Professor Adelman is very entertaining in his lectures and he tries as much as possible to engage the class, even though it is a big lecture hall. The class is doable. Just do all the reading and go over the pre-test questions and you will be fine. I missed a couple lectures, but did all my readings and I got an A in the class.
Spring 2022 - I regret enrolling in this class more than any other class I've taken yet. This course revolves around learning disabilities and problems, as well as the current education and policies addressing them. We learned about how current education systems have wronged so many students, specifically those with learning problems. However, this course was the most unaccommodating class I've taken at UCLA. Lectures are in-person, which was expected. However, *nothing* is recorded and you cannot zoom into class. So, if you're exposed to COVID or if you actually get COVID, etc, you have no way of watching the lectures remotely. And to top that off, the professor has stated multiple times that he does not upload every single slide to Bruinlearn. Therefore, if you can't come to class, because of a valid reason such as literally contracting COVID, there is no way to learn all of the material discussed in lecture that day. You are automatically at a disadvantage, even for a valid medical reason. And all of this is occurring even with rising COVID cases and worried students. Moreover, the class seems to ignore the application of the very core curriculum it teaches. We spent weeks learning about the need for classes and teachers to understand the feelings of their students, the need for an open dialogue and accommodations for individuals with learning problems. However, this was never applied to the class itself. Your final grade is comprised of a timed in-person midterm exam (worth 40%) and a timed in-person final exam (worth 60%). These exams are based on the fact that you have memorized every single fact/term/concept discussed in all lectures. The exams have either 2 or 3 prompts (depending on if it's the midterm or final), and these prompts are very vague with no rubric attached. If you fail to include a seemingly unimportant detail, you will be docked off points. So, in order to avoid this, you have to memorize every little thing said in class so that, during the test, you can make sure to include every detail. This class is structured on the professor's lectures as well as in-class discussions, which are supposed to get you to analyze the topics further. However, the exams don't ask you for application, or for you to advance certain things we learned in class. You just have to explain and describe. Basically just memorize and regurgitate information. There is an extra assignment mentioned in the syllabus but in order to do this assignment you have to come up with a basic thesis during week 2 (when you're barely introduced to the course), otherwise you can't do it. And after that brief mention in the syllabus, nothing was ever said about this. No explicit deadline given, no other information. Getting a grade in this class is dependent on if you're either good at memorizing or not. A class that talks about learning disabilities and how educational policy has failed to adequately accommodate, does not care about its students with learning disabilities. What about students with test-taking anxiety who may forget specific names or terms? What about students who cannot focus well enough during timed in-person exams to include every little detail? Why is there no open dialogue? We learned about how classes that are too rigid and unaccommodating cause low motivation in students which then causes even more problems. So, why then does this class have such a rigid, unrealistic grading policy? The final exam itself had an entire paragraph in the beginning mentioning that it will be graded harder than the midterm and how each question is worth 1/5 of your final grade. Surely, this would increase anxiety in students. Imagine beginning an exam and reading that if you mess up one question, your final grade will decrease by 1/5. How is this accommodating to students? Obviously, this course does not cater to the student and especially not to those with learning problems. I've never felt so voiceless and unheard in a class before. We're taught about how students thrive when there's open dialogue and their voice is heard, and how it's best to approach education with personalized, accommodating interventions. It's like we're told exactly what a class should be like. And then, we're given the exact opposite. Here's two exams and if you can't memorize and include everything we want, you'll get a bad grade in the class. This course doesn't care about the individual, and that's so sad. I wish I never took this class. I really wanted to love it but unfortunately I ultimately feel neglected as a student.
Fall 2020 - I'm surprised there aren't so many positive reviews for this class, I really enjoyed it! Professor Adelman is a great lecturer-- clear and he cares very much about the curriculum. He is always engaged with student learning and happy to answer any questions. This class was interactive and quite intimate, lots of group discussion. There are no exams. You choose a related topic that interests you and give a presentation and write a paper about it. Very straightforward and simple. It was also really enjoyable to learn from fellow students and I looked forward to tuning in every week. I would definitely recommend this class and professor!
Prof. is always available outside of class. He's a really easy going guy, didn't demand too much not even for the final paper as long as you got your point across. We didn't have any assigned readings or midterms. He really emphasized class discussion. He doesn't really lecture much. Overall good professor, but this was a seminar class.