Fall 2020 - Super easy GE, i finished the course by W8. Two 3-4 page papers but he drops the lowest and 5 quizzes during the quarter and also drops lowest so I only needed to do one paper and 4 quizzes. My TA only took attendance grades for 8 weeks so once I had enough I stopped going. Quizzes mainly based on lecture and not the readings. If there was a problem on the readings, I usually just hunted for the answer during the quiz instead of reading it before. Copy paste the lecture transcripts into a word doc to find some answers and have ppts up for quiz
Fall 2018 - OVERVIEW: Discussion: 30% >>> 12% Quizzes, 13% Participation, 5% Presentation Midterm: 20% >>> 20 possible points; consisted of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank Final Paper: 20% >>> literary analysis on one of several preassigned topics Final Exam: 30% >>> over 40 possible points; consisted of multiple choice and short answer While I recognize many faults in this course, I admit that I enjoyed it. The content itself is interesting and Professor Li is very knowledgeable. However, this course was also a huge source of stress early in the quarter. Therefore, this review is somewhat mixed, as was my overall experience with the course. Unlike many other courses I took, there were no clicker questions or practice problems to gage how well I understood the material, which made it especially stressful when preparing for midterms. This was only amplified by the fact that the midterm consisted merely of 20 multiple choice questions, so each missed question was a percentage point off the final grade. There also seemed to be a discrepancy between the TAs' quizzes and Professor Li's tests. The quizzes often drew on details from the reading, some of which seemed insignificant when preparing. Meanwhile, Professor Li's tests were, fortunately, very straightforward and tested on major themes from his slides. He never gave us trick questions and drew mostly on the textbook. His lectures were sometimes unclear, as much of the content he covered (mainly archaeological material) was complex and did not appear on the tests. He also used a ton of wordy slides, over a 1000 in total, which made studying for the final very time-consuming. Despite the course's flaws, there were many aspects I enjoyed. I took this course because I loved learning about China in AP World History, which I took back in high school. This course really expanded on China's history and, impressively, managed to do so in the span of a few weeks. The textbook and sourcebook were both very interesting to me. One of my favorite assignments was watching the film "To Live" when studying the People's Republic, which really enriched the course. The TAs did a great job at selecting readings and assignments. Professor Li's archaeological studies, while they sometimes made his lectures more confusing, were really interesting to me. He has a very comprehensive knowledge of Chinese history and is eager to talk to students after class and during office hours. Last, but most importantly, he and the TAs are very open to feedback and made significant improvements between the midterm and the final. The final exam was significantly longer than the midterm and consisted of short answer questions (including an extra credit question) that allowed students to demonstrate their overall knowledge of the course. The papers seemed to have been graded fairly and the TAs were very helpful in addressing student concerns. Professor Li also created study guides and, if you answered each part of them using his slides, they made the tests a lot easier. I feel like, if the course hadn't had such a rocky start, I may have gotten a lot more out of it. The course is a mixed bag, not because there is anything wrong with the professor or the curriculum, but because the way its organized made it a lot more stressful. However, Professor Li is very concerned with student success and is willing to work with anyone who is struggling. I'd recommend this course for those with a genuine interest in Chinese history and/or archaeology. If you just want to get rid of a GE, this might not be the best course, as I often considered it my hardest course over my STEM prerequisites. However, it's a very rewarding experience if you put the time and effort into it. Overall, I'd give this course a 3.5/5, although I feel the last few weeks warrant a higher score.
I had him for 116N. Take this class. Get to know him! He is great and I really think you will enjoy him if you visit him in office hours and try to think about the interesting ideas he presents in class. He is very concerned about his students and will help you in any way he can.
I took Antho 116P as an incoming transfer student, not knowing what to expect from UCLA. At first it seemed confusing, but throughout the course I learned so much about Ancient China that I was able to accurately guess the date of an Ancient Chinese artifact in a middle school text book based on what I learned in this class. Really caring Professor, go to office hours to get the most out of the class. :D
Fall 2018 - I can tell Professor Li is very smart and knowledgable in his field, but he is not a very concise or organized lecturer. He basically just assigned his own book and lectured from it, but the book was WAY more clear than his lectures. For example, we spent the whole first half of the quarter (literally 5 weeks) on "background" information on the landscape of China. Although I understand that this is helpful for understanding the dynamics of state formation in China, he also teaches a whole other class called "landscapes of China" where this would be more relevant. The actual bulk of the archaeological information felt rushed in weeks 6-9 and he never went into depth about the requirements of the book review. His midterm was take home, which was really nice and I appreciated it, especially considering that his lectures were sort of difficult to follow (he didn't really use slides, just maps and pictures). The final is also take-home so I guess I can forgive him for the structure of the class. He's really nice and wants students to succeed but I wish his lectures were more clear. Oh yeah, his "slides" were labeled as "Chinese Civilization 50" which is another class he is teaching this quarter so I assume he just uses the same slides and pictures for all of his classes.
Fall 2019 - Professor Li Min is very knowledgeable in his studies of archeology in Central Asia/ Eurasia. He provides all the powerpoint slides that he uses to teach. Professor Li will oftentimes go on rants while explaining certain topics such as the BMAC communities or Lapis Lazuli, but he does in a way that one can clearly tell that he has an indepth knowledge of the topic. The course grade is based off four assignments; an abstract of the research paper you are going to write, a 15-20 page research paper (expanding on a topic discussed in class), a group power point presentation (expanding on a topic discussed in class - can be done solo and you dont have to present if you decide not to due to your own personal reasons), and a commulative take home final. Enough time is given in between assignments, and the class is not all that demanding. The readings can be a little heavy, but they are provided by Professor Li and no books have to be purchased for this class. I would definitely take another class with Professor Li if I had the opportunity to.