All Ratings and Reviews for Karen Lyons


Overall 3.7
Easiness of class 2.6
Workload 2.6
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.1
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.9
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MCD BIO 138, taken Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 18, 2019 Grade Received: A

I loved having Dr. Lyons for this class. It is a difficult class, and you can't get behind because a lot of the material builds on itself. However, Dr. Lyons couldn't be more clear as a lecturer. I recommend taking notes on almost everything she says because she adds details to the experiments from the slides and will explain concepts in ways that could make it easier to understand.

She really is one of the best professors I've had at UCLA and very clearly cares about her students. If you stay on top of the lectures and really know the experiments and how they contributed our scientific understanding of development, you'll do well.

Going to office hours is a huge help and Dr. Lyons and the TA's are very approachable and happy to answer any questions.

MCD BIO 138, taken Spring 2020 Submitted Aug. 6, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

Selling Principles of Development Wolpert 6 edition pdf for $30. Text (925) 338-9643

MCD BIO 138, taken Spring 2019 Submitted Dec. 31, 2019 Grade Received: B

A lot of people say this is the most challenging MCDB course but I really think it comes down to personal preference of subject matter. This was definitely my favorite MCDB course taken thus far because I enjoyed the material so much. That being said, this class is tough and the exams are tough. The key to the exams are understanding what the exam questions are actually asking for, I often got points marked off for not being specific enough even if my answer was technically correct.

Prof Lyons is really sweet, super down to Earth, and very approachable. It's clear she sympathizes with the students struggles. I actually was going to take the class with a different prof in Winter quarter but decided to drop it for another class. I did go to the first lecture that quarter and, WOW, it was so miserable because that prof was soooooo boring but the powerpoint was identical to the one Dr. Lyons' used. My guess would be that the profs who teach the class share lecture material. In my opinion, Dr. Lyons' was easier to engage with, which made all the difference for me. She also gave me some really fantastic life advice and had a lot of faith in me when I thought I was going to fail the class. She's great but the class is still difficult.

I failed the first two midterms but got almost 100% on the final because I completely changed my studying habits. My two big pieces of advice for the class would be to 1. review the material until you have it down backward and forwards. If I was reviewing a lecture for the 5th time I would still pick up on new information. Engage with the material in a variety of ways: go to class, watch the Bruincasts, go to office hours, AND read the lecture notes she provides. Def. a high effort class. 2. Thoroughly review your results on the first midterm because, like I said, points are docked for things not being specific enough. And those MC questions are TOUGH. It's easy to make the same mistakes on every exam in this class.

MCD BIO 138, taken Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 18, 2019 Grade Received: A-

This class has a ton of information, and the info that is being tested can be one insignificant bullet point that was barely glanced over in class. Tests are composed of multiple choice, true/false and free response questions. True and false are especially tough, because one word choice in the question could completely change the answer. Learning about the different model organisms (Drosophila, Xenopus, birds/mammals, sea urchins...) got difficult at times, and the slides didn't help. Sometimes the material jumps from one topic to another; I just wish all the differences were organized in a chart instead of listed as separate bullet points on different slides. Lectures are sort of boring, it's probably better to just bruincast at home. I feel that visualization of all the embryonic development movements are important (involution, ingression, epiboly, etc) but all the images on the powerpoint are static, which makes the class difficult.

MCD BIO 138, taken Fall 2019 Submitted June 25, 2019 Grade Received: B-

Lyons was alright. This was my second MCDB class. I was not expecting it to be hard. Her exams are multiple choice, true and false and some short answers. It is pure memorization from the slides. The questions get tricky. She will ask whether the choice is A or B or both or none. The multiple choice are worth 5 points each so getting it wrong means losing five points. As long as you memorize the slides, and study the material, you will be fine. The discussion section is papers and the TA goes over them. You have 3 question report due the following week on that paper. The exam only has one or two multiple choice questions from the papers. Discussion is mandatory. Overall, if I could go back and do better, it is to study HARD for the exams. I did not do well on exam 1 so thats where my downfall happened. The class is just points -1000 with exams 160 each, final 290, 100 points discussion participation, 240 is reports. and there are two quizzes which are 25 points each in discussion. They are on the exam material the week before the exam. The exams are given in class.

MCD BIO 138, taken Fall 2017 Submitted Jan. 9, 2018 Grade Received: B+

I really liked MCDB 138. Professor Lyons was very straightforward and her exams are fair. Her exams are based on her powerpoints. So if you can memorize and understand all the info on it then you can do well.

There are papers you have to read each week and a report you have to submit in discussion as well. The lowest grade is dropped. There is also two open note quiz in discussion before the midterms which are only 5 questions worth 25 points each.

No textbook needed and overall very interesting class.

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