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Dr. Rigueur was one of the best professors I've ever had in my entire life! Her teaching style is of the highest caliber when compared to other UCLA instructors. The class was engaging and enlightening but also challenging and mentally stimulating. I would take her again any day. She really prepares students for professional careers and deeply cares about their future. Her office hours are extremely helpful. Would highly recommend taking any class with Dr. Rigueur!
MCDB 138 was a pretty tough course, but I loved Dr. Rigueur as my professor. She was genuinely one of the best professors I've had at UCLA. She is very clear in her lectures and passionate about the subject matter. Albeit, she covers a lot of material, which at the beginning of the course may feel daunting, but by the end, I become proficient in data interpretation and in experimental design. Because the course covered a lot of information, it felt like she spoke fast, but the information was so new and different that it took me time to adjust to the class. She is extremely kind and made accommodations for students to perform their best, especially during the pandemic. Moreover, she was extremely considerate of her students who were stressed. Her exams were tough, though. Classmates that were lazy or did not stay on top of the material struggled to catch up and complained because the workload was heavy, but she was extremely lenient at the end of the course. She lets you drop your lowest midterm to give you an opportunity to perform your best in the class. This class with this professor was more than worthwhile. Thanks, Dr. Rigueur!
I enjoyed this course and I think it really helps you become a better scientist. MCDB 138 is a hard course, no matter which professor you take it with, but Dr. Rigueur is an amazing lecturer. She is passionate about developmental biology and it shows. Dr. Rigueur encourages participation during class and is even willing to meet with you one-on-one if you have any questions and can't attend office hours. It's up you to put in the work. She provides a lot of materials, including PowerPoint slides, her own lecture notes, study guides, and the textbook to help you learn. I took this course during the pandemic, and she was very understand of the situation and generous in how much time she gave us for exams. There are extra credit questions given participation during class and on the exams. It is a hard course with tough exams, but if you do the work, you can end up with the grade you want. :)
I took this class as an elective for PhySci and it was my first upper div class. There are weekly "paper" that are based on scientific articles. I never read textbooks in general and I got by fine in this class without having to as well. I thought the midterms and finals were fairly difficult, but she dropped our lower midterm score and doubled the higher one. Tests are heavily based on all the different experiments learned in lecture, so pay attention to those and expect lots of application and designing your own experiment questions. Lots of extra credit is offered on exams. Also, I loved Rigueur! You can tell she is very passionate about this subject, and I would take a class with her again if given the chance.
Dr. Rigueur is an amazing professor. In a time like this with COVID-19 it can be hard to teach such rigorous courses like this but professor did a really good job covering all the material within the six summer weeks. Dr. Rigueur is always there to help and in fact even drew out some stuff one time just to make sure I understood the topic. She is great. Very thankful to have her as a professor. The course is tough because of the material, but Dr. Rigueur does a great job covering everything and making sure students have the resources to better understand the material especially if they have a hard time with a certain topic. She is excellent.
While this class wasn't easy, the professor definitely made up for it! The class consisted of two midterms and a final, which was made open note due to classes moving online. In addition, there were two open note quizzes (one right before each midterm), discussion participation points, weekly assignments based on readings, and extra credit clicker points.
Dr. Rigueur is also one of those professors who truly cares about the success of her students and is very approachable - she offered many office hours throughout the quarter (she even changed her office hours from being once a week to offered almost every day when many students said they couldn't make the originally scheduled ones), and would often stop during lectures to answer questions.
Additionally, both of the TA's in this course were super helpful (Rachel and Alex) in both discussion section and office hours!
Very interesting class. The midterms are a bit difficult because they do not rely strictly on memorization, but Dr. Rigueur has so many OH and resources that you can use to succeed. She is really clear and challenges her students to be the best that they can be.
My standard of comparison is the 4 upperdiv classes I have taken prior to this class. Rigueur is setting you up for failure. Her lectures do not have the clarity and specificity that she expects from students in her exams. Everything from her policies to how she explain content is ambiguous. Her exams are a test of your ability to read her mind not the content. Her quizzes are ripe with errors that make it difficult to understand but she won’t take any accountability for it. She is terrible about responding to emails, she’d take anywhere from 2-14 days to reply. She seems so nice and friendly but what she says hardly if ever lines up with what she does and how her policies affect her students. She never stuck to the timeline of exams and grading she promised in lecture. She’d say the quiz would be open on Tuesday but it would actually not open till Friday. She’d say midterm grades would be available Tuesday the week after the exam but it would actually be Thursday of the next week or even the week after. She said only paper 5,6 would be on the final but we were tested on 1,4,5,6. She’s so paranoid about her answers being leaked and compromising future exams that she’d much rather compromise our quality of education in the present. She doesn’t provide answer keys to her exams and she cuts points off on short answer responses seemingly arbitrarily. There is no way to understand what exactly she is looking for. If you ask to discuss your midterm privately just so you can get the correct answers, she basically threatens you by pointing out places where she should’ve cut more points but doesn’t explain why. And when you actually get an answer about what she was looking for you’d fail to see the connection to the question and how you could reasonably infer that. It also really felt like there’s a lot of information she doesn’t share with the entire class, aka you are greatly disadvantaged if you cannot attend her office hours.
I managed to get an A because I relied more heavily on the textbook but you would really fare better with any other professor.
Riguer is incredibly passionate about bio and learning. That being said, I think she gets so into it that it's hard to follow her sometimes. She talks in 2x speed during lecture, so I (and many others) had to re-listen to lectures and pause every 5 seconds to jot down notes. I highly recommend going to office hours if possible to clarify topics because it is a lot of content and quite confusing. She posted supplemental notes with the lectures as well. READ THESE. There were questions on the quizzes and exams where the answers could only be found in the notes and not the lectures. Personally, the textbook is helpful for clarifying confusing concepts but I didn't read it religiously. Just use it as another resource if you find something unclear.
For exams, there is a heavy heavy emphasis on the experiments covered during lecture. Make sure you understand hypothesis, methods, results, and conclusions, and then use this to develop your own experiments on the exam. Understanding details of mol bio processes are important too! What frustrated me is the questions could often be unclear, so it felt like I was trying to think like Riguer rather than answer the question based on what we learned. Typos were common, but you could always ask her and she'll clarify. The grading for exams was quite frustrating. Points would be taken off on free response questions but there's no explanation why and there's no answer key posted. If you want to find out why you got something wrong, you have to go to office hours or schedule an appointment with her. The wording of your answers has to be super on point to get full credit, which was pretty difficult. Ultimately, Riguer is really kind and passionate but there were aspects of her teaching/the class that were frustrating.
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