All Ratings and Reviews for John B Duncan
Prof. Duncan is highly knowledgeable in Korean history, and has a good sense of humor. His lectures make history interesting and thought-provoking. Also, his fluency in the Korean language is impressive.
You need to study for his exams, but they are not impossible. And he is pretty nice about the essays.
Professor Duncan is by far the best professor at UCLA. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable and esoteric, but he is highly compassionate, caring, and approachable. He is always there to lend you a hand and willing to bend over backwards to help you when you are in need. His classes are fun and interesting and he makes learning seemingly dull history an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience. I have been blessed to be taught by such a great professor and if you take any of his classes, you will never regret it. Take Professor Duncan for any class that you can - it will be the best decision you ever made!!!
I was shafted. I enrolled in Korean 50 expecting to be taught by Duncan. Something must have happened because the registrar lists him but the course was taught by a different lecturer (a TA) with other TA's for the discussion section. They weren't on the whole, too bad, but it was definetly a different course that what I had expected.
So in the future if you enroll in one of his classes double check he'll actually be teaching it.
professor duncan has gained my utmost respect. no words will ever do him justice in describing his dedication, passion, and intellect in korean history. take a class with him if you can. you'll be amazed at how much he knows!!!
Prof. Duncan is a good guy. He's so much more Korean than I am...hahaha. He's a cool guy and very friendly. He knows almost all there is to know about Korea. He can speak Korean, write it, and read it. He can be funny at times especially when he speaks in Korean. His knowledge of Korea's history and contemporary issues still amazes me. He's a good guy and I encourage everyone to take a class with him.
I honestly didn't really care too much about Korea before I took this class but after, my interest level went up a lot. He makes you feel relaxed in class...he just gives off this cool vibe. For me, he organized the lectures nicely and things actually made sense. If you can, for a TA get Howard Kahm, cool TA...he's really smart and knows his stuff...he's a chill guy who makes you feel comfortable in discussions...he has helpful powerpoint presentations too.
Duncan's midterms are take home and the final is relatively easy as long as you attend every lecture and do most of the readings. The material is interesting (for me at least)...I honestly had a good time...probably cuz my TA was cool like Duncan...the readings were kinda dry but he talked about getting better texts later on...simply put, take Duncan.
Professor Duncan gives very interesting lectures, and he tells a lot of interesting stories to keep you awake. The midterm is also very straightforward if you regularly attend class and study a little. The books are pretty much useless because they just supplement the material in class, so if you attend lecture you don't have to read the books.
His tests are very fair - he tells you the topics of the essay question beforehand so you can think about it at home.
Class: Korea 50
Fairly easy class. Weekly 1 page paper and attendance was worth 60%, pop quiz 20%, and another 20 for final. Pop quiz was T or F question and final was T and F and multiple choice questions. He gave us an hour to finish the final but pretty much everyone finished in 30mins, all u gotta do is study the key terms that he gave us by coming to lecture. Absolutely recommended for GPA booster
Duncan is one of the most brilliant professors on the UCLA campus. His lectures are very well organized and you can see why he thinks his job is "the best job anyone can ever have." He simply loves to teach on Korean history and shares that passion with his students. The exams for K50 were easy if you studied for them. They consist of True/False, ID questions and essay section. The True/False are blatantly obvious, the ID questions are fairly obviously terms (just nail who, what, where, when, and why this is significant or controversial), and essay questions which are given ahead of time. The only problem some students might have is that he has a tendency to mumble during the lectures. Simply raise your hand and ask him to speak louder or sit closer to the front.
Do NOT miss any opportunity to take a class taught by Duncan. Be wary though, he doesn't teach classes over the summer, even if the schedule says that he does.
Professor Duncan is not only a compassionate and highly knowledgable professor, but he is just such an awesome person all around. He knows so much about Korean history and speaks, writes, understands Korean better than most Koreans I know, including myself. If you're looking for a really cool professor and a great class on Korean history take it with this professor.
Took Korea 50.
Professor Duncan's class is an easy GE that's actually pretty interesting.
Prof. Duncan has a soft voice so make sure to remind him to bring his microphone or else remember to sit in the first rows because he always adds a lot of commentary that's important for the quizzes/final.
The grading scale consisted of somewhat-weekly essays, in-class pop quizzes, discussion attendance and the final. The essays are turned in at the end of discussions and it's just a one-page analysis of the weekly reading according to the questions on the syllabus. The pop quizzes are always about that week's reading and consists of T/F questions. And the final has T/F, multiple choice and essays. Going to discussion also counts and try to make an effort to ask questions and look generally interested because your TA can help you get a higher grade.
Basically, to do well in the class make sure to memorize the key terms. The professor sends out around a few hundred key terms at the beginning of the quarter - make sure to continuously fill out the terms as the quarter progresses. It's important to do so because the terms are often included in the quizzes and make up a majority of the final.
I personally didn't find it necessary to go to the office hours since the class is really straightforward. However, I do regret not going to Prof. Duncan's since he's a really nice guy. He let's you talk about anything during the office hour be it current events, pop culture, etc as long as it pertains to Korea somehow. He's also very knowledgeable of study-abroad programs and research in South Korea so if you like South Korea and want to go there, make sure to speak to him about it!
Ended up with an A in the class with minimal effort. Just don't sleep during the lectures (or at least get good notes from a friend) and do well on the essays (though I heard TAs grade differently - mine was Thomas!). Really liked the class and I'm definitely going to take more classes taught by Duncan if possible.
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