Sensation and Perception

Ladan Shams

Sensation and Perception

Psychology department

Ladan Shams

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from 47 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 2.8
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.6
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.0
Helpful
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Tags

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

Grades

Spring 2020
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.

Spring 2019
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.

Winter 2019
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.

Fall 2019
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.

Fall 2018
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.

Spring 2017
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.

Winter 2017
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.

Spring 2016
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.

Winter 2016
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.

Spring 2015
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.

Winter 2015
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.

Spring 2014
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.

Spring 2013
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.

Fall 2013
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.

Fall 2009
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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1 of 4

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 20, 2019 Grade Received: A

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

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

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.

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

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.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted March 21, 2019 Grade Received: NR

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.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 25, 2019 Grade Received: A

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.

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

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

Quarter Taken: Spring 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted May 28, 2020
Grade Received: N/A

I genuinely do not know how this professor is still teaching at UCLA. This class is absolute hell and is even more hellish in the midst of all the crises. Please try to take another professor if you can. You will not learn anything in this class. It is important to enjoy the teaching style of your professor. I can't listen to this professor for more than 2 minutes without passing out.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 15, 2019 Grade Received: B

Ladan seems like a really sweet woman and I'm sure an amazing professor, but in all honesty she should not be teaching. Lectures for this course were arguably some of the most dry, tangential presentations I've experienced—even at 2x speed on BruinCast. While she is very knowledgeable, she has a roundabout way of explaining things, making lectures difficult to follow while also being boring. As a psych major (as opposed to psychobio or neuroscience), I found that the material didn't even relate to any of my other courses (AKA where was the psychology aspect in this class). I honestly felt like I was taking a course to become an optomotrist. That said if you keep up with the readings and listen to the lectures you'll be fine. Also do the extra credit because it's a HUGE boost.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted Sept. 30, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

selling sensation and perception $10, text 562-881-0315

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 24, 2019 Grade Received: A+

The class focuses primarily on vision, even though it's called "Sensory and Perception." Professor Shams isn't exactly an engaging professor: she tends to spend 30 minutes on a concept that can be covered in 5 minutes, and even then she doesn't always present it in a way that's easy to understand. I prefer listening to her recorded lecture and putting it on 2x speed.

The TA (Susan) is extremely knowledgeable and I would recommend going to discussion if she's your TA because she does a great job explaining everything and summarizing the professor's lectures. Tests are reasonable so as long as you study, you'll be fine. Make sure you spend time on your paper assignment though because they tend to be graded more harshly than weekly assignments (which is based on participation)

1 of 4

Tags

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