Professor

Leslie Johns

AD
3.8
Overall Ratings
Based on 103 User s
Easiness 2.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Workload 2.8 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Clarity 3.9 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Helpfulness 3.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

Reviews (103)

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April 1, 2020
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: B+

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.

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Oct. 4, 2013
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

I wouldn't bother going to her lectures. Just read the book and study the lecture notes, and you'll get an A- at the very least. She grades on a high curve, so it'll help you boost your grade.

SIDE NOTE: Selling the book for this class--> contact BruinBornAnd Bred@gmail.com

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Jan. 10, 2016
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

Liked her a lot. We had one 2-3 page policy brief due every week and one midterm and one final. Midterm was long, just know vocabulary and real life examples of them. Final was shorter, again mostly vocab... I finished in less than an hour.

I didn't put a lot of effort in this class, which is probably why I got a B+ but if you study more than 2 hours for her midterm and final you should be good!

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May 23, 2011
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

First of all, I am a PS major who has a sincere commitment to the major and curricula. I received an A+ in Prof. Johns' course, along with A+ in every other lower diver PS courses (with exception to PS 6 which I am currently taking). PS 20 isn't the easiest of lower div PS courses (I always believed 10 was) but I found the way Johns taught made it certainly the most boring. Caring about this class became the biggest challenge for me very early in the quarter, which is a shame since I have a real interest in IR.

Essentially, all of her powerpoint lectures are simply crude outlines of the textbook chapters (I think we covered 9 chapters of the Norton book, approximately 1 per week). The overwhelming majority of your performance in her class is dependent on how well you know the textbook's take on IR, rather than IR itself.

I don't usually contribute to this website but feel obligated in doing so for this class. I cannot stress enough how irritating Johns' teaching style is for PS 20 if you actually enjoy the subject. Rather than simply knowing trends, facts, etc. about international relations, the exams test how well you know how the book categorizes and organizes the necessary facts. You might know everything for the exam, but what is more important is how well you know the book/powerpoint lectures PRESENT the material (i.e. these 4 factors are what cause preemptive war; these 3 reasons why there is so much IMF criticism). In this respect, the exams leave you with pretty much no "wiggle room" to come up with your own original answer.

I know Johns is a very intelligent professor, and my guess is that she teaches this class in such a way to make it more juvenile and straightforward for younger students in lower div classes. However, this is no excuse for making the class boring and like a high school history course.

The 6 "policy briefs" are very straightforward and are a pleasant break from the textbook curriculum. I wish this "current events" aspect of the class had a bigger present.

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March 25, 2010
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

Prof. Johns initially comes across as a hard ass. That said, she is a great professor. Unlike many professors, her lectures, quizes and tests reflect the assigned reading. The grade is comprised of a midterm, final, discussion participation and seven quizes (with the two bottom grades dropped). You will leard a lot in her class. As so far as easiness, I wouldn't say it's easy, but I would agree with the post before mine, in that is a very manageable A. I managed to get an A by only reading the discussion section reading. I would absolutely recommend her and I would take another class with her.

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March 22, 2010
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

This class was pretty much straight forward. It consisted of a final, midterm, discussion grade and weekly quizzes. The midterm and final weren't easy but they were doable. The key to her exams is to attend lecture and take good notes. All of the ideas she lists on her study guides are fully explained in the notes. She doesen't put her lectures online and she goes through the material pretty quickly during lecture, so attending class and being attentive is key. A positive aspect of the exams is that they are made up of short answer questions. No multiple choice or long essays. The first midterm was 12 short answers and the final had 17. She makes the exams extremely difficult, but curves very very generously. The quizzes in discussion were very easy. She assigns weekly discussion readings, that are usually anywhere from 15-25 pages, and then there are three questions from the reading that are on the quiz. She also drops your two lowest scores from the quizzes. The class is designed to have you learn and not to kill you. It's fair and great choice for Poli sci and IDS majors.

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March 25, 2010
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

Straight forward class. Quizzes and participation were a very easy 30% buffer.

The tests were short answer and were reasonable. Attending lecture is pretty much all you need to do in order to do well (although I feel like the final included some more in depth reading questions). She outlines the reading well.

I didn't learn a great deal, but some aspects were interesting. Very manageable A.

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March 20, 2011
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

Very easy lower div pol sci class/GE class. Class consists of a midterm, final, 6 2-3 page write ups (lowest 2 grades dropped), and attendance at section. Hardest part of the class was showing up to section, which i found to be a complete waste of time. She is a good lecturer and takes info straight from the book (which is good if you dont go to class cause you can read the book and get the same info since she does NOT post her lecture slides online). I chose to go to class and never opened my book and that worked really well too. The write-ups required minimal effort and i usually did them an hour before they were due. Overall easy class and she has a pretty nice curve too just in case.

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March 28, 2011
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

It's a fairly straightforward class on IR, with a very general overview of conflicts, bargaining, trade, development, and financial + monetary institutions and interactions.

You should go to Professor Johns' lectures. It'll be worth your while since you won't need to even bother with the textbook unless you're confused about something. You will have to read the supplementary articles she posts online though, since you're tested on some of them and they won't necessarily be discussed in-depth in lecture.

Grading was pretty simple...midterm, final, attendance at section, and six policy briefs. The exams are both generously curved and the policy briefs are pretty simple if you spend an hour or so doing research. I got an A+ with relatively minimal effort, but take that with a grain of salt since I was already familiar with a lot of the material beforehand. If you know nothing about IR it may be somewhat more challenging.

Professor Johns is also very available and happy to help students. I had to make alternate arrangements to take the final exam, and she was more than happy to accommodate me after I discussed the issue with her during office hours.

Good class overall, would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in IR.

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Dec. 26, 2013
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A

Professor Johns is an effective, engaging professor and I thoroughly enjoyed PS20. That being said, I had a great interest in the subject matter to begin with. As was noted in other reviews, Professor Johns's lectures are pretty much outlines of the textbook chapters. However, while this meant that some of my classmates never went to lecture and did read the book, I always went to lecture (and read the book anyways, which was thoroughly redundant), because I found Professor Johns's knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter infectious. And, hey, who ever said being able to get through a class without opening the textbook was a bad thing?
The major flaw of the course is, as another reviewer wrote, when it comes to exams, "You might know everything for the exam, but what is more important is how well you know the book/powerpoint lectures PRESENT the material (i.e. these 4 factors are what cause preemptive war; these 3 reasons why there is so much IMF criticism)." Still, such "4 factors" or "3 reasons" will have been clearly enumerated in lecture.
Fortunately, the other form of evaluation for the course, 6 2-3 page "policy briefs", really tie the more conceptual material from lecture to real world and current events, and, in my opinion, make the class.
Overall, Poli Sci 20 was an interesting, relatively easy class. Without killing myself, I received an A+, and my interest in the subject matter only deepened.

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POL SCI 123A
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: B+
April 1, 2020

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.

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POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Oct. 4, 2013

I wouldn't bother going to her lectures. Just read the book and study the lecture notes, and you'll get an A- at the very least. She grades on a high curve, so it'll help you boost your grade.

SIDE NOTE: Selling the book for this class--> contact BruinBornAnd Bred@gmail.com

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 10, 2016

Liked her a lot. We had one 2-3 page policy brief due every week and one midterm and one final. Midterm was long, just know vocabulary and real life examples of them. Final was shorter, again mostly vocab... I finished in less than an hour.

I didn't put a lot of effort in this class, which is probably why I got a B+ but if you study more than 2 hours for her midterm and final you should be good!

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POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
May 23, 2011

First of all, I am a PS major who has a sincere commitment to the major and curricula. I received an A+ in Prof. Johns' course, along with A+ in every other lower diver PS courses (with exception to PS 6 which I am currently taking). PS 20 isn't the easiest of lower div PS courses (I always believed 10 was) but I found the way Johns taught made it certainly the most boring. Caring about this class became the biggest challenge for me very early in the quarter, which is a shame since I have a real interest in IR.

Essentially, all of her powerpoint lectures are simply crude outlines of the textbook chapters (I think we covered 9 chapters of the Norton book, approximately 1 per week). The overwhelming majority of your performance in her class is dependent on how well you know the textbook's take on IR, rather than IR itself.

I don't usually contribute to this website but feel obligated in doing so for this class. I cannot stress enough how irritating Johns' teaching style is for PS 20 if you actually enjoy the subject. Rather than simply knowing trends, facts, etc. about international relations, the exams test how well you know how the book categorizes and organizes the necessary facts. You might know everything for the exam, but what is more important is how well you know the book/powerpoint lectures PRESENT the material (i.e. these 4 factors are what cause preemptive war; these 3 reasons why there is so much IMF criticism). In this respect, the exams leave you with pretty much no "wiggle room" to come up with your own original answer.

I know Johns is a very intelligent professor, and my guess is that she teaches this class in such a way to make it more juvenile and straightforward for younger students in lower div classes. However, this is no excuse for making the class boring and like a high school history course.

The 6 "policy briefs" are very straightforward and are a pleasant break from the textbook curriculum. I wish this "current events" aspect of the class had a bigger present.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 139
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 25, 2010

Prof. Johns initially comes across as a hard ass. That said, she is a great professor. Unlike many professors, her lectures, quizes and tests reflect the assigned reading. The grade is comprised of a midterm, final, discussion participation and seven quizes (with the two bottom grades dropped). You will leard a lot in her class. As so far as easiness, I wouldn't say it's easy, but I would agree with the post before mine, in that is a very manageable A. I managed to get an A by only reading the discussion section reading. I would absolutely recommend her and I would take another class with her.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 139
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 22, 2010

This class was pretty much straight forward. It consisted of a final, midterm, discussion grade and weekly quizzes. The midterm and final weren't easy but they were doable. The key to her exams is to attend lecture and take good notes. All of the ideas she lists on her study guides are fully explained in the notes. She doesen't put her lectures online and she goes through the material pretty quickly during lecture, so attending class and being attentive is key. A positive aspect of the exams is that they are made up of short answer questions. No multiple choice or long essays. The first midterm was 12 short answers and the final had 17. She makes the exams extremely difficult, but curves very very generously. The quizzes in discussion were very easy. She assigns weekly discussion readings, that are usually anywhere from 15-25 pages, and then there are three questions from the reading that are on the quiz. She also drops your two lowest scores from the quizzes. The class is designed to have you learn and not to kill you. It's fair and great choice for Poli sci and IDS majors.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 139
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 25, 2010

Straight forward class. Quizzes and participation were a very easy 30% buffer.

The tests were short answer and were reasonable. Attending lecture is pretty much all you need to do in order to do well (although I feel like the final included some more in depth reading questions). She outlines the reading well.

I didn't learn a great deal, but some aspects were interesting. Very manageable A.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 20, 2011

Very easy lower div pol sci class/GE class. Class consists of a midterm, final, 6 2-3 page write ups (lowest 2 grades dropped), and attendance at section. Hardest part of the class was showing up to section, which i found to be a complete waste of time. She is a good lecturer and takes info straight from the book (which is good if you dont go to class cause you can read the book and get the same info since she does NOT post her lecture slides online). I chose to go to class and never opened my book and that worked really well too. The write-ups required minimal effort and i usually did them an hour before they were due. Overall easy class and she has a pretty nice curve too just in case.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 28, 2011

It's a fairly straightforward class on IR, with a very general overview of conflicts, bargaining, trade, development, and financial + monetary institutions and interactions.

You should go to Professor Johns' lectures. It'll be worth your while since you won't need to even bother with the textbook unless you're confused about something. You will have to read the supplementary articles she posts online though, since you're tested on some of them and they won't necessarily be discussed in-depth in lecture.

Grading was pretty simple...midterm, final, attendance at section, and six policy briefs. The exams are both generously curved and the policy briefs are pretty simple if you spend an hour or so doing research. I got an A+ with relatively minimal effort, but take that with a grain of salt since I was already familiar with a lot of the material beforehand. If you know nothing about IR it may be somewhat more challenging.

Professor Johns is also very available and happy to help students. I had to make alternate arrangements to take the final exam, and she was more than happy to accommodate me after I discussed the issue with her during office hours.

Good class overall, would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in IR.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
POL SCI 20
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 26, 2013

Professor Johns is an effective, engaging professor and I thoroughly enjoyed PS20. That being said, I had a great interest in the subject matter to begin with. As was noted in other reviews, Professor Johns's lectures are pretty much outlines of the textbook chapters. However, while this meant that some of my classmates never went to lecture and did read the book, I always went to lecture (and read the book anyways, which was thoroughly redundant), because I found Professor Johns's knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter infectious. And, hey, who ever said being able to get through a class without opening the textbook was a bad thing?
The major flaw of the course is, as another reviewer wrote, when it comes to exams, "You might know everything for the exam, but what is more important is how well you know the book/powerpoint lectures PRESENT the material (i.e. these 4 factors are what cause preemptive war; these 3 reasons why there is so much IMF criticism)." Still, such "4 factors" or "3 reasons" will have been clearly enumerated in lecture.
Fortunately, the other form of evaluation for the course, 6 2-3 page "policy briefs", really tie the more conceptual material from lecture to real world and current events, and, in my opinion, make the class.
Overall, Poli Sci 20 was an interesting, relatively easy class. Without killing myself, I received an A+, and my interest in the subject matter only deepened.

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
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