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Dr. Zackey is not able to teach courses that often at UCLA because of his work in China, but if you have the opportunity to take his course you need to. His understanding of China is incredible and by the end of the course, I truly had a deeper understanding of China as a whole. Overall is lectures are very engaging and informative. His tests are very hard but he gives a boost at the end of the quarter. I got an 81 on the midterm and an A in the class, but this is the one class at UCLA so far where I am more stoked with what I learned. Go to class and you will learn and be happy about it.
Professor was very knowledgeable but was open to students' input. The material was vey interesting and wholesome. The professor also had done pretty interesting research. The readings really complemented the lectures.
Professor Zackey is easily one of the best professors at UCLA. I took his class simply because I thought it sounded like a cool topic, but he went above and beyond in teaching the material.
A lot of Professors teach like academics who have read lots of literature, but Zackey has spent tons of time in China and when he teaches he is able to provide lots of specific examples from his experience while being in China. The class also is super interdisciplinary he talks about history, geology, climate, demographics, social issues, and lots more - it was truly a geography class.
I think he gave some extra credit if you showed up everyday. The midterm was all multiple choice and he curved it really nicely. Since this was the virus quarter we had a final paper to write, but otherwise it would have been a multiple choice final. He gave out study guides for both.
He posted all readings online, they were interesting but not required for the class.
highly recommend this class
Professor Zackey is a great lecturer who manages to keep students interested until the last minute of every class. I went from knowing almost nothing about China to having a solid understanding of the history, physical and political geography, and social and political affairs that govern daily life. While this class is a bit of work, it is not more than studying for a map quiz (which helps you better understand the rest of the course) and putting in the usual hours for a midterm and final. I felt that grading was fair because the midterm was rather difficult, but the curve boosted my grade substantially. I got very sick during this quarter and had to miss a few lectures, which was definitely detrimental to my understanding of the material, so I recommend going to every lecture if you can. However, by meeting with another student who takes excellent notes and discussing what I missed in detail I was able to catch up, although I don't know if that would have been enough under normal final exam circumstances (Zackey changed the final format due to March 2020 COVID-19 interruptions).
I appreciated how Zackey is a professor who does not shy from talking about his personal experiences related to his research and travels around China which enriched my understanding of the material as someone who has never been to China myself. Overall, Zackey was one of the best professors I've had at UCLA. Take this class!
This class was especially rewarding as I came out of it with a pretty solid understanding of modern Chinese history and how China emerged as the country it is today. Prof. Zackey has years of experience in China and it shows through his passion and insight in class.
The tests require you to know the material very thoroughly, with an eye for particular details, but this pays off in the end because you come out of the class with an impressive understanding of the country.
Grade is based on a map quiz and two scantron exams, although he explained that his exams are usually in exam form but opts for scantron if the class size is too large.
He posts slides online, however they have minimal text and the test will ask you details he mentions in lecture but not the slides. I learned my lesson after skipping several classes before the midterm, however went to every class after the midterm and managed an A in the class.
Take one of his classes. Take one if you're a geographer. Take one if you're not. Take one for a GE. Take one if you're done with GEs. Just take one!
Professor Zackey is a genuine, friendly professor. He's the kind of teacher that every college kid hopes in meeting... even if only for a recommendation!
But seriously, taking a class with him is one of the most valuable things you can do in your time at UCLA. Sure, you learn about the environment, or biogeography, or development issues, but the real lesson is in thinking. I knew how to think critically before taking the two classes I've taken with Zackey, but he'll teach you how to apply that skill to real-world problems and dialogues. If you feel like you've thought critically about everything, you'll probably be proven wrong (but in the nicest way possible!)
Overall, he's a great professor, his classes and assessments are easy (my apologies to him if he reads this haha, but they are!), you can knock out a GE or two and you can learn a lot in the process. I would certainly take his classes in the future and (obviously) recommend them. Believe the BruinWalk reviews! He really does a great job.
Professor Zacky knowledge on China is worth learning from. As China is a big and complex place with much to know about, Professor Zacky does a great job in covering all the different aspects of China without confusion. His lectures are clear and uploads his lectures slides online. The exams are very do-able, the mid-term being a multiple-choice exam and the final exam being take-home essays. I learned a lot from his class and highly recommend you take him!
Highly recommended to you all. Professor Zackey is a nice guy and he knows China deeply which makes you can learn a lot from him. This class actually doesn’t have too many things to do, you only have a map quiz, one midterm and one final. Those exam are pretty straight forward, basically are just required you to memorize some maps and history events and professor Zackey will curve the score which can boost up your grade. This is a easy and fun class because you can gain a lot of understanding of China if you are interested in it.
Zackey is the man. He is very interested in topics and makes sure to keep things relevant in lecture. He also really wants students to know the stuff, more importantly the stuff which will be tested on. He's available to talk and is very approachable. The guy's great and if you ever get a chance, take one of his classes.
I am a north campus student who hates science. However, realizing that I needed one more science GE before graduation, I chose the class/professor that got the best reviews on this site. I can honestly state that Professor Zackey is one of the best professors I've had here. I had little to no interest in geography/sciences before the class, but after, I am genuinely interested in the subject. His teaching and subject material piqued that interest, and I am definitely glad I took the class. Albeit I do regret not having gone to office hours and such, it was still a very enjoyable class.
As for difficulty, it was actually a challenge--lots and lots of notetaking that didn't merely entail copying down what's on the powerpoint, but making sure you get the concepts that are on the ppts. Studying for the midterm and final took alot of time, but paid off in the end with a very good grade.
Take this class, put the work and time into it, and you'll walk away happy.