Based on 14 User s
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Although the class itself isn’t horrible, the grading scheme is. The midterm is worth 40% of your grade as well as the final. I only took this class for my major and I would not take it again. The tests were very specific to the textbook and overall was too hard for what it should be. The professor was not bad but should take into consideration changing the grading scheme or even offering extra credit.
Like everyone has said, the overarching issue were the exams. Not only were they 80% of your grade, all the exams were super specific on content and it was just difficult overall to memorize everything all at once within a period of 10 weeks. There was also zero guidance on how to study for the exams. While the TA’s did have some worksheets available, most of it was really broad compared to the specificity on the tests. Additionally, Professor Wood read off his sixty plus slides for the majority of the lectures and made it really hard to stay alert during class.
However, Professor Wood was accommodating when people had COVID and was responsive when I emailed him about what I was dealing with. And without the TA’s, the course would have definitely been harder. I needed this course for my major but I highly recommend taking it online as I have heard that exams were open note, which would make your life 10x less stressful with all the information given. Overall, this class would have been better without his strict grading scheme. Content was interesting-ish LOL but wouldn’t recommend this as a GE.
This class was way too hard for a GE. The midterm killed any chance at getting an A. Though it was open note, the questions were super specific and they were super nit-picky about the free-response ones. Like you had no idea what they actually expected you to write. The class was not engaging and it felt like being forced to watch a very boring YouTube video.
The professor and my TA definitely were knowledgeable on the subject. Perhaps my final assessment is that this would be a good class for someone genuinely interested in the subject, otherwise, you are bored and frustrated out of your mind. I cannot imagine taking this in person and having to memorize dates, primate teeth, digestive tracks, what kind of tools neanderthals used, and so forth. But if you're into that, this is the class for you.
The professor isn't terrible, but the strictness surrounding exams and grades was insane. Professor Wood made it virtually impossible to take exams online, even when COVID-19 was running rampant through the student body. I attempted to take the final exam online because I had come down with COVID-19 the day before, and I received no reply from the professor. There were no make-up exams, and there were no online exams unless approved by the professor (and like I said, it was virtually impossible to get approved). I, along with many others, ended up having to take the final exam while positive for COVID-19. The entire lecture hall was coughing and sniffing, and though I do not fault anyone for coming in to take the exam seeing as we had no other choice, it was a horrible health hazard.
As for the grading scheme, the midterm average was 70%, and because one student scored 100%, there was no curve. I do not know the average for the final exam, but I have heard that my classmates generally do not feel good about their grades. This grading scheme is far too harsh for a class many take as a GE.
This class covers interesting material -- human evolution, archaeology, and primates. The class was offered in person, and both the midterm and the final were given in person. The class closely follows the textbook. As other students have commented, the final and the midterm were each worth 40% of the grade, which means you have to focus your efforts on studying the book to get an A in the class. One reviewer here said you could not take the midterm or the final online, but this is BS. You could definitely take either the final or the midterm online if you were not cleared to come to campus because of COVID symptom survey app. I took the final online because I had a positive COVID test. I know that many of us took the test online. This class is GE class but also a STEM class and there is lots of material to cover -- 7 million years of human evolution results in lots of findings.
Professor Wood is the most boring prof I have had at UCLA yet. He reads directly off the speaker notes on his slides and is not enthusiastic about what he teaches. There is one midterm and one final, each worth 40% of your grade. The other 20% is easy to get full credit as it consists of discussion attendance and online inquisitive assignments. The tests were absolutely horrible. There is so much information covered in class, and he gives no guidance on what to study. It's all memorization but the content is so heavy it's impossible to remember everything. The class avg on tests was a C, and he did not curve because ONE person (out of hundreds) got a 100%. With tests being worth so much, even getting a B on the midterm makes it virtually impossible to get an A in the class. Tests were in person, and he made it extremely difficult to accommodate those positive for COVID. Overall worst class and professor I have taken.
This class is pretty easy, content is pretty much what you would expect taking an anthro evolution class. Except the grading is completely unfair. 40% midterm and 40% final would’ve been alright if there were two midterms to adjust an average score. I studied hours for this class because there’s no study guide, well they only provided one for the final which was literally pictures and just a chart (not helpful at all). Prof curved the grade based on highest overall grade but there’s always someone who aces the class so there’s essentially no curve. It’s just upsetting having aced stem courses but yet failed a GE. Make it make sense, change the grading scale or provide weekly quizzes or something for your next class won’t suffer. He’s a cool guy, but wasn’t understanding at all for everyone who emailed him about curving the grade for a good portion to not fail.
Honestly this class was time consuming. For me the lectures weren't as helpful as the textbook, just because the professor didn't get into the details of everything, but he expected you to know all these details for the exams. Each week the professor went over two chapters. These chapters were definitely long but in the end when it came to the exams I found that since I read I already knew where to find most of my answers. I ended up getting an A- on both exams. The midterm free response was definitely graded more strictly than the final (thank goodness). In addition to the lectures and readings, we had these online game-style quizzes that we had to complete. There were 3 levels to each quiz and you had to get a certain amount of points before reaching the next level. You definitely had to use the book to get through these (you aren't really penalized if you get wrong answers, it just takes you longer to finish the quiz). I found that if I read the chapter right before I took the quiz I was able to go through it much faster. Because the class grade is highly skewed towards what you get on the exams I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting 100% on all quizzes and in discussion section. This way if you get a lower A (like I did) on the exams you know you will at least get full points in the other areas.
Here is the breakdown of the course:
Final Exam: 40%
Discussion Section (short textbook questions): 15%
Overall, I didn't think this class was awful but like others said it would be super difficult to do in person because of all the details this course entails. I also think he made it much more detail oriented because we were online and the exams were open book, so it could be different in person! Shout out to Kim who provided notes for discussion section!
Pass on this professor. While the class material is pretty simple (just memorization), Wood did a pretty bad job when it came to making and grading the exams. There are just weekly homework assignments, but they took a decent amount of time and were only work 5% of the grade overall. When it came to his exams, you could definitely tell he didn't revise them to make sure they made sense or were clear because he often had to send us emails DURING the exam to clarify what he meant because he would just exclude crucial pieces of information (luckily a bunch of kids would notice and have to email him during the exam so he could clear things up). He's the type of professor to have multiple right answers for multiple choice questions but ask you to choose the best one even if what he considers "best" doesn't align with the information in the textbook. He also had to tell us if the information in his lectures didn't match up with the textbook, then we should trust the textbook, which was a hassle bc then we would always have to double check his slides and lectures, which took up a lot of time. The questions seem easy but it's like he purposely messes with the wording to make it more confusing since it's the only way to make the material difficult. I would have rather had more difficult material with straightforward testing. My advice: choose a different professor if you have the chance.