Based on 8 Users
I enjoyed this class a lot. Baylor is a fairly engaging lecturer, but I think his real strength is his curriculum. It's really well synthesized and Baylor draws a clear and important connection between the public's inattentiveness and real-world political outcomes. It's obvious that he's very much in the Zaller mold, yet there's actually not a ton of overlap between his and Zaller's and Patterson's classes. This class is also more 2016 Election-centric and current-events-centric than those ones, I'd say.
Exams are easy if you go to lecture, and the paper is probably of average difficulty. Workload is on the lighter side.
I wouldn't take this class if you really dislike dry personality types; otherwise, I would highly recommend this class to anyone.
Baylor is not interesting or engaging at all throughout his lectures, making the topic very dry to listen to. The exams were not extremely difficult, especially if you study the slides and the texts, but there is a ton of reading that doesn't seem to really make sense with the course. He often goes on tangents throughout class where it is not clear at all if this is part of the lecture, or if this is something that he finds funny and just wants to talk about. Overall, this class wasn't horrible and didn't require a ton of work, but I probably wouldn't recommend.
He is an ok professor. His lectures are kinda all over the place like I never knew what I was suppose to be taking notes on. There are reading quizzes that are suppose to be easy, but they can be hard. I personally found that having three lecture quizzes worth 30% of your grade was brutal. So, pretty much, if you bomb one it can be difficult. That being said, his midterm is pretty easy and so is his final. He will give you feedback on outlines for the midterm and final essays. I found the subject kind of boring, but if you like stuff like public opinion then take it.
Overall, I enjoyed this class. The material is extremely interesting, and taking this class changed the way I think about politics. I feel much more informed about partisanship, polarization, voting behavior, and the relationship between identity and politics. If you want to become more politically literate in a more practical sense, this is the perfect class to help you understand why people vote the way they do.
As for Professor Baylor himself, I always found him to be extremely responsive and helpful. He gives great insight and is eager to help students better understand the material if they reach out. Although it is true that he was a bit disorganized at times with forum posts, I don't think it's fair to say that he doesn't care about his students. Like us, professors are also adjusting to virtual platforms.
This was an interesting class, and as long as you are willing to put in some work and reach out when you need help, you will do well and learn a lot.
Professor Baylor did not care at all about the fact that a pandemic was occuring during this class. He was dismissive to our concerns and ignored our emails. He was very unorganized and would post assignments with only 4 hours before they were due and not give us any extra time for them. Imagine being an international student during that, he literally did not care about timezones. For instance since the midterm paper deadline was 11:59pm and 0 seconds, if you submit it at 11:59pm and 1 sec he counted it as late and docked you 15%. His midterm and final paper rubrics are also incredibly convoluted and so nit picky that people weren't even sure what he was really looking for us to write about. For instance there were points that said "paragraph shows nuance" but he never explained what nuance was. He also had readers grade our midterm paper who graded very slowly and inconsistently. He also didn't think it was his job to tell them a deadline to finish grading which left some students waiting for midterm scores for weeks. He really wasn't well suited for online teaching. He got upset when students were a minute late to zoom class and complained that he shouldn't have to let students in after class has started. Overall he was just very unaware of everything going on outside of his class and was very hard to reason with. I do not recommend him as a professor he made this class way harder than it needed to be.