All Ratings and Reviews for Caitlin Brown
I loved this class so much! Took it during spring 2020/covid-19 quarter.
This class seems to be really great for people with a preexisting interest in dinosaurs. Personally, I love Jurassic Park/World and this class satisfied all my dinosaur curiosities.
Well administered, tests and quizzes are easy, labs are easy, no homework other than reading (which you don't really have to do imo). Lectures are engaging.
I highly recommend this as a science GE. Learning about deep time/evolution really helped me understand humans' place in the universe.
I took this class with Brown during the Spring Quarter 2020 during quarantine . In general, this was a very great class and overall a relatively easy. There are two lectures per week along with one lab class.
The labs are very easy as the TA goes over everything with you, which means that you are usually finished with the weeks assignment just by attending the section. There are also assigned readings, which I would recommend skimming over them since I did find them somewhat helpful.
Brown assigns weekly quizzes, which are easy points since there are unlimited attempts. I would recommend paying attention during lecture and taking notes as you do NEED to know the material in order to perform well on the midterm and final.
STUDY THE STUDY GUIDE LIKE IT IS THE EXAM! Brown provides a study guide for both the midterm and final so make sure to take them filling everything out. Personally, I found the final to be easier than the midterm and Brown took the best score out the two exams for this quarter.
If you are looking for an easy GE, take this class!
I took this Spring of 2020 during the coronavirus quarantines/protests. Even so, it was a really easy class: there are easy quizzes every week with no time limit and unlimited retakes based on the books. The midterm was also easy (got 100%) and based mostly on lecture material. Didn't go to a single lecture or read a single slide after the midterm, and the final was made so that your midterm grade also counts for the final. Labs took longer since they were online but were also basically free points as I had a great TA who walked us through everything. Also, there are two textbooks required, but I barely read either of them and you can find them both online in PDF format!
Overall, if you need an easy GE during spring quarter, take this class! You'll learn a lot about dinosaurs!
Took this as a GE and I loved, loved, loved this class. I have wanted to take it ever since I heard it was offered at UCLA, and it didn't disappoint. It was such a cool experience to be in a class about dinosaurs as a humanities major and Prof. Brown was great.
I took this in an online format due to covid-19 but if anything that just made the class easier. The books Brown assigns for reading are also GREAT, like seriously so well written and fascinating, I loved them. I had Valeria as a TA and she was fantastic, super kind, helpful, and also willing to share her experience in the field as a paleontologist which I really appreciate. Labs were really easy as long as you came to discussion, as we literally did them question by question with the TA's. Quizzes were a breeze because you could re-do them as many times as you wanted until you got a 100, and the midterm was ridiculously simple as long as you read and went to class (I got a 100). The final was also trivial because you could replace whatever you got on it with your midterm grade, so as long as you do well on that, you're set (and even if you do bad on the midterm, no worries, the final was just as manageable).
My only criticism is that I wish this class talked more about the ecology of dinosaurs, this class mainly talked about bone structure of fossils, bodily processes, identifying species, and stuff like that. As someone who has loved dinosaurs since they were a kid, I really wish we could have talked more about actual behavior patterns/ what it would have been like to live life as a dinosaur. But, this is just personal preference and totally subjective.
Overall, all you need to know is that this class is a super unique, fun, and easy GE, I could not recommend it enough!
I took this class online during the pandemic. It was extremely easy. I don’t feel I learned that much about dinosaurs because it was hard to prioritize studying for such an easy class. The midterm was open book and multiple choice. The labs were interesting and I had a good TA, so they were also free points. No homework, aside from one lab we had to do on our own. The final could be replaced by your midterm score, so if you did well on the midterm you didn’t even have to attempt it. The quizzes were kind of fun, since you could keep attempting them until you got them right (it felt almost like an online trivia game). The lectures could be a little slow. The professor tried her best but some of the topics covered weren’t super interesting and paired with the professor’s connection issues I have a feeling a lot of people skipped. I thought it was a little deceiving that she posted her slides, but omitted a ton of slides that she used in the lecture. I understand wanting students to watch the lecture and not rely on the slides, but it would’ve been nice if she’d labeled them as condensed in some way. Overall, a very easy GE and a nice class to balance out more difficult classes. If the class were in person, however, I could see it being pretty difficult (not open book, not unlimited quiz responses). Online, definitely up there with the easiest (and most casually interesting) GEs I’ve taken.
I took this class online. Dr. Brown lectured live on Zoom and recorded for those who could not attend. This is a great class and I would recommend taking it. The tests were straightforward, easy, and fair. Lots of definition-type questions. Our tests were open for 2 hours and designed to take about an hour and 15 minutes. Dr. Brown posted study materials and the tests were almost word-for-word from the slides. The discussion required a group presentation. There is no busy work; the only real assignments are to read a scientific paper each week for discussion. No weekly quizzes or anything like that. Overall, this was a low-effort class with an entertaining professor.
Mammalogy is such a great class! It's super interesting, and the material is really easy to follow. Dr. Brown and the TAs are so enthusiastic and approachable. I have never taken an EEB class before and found this class super manageable. No need to buy the textbook (honestly I stopped using the lab manual after the first couple of weeks, too.)
Tips: Try to ace the lab practicals. They are solely based on memorization of the skulls/pelts, so make sure you actually go to lab every week and take good pictures/notes of the specimens. If you can get those points that are just based on memorization, you can set yourself up to do really well. Also, make sure to give very detailed answers on your lecture exams. Go to class, go to lab, and reach out to Dr. Brown and the TAs.
Before you enroll in this class just know that yes, you will learn in depth about most mammals so do not take this class if this does not sound like something you are interested in. That being said, before taking this class I was not interested in the course material at all and Dr. Brown made it interesting so now I find myself reading articles about mammals!
TL;DR This class makes you realize how cool mammals are!!!!
The class grade is solely based off of exams:
-2-100 point midterms (a few multiple choice +short answers/ fill in)
-2-100 point lab practicals (Fill in)
-1-200 point final (a few multiple choice +short answers/ fill in)
The midterm questions are solely based off of lecture learning goals that the professor posts and explicitly talks about. I think Dr. Brown does an excellent job writing exams. They were def somewhat tricky, but fair if you studied the material (literally create a study guide based off of the learning goals). She does not try to trick you, but make sure you are understanding the course content.
The lab practicals on the other hand were extremely difficult. 5 weeks of lab material is a lot to memorize and practice identifying. Essentially during the lab practical there are stations and you get 2 minutes each station to read the question and fill out the answer based off of the skulls/animal skins/teeth presented. I only did well because I made a powerpoint presentation with every animal skull from every angle and practicied a lot. YOU HAVE TO STUDY A LOT for the lab practicals. On the first one I got like a 65% and then a 92% on the next one. Dr. Brown does something amazing by letting you write a 7-10 double spaced research paper to replace your lowest grade which saved my grade.
People in the past have claimed that this class was really hard but I truly thought it was fair. It is graded on a straight scale so you can only miss 50 points to get an A-, but it is doable. Tip: record her lectures because she talks fast due to the crazy amount of information she has to get through. I never used the lab manual or textbook so don't buy them- make a friend who has it and briefly scan the lab manual when you want a more in depth description.
Dr. Brown is an amazing professor who is truly passionate about what she is teaching. She is helpful in office hours and very approachable. Every prof should strive to be like her.
TAKE THIS CLASS- It is lots of fun :)
Lecture was pretty easy to follow but her tests required a lot of data to get full credit. Lab was interesting and basically a free period but there was wayyy too much information to know for only a 5 unit class.
Selling lab manual for cheap. Text 310-966-0451.
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