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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I actually took history 165 (history of african things) but felt the need to leave a review in defense of professor lydon. yes she is a pretty dry professor, especially with online classes, but she's a very sweet woman and she knows a lot. she was also extremely lenient with grading and with making accommodations since we were all transitioning to online school and since that quarter was so turbulent regarding the protests. her care for students really makes up for the dry lectures. we also didn't have many assignments, just one paper, a group project, and a final essay (optional)
If you have any interest in Africa whatsoever, do not take 166A with Professor Lydon. I actually came into this class excited and eager to read my books and learn more about this subject. With the course now coming to an end, I am pretty sure I will never aspire to take another class on Africa here at UCLA. She may be passionate about Africa, but she is in no way passionate about sharing in her students' African education. When I did go to class, I never had the slightest idea what she was rambling on about and usually she would just talk about her own accomplishments. She gives no guidance whatsoever for her midterm and final, and the essay prompt we were given for our 10-12 paper was ridiculous. I am a senior and have never taken the time to write an evaluation on a professor, but I needed to get the warning out there. DO NOT TAKE THIS PROFESSOR. YOU WILL REGRET IT. She is the WORST history professor at UCLA.
HORRIBLE, worst history class taken at UCLA. The teacher, as passionate as she is about Africa and her research, does not make the class at all interesting or enjoyable. The post below clearly states everything that is wrong about the class. Boring lectures with slides filled with too much information that you cant even write it down. Too much reading, the majority of which is online of dense boring articles. AND the paper was ridiculous. The prompt made no sense to anybody and when you asked her to explain it she would tell you to just read the prompt again. She was rude in office hours and expected you to completely understand the history of Western Africa. Also her midterms and final are multiple choice, key terms and map IDs. She gives you know maps to reference or even an inkling what you'll need to ID besides maybe possible regions, places, or rivers-which there are a lot of.
Do not take.
This is the worst professor I have ever come in contact with. The lady is a literal idiot and unable to answer even the simplest of questions. She repeaters herself countlessly and just uses different words to formulate the same sentences. Her lectures are a waste of time. She spent two weeks talking only about the book she wrote.
She lectures with powerpoints,which have no real legitimate information on them. Her midterm was easy, although I had to do all the research myself. She's horrible at conveying and teaching information, so basically this is a class where you will have to do all the learning by yourself. I got an A on my midterm, but in no part thanks to this woman. Also, assuming you have a question about what she is lecturing on, she usually gives you a long drawn out answer that doesn't seem to mean anything, and then she usually finishes with "But this is not what I did my research on, so I can't answer honestly, but I'm pretty sure I might be correct."
Being a transfer from another university, this is the worst teacher I have come in contact with ever, hands down. Oh! One last thing. She assigned a 10-12pg paper, in which she has the stupidest prompt for. The way she described it contradicts itself in every way, everyone (except a handful of people) in the class are unsure of how to write it. Also, you won't need her books all quarter until the last three weeks of school, and if you didn't get them by then, good luck finding them anywhere.
Simply, DO NOT take this professor. She needs to be off campus and unable to teach. She grades easily, but the amount of bullshit you have to put up with is no where near "worth it".
I liked that her lectures aligned with the assigned readings. It eased the final push to memorized information during the quarters final weeks. She is also a very nice person, who is genuinely interested in your appreciating the rich history the belongs to Africa. I highly recommend her to Transfer students, her class is a good transition into university upper division curriculum.