Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I didn't take physics in high school so this class was a bit of a struggle. She wasn't that great at explaining new concepts so I had a lot of trouble and had to put in a lot of work outside of class. If you already have a grasp on physics, maybe you can take the class. If not, try a different professor.
The professor clearly cares about her students. She is an extremely effective lecturer, despite (or because) she is a new professor. Her office hours are extremely good too-probably the best I've gone to.
Homework is optional, with practice problems that are short (about 15/week) & cakewalks to complete. However, I'd say that the practice problems were far too easy; they didn't have anywhere near enough calculus or hard problems. The book is useful for explaining conceptual stuff, and even better, you can pirate it easily, with online pdfs literally everywhere. Unfortunately, her reviews for midterms are hit and miss, but more miss than hit. Do them, but often times, you're still screwed for the tests.
The tests, however, are hard AF, but they are curved very generously. She does redos where you can get points back. On my first midterm, my 88% got curved to a 95%, which later got increased to a 98 % after a redo. On my second midterm, my 37 % got curved to a 71%. The tests are definitely not easy. She also says she uses a flat scale, but she really doesn't. In my class, an A- was set to an 86%, after she curved exams.
I think Chaney was definitely a pretty good lecturer, but what I liked the most about this class was how much she communicated with us and tried to be helpful. She responded very often to questions on the class forum and was also completely transparent in all her grading schemes, such as the curves applied and even told us the specific numerical cutoffs for final grades. She is also pretty generous in that aspect as well, adjusting the final boundaries as well as curving tests. This class was definitely as low stress as a physics class gets. Definitely do not regret taking this class with her and would recommend to anyone deciding.
The lectures the professor gives are very good. I never read the textbook and just went off my notes from lecture and did great. She likes to have math heavy lecture and test problems so try to understand the very basic of multivariate integrals and differential equations before so you can follow along. Knowing how to derive the equations helps a ton because you understand more about what they mean and how to apply them to different problems. 10% of the grade comes from participation in discussions so make sure you show up and complete the worksheet. The midterms are fairly hard, but she weights the midterm you did best 28% and worst 22% for you overall grade which is nice. The final was very easy and only 34% of the overall grade. The final 6% of the grade comes from homework quizzes 10 minutes every week and are very easy. The averages on test are low but she curves the test and the classes scaling. The curving is very unfair. She gives a large curve the worst a person's raw score was. So if you did very well you got no curve but people with 13% (the low score) got a C or C+. This made it very hard to get an A because if you did poor on just one test you were strewed, but very easy to get between an A- and B because of the nice curve for people on the lower end of the bell curve. Overall class was a hassle cause unclear grading scheme and many of the quizzes and test were not grade until the last minute.
Professor Chaney overall is a pretty decent choice when it comes to taking Physics 1B, and if I could take her again, I probably would. Lectures are very precise and accurate, and all the concepts that she teaches are relevant to the homeworks and the exams. Whilst she may not be the most entertaining lecturer (this might be combined with the fact that it was an 8 am, and plus, few professors can reach the level of entertaining lectures such as Corbin, et. al.), you will learn effectively by going to her lectures and taking notes, and I really feel like she prepared us very thoroughly for 1B and onto 1C.
Professor Chaney is also extremely considerate; she has two midterms in which there was either a fat curve or she allowed exam make ups (to earn back some of the points you lost), which is almost unheard of in lower division weeder classes, so that's an absolute bonus that everyone should take advantage of. The first midterm had your normal C average (we could earn back some points we lost), while the final had a pretty high average (C+ I think?). However, like it seems to be the trend with many lower division classes, the second midterm always seems to be killer, with our class having a flat 50% as the raw mean. Luckily however, she applies a fat curve though, so everything will work out alright! The exams all expect you to be able to know and apply the formulas you learned to new situations (her study guides literally say that you will need to apply what you learned to what may seem to be an unfamiliar problem), and tbh her exams, in hindsight, are quite fair (you should be expected to know how to do every single problem). You are given a 3 by 5 inch index notecard cheatsheet for the midterms and both sides of a full sheet of paper as a cheatsheet for the final exam.
Another point about how considerate she is: since she knows students don't like online homework, all she does is screenshot the mastering physics problems and answers (so we don't need to pay for MP), and holds a homework quiz every Friday at the beginning of lecture, which is literally just the homework problem with different numbers. As long as you did the homework, there's no reason not to do well (she allows a full side of paper as a cheatsheet for these anyways, so you shouldn't have to worry about the quizzes). Discussion is graded based on participation, so just show up! Some problems from discussion do make their way onto the exams, so it's always good to keep an eye out during discussion and go.
In terms of grading, it's 6% homework quizzes, 10% discussion (all participation), 22% lower midterm, 28% better midterm, 34% final exam. However, there is an alternative grading scheme, where you can skip all the discussions and just add that 10% to the final, such that your final is now 44% of your final grade. However, you only need 75% on the discussion in order to get the full 10%, and as it's graded on completion and it's useful, I'd still recommend going to discussion. This class is straight scale, but what usually happens is that since the averages aren't as high as she would like them, she adjusts the grade boundaries significantly (this quarter it was 88.5% for A, 94.5% for A+, 40% for D, etc.), such that the average grade usually falls around a B/B+, which is pretty nice.
I didn't really go to office hours that often (went once near the beginning), but she definitely seems to be engaging and helpful during office hours. Being as considerate of the students as she is, I'd highly recommend her if you can take her.
Overall, the class was okay. Chaney is not the best lecturer in the world, but she is clear enough such that the class material is communicated effectively. The tests for this class are pretty tough, but you should be fine as she adjusts the grading boundaries to help the class grades (she also offers test corrections sometimes).
Did this review contain...
Thank you for the report!
We'll look into this shortly.