Based on 2 Users
This review is for all the professors of Neuro 186:
Class structure: non mandatory (and not recorded) lectures twice a week for about 1h30 each.
2 non cumulative exams, 50 multiple choice questions each, with 5-10 bonus points at the end. OPEN NOTE!! They were very relaxed during exams, and if you needed a couple extra minutes they’d let you finish. The final was held during week 10 as not to interfere with graduation.
10 extra credit points given for attending Dr. Kornblum’s stem cell activity lectures and doing a very easy group project (week 9 I think) and 5 extra credit points given for attending Dr. Lebelle’s last class on ethics (this was a surprise, it was not noted on the syllabus).
Personal experience: I believe I passed 100% on my final grade due to all the extra credit stuff. I recommend going to class for LeBelle and Kornblum because they are good lecturers and they really emphasise parts of their lectures they want you to know better. Dr. Ge is a very sweet person but personally I couldn’t understand anything she said…. I was better off just reading her slides bit by bit on my own. The material was actually super interesting and the professors were very relaxed. They took the “this is an elective and we want you to enjoy learning approach versus the making it into a stressful class approach”. Definitely recommend it as an elective. But you do have to put in some work to earn an A. However with all the easy extra credit (15% total for just showing up to 3 classes, 10% extra questions within the first exam, and 5% extra for the second exam for writing down “the most interesting thing you learned from this class”) it gives you a good grade boost even if you don’t put too much effort into studying. Realistically you can probably pass the class without showing up for lectures and just studying the ppt slides, but I recommend going as much as you can because it does make learning the stuff more engaging.
LeBelle: you probably know her teaching style from 102. Her slides sometimes are a bit extensive, but she’s a good lecturer and overall fair question maker. I did sometimes feel like she threw a lot of information at us in the slides and then just lightly dove into it during class. My suggestion would be to read the slides beforehand, maybe even make your own notes with all the information condensed into a more organised way, and then just listen during class and add emphasis to the parts of the notes she focuses on the most. She teaches for both exams. Her material is detailed enough that you can probably follow along with just ppt slides, but going to lecture will help a good amount with digesting it.
Kronblum: he is such a sweet man, but his module was the most vague. His slides are very vague, so going to his lectures is probably recommended so you don’t go in circles studying. I genuinely enjoyed listening to him talk about the topics. You can tell he really, really just wants you to do well and will mostly make easy questions. He most likely won’t finish going through his ppt, and for our final he accidentally included questions on stuff we did not cover, but he just gave everyone the points. His stem cell activity involved doing a group project that you mostly completed during class time plus many 2-3h of outside the class time. Then you present on the second lecture of the week. Again, really easy and not meant to stress you out. He even brings candy! For the second exam he’ll ask questions like “what type of candy did I bring to our stem cell activity”, so definitely go so that you get 10% extra credit for your final grade + you get those extra points for the final.
Ge: her module was my least favourite because it is very detailed and although she is such a sweet woman I couldn’t follow her at all during lecture. She speaks in a monotone with an accent, so it can be very hard to keep up. I felt so, so lost during lectures. What I recommend is putting all her ppt notes into one google doc or whatever format is easier for you. Then really reading it though like 5 times and suddenly it will all start clicking. Then either during lecture or in OH just ask her to clarify the parts of her ppt that you didn’t understand. If you know every word you’ll do well. Her module definitely required the most studying tho. Thankfully she only teaches for the first exa.
Time commitment: I would compile all their slides into notes per professor. I had about 50 pages for Ge, 50 pages for Lebelle for M1, and 80 for M2, and about 30 each time for Kornblum. These were literally all the text from their slides compiled into a format I could digest well. It would take me about 1h to 2h per ppt to do this. Then I’d go to lecture and add onto the notes based on what the professors said. So about 6h per week of time commitment.
Then I’d read my notes once or twice thoroughly before the exams. I’d study for 2-3 days for each exam. Exams were open note, so for me having all the information well organised into a format I could digest made it very easy to look stuff up during exams. The professors each make their own questions and they’re divided into sections in the exams. Dr. Ge also organises them by lectures, which makes it even easier to find stuff! I got over 100% with this method.
If you don’t want to take time to make notes you can probably still get an A from just using their ppt and adding notes onto the PPTs during lectures. You could probably also do well if you just read all the ppt and skip class… not recommended but probably doable. The extra credit opportunities really help you secure an A.
Final thoughts: interesting material, caring professors, not too hard to get an A, even with a minimal approach. But won’t be the kind of class you can study for a few hours the night before and pull off an A either.
There were three professors for this class. Kornblum, Lebelle, and Ge.
This dude lectured for half of the first lecture and then just dipped until ninth week. His slides are extremely low effort - you can tell they were made the night before and not proofread at all. Not a good teacher, but an extremely nice guy. His slides don't really matter that much (still go through them to get a better understanding of all the material) since as far as i know he didn't write a single test question. During ninth week, he lectured on Tuesday about stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. On Thursday, we were assigned groups and asked to pick a disorder, come up with potential therapies for the disorder, and present them to the class. 40% of the points on the final were attendance in those two lectures. So, mans is basically a non-factor in this class - just don't skip his graded lectures.
I'm sure you know Lebelle from 102. Good professor, no complaints here. However, her test questions are often vague.
Ge probably does great research and is a huge asset to the school, but she is not an engaging or easily understandable lecturer. Go or skip her lectures, doesn't matter. Make a quizlet set and memorize her slides word for word and you won't miss a single exam question that she's written.
3 exams, each is 1/3 of your grade.
Attendance in two lectures (Kornblum) that ends up being worth 40% of your final exam grade.
In class, not difficult to finish in the time frame.
Multiple choice, select as many answers as you like. Terrible exam format but they give partial credit so who cares. There is also a possible ten points of bonus on each exam, making the highest possible exam grade 110%. I'd expect bonus questions that you wouldn't be able to answer if you didn't read the papers they assign. Also, Lebelle liked to give bonus questions about very specific numbers that were in the lectures (ie. How many new neurons are added to the rodent olfactory bulb each day). The bonus is kind of crucial since the exam format makes it real difficult to get 100% even if you know what you're doing.
Cool. It's a new field, so expect to read a lot of very new research papers. Nothing about stem cells is well established and there's a lot of very exciting research happening, so i'm sure the content of the class will change greatly year to year.
Not a bad class. No tricks. It's not easy, but if you put the work in you will get an A.