). The skills I learned have already proven to be valuable and I encourage you to take this course early in your academic career because it will help you in your other classes.
In addition to the benefits of the course itself, you will love Abigail Goldman. She cares about her students and challenges them to grow beyond their expectations for themselves (i.e., what all great teachers do).
Great course. Fantastic professor.
Professor Goldman knows her stuff inside and out. Be prepared: She expects her students to develop strong critical thinking skills. At first, the class seems pretty easy, but the discussions on media ethics are tougher than you might imagine and will leave you thinking - and probably changing sides midstream, on occasion.
Every class includes debates on a variety of issues based on case studies you have to analyze before class. The debates are informal (not everyone talks in every class) You can't get by unless you participate and offer intelligent, insightful comments (on either side of a debate). She holds the class to high standards, in oral debates and writing and brings out the best in students.
It was well worth my time and a lot of fun. I highly recommend this class, and I highly recommend Professor Goldman.
This was my FAVORITE course at UCLA. I got so much out of it. The case study format (reading case studies and debating the issues in class) was so effective in teaching critical thinking. It challenges you to consider other perspectives in order to better inform your own point of view. And the in-class debates are really fun. They are exactly what you imagined that college classes could be before you got to UCLA and realized that they're mostly just boring PowerPoint lectures. On that note, this course depends on participation in class discussions. If presenting and defending your opinions to the class sounds scary, that shouldn't deter you but it is something to consider.
I can't say enough good things about the professor, Abigail Goldman. She is so good at conducting discussions in a way that facilitates respectful and engaging debate of difficult issues. This class could have gone horribly wrong if placed in the wrong hands, but Goldman really knows how to lead a discussion. Playing the "devil's advocate," she prompts students to questions their positions on issues and express opinions rationally.
The value of this course goes well beyond assessing issues of media ethics; it teaches critical thinking skills that will help you in every class and in any profession. I just loved this class and I hope that the Comm. Studies Dept. will continue to offer it. I highly recommend Professor Goldman for any course, but this one is particularly fantastic.
Abbe's class is hard, but once you get through it all, you'll really value what she has taught you.
What is good about this class is how hands-on it is. You have a weekly assignment (500-word or so). So, rather than going through lectures after lectures and having no idea where you are until the midterm, you know where you are and where you can improve week to week. She also gives a detailed feedback on your writing, which helps you a ton in her class as well as outside of her class.
Abbe is also funny in her lecture, which helps get through the dreary 9:30 a.m. lecture. She sometimes make fun of people, even in her class, but does so in a way that you feel appreciated rather than actually being mocked.
In short, take this class! I had no reason really to take this class, but I took it and ended up really enjoying it and learning a lot.