Darin E Christensen
Department of Public Affairs
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4.6
Overall Rating
Based on 32 User s
Easiness 4.1 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Would Take Again
  • Participation Matters
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Gives Extra Credit

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

33.9%
28.2%
22.6%
16.9%
11.3%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

59.5%
49.5%
39.6%
29.7%
19.8%
9.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

31.4%
26.1%
20.9%
15.7%
10.5%
5.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (27)

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Jan. 5, 2021

I took this class during my first quarter at UCLA which was online. I was hesitant when registering for this course because I'm a stem major and don't know a ton about politics/policy/etc and I was afraid that this class would be a lot like AP gov in high school which I hated.

I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this class. The topics we learned about were actually very interesting (to me at least) and I loved it. Even better was the fact that it wasn't anything like I had been afraid of so I definitely recommend this class to anyone who is interested in it even if it is completely unrelated to your major. The topics are also very relevant to today's society and the professor did a wonderful job applying what we learned to real life situations. It definitely gave me a new lens to view the world through. I read some previous reviews where people complained about the math that was involved in this course so I was slightly apprehensive as well but it honestly turned out to be not bad at all. If anything, it provided greater clarity to what we were learning about and made it easier to understand and was pretty simple. Either way, I don't think the math was completely necessary to the content. It was more a supplement to help you understand the topic better but you can definitely get by without paying too much attention to the math if that's what youre worried about. Definitely don't let it deter you from taking this course.

As far as workload goes, I thought it was pretty light especially for a social studies class. There wasnt much actual "work" besides watching the lectures and the readings for each lecture. Some of the readings can definitely be lengthy and I skipped or skimmed a good amount of them. But you can definitely get by without doing all of them because the professor discusses the readings in the lectures anyway. There were however questions about the readings/authors on the midterm and final so a solid understanding is still required overall.

I really wish I could've taken this class in person because professor christensen is such a great guy. His lectures were always pre recorded so you could watch at your convenience and his explanations of the content was always very clear and easy to understand even if you've never heard of it before. The professor was also very understanding of the difficulties of school being online and with COVID and so there was some leniency with assignments and due dates. Overall great professor who was very understanding.

There was also 2 writing assignments throughout the course. They weren't your typical essays and I thought they were pretty fun to write especially because you're given some room to decide on your topic. They're not very difficult either if you have a solid understanding of the course content and you have plenty of time to work on them.

Both the midterm and final I think were pretty representative of the course. There's always one or two tricky questions but again, if you're comfortable with the topics from class then you will do just fine.

Overall, this was my favorite class of fall quarter and I learned a ton. Definitely recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about taking it or not!

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Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 19, 2020

(remote) The way this class was structured was perfect. Christensen was SO organized and everything was pre recorded so you could go at your own pace. Lectures were so informational they filled the need to do reading and even attend section. Grade is distributed evenly, so not everything is riding on tests. You do two writing assignments that are easy to complete. Definitely one of my favorite classes taken so far. If you are interested in the subject, this is a good class to take for a GE as well.

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Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 17, 2020

One of the greatest classes I've taken so far at UCLA. Prof Christensen really knows his stuff, and I learned a lot even with this class being online for Spring 2020. Lectures were asynchronous and uploaded to Youtube so you can watch on your own time. There's short lecture quizzes to be completed after each one; they're super simple and taken directly from the powerpoints. The reading's can be a little long-winded especially as you get further along in the course, but I found them super interesting. He talks about some of them within the lectures as well, but you don't need to read them beforehand to follow along. Live discussions were required with your TA once a week; my group always finished beforehand. Attending gives participation points, with one absence excused. The one midterm (final was made optional later on) was pretty fair if you understand everything from the lecture. It's closed books/notes, but I definitely found it doable given all the discussion exercises you do. There was a small extra credit opt-in opportunity available centered around one of the class topics- no spoilers, but I don't think he actually ended up docking anyone/following through with the conditions. The midterm format was a lot of multiple choice/ T/F and two diagnosis problems (you write an paragraph based on social dilemmas and classification).

10% lecture quizzes (lowest two dropped), 20% midterm (extra credit can be used), 30% final, 30% papers (one op-ed and one policy memo), 10% discussion participation (one absence excused).

The papers were definitely doable given the time frames, but there's no feedback given other then where points were taken off from the rubric. I can't speak on the final, but I expect that he followed the same trend of testing lecture concepts combined with a few T/F from the reading.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 12, 2020

Professor Christensen is a king.

His organization of the course material was amazing: a very clear syllabus and well-managed CCLE page which listed each lecture/assignment/reading on a week-by-week basis.

His lectures were interesting and the course content directly relates to current events and many other conflicts/problems. It teaches you to think from a different frame of reference – as if you were playing a game – except this time, it's with real money and real lives.

Also: he's compassionate. This quarter, we were forced to transition to online learning, survive a pandemic, and fight racism head-on. Professor Christensen listened to students' needs and made generous accommodations for the whole class.

Take this course.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 9, 2022

To start, I never write BruinWalk reviews, but I loved Prof. Christensen's class so much, and I wanted to share. This was probably the best class I have taken at UCLA so far. I'm not a PubAff major; I took this class as a GE, but this class made me consider switching over to it.
Prof. Christensen is amazing! He's so organized, from course structure to content. He articulates his thoughts and points very clearly, and the content itself was, to me, was pretty interesting.
This class had a midterm, final, two papers, and small quizzes at the end of each lecture. The small quizzes were straightforward and usually comprised 3-4 questions. The midterm was alright; it wasn't difficult, especially if you keep up with lectures. The final was fair, it wasn't as easy as the midterm, but if you understand the course concepts, you shouldn't have a problem. Prof. Christensen also provides a few extra credit opportunities throughout the quarter, which serves as a good grade booster :)
I can't recommend this class enough; take it if you need a GE, or honestly just if you have the opportunity to; you'll learn a lot.

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Feb. 10, 2022

I loved this class! Professor Christensen was great--his lectures were engaging, assignments were purposeful, and he was super helpful during office hours. Besides how wonderful Professor Christensen was, the class itself was super interesting and important. I felt I learned a lot and it really helped to prepare me for future Pub Aff courses.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 29, 2021

Professor Christensen is THE BEST! He truly cares about his students. His lectures and engaging and clear. His slides include only useful information. The readings are not entirely necessary for the tests, but if you want to do well, they are recommended. I highly recommend this class.

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1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 28, 2020

This is an extremely engaging class that I would recommend to anyone as a useful GE. Initially, I wasn't super excited about the course material, but this class broadened my understanding of how policy is made and how every social issue can be categorized into a specific dilemma. What I like about this class is that the Professor doesn't care about the specifics of you memorizing every fact. The readings are designed more for enjoyment and to deepen your understandings of the lectures. As long as you understand the concepts within the lecture, you will have no problem getting an A. The class has weekly multiple-choice quizzes (designed to pad your grade), two major exams, and two major papers. All of which I found very enjoyable to complete.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 26, 2022

I took this during winter quarter 2021 for a GE. The first 3 lectures or so were over zoom and attendance was tracked. However, then the class switched to asynchronous lectures so obviously attendance didn’t matter anymore.

It’s required to do the readings before every lecture but I stopped doing them because they could get super long and they’re covered in lecture anyway. Even though there’s math mentioned in the readings and lectures, there was never any math in the midterm/final so I just didn’t worry about it. The exams are based on the lecture slides so as long as you know those I think you’ll be fine. I definitely thought the exams were fair.

After every lecture there is a short open book lecture quiz that are basically just taken from the slides, these are really easy and just to pad your grade a little. Discussions are mandatory but I didn’t really find them too helpful

There are 2 papers, one op-Ed and one policy memo worth 30% of your grade . I thought these were graded pretty easily (but that depends on your TA) and there are lots of examples and guidelines provided. There’s also more than enough time to complete them imo. There isn’t a big workload for the class, just go to lecture, do the lecture quizzes, and the papers and exams

Overall I thought the class was interesting and not too hard for a GE at all. The prof was super nice and accommodating throughout the entire quarter too. Sometimes lectures could be a little boring but I do think I learned some valuable things lol. I’d recommend this class!

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 25, 2022

Pretty easy GE. Other reviews capture how the grade is set up. Midterm was sooooo easy, final was a bit trickier but still pretty simple. Go to your TA or to Professor's OH to talk about your papers and get feedback and you'll almost certainly do well. Just go over the slides before the tests and you'll do great.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Jan. 5, 2021

I took this class during my first quarter at UCLA which was online. I was hesitant when registering for this course because I'm a stem major and don't know a ton about politics/policy/etc and I was afraid that this class would be a lot like AP gov in high school which I hated.

I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this class. The topics we learned about were actually very interesting (to me at least) and I loved it. Even better was the fact that it wasn't anything like I had been afraid of so I definitely recommend this class to anyone who is interested in it even if it is completely unrelated to your major. The topics are also very relevant to today's society and the professor did a wonderful job applying what we learned to real life situations. It definitely gave me a new lens to view the world through. I read some previous reviews where people complained about the math that was involved in this course so I was slightly apprehensive as well but it honestly turned out to be not bad at all. If anything, it provided greater clarity to what we were learning about and made it easier to understand and was pretty simple. Either way, I don't think the math was completely necessary to the content. It was more a supplement to help you understand the topic better but you can definitely get by without paying too much attention to the math if that's what youre worried about. Definitely don't let it deter you from taking this course.

As far as workload goes, I thought it was pretty light especially for a social studies class. There wasnt much actual "work" besides watching the lectures and the readings for each lecture. Some of the readings can definitely be lengthy and I skipped or skimmed a good amount of them. But you can definitely get by without doing all of them because the professor discusses the readings in the lectures anyway. There were however questions about the readings/authors on the midterm and final so a solid understanding is still required overall.

I really wish I could've taken this class in person because professor christensen is such a great guy. His lectures were always pre recorded so you could watch at your convenience and his explanations of the content was always very clear and easy to understand even if you've never heard of it before. The professor was also very understanding of the difficulties of school being online and with COVID and so there was some leniency with assignments and due dates. Overall great professor who was very understanding.

There was also 2 writing assignments throughout the course. They weren't your typical essays and I thought they were pretty fun to write especially because you're given some room to decide on your topic. They're not very difficult either if you have a solid understanding of the course content and you have plenty of time to work on them.

Both the midterm and final I think were pretty representative of the course. There's always one or two tricky questions but again, if you're comfortable with the topics from class then you will do just fine.

Overall, this was my favorite class of fall quarter and I learned a ton. Definitely recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about taking it or not!

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 19, 2020

(remote) The way this class was structured was perfect. Christensen was SO organized and everything was pre recorded so you could go at your own pace. Lectures were so informational they filled the need to do reading and even attend section. Grade is distributed evenly, so not everything is riding on tests. You do two writing assignments that are easy to complete. Definitely one of my favorite classes taken so far. If you are interested in the subject, this is a good class to take for a GE as well.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 17, 2020

One of the greatest classes I've taken so far at UCLA. Prof Christensen really knows his stuff, and I learned a lot even with this class being online for Spring 2020. Lectures were asynchronous and uploaded to Youtube so you can watch on your own time. There's short lecture quizzes to be completed after each one; they're super simple and taken directly from the powerpoints. The reading's can be a little long-winded especially as you get further along in the course, but I found them super interesting. He talks about some of them within the lectures as well, but you don't need to read them beforehand to follow along. Live discussions were required with your TA once a week; my group always finished beforehand. Attending gives participation points, with one absence excused. The one midterm (final was made optional later on) was pretty fair if you understand everything from the lecture. It's closed books/notes, but I definitely found it doable given all the discussion exercises you do. There was a small extra credit opt-in opportunity available centered around one of the class topics- no spoilers, but I don't think he actually ended up docking anyone/following through with the conditions. The midterm format was a lot of multiple choice/ T/F and two diagnosis problems (you write an paragraph based on social dilemmas and classification).

10% lecture quizzes (lowest two dropped), 20% midterm (extra credit can be used), 30% final, 30% papers (one op-ed and one policy memo), 10% discussion participation (one absence excused).

The papers were definitely doable given the time frames, but there's no feedback given other then where points were taken off from the rubric. I can't speak on the final, but I expect that he followed the same trend of testing lecture concepts combined with a few T/F from the reading.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 12, 2020

Professor Christensen is a king.

His organization of the course material was amazing: a very clear syllabus and well-managed CCLE page which listed each lecture/assignment/reading on a week-by-week basis.

His lectures were interesting and the course content directly relates to current events and many other conflicts/problems. It teaches you to think from a different frame of reference – as if you were playing a game – except this time, it's with real money and real lives.

Also: he's compassionate. This quarter, we were forced to transition to online learning, survive a pandemic, and fight racism head-on. Professor Christensen listened to students' needs and made generous accommodations for the whole class.

Take this course.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
March 9, 2022

To start, I never write BruinWalk reviews, but I loved Prof. Christensen's class so much, and I wanted to share. This was probably the best class I have taken at UCLA so far. I'm not a PubAff major; I took this class as a GE, but this class made me consider switching over to it.
Prof. Christensen is amazing! He's so organized, from course structure to content. He articulates his thoughts and points very clearly, and the content itself was, to me, was pretty interesting.
This class had a midterm, final, two papers, and small quizzes at the end of each lecture. The small quizzes were straightforward and usually comprised 3-4 questions. The midterm was alright; it wasn't difficult, especially if you keep up with lectures. The final was fair, it wasn't as easy as the midterm, but if you understand the course concepts, you shouldn't have a problem. Prof. Christensen also provides a few extra credit opportunities throughout the quarter, which serves as a good grade booster :)
I can't recommend this class enough; take it if you need a GE, or honestly just if you have the opportunity to; you'll learn a lot.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
Feb. 10, 2022

I loved this class! Professor Christensen was great--his lectures were engaging, assignments were purposeful, and he was super helpful during office hours. Besides how wonderful Professor Christensen was, the class itself was super interesting and important. I felt I learned a lot and it really helped to prepare me for future Pub Aff courses.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
March 29, 2021

Professor Christensen is THE BEST! He truly cares about his students. His lectures and engaging and clear. His slides include only useful information. The readings are not entirely necessary for the tests, but if you want to do well, they are recommended. I highly recommend this class.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Dec. 28, 2020

This is an extremely engaging class that I would recommend to anyone as a useful GE. Initially, I wasn't super excited about the course material, but this class broadened my understanding of how policy is made and how every social issue can be categorized into a specific dilemma. What I like about this class is that the Professor doesn't care about the specifics of you memorizing every fact. The readings are designed more for enjoyment and to deepen your understandings of the lectures. As long as you understand the concepts within the lecture, you will have no problem getting an A. The class has weekly multiple-choice quizzes (designed to pad your grade), two major exams, and two major papers. All of which I found very enjoyable to complete.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 26, 2022

I took this during winter quarter 2021 for a GE. The first 3 lectures or so were over zoom and attendance was tracked. However, then the class switched to asynchronous lectures so obviously attendance didn’t matter anymore.

It’s required to do the readings before every lecture but I stopped doing them because they could get super long and they’re covered in lecture anyway. Even though there’s math mentioned in the readings and lectures, there was never any math in the midterm/final so I just didn’t worry about it. The exams are based on the lecture slides so as long as you know those I think you’ll be fine. I definitely thought the exams were fair.

After every lecture there is a short open book lecture quiz that are basically just taken from the slides, these are really easy and just to pad your grade a little. Discussions are mandatory but I didn’t really find them too helpful

There are 2 papers, one op-Ed and one policy memo worth 30% of your grade . I thought these were graded pretty easily (but that depends on your TA) and there are lots of examples and guidelines provided. There’s also more than enough time to complete them imo. There isn’t a big workload for the class, just go to lecture, do the lecture quizzes, and the papers and exams

Overall I thought the class was interesting and not too hard for a GE at all. The prof was super nice and accommodating throughout the entire quarter too. Sometimes lectures could be a little boring but I do think I learned some valuable things lol. I’d recommend this class!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
March 25, 2022

Pretty easy GE. Other reviews capture how the grade is set up. Midterm was sooooo easy, final was a bit trickier but still pretty simple. Go to your TA or to Professor's OH to talk about your papers and get feedback and you'll almost certainly do well. Just go over the slides before the tests and you'll do great.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 3
4.6
Overall Rating
Based on 32 Users
Easiness 4.1 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.7 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (20)
  • Would Take Again
    (19)
  • Participation Matters
    (14)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (14)
  • Gives Extra Credit
    (16)
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