Jean Turner

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Overall Rating 3.9
Easiness 3.3/ 5
Clarity 3.5/ 5
Workload 3.4/ 5
Helpfulness 3.7/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2021 - *COVID-19 Review, this will likely differ from in-person* There are two possible grading schemes and she'll give grades based on whichever one turns out higher. 1: 22.5% for each of two midterms, 25% final exam, 15% labs, 15% online homework 2: 15% for each of two midterms, 40% final exam, 15% labs, 15% online homework There's also an extra credit opportunity that can bump up your grade by 3% - worth about one sign (for example, an 84% is raised to an 87%, B --> B+) -- Overall, I personally had a decent enough experience with this class. I personally find the subject of astronomy interesting and thus didn't struggle. That said, I know others who struggled a bit more, so I think this class may not necessarily be easy for everyone. If you have absolutely no interest in astronomy, for example, this class probably isn't for you. Of course, if you are interested, you'll be more inclined to enjoy it. I am also a south campus major, which may also play a factor in how easy I found it. Professor Turner is clearly quite knowledgeable and passionate about astronomy. Her lectures can sometimes be a bit dry though, and she often goes a bit deep into full calculations or physics concepts that are ultimately not tested. I also feel like this class was a bit disorganized at the beginning of this quarter, as the times for lectures were changed in order to put two sections of online lectures together into one. Of course, I doubt this would be a problem for in-person lectures. Just keep aware that the amount of depth of the calculations she gets into isn't necessary knowledge for the exams. Attendance to lectures isn't mandatory, and the slides are posted online. -- The homework is all online using Kudu. The questions are all multiple choice. The lowest score is dropped. Each assignment has some crash course astronomy videos attached to it that help explain the concepts in a slightly simpler manner. The questions usually weren't too hard, but sometimes there were a few questions that didn't seem to be explicitly in the videos or lectures. That said, with some logical reasoning and internet searching, you could still find the answer to these questions without much struggle. There were 8 weekly labs with pre-labs due beforehand. Attendance to discussion sections was required and taken into account for the labs. In section, we were broken into groups (via breakout rooms during online class) in order to help each other with the lab. I personally felt the labs were reasonable to complete within the discussion periods and didn't find them too difficult, though they were definitely the heaviest work of the class. There were some questions that were more difficult to understand, but with the help of peers and/or the TA, I found these questions answerable. I imagine some of the labs would have been more enjoyable in person though; one of the labs, which we did on a stargazing app, is apparently usually done in the planetarium on campus. The exams were all multiple choice through CCLE, and most of the questions were honestly pretty easy. Professor Turner provided practice exam questions on Kudu, and oftentimes the practice questions reappeared identically on the actual exam. Many of the remaining questions came directly from the homework, and the ones that weren't on the homework or practice test were on the lecture slides. With online school, everything was open note/book which made everything even easier. Even if this is not the case in person, you can probably study the slides which are posted online, and make a Quizlet with all the homework questions and practice test questions in order to perform well. There was an extra credit paper worth 3% of our grade. Usually, it involves something people can do on campus (like going to the planetarium based on what professor told us), but this year that was not possible. We instead had to take a selfie with the Super Flower Blood Moon and write a short paper about the moon. It was a bit annoying to have to take the selfie late at night, but on the other hand, many people stay up late anyway, and the selfie could have been taken during any phase of the eclipse. It did take a bit of effort, but getting full credit on the assignment also raised grades by a fairly significant amount - most other professors I've encountered offer 0.25%-1% or so for filling out the course evaluation, so the extra effort for this assignment seemed like an equivalent trade-off. -- Overall, I personally would take this class again. If you're a south campus major or are pretty interested in astronomy, I think you'll do great. If you're not too interested and aren't particularly math/science-oriented, it may be a bit harder. That said, if you put in enough effort into this class, you'll probably still be able to walk away with an A anyway. Just know the degree of difficulty will vary by your interest.
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