Ladan Shams
Department of Psychology
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2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 51 Users
Easiness 2.7 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.7 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.8 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Is Podcasted
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Tolerates Tardiness

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

59.7%
49.7%
39.8%
29.8%
19.9%
9.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

68.3%
56.9%
45.5%
34.1%
22.8%
11.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

21.0%
17.5%
14.0%
10.5%
7.0%
3.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

15.6%
13.0%
10.4%
7.8%
5.2%
2.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

31.8%
26.5%
21.2%
15.9%
10.6%
5.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

17.2%
14.3%
11.5%
8.6%
5.7%
2.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.0%
15.9%
12.7%
9.5%
6.3%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

24.2%
20.2%
16.2%
12.1%
8.1%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

31.4%
26.2%
21.0%
15.7%
10.5%
5.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

20.5%
17.1%
13.7%
10.2%
6.8%
3.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

18.2%
15.2%
12.2%
9.1%
6.1%
3.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

20.3%
16.9%
13.5%
10.1%
6.8%
3.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

21.3%
17.7%
14.2%
10.6%
7.1%
3.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

24.6%
20.5%
16.4%
12.3%
8.2%
4.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

16.1%
13.4%
10.7%
8.0%
5.4%
2.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

19.8%
16.5%
13.2%
9.9%
6.6%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (42)

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2019

I don't understand the bad reviews at all, I mean i get that other students can have different experiences w/ a class but the sheer amount of negative reviews surprises me. I felt like this class was very fair, and the professor is very clear on what is expected of you. Sure, there are times during lecture where you may be bored but the subject is pretty technical so that may be expected.
Shams has changed the grading scheme so now there is only one exam (the final) that is worth 30%, 3 paper critiques (each worth 20%), and some minilabs (worth 10% total). There is also a ton of extra credit offered, you can get AT LEAST 3% for participating in SONA and submitting an exam question, which is an entire letter grade! If you do well on pop quizzes and go above and beyond on the papers, you can get even more extra credit. But the 3% alone is unheard of, especially for a column A class. I'd make sure to do all the EC cuz it's very easy, and that cushion or boost may be very helpful by the time you take the final. Also, one thing that's great about this class is you don't have to show up if you don't want to- not even to discussion (never had a class like that before). I personally never showed up to lecture or discussion and got an A, but I still worked hard for it. I heard the discussion are really helpful though cuz you can get personal help from the TA since not many students show up, so you may be encouraged to go if you feel like the topics covered are difficult.
So as stated previously, the bulk of your grade comes from 3 papers. For each paper, you read a research paper and answer some questions on it. They were pretty easy if you have taken psych 100b before, basically you just find the IVs and DVs, confounds, etc. stuff that should probably come 2nd nature to you if you've taken psych 100b somewhat recently. I was lucky enough to have taken it the quarter before taking this class so I found the papers to be pretty easy. I also liked that there were sentence limits to each question, since it gives you a sense of how much you need to write to answer the question, as I personally have a bad habit of writing too much. Though if you haven't taken 100b before, you may be wary about taking this class just because things like finding confounds and levels to the IVs aren't things that are intuitive, and the class has been changed to where the papers are worth more than half of you grade (I heard there used to be 2 exams). Also the TAs are limited in how much they are allowed to help you on the papers, so be mindful about that.
I also felt like the final was fair- I was very worried about it beforehand just cuz it was the only exam we have ever taken for this class, so no one knew what to expect. She asks a lot of broad, somewhat superficial question so don't get so bogged down on the details to where you miss the main point of the concepts you learn. I felt like the book was not necessary, it tends to go too in-depth, giving you more info than you need to do well on the final. However, it may help you to read on some concepts you may be confused about. Just make sure you prioritize on knowing all the slides first. I just watched the lectures and typed everything she said that wasn't written on the slides. It's important you take good notes because the slides tend to lack material.
Overall, I thought Shams was a great professor and it seemed to me like she designed a very fair class. Bottom line is, don't let all the negative reviews keep you from taking her class. I'd recommend this course to anyone that needs to fulfill the column A requirement

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
Feb. 28, 2019

This class should be renamed to simply PERCEPTION. If you want to study nothing but vision, this class is for you. It's obvious Shams is knowledgeable with vision, but I expected to learn about the other senses as well, not JUST vision. So that's disappointing.
The paper critique is worth 20% of the grade, which you're given two articles to choose from and you're supposed to redesign the whole experiment. Rather discouraging having the TA send an email to everyone saying that none of us are prepared to design an experiment. If so, then why would they even assign this ridiculous assignment?!
On another note, Shams dims the lights in the class for some reason, which doesn't help the case that she's very soft spoken. Feels like she's setting you up for naptime. Almost no one shows up to class. I was amazed during the midterm at how many people are actually in the class.

Stay away from this class! Unless of course, you wanna be an optometrist.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 16, 2021

This class was kind of a joke. If you have taken Psych 115 with a professor who went into any depth about vision or other sensation types (like Stan Schein), you will be chilling in this class. I watched half of one lecture and realized it was all stuff I had learned already and never watched another lecture afterward.

Grade Distribution:
(20%) Minilab Homework: Assigned weekly, these basically required you to spend 20-30 minutes going through pretty basic online activities and copying down information from them. There were usually a couple of questions at the end about the lecture, but you could usually find the answer from a quick Google search or by looking at the slides. My score: 100%

(20%/25%/25%) 3 Paper Critiques: The first one is a free 20% as long as you turn it in on time. It doesn't nearly prepare you for the 2nd or 3rd ones though, since the papers you are critiquing are so term-dense and on such niche topics. Generally, I don't think many people aced these, but the TAs gave some sample responses that helped. Still, they were very nitpicky but only took off .25 points at a time for unsound arguments or things they disagreed with. These are assigned a while in advance, so you have time to do them, but if you are a solid writer, they are pretty fine. My scores: 100%, 90%, 90%

(10%) Final Paper: We had to find 5 articles/textbook sections that were about something we learned in class or something tangentially related. They gave a list of discussed topics, so I didn't really have to go back to the lectures. Took about 5 hours of actual work. Heard it's graded on completion, but I just needed to fade the F here.

(2.5%) Extra credit: Do 5 hours of psych studies.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Nov. 29, 2021

I did not enjoy this class at all. I am typically very reluctant to critique teaching styles, but it was clear that Professor Shams did not care about this class. This course was hybrid (online lectures, in-person discussion). I include an overview of the assignments/course at the bottom.

All of the lectures were Bruincast lectures from at least 3 years ago rendering them almost irrelevant. It is very difficult to be motivated to care about a class when the professor themself shows very little effort.

I was looking forward to learning from Professor Shams and I did enjoy some aspects such as the minilab assignments, but others like the paper critiques were graded extremely harshly even though the content was not taught in the course. While I think that research literacy is an important skill, there was not a single lecture that discussed how to do this at all, so why would the grading be so harsh with so little explanation? It doesn't make any sense.

I am very disappointed in this class and would not recommend it to anyone. I really hope the professor does better in the future and does not ever use old and recycled recorded lectures. It comes across as lazy and is very hard to follow. You can hardly hear what she or the students are saying. When you model an attitude of disinterest for a class, the students follow suit. I would think that a psychology professor would already know that.

OVERVIEW: 3 Paper Critiques (first is graded for completion, the other two are graded veeeery harshly),
weekly Minilabs (8 in total and late work is not accepted at all),
Final is a long take-home essay that is loosely related to lecture content

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Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 3, 2021

While this class isn't exactly a breeze, it's also less daunting than other reviews make it out to be, at least for Spring 2021. Because this quarter was still conducted remotely, most of this class was purely asynchronous, using Bruincasted lectures from many years ago, so sometimes the quality of lecture was not great. The slides and lectures for each week are posted early though which was appreciated; eventually, however, you can get away with skipping most of the lectures and not bothering with the book at all.

Grading in this class came down to 3 Paper Critiques, Mini-Labs, and a Take-Home Final. The First Paper Critique was 20% of the grade with the other 2 being 25% each; Mini-labs were 20%; and the Take-Home Final was 10%. For what it's worth, I put minimal effort into this class (doing most of the assignments the night before in just an hour or two tops) and got 11/11 on the First Paper Critique, 13.75/15 on the Second Paper Critique, 14.25 on the Third Paper Critique, 98% on the Minilabs, and 100% on the Final Take-Home Exam.

The Paper Critiques are probably the most challenging part of this class. Essentially you have to critically read a psychological article related to a topic discussed in lecture and answer 5 questions about the article, with specific sentence limits. If you've taken Psych 133E with Scott Johnson or just Psych 100B, these Critiques aren't that difficult. The first one was graded entirely out of completion and while the next two were graded on accuracy, they were manageable and I got good scores on both despite completing each Critique the next before the deadline. If you did particularly well you could earn up to 2 extra credit points on a critique (although this was rarely given). You can also earn 2.5 points of extra credit from 5 hours on SONA which was also very helpful. There were 3 synchronous lessons in the quarter: the first 2 lectures were live and another lecture in the middle of the quarter was meant for a fun Kahoot session of 50 review questions, and the top 3 people got extra credit.

Section attendance is optional and largely unhelpful unless you were really interested in the material. I found most of the material dry and a repeat of some previous classes about perception (the "sensation" part of the class is pretty nonexistent as it focuses mainly on visual processes). The Mini-labs were just write ups after completing online labs and took maybe less than half an hour to do each, and were relatively easy. The Take-Home Final was a brief assignment where you were required to do some extensive reading on 5 topics of your choice that have been covered in the class, and then write summaries on what you read with 2 paragraphs per topic, citing your articles and sources in APA style.

Overall, Column A classes are pretty shit for the most part, but 120B with Shams isn't a bad go by any means. Unless you're particularly interested in perception, this class will probably be mostly dull and dry, but it's definitely manageable to get a good grade and not as excruciating as everyone says it is.

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
March 21, 2019

This professor gets so caught up in her lectures. I feel she is often confused with her own ideas, which makes me question if what she is teaching is accurate. She will say "ummmm" A LOT and branch off towards another direction from what she was originally saying. Super confusing if you ask me. I agree with one of the previous reviews -- just because you're a great researcher doesn't make you a good professor! She isn't too approachable either. I would highly recommend you take a different class, or if you decide to take 120B, don't take it with Shams!!! I gave her the benefit of the doubt and took the class anyway, but the negative reviews all turned out to be true! I wanted to drop this class so bad, but it was too late since it's impacted.

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
June 25, 2019

I do not understand where the bad reviews come from. I never read the textbook and barely went to class and I got an A. I just listened to all the podcast a few nights before the exams and took notes on it. The materials may be boring but the tests are easy and straight forward, maybe with just one or two hard questions. If you understand the slides you will be fine. I scored an A on both exams.
I started the paper one night before and scored 21/20. she also gives 2.5% sona extra credit.
Taking her is not a bad idea to fulfill the requirement.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
April 20, 2022

Overall, I would recommend Psych 120B with Shams if you are looking for fulfilling one of your Column A requirement. The lectures are a little disorganized and somehow does not complete relate to the required assignments. You could get by without paying too much attention during lecture and discussion. The paper critiques are what make up the bulk of your grade, so I would definitely dedicate a good amount of time on those. But I felt that the grading was fair! Take this class!

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Jan. 2, 2022

For only the purpose of achieving a high grade in the class, lectures are useless because none of the material is tested in the final (the final lets you search for extra materials/research papers to write about). Lectures are bruincast recordings that are not of very high quality. 75% of the grade is based on three paper critiques, and their requirements are really detailed. I was very confident about my paper reading, writing, and editing skills and didn't spend much time doing the second paper critique, and my grade for that was only 80%. My suggestion is to look at the sample answers from the first paper critique (which was based on completion), look into it as deeply as possible, and figure out a structure of answering questions, and then write carefully to get a higher score.
Looking back, I think the content of the class was interesting, but is not really meaningful if you're not going to study vision in grad school or research. At the end of the quarter, this class became so unappealing that I didn't even have the motivation to watch the last 3 lectures or review for anything.

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Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 12, 2021

The class itself is pretty easy. You have 3 paper critiques in which you read a scientific paper assigned to you and answer questions about it, a minilab due every week, and a take home final that consists of you taking 5 topics from the quarter and essentially doing deeper research on. As for lectures, I never went to a single one beyond week 3 since all she does is post bruincasted lectures from fall 2019 (and shes not that good in them).

Overall: 3
Easiness: 4
Workload: 4
Clarity: 2
Helpfulness: 3

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2019

I don't understand the bad reviews at all, I mean i get that other students can have different experiences w/ a class but the sheer amount of negative reviews surprises me. I felt like this class was very fair, and the professor is very clear on what is expected of you. Sure, there are times during lecture where you may be bored but the subject is pretty technical so that may be expected.
Shams has changed the grading scheme so now there is only one exam (the final) that is worth 30%, 3 paper critiques (each worth 20%), and some minilabs (worth 10% total). There is also a ton of extra credit offered, you can get AT LEAST 3% for participating in SONA and submitting an exam question, which is an entire letter grade! If you do well on pop quizzes and go above and beyond on the papers, you can get even more extra credit. But the 3% alone is unheard of, especially for a column A class. I'd make sure to do all the EC cuz it's very easy, and that cushion or boost may be very helpful by the time you take the final. Also, one thing that's great about this class is you don't have to show up if you don't want to- not even to discussion (never had a class like that before). I personally never showed up to lecture or discussion and got an A, but I still worked hard for it. I heard the discussion are really helpful though cuz you can get personal help from the TA since not many students show up, so you may be encouraged to go if you feel like the topics covered are difficult.
So as stated previously, the bulk of your grade comes from 3 papers. For each paper, you read a research paper and answer some questions on it. They were pretty easy if you have taken psych 100b before, basically you just find the IVs and DVs, confounds, etc. stuff that should probably come 2nd nature to you if you've taken psych 100b somewhat recently. I was lucky enough to have taken it the quarter before taking this class so I found the papers to be pretty easy. I also liked that there were sentence limits to each question, since it gives you a sense of how much you need to write to answer the question, as I personally have a bad habit of writing too much. Though if you haven't taken 100b before, you may be wary about taking this class just because things like finding confounds and levels to the IVs aren't things that are intuitive, and the class has been changed to where the papers are worth more than half of you grade (I heard there used to be 2 exams). Also the TAs are limited in how much they are allowed to help you on the papers, so be mindful about that.
I also felt like the final was fair- I was very worried about it beforehand just cuz it was the only exam we have ever taken for this class, so no one knew what to expect. She asks a lot of broad, somewhat superficial question so don't get so bogged down on the details to where you miss the main point of the concepts you learn. I felt like the book was not necessary, it tends to go too in-depth, giving you more info than you need to do well on the final. However, it may help you to read on some concepts you may be confused about. Just make sure you prioritize on knowing all the slides first. I just watched the lectures and typed everything she said that wasn't written on the slides. It's important you take good notes because the slides tend to lack material.
Overall, I thought Shams was a great professor and it seemed to me like she designed a very fair class. Bottom line is, don't let all the negative reviews keep you from taking her class. I'd recommend this course to anyone that needs to fulfill the column A requirement

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: N/A
Feb. 28, 2019

This class should be renamed to simply PERCEPTION. If you want to study nothing but vision, this class is for you. It's obvious Shams is knowledgeable with vision, but I expected to learn about the other senses as well, not JUST vision. So that's disappointing.
The paper critique is worth 20% of the grade, which you're given two articles to choose from and you're supposed to redesign the whole experiment. Rather discouraging having the TA send an email to everyone saying that none of us are prepared to design an experiment. If so, then why would they even assign this ridiculous assignment?!
On another note, Shams dims the lights in the class for some reason, which doesn't help the case that she's very soft spoken. Feels like she's setting you up for naptime. Almost no one shows up to class. I was amazed during the midterm at how many people are actually in the class.

Stay away from this class! Unless of course, you wanna be an optometrist.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Dec. 16, 2021

This class was kind of a joke. If you have taken Psych 115 with a professor who went into any depth about vision or other sensation types (like Stan Schein), you will be chilling in this class. I watched half of one lecture and realized it was all stuff I had learned already and never watched another lecture afterward.

Grade Distribution:
(20%) Minilab Homework: Assigned weekly, these basically required you to spend 20-30 minutes going through pretty basic online activities and copying down information from them. There were usually a couple of questions at the end about the lecture, but you could usually find the answer from a quick Google search or by looking at the slides. My score: 100%

(20%/25%/25%) 3 Paper Critiques: The first one is a free 20% as long as you turn it in on time. It doesn't nearly prepare you for the 2nd or 3rd ones though, since the papers you are critiquing are so term-dense and on such niche topics. Generally, I don't think many people aced these, but the TAs gave some sample responses that helped. Still, they were very nitpicky but only took off .25 points at a time for unsound arguments or things they disagreed with. These are assigned a while in advance, so you have time to do them, but if you are a solid writer, they are pretty fine. My scores: 100%, 90%, 90%

(10%) Final Paper: We had to find 5 articles/textbook sections that were about something we learned in class or something tangentially related. They gave a list of discussed topics, so I didn't really have to go back to the lectures. Took about 5 hours of actual work. Heard it's graded on completion, but I just needed to fade the F here.

(2.5%) Extra credit: Do 5 hours of psych studies.

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A-
Nov. 29, 2021

I did not enjoy this class at all. I am typically very reluctant to critique teaching styles, but it was clear that Professor Shams did not care about this class. This course was hybrid (online lectures, in-person discussion). I include an overview of the assignments/course at the bottom.

All of the lectures were Bruincast lectures from at least 3 years ago rendering them almost irrelevant. It is very difficult to be motivated to care about a class when the professor themself shows very little effort.

I was looking forward to learning from Professor Shams and I did enjoy some aspects such as the minilab assignments, but others like the paper critiques were graded extremely harshly even though the content was not taught in the course. While I think that research literacy is an important skill, there was not a single lecture that discussed how to do this at all, so why would the grading be so harsh with so little explanation? It doesn't make any sense.

I am very disappointed in this class and would not recommend it to anyone. I really hope the professor does better in the future and does not ever use old and recycled recorded lectures. It comes across as lazy and is very hard to follow. You can hardly hear what she or the students are saying. When you model an attitude of disinterest for a class, the students follow suit. I would think that a psychology professor would already know that.

OVERVIEW: 3 Paper Critiques (first is graded for completion, the other two are graded veeeery harshly),
weekly Minilabs (8 in total and late work is not accepted at all),
Final is a long take-home essay that is loosely related to lecture content

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COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
June 3, 2021

While this class isn't exactly a breeze, it's also less daunting than other reviews make it out to be, at least for Spring 2021. Because this quarter was still conducted remotely, most of this class was purely asynchronous, using Bruincasted lectures from many years ago, so sometimes the quality of lecture was not great. The slides and lectures for each week are posted early though which was appreciated; eventually, however, you can get away with skipping most of the lectures and not bothering with the book at all.

Grading in this class came down to 3 Paper Critiques, Mini-Labs, and a Take-Home Final. The First Paper Critique was 20% of the grade with the other 2 being 25% each; Mini-labs were 20%; and the Take-Home Final was 10%. For what it's worth, I put minimal effort into this class (doing most of the assignments the night before in just an hour or two tops) and got 11/11 on the First Paper Critique, 13.75/15 on the Second Paper Critique, 14.25 on the Third Paper Critique, 98% on the Minilabs, and 100% on the Final Take-Home Exam.

The Paper Critiques are probably the most challenging part of this class. Essentially you have to critically read a psychological article related to a topic discussed in lecture and answer 5 questions about the article, with specific sentence limits. If you've taken Psych 133E with Scott Johnson or just Psych 100B, these Critiques aren't that difficult. The first one was graded entirely out of completion and while the next two were graded on accuracy, they were manageable and I got good scores on both despite completing each Critique the next before the deadline. If you did particularly well you could earn up to 2 extra credit points on a critique (although this was rarely given). You can also earn 2.5 points of extra credit from 5 hours on SONA which was also very helpful. There were 3 synchronous lessons in the quarter: the first 2 lectures were live and another lecture in the middle of the quarter was meant for a fun Kahoot session of 50 review questions, and the top 3 people got extra credit.

Section attendance is optional and largely unhelpful unless you were really interested in the material. I found most of the material dry and a repeat of some previous classes about perception (the "sensation" part of the class is pretty nonexistent as it focuses mainly on visual processes). The Mini-labs were just write ups after completing online labs and took maybe less than half an hour to do each, and were relatively easy. The Take-Home Final was a brief assignment where you were required to do some extensive reading on 5 topics of your choice that have been covered in the class, and then write summaries on what you read with 2 paragraphs per topic, citing your articles and sources in APA style.

Overall, Column A classes are pretty shit for the most part, but 120B with Shams isn't a bad go by any means. Unless you're particularly interested in perception, this class will probably be mostly dull and dry, but it's definitely manageable to get a good grade and not as excruciating as everyone says it is.

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Quarter: Winter 2019
Grade: NR
March 21, 2019

This professor gets so caught up in her lectures. I feel she is often confused with her own ideas, which makes me question if what she is teaching is accurate. She will say "ummmm" A LOT and branch off towards another direction from what she was originally saying. Super confusing if you ask me. I agree with one of the previous reviews -- just because you're a great researcher doesn't make you a good professor! She isn't too approachable either. I would highly recommend you take a different class, or if you decide to take 120B, don't take it with Shams!!! I gave her the benefit of the doubt and took the class anyway, but the negative reviews all turned out to be true! I wanted to drop this class so bad, but it was too late since it's impacted.

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
June 25, 2019

I do not understand where the bad reviews come from. I never read the textbook and barely went to class and I got an A. I just listened to all the podcast a few nights before the exams and took notes on it. The materials may be boring but the tests are easy and straight forward, maybe with just one or two hard questions. If you understand the slides you will be fine. I scored an A on both exams.
I started the paper one night before and scored 21/20. she also gives 2.5% sona extra credit.
Taking her is not a bad idea to fulfill the requirement.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
April 20, 2022

Overall, I would recommend Psych 120B with Shams if you are looking for fulfilling one of your Column A requirement. The lectures are a little disorganized and somehow does not complete relate to the required assignments. You could get by without paying too much attention during lecture and discussion. The paper critiques are what make up the bulk of your grade, so I would definitely dedicate a good amount of time on those. But I felt that the grading was fair! Take this class!

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Quarter: Fall 2021
Grade: A
Jan. 2, 2022

For only the purpose of achieving a high grade in the class, lectures are useless because none of the material is tested in the final (the final lets you search for extra materials/research papers to write about). Lectures are bruincast recordings that are not of very high quality. 75% of the grade is based on three paper critiques, and their requirements are really detailed. I was very confident about my paper reading, writing, and editing skills and didn't spend much time doing the second paper critique, and my grade for that was only 80%. My suggestion is to look at the sample answers from the first paper critique (which was based on completion), look into it as deeply as possible, and figure out a structure of answering questions, and then write carefully to get a higher score.
Looking back, I think the content of the class was interesting, but is not really meaningful if you're not going to study vision in grad school or research. At the end of the quarter, this class became so unappealing that I didn't even have the motivation to watch the last 3 lectures or review for anything.

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COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A
June 12, 2021

The class itself is pretty easy. You have 3 paper critiques in which you read a scientific paper assigned to you and answer questions about it, a minilab due every week, and a take home final that consists of you taking 5 topics from the quarter and essentially doing deeper research on. As for lectures, I never went to a single one beyond week 3 since all she does is post bruincasted lectures from fall 2019 (and shes not that good in them).

Overall: 3
Easiness: 4
Workload: 4
Clarity: 2
Helpfulness: 3

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1 of 5
2.8
Overall Rating
Based on 51 Users
Easiness 2.7 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.7 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.8 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 2.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (18)
  • Is Podcasted
    (16)
  • Gives Extra Credit
    (14)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (7)
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