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This class was okay. However, I really appreciated the grading scheme. 60% of your grade is based on "skills mastery," where you essentially get several opportunities in weekly quizzes (and other assignments) to earn points toward a certain skill. Then once you've earned enough points in a certain skill, you no longer have to take the quizzes for that specific skill. This class does have a textbook but I honestly stopped reading it after the first week because I just didn't find it helpful. So, you could probably do well without it and you'd save a couple of bucks. The two homework assignments are fairly easy, graded for completion, and they can also help you earn some points toward skill mastery. There are also two transcription tasks, and they aren't graded necessarily, but all the points you earn go toward skill mastery. I really recommend spending a lot of time on Homework #2, because it's an easy way to earn points toward your transcription skill (one of the hardest skills to earn points for). I FLOPPED on the first transcription task, but through the quizzes and Homework #2, I was able to get the points I needed and ultimately didn't even have to do Transcription Task #2. The final was super similar to the quizzes. Each skill had a section in the exam with a few questions, for full credit in a particular section you had to earn a certain number of points and the rest would go toward skills mastery. As you can see, you have a ton of opportunities to max out your skills and earn a really good grade in the class. Good luck and don't stress!
Dr. Bell is so nice and accommodating! She really works hard to make sure her students learn the material, there was a lot of practice even during lecture (as should always be the case in a phonetics class). The material does get tricky, especially transcriptions and spectrograms, and skills-based grading might be a little confusing, but it really boosts your grade. Not to mention the fact that Dr. Bell always tried to engage with us on as personal a level as possible. Take her for any phonetics class, you won't regret it!
This class was TOUGH. It probably would've helped going to office hours, but the grading in this class was very nitpicky. She doesn't use slides, but she uses google docs. She does this thing called EMRN where you have 6 homeworks and then it's graded on that scale so if you get an E OR M its passing, but N gives you time to revise. She also drops one of the homeworks. So that was good, but her midterm average was a 72 and her final was very hard, but i think she curved it because average was an 85.