All Ratings and Reviews for John B Duncan


Overall 4.3
Easiness of class 2.5
Workload 2.4
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.2
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.3
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KOREA 50, taken Fall 2018 Submitted Feb. 28, 2019 Grade Received: A+

As long as you pay attention in lecture and read the textbook, the exams in the class are very straightfoward and Professor Duncan will lead you through possible essay questions. However it is sorta hard to hear him very well during class so sitting at the front would be the best idea. The hw is a little bit annoying to do but if you read the chapters, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with 3 questions a week.

KOREA 50, taken Fall 2018 Submitted Jan. 10, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

Highly recommend this class and Professor Duncan. He's a really great guy and is very passionate about this subject. He gives interesting lectures and the class isn't very difficult to get an A in as long as you show up to lectures and discussions.

KOREA 50, taken Fall 2018 Submitted Dec. 27, 2018 Grade Received: A+

Dr. Duncan was a nice and approachable professor, and it was awesome getting to take a class with one of the leading scholars in Korean history. The lectures weren't super interesting, but I left the class with a solid foundation in Korean history and current events. Readings are super important, and they will pretty much determine your grade in this class!

KOREA 50, taken Fall 2018 Submitted Dec. 21, 2018 Grade Received: B

Taking this class with Professor Duncan was a bad experience overall. He has a very soft voice so he uses a microphone, but he mumbles into it so it's still difficult to hear. His voice stayed monotonous throughout every single lecture throughout its entire duration. His lectures were disengaging and very boring. The material was interesting, but the way Duncan presented it was flat and often confusing. Half of the class stopped showing up to lectures by the fifth week, and many of the students who did show up either fell asleep or did not pay attention (which I guess isn't entirely Duncan's fault). He used slides, but they provided hardly any information, and more often than not they were not relevant to the big picture idea. The photographs he showed on the slides were always horribly pixelated and poor quality.
He also assigned way too much reading per week. I'm pretty sure no one read everything he assigned. He would assign about 2-3 chapters from the textbooks and about 10-20 pages of extra reading from pdfs he chose that went more in depth. Some students said the textbook was unnecessary, but I relied on the textbook only. I read all of the chapters to prepare for the final, because I walked out of every lecture not having learned anything.
As for the discussions, participation and attendance matters. It's impossible to participate if you don't know what's going on, so try not to fall behind.

Course not listed Submitted Oct. 5, 2001 Grade Received: N/A

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.

Course not listed Submitted June 14, 2004 Grade Received: N/A

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!!!

KOREA 50 Submitted March 22, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

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.

Course not listed Submitted Aug. 11, 2004 Grade Received: N/A

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!!!

KOREA 50 Submitted Dec. 11, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

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.

KOREA 50 Submitted Feb. 11, 2005 Grade Received: N/A

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.

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