All Ratings and Reviews for Leslie Johns
Professor Johns seems so approachable and makes the subject matter seem so straightforward and easy in class, but she (or her TA, I'm not sure) is a ruthless grader. For a class where there is not always a clear right or wrong answer, it was surprising that even after filling up the entire page for short answers that it would be given 0/10 points. The weekly quizzes on the case studies are easy points, and that might depend on which TA you get. The exams are curved tremendously though. The final exam was quickly turned into a take-home assignment consisting of 4 short answer questions, with "no clear right or wrong answer" and I spent hours doing it and still got a 66%, which was curved to 83%. In the end I got a B+ (the first ever non-A in my time at UCLA). Also, she sent out quite an insensitive email regarding too many people asking for help/extensions in response to COVID-19, which threw a lot of students off. Take this class at your own risk.
I took this class during a completely online COVID quarter, and it was great. Prof Johns filmed all lectures (and TA sections) ahead of time, and the class is completely asynchronous. All quizzes and tests open on day one and there are no due dates until the last day of finals week. You can work at your own pace, so I just did all the readings and lectures and tests super quickly so I could be done with the class. Prof and the TA who recorded the sections are both super organized and clear, there's no excuse to get below an A in this class because everything is open note and at your own pace. I highly recommend this class!
I really liked the structure of the course. This class is a lot of work, and since all of the work is not due till the end of the quarter, it is easy to fall behind. I would recommend sticking with the planned schedule she has. Because this course is completely asynchronous, there is not much opportunity to connect with other students. I found the material to be really interested so I enjoyed reading the textbook and watching the lectures. The professors and TAs feel very distant, although I am sure if you reach out to them they will gladly help you. I only ever emailed my TA once and they were helpful. There are ten worksheets and five assessments, and they were all okay, not too bad. I personally had a good experience so I would recommend this class, however, do not take it if you do not have any interest in international law because it is a bit intense. Be prepared to work independently and do not rush during the assignments. Complete them at your own pace and submit with you feel confident in your work.
I took this class when it was online for fall 2020 nad I thought it was OK. The class was asynchronous with all the classes and discussion sections being recorded. Grading of the coursework seemed fair however the material oftentimes became confusing. I still earned an A no problem but it wasn't the easiest material to understand. If you read you should be fine. The TAs were also pretty helpful in clarifying any questions we had.
(COVID ONLINE REVIEW)
This class was very interesting and insightful in regards to understanding international law. I found the course material all to be fascinating, the only issue was the amount of work and attention needed.
I would spend on average 1-2 hours reading a case which varied in page numbers (anywhere between 5-20ish pages). I would then spend an additional 1-2 hours doing the worksheet for each case (10 worksheets/quizzes for 10 cases). Each worksheet had about 4/5 multiple choice questions with 1/2 short answer questions. Some questions were very easy while others needed you to look at the textbook alongside the casebook to find the answers (which added some additional time required for each case). Short answer questions typically asked you to explain certain concepts in international law or to apply concepts learned in a different scenario where you give your own opinion.
There were also 5 unit assessments where it compiled multiple choice questions, (kinda) fill in the blanks, matching related concepts/keywords, and some short answer questions. There would be about 15 questions per unit assessment and it would usually take another 1-2 hours.
Along with the two different textbooks, there were also videos that proved to be helpful in understanding the course that averaged about 1-1.5 hours.
The class was completely asynchronous and allowed for you to turn in the assignments at your own leisure. The class was weighted with 50% being the unit assessments and the other 50% being the worksheets.
Overall, I found the class to be very enjoyable despite its demanding nature. It really required attentiveness and attention to detail. I would say the only reason that I did not do better in the class is because I often would skip through the videos offered and glance through the textbook. I also did all of the work in the last 6 weeks of class. But if you have no issue dedicating about 4-6 hours per case then I highly recommend this class. Especially if you want a better grasp on understanding international law, or just law in general.
Again, just reiterating that you probably will only like this class if you are actually interested in law.
I didn't like this quarter at ALL! All she gives you is the lecture videos and textbooks. She then tells you to talk to your TA if you have any questions. I mean she is the professor. So anyway, I found this quarter really challenging BECAUSE of the PANDEMIC. She is not generous on curving. Even if you get a 6/10 in one out of the 10 worksheets, she won't even curve it. Nick can be a tough grader so go talk to him regarding any worksheets or unit assessments. Honestly, these Unit Assessment were WAY HARDER than previous quarters. If your a good test taker, take her class. If not, don't even bother. There is no extra credit, no participation points. YOUR GRADE IS BASED ON THESE WORKSHEETS AND UNIT ASSESSMENTS. Getting a B+ was the worst for me. I was super close to an A- but she didn't bother curving one of my assessments (which brought my grade down). She's not engaging (even though it is an asynchronous class) and I expected a lot from her. Good luck for those taking her.
I LOVED this class. I did take it during COVID times, which definitely changed things. All the lectures, exams, and worksheets were given to us week 1, and so you have to be self-disciplined and good at time management to keep on track with the units. I found the lectures to be very organized and engaging, although the readings did seem quite long-winded at times. I loved getting to watch the lectures at my own time, and the material is quite interesting, especially if you are interested in a future career in law. I can't speak for this class post-COVID, but I loved this class so much I would have definitely taken it in person too. It's not an easy A, but it was challenging in a good way and I felt it prepared me for future endeavors. The professor seemed like a lovely person, although I found my TA to be kind of a harsh grader. Like another review said, this online class is not for those who value social interaction with classmates, but this did not bother me personally.
I wanted to like this class so much. The material is very interesting, and despite my hatred for this class, I still believe that. However, Professor Johns gave us all of the material day 1, all of the worksheets day 1, all of the assessments (exams) day 1, and told us good luck. She provided lectures, but they were all pre-recorded with no option of a live session at any point. There were also no discussion sections, it was strictly "email your TA if you have a question". She told us in her introductory video that she was doing this to make it easier on us, but it was really to make it easier on her. This class was not easy at all. She also told us under no circumstances can we work with other students, which while understandable for exams, would have been a lifesaver for worksheets. It is honestly pathetic that a world-renowned institution like UCLA would allow this. I got 3 (!!!) emails from her the entire quarter and that was it. Sure, I could have asked for a meeting, but that is not good enough. If you do not offer some sort of live section for the entire class, then is it really a class at all?
At the beginning of the quarter, we had a groupme. Someone told her about it, she got mad, and said if it happened again she would report us to the dean. At that point, any social interaction went out the window. In all of my other classes, I met some great people and even a few I would consider friends. All I got from this class was a few messages saying "hey can you help me with worksheet 8". Under no circumstances should you take this class if you want any form of social interaction with either the professors or students. I would never take this class again so long as it's online. If you like this type of class, then I am sure you'll love it. For anyone else, stay away. Avoid like the plague.
Professor Johns makes international law (a topic that could otherwise be sort of boring/irrelevant) pretty interesting- her lectures are engaging and extremely well organized. There are weekly quizzes in section that are super easy, just set aside 20 minutes or so to read the cases and you'll be fine as the questions are simple fact based questions. Her midterm was a bit harder than I expected actually, but she does curve it generously and I really should have just studied more. The tests are worth most of your grade (70%) however given COVID-19 our final was changed into a set of essay questions that were take-home. The take-home final took a significant amount of time and although I respected her as being fair during the rest of the time I took the class I think she could have been a little more understanding. I have the two course readers (cases and textbook) and would sell for $15 9259844954
This was probably the most fun and engaging poli sci class I've taken here at UCLA. Professor Johns is an amazing lecturer who is super helpful and fun to talk to outside of class. She makes the materials easier to understand despite the concepts being complex. Also she kind of writes the textbook materials for this class so if you have any questions on the readings, you can go directly to her because she wrote it. Overall, take the class. Her exams are a little hard but if you go to lectures, do the readings, and study, then you'll be fine.
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