Debra B Pires
Department of Life Sciences
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3.2
Overall Rating
Based on 73 Users
Easiness 3.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.8 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.1 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Participation Matters
  • Is Podcasted
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Tough Tests
  • Gives Extra Credit

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

47.6%
39.6%
31.7%
23.8%
15.9%
7.9%
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.

32.8%
27.3%
21.8%
16.4%
10.9%
5.5%
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.

19.3%
16.0%
12.8%
9.6%
6.4%
3.2%
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.

30.8%
25.6%
20.5%
15.4%
10.3%
5.1%
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.

19.5%
16.2%
13.0%
9.7%
6.5%
3.2%
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.

31.1%
25.9%
20.7%
15.5%
10.4%
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.

27.5%
22.9%
18.3%
13.8%
9.2%
4.6%
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.

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Reviews (52)

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1 of 6
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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Jan. 4, 2022

Overall, this class was pretty neutral for me. It was marketed as being a "flipped classroom" but it really wasn't. You basically teach yourself everything from the textbook, but then you have to go to the lectures for participation points. The lectures felt pretty pointless, though they probably would be interesting for someone interested in more real-world applications of biological topics. The lectures wouldn't be necessary to get a good grade, except for the fact that you need the participation points (this was the most annoying part of the class)

There were lots of opportunities for extra credit, and the exams aren't that hard if you pay attention in lecture and do all the readings. My best advice is to just actively engage with the lectures and the textbook reading so you don't have to kill yourself studying later. This is what I did, and I barely studied for the tests and got As on both midterms and the final.

Pires is helpful and nice, but kinda treats you like a kindergartener. Overall, she has good intentions and does care about your success.

Helpful?

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.
Feb. 25, 2021

If you have not taken a biology class in some capacity, this class will be very difficult for you. However, if you have taken AP/IB Biology, it will be a breeze. Almost all of the reviews have written about Professor Pires's "flipped classroom" which I did not mind too much, mainly because I was just reviewing much of what I had already learned in high school. But for those who have not taken biology, it will be as if you are teaching yourself an entire college course in just 10 weeks.

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 28, 2020

(Took this class during COVID)

This class is pretty difficult. I think the LS 7 series in general is less about memorization but more about actually understanding concepts and applying them to new situations you've never seen before, which can be difficult for people who haven't done so in high school etc. It's pretty similar to AP bio in a sense where you apply your knowledge instead of just regurgitating it.

Even though this class was a lot of work, the LS 7A professors made accommodations for online learning which I think saved a lot of people's grades: group exams. For the 2 midterms and the final, there were two phases: an individual phase, where you would take the exam by yourself (open from 6 AM - 8 PM on a single day), and a group phase, where you would be assigned a group of 3 other people and have about two days to set up a time, talk about the exam, and individually submit a second copy of exam (all on CCLE). Your score for the midterms/final is an average of the individual and group phase exams. So yeah, you could straight up fail the individual portion but get carried in the group phase and come out with a relatively decent score, which I think really helped people out and changed perspectives on this course because I only heard negative things coming in (however there were students who *still* complained... despite having group exams). I'm not sure if the professors will continue doing this when things get back to normal, but I think it will really help the LS 7 series be more respected because there are many, many complaints about this series. As far as I know LS 7B and 7C have different kinds of accommodations in regards to helping recovering lost points on exams, but anything helps.

In regards to the professor, I took it when Pires was co-teaching with McEvoy. I found Pires to be a lot more knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions, but I do recognize that it was probably McEvoy's first time teaching 7A (if I'm not mistaken) and I wouldn't call her "bad" by any means. They were both pretty good and kind.

Be prepared to work hard in this class. It takes a lot of time to go through weekly launchpad readings but actually reading it and *not* just skimming it will actually help you learn the concepts, but I do get that sometimes launchpad content can give you more than you actually need to know. Clicker questions are probably the best practice tool you have in that class as they represent the questions on the midterms/final pretty well, so make sure to go through them while studying and be able to justify why an answer is correct or incorrect. A lot of people say they "skipped through launchpad" and "barely paid attention in lecture" and then wonder why they have a bad grade, I don't get it. If you're disciplined enough and put in the work you'll get the grade you deserve! You can do it! Good luck!

Helpful?

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Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
March 30, 2020

Honestly Deb was my favorite of the two professors . I felt like she kept the pace of the class fast enough to where you wouldnt be bored out of your mind . She was a decent lecturer just you have to make yourself go to class for the participation points even though its pointless with the whole flipped classroom thing they have going on .

Helpful?

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Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 18, 2020

This class is difficult, there's not really any way around it. A lot of the work you will need to do to succeed will be by yourself, taking notes online. This can be very time consuming, and I wish the professors would provide a bit more clarity on what is relevant to the course/tests versus what is not, because a lot of it sometimes seems pointless. It's important to go to class and not just do the clicker questions, but understand them. The professors, especially Deb, may seem hard-shelled at first, but I think they do genuinely care and want to help you learn. For me, the biggest help was going to discussion because those worksheets were most similar to the tests and my TA was super helpful and smart. In summary, it's a tough class because the tests are so wack and very about "applying the material", but I think if you put in the work you will get the grade you deserve.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B-
Feb. 3, 2020

Pires was one of the least helpful professors I've had thus far. It was a flipped classroom and I learned most of the material on my own. When people would ask for help, she would make belittling comments as responses. Also, don't bother coming to the review sessions for the midterms and final, they're pretty useless.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
Dec. 21, 2019

Despite my grade, this class was honestly not hard at all. It was my fault for not keeping up with the assignments, which could be somewhat overwhelming at times. That being said, for any nervous first years reading this as long as you do all of your assignments thoroughly (taking notes on launchpad, etc.), attend all discussions/lectures, and most importantly understand all the clicker questions/practice exam questions/learning objectives you are given, you should be fine!! Pires herself was not an awful professor when it comes to lecturing but she was definitely not very helpful in that it seemed that she really didn’t care whether students did well or not on exams if I’m being honest, especially compared with some of my other professors. For anyone who wants to start reviewing learning objectives early, here they are: https://www.lscore.ucla.edu/courses/

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A-
Aug. 4, 2019

Material: This is pretty much exactly like AP Bio in terms of material covered. My brother who was taking AP Bio in high school at the same time that I took this class was learning the same things I was.

Tests: 2 midterms and a final. You need to know your stuff inside and out for the tests, they're tough if you don't because the multiple choice answers can be very similar (all tests were multiple choice, but don't be fooled). The tests are less about memorization and more about testing your mastery of the concepts and applying them to new situations.

LaunchPad: Gotta buy the LaunchPad subscription, all your readings and quizzes are done through this :// -- it's like $70 and up depending on the plan you get (if you aren't taking 7A,B, and C all in one year then you should get the 2-year subscription) if you take diligent notes on LaunchPad, it can take up to 5/6 hours do finish, but if you don't, you could get through the work in maybe an hour or two depending on the workload that week

iClicker: If you're going to be taking a lot of science classes, it's a good idea to buy an iClicker ($40 unless you're able to buy it from someone for a cheaper price -- you can also rent one from Powell (see here --> https://www.teaching.ucla.edu/iclicker-rentals))

Lectures: participation is HUGE with Pires -- her lectures revolve almost entirely around clicker questions and collaboration in class and discussions

Structure: graded on a straight scale, three lectures per week and one discussion

Discussion: you do worksheets together with other peers and they're really helpful for tests

Extra resources: when I took the class, the TA hours were really helpful because one of the TAs made mini worksheets to compliment the course, which were really helpful. A lot of people came to these office hours because of the worksheets, and there were usually two or three TAs around to help. it would get crowded, but all the students helped one another too

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: C+
Aug. 1, 2022

Took this class and everything was easy but the exams. There is weekly reading, quizzes, discussion section, and clicker questions all of which are easy points. I received good scores in all of these sections but the exams. The reading doesn't really prepare you for the exams so make sure to attend office hours and review sessions.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B
May 6, 2022

Class is interesting but the profesor can come across as judgmental and doesn’t seem to want to answer questions.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Jan. 4, 2022

Overall, this class was pretty neutral for me. It was marketed as being a "flipped classroom" but it really wasn't. You basically teach yourself everything from the textbook, but then you have to go to the lectures for participation points. The lectures felt pretty pointless, though they probably would be interesting for someone interested in more real-world applications of biological topics. The lectures wouldn't be necessary to get a good grade, except for the fact that you need the participation points (this was the most annoying part of the class)

There were lots of opportunities for extra credit, and the exams aren't that hard if you pay attention in lecture and do all the readings. My best advice is to just actively engage with the lectures and the textbook reading so you don't have to kill yourself studying later. This is what I did, and I barely studied for the tests and got As on both midterms and the final.

Pires is helpful and nice, but kinda treats you like a kindergartener. Overall, she has good intentions and does care about your success.

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. 25, 2021

If you have not taken a biology class in some capacity, this class will be very difficult for you. However, if you have taken AP/IB Biology, it will be a breeze. Almost all of the reviews have written about Professor Pires's "flipped classroom" which I did not mind too much, mainly because I was just reviewing much of what I had already learned in high school. But for those who have not taken biology, it will be as if you are teaching yourself an entire college course in just 10 weeks.

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

(Took this class during COVID)

This class is pretty difficult. I think the LS 7 series in general is less about memorization but more about actually understanding concepts and applying them to new situations you've never seen before, which can be difficult for people who haven't done so in high school etc. It's pretty similar to AP bio in a sense where you apply your knowledge instead of just regurgitating it.

Even though this class was a lot of work, the LS 7A professors made accommodations for online learning which I think saved a lot of people's grades: group exams. For the 2 midterms and the final, there were two phases: an individual phase, where you would take the exam by yourself (open from 6 AM - 8 PM on a single day), and a group phase, where you would be assigned a group of 3 other people and have about two days to set up a time, talk about the exam, and individually submit a second copy of exam (all on CCLE). Your score for the midterms/final is an average of the individual and group phase exams. So yeah, you could straight up fail the individual portion but get carried in the group phase and come out with a relatively decent score, which I think really helped people out and changed perspectives on this course because I only heard negative things coming in (however there were students who *still* complained... despite having group exams). I'm not sure if the professors will continue doing this when things get back to normal, but I think it will really help the LS 7 series be more respected because there are many, many complaints about this series. As far as I know LS 7B and 7C have different kinds of accommodations in regards to helping recovering lost points on exams, but anything helps.

In regards to the professor, I took it when Pires was co-teaching with McEvoy. I found Pires to be a lot more knowledgeable and prepared to answer questions, but I do recognize that it was probably McEvoy's first time teaching 7A (if I'm not mistaken) and I wouldn't call her "bad" by any means. They were both pretty good and kind.

Be prepared to work hard in this class. It takes a lot of time to go through weekly launchpad readings but actually reading it and *not* just skimming it will actually help you learn the concepts, but I do get that sometimes launchpad content can give you more than you actually need to know. Clicker questions are probably the best practice tool you have in that class as they represent the questions on the midterms/final pretty well, so make sure to go through them while studying and be able to justify why an answer is correct or incorrect. A lot of people say they "skipped through launchpad" and "barely paid attention in lecture" and then wonder why they have a bad grade, I don't get it. If you're disciplined enough and put in the work you'll get the grade you deserve! You can do it! Good luck!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A-
March 30, 2020

Honestly Deb was my favorite of the two professors . I felt like she kept the pace of the class fast enough to where you wouldnt be bored out of your mind . She was a decent lecturer just you have to make yourself go to class for the participation points even though its pointless with the whole flipped classroom thing they have going on .

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: Spring 2020
Grade: A
March 18, 2020

This class is difficult, there's not really any way around it. A lot of the work you will need to do to succeed will be by yourself, taking notes online. This can be very time consuming, and I wish the professors would provide a bit more clarity on what is relevant to the course/tests versus what is not, because a lot of it sometimes seems pointless. It's important to go to class and not just do the clicker questions, but understand them. The professors, especially Deb, may seem hard-shelled at first, but I think they do genuinely care and want to help you learn. For me, the biggest help was going to discussion because those worksheets were most similar to the tests and my TA was super helpful and smart. In summary, it's a tough class because the tests are so wack and very about "applying the material", but I think if you put in the work you will get the grade you deserve.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B-
Feb. 3, 2020

Pires was one of the least helpful professors I've had thus far. It was a flipped classroom and I learned most of the material on my own. When people would ask for help, she would make belittling comments as responses. Also, don't bother coming to the review sessions for the midterms and final, they're pretty useless.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
Dec. 21, 2019

Despite my grade, this class was honestly not hard at all. It was my fault for not keeping up with the assignments, which could be somewhat overwhelming at times. That being said, for any nervous first years reading this as long as you do all of your assignments thoroughly (taking notes on launchpad, etc.), attend all discussions/lectures, and most importantly understand all the clicker questions/practice exam questions/learning objectives you are given, you should be fine!! Pires herself was not an awful professor when it comes to lecturing but she was definitely not very helpful in that it seemed that she really didn’t care whether students did well or not on exams if I’m being honest, especially compared with some of my other professors. For anyone who wants to start reviewing learning objectives early, here they are: https://www.lscore.ucla.edu/courses/

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A-
Aug. 4, 2019

Material: This is pretty much exactly like AP Bio in terms of material covered. My brother who was taking AP Bio in high school at the same time that I took this class was learning the same things I was.

Tests: 2 midterms and a final. You need to know your stuff inside and out for the tests, they're tough if you don't because the multiple choice answers can be very similar (all tests were multiple choice, but don't be fooled). The tests are less about memorization and more about testing your mastery of the concepts and applying them to new situations.

LaunchPad: Gotta buy the LaunchPad subscription, all your readings and quizzes are done through this :// -- it's like $70 and up depending on the plan you get (if you aren't taking 7A,B, and C all in one year then you should get the 2-year subscription) if you take diligent notes on LaunchPad, it can take up to 5/6 hours do finish, but if you don't, you could get through the work in maybe an hour or two depending on the workload that week

iClicker: If you're going to be taking a lot of science classes, it's a good idea to buy an iClicker ($40 unless you're able to buy it from someone for a cheaper price -- you can also rent one from Powell (see here --> https://www.teaching.ucla.edu/iclicker-rentals))

Lectures: participation is HUGE with Pires -- her lectures revolve almost entirely around clicker questions and collaboration in class and discussions

Structure: graded on a straight scale, three lectures per week and one discussion

Discussion: you do worksheets together with other peers and they're really helpful for tests

Extra resources: when I took the class, the TA hours were really helpful because one of the TAs made mini worksheets to compliment the course, which were really helpful. A lot of people came to these office hours because of the worksheets, and there were usually two or three TAs around to help. it would get crowded, but all the students helped one another too

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: C+
Aug. 1, 2022

Took this class and everything was easy but the exams. There is weekly reading, quizzes, discussion section, and clicker questions all of which are easy points. I received good scores in all of these sections but the exams. The reading doesn't really prepare you for the exams so make sure to attend office hours and review sessions.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: B
May 6, 2022

Class is interesting but the profesor can come across as judgmental and doesn’t seem to want to answer questions.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 6
3.2
Overall Rating
Based on 73 Users
Easiness 3.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.2 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.8 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.1 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (54)
  • Needs Textbook
    (49)
  • Participation Matters
    (47)
  • Is Podcasted
    (34)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (39)
  • Tough Tests
    (38)
  • Gives Extra Credit
    (41)
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