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Please do not take this class if you want to remain mentally sane. The class consists of 3 quizzes and 2 workbook assignments. The 1st quiz is by far the most difficult and is worth the most points. The study guide does not help at all on the first quiz. After taking this quiz your grade will drop drastically. As for the 2nd and 3rd quizzes they get easier but are worth way less which doesn’t do much for your grade at that point. The workbooks are graded harshly and further drop your grade. The only thing that helps you out is the extra credit. She has some decent reviews but I promise you those are the 1% of the individuals who took her class. She’s extremely difficult.
Your grade in the class is essentially determined by three quizzes, two writing assignments called workbooks, and a nice chunk of extra credit. A lot of students will find the quizzes difficult since they focus on details; however, Dr. Placek also posts review guides and completely bases the quizzes on them. So if you're good at rote memorization, you'll be able to score well on the quizzes; otherwise, study consistently and ask her for help (aka asking her the answer on a review guide question - she'll give it!) . Workbooks are quite doable - technically, they are a compilation of a weekly writing assignment so if you're on top of it, you would be writing around four paragraphs each week. And she didn't require a works cited page. Lastly, she offers generous extra credit.
Placek's lecturing style is quite disorganized and she often seems to jump from concept to concept without really connecting them, which I disliked. However, she does record lectures. Ultimately, I would take her again; however, I think many would disagree because of her quizzes.
I absolutely adore Dr. Placék! Her lectures are engaging and she truly cares about her students! I had some personal issues arise midway through the quarter, but she was very accommodating and understanding. Quizzes are pretty difficult, but she provides a generous curve! Make sure you pay attention during lectures and actually read the assigned readings! Do not just skim!! Workbooks can be tricky, so make sure you ask questions for clarification purposes. She provides extra credit opportunities as well. I definitely plan to take more courses with her in the future!
I loved Professor Placek's class! A lot of people complained this quarter about the quizzes being hard, but I'm pretty sure it's because they just didn't go to lecture. The class is recorded, which can be helpful, but this also makes it easy to fall behind and miss out on important concepts that Placek talks about in class. Everything on the quizzes is mentioned in lecture and in the review guides, so as long as you show up to lecture and study the review guides, you're set. The workbooks are basically a guaranteed A if you follow the rubric. She also gives a lot of extra credit and curves.
Placek is also a very understanding professor and willing to help you out if you reach out to her. It's clear that she really cares about what she's teaching, and the topics she chooses for lectures are so interesting and relevant.
I definitely would recommend this class, and to anyone who's hesitant/ on the fence about taking it, I 100% think you should do it! The things I learned in the class go so far beyond the classroom and can be applied to my daily life - Placek really encourages her students to question the system, shatter the glass ceiling, and practice sociological thinking in your day-to-day activities. This is my favorite class so far at UCLA as a junior – so engaging and fascinating.
Professor Placek records all of her lectures so you technically don't need to come to class at all. This quarter she assigned 3 quizzes and 2 workbooks. The workbooks consist of the materials covered in weeks 1-5, and weeks 6-9. For each week of the workbook, you write a short essay based on the provided prompt. You must integrate the readings and lectures in your writing so I would recommend completing the workbook as each week passes. Waiting until the last minute to finish the workbooks becomes very difficult. In regards to her quizzes, all 3 are taken virtually via Lockdown Browser. She provides review guides for the quizzes which are pretty much study guides with questions that need to be answered. Her lectures slides are incredibly difficult to understand and she constantly goes on tangents. If you are a student who prefers lecture slides with all key points presented on it, I would not recommend Professor Placek. Additionally, she wants students to have an average of an 80% on her quizzes however almost everyone failed the first quiz. She did add a point or two as a quiz boost but that hardly made a dent. She has two extra credit assignments that allow for a grade increase of 5% which is really nice. This class is a lot of work and requires tons of studying in order to do well. I will not be taking a class with Professor Placek again but if you're interested in the subject and are a "good student," then you will do fine. Just be prepared to study and do your workbooks in a timely manner.