Based on 3 Users
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I was scared to take this class because the prof was rated like a 2.3, but I decided to give it a shot and drop it if it didn't work out. Some of his reviews say that he is really rude and condescending, but I didn't get that at all. In fact, he's really nice and will answer questions you have. I will say though, I learned very very little from this class. The exams were like 11 questions on this thing called owl, and they were of owl difficulty 1-3 while the HW questions were of difficulty 4. I basically got an A in the class by creating formula sheets for myself based on the homework questions, but I really didn't learn anything at all. Lecture was just his office hour and I eventually stopped attending them.
My major required only chem 20a and 20b, so I took this class to get an A and be done with it, but since taking it I've actually switched to a major that requires chem all the way up to 14D (switching tracks), so I'm kind of screwed.
Take this class with him online like I did for if you need to get an A and be done with, but don't expect to learn anything unless you decide to read the textbook and watch Youtube videos on your own for your own learning's sake.
Did I get an A in this class? Yes. Did I actually learn anything? No. Don't get me wrong, the professor was incredibly intelligent and did explain what we learned, the problem was was that it was formatted kind of weird.
His lectures were essentially office hours, with the slides for the textbook presented in a video at some point during the week. The problem was was that the recorded lecture videos would come out after he went over problems in class. So, it took me a long time to eventually figure out how to study.
Homework was done on owl and you could retake the questions infinitely until you got 100% on each question, which boosts your grade.
Then I discovered that the exams are 100% easier than what we went over in class. Exams are also online and through owl, so many similar problems from homework or other study assignments would show up. I got a great grade in this class only due to my prior understanding of math as a math major. If I was a chemistry major I would not be prepared for future classes.
So, if you're looking for an easy chem20A class (or need it as a pre-req for a major that doesn't have a strong chem emphasis), take it with Bouchard, however if your major requires further chem classes, I would recommend a different professor. (The TAs are wonderful btw. They were very clear and very nice!)
No harm to the professor, however you can tell he's used to teaching higher division courses, so as a lower div course, it is very unique for a chem20A class, and it might be very different if this prof taught in person.
(Also the online formatting helped so much as memorizing formulas, equations, or random numbers wasn't a priority)
I was afraid to take this class with Professor Bouchard due to negative past reviews. However, I did not pickup on any rudeness at all. He seems to be a pretty nice person from what I could see. Online, this class was very manageable.
All of the homework and tests are given on a website called OWL. Professor Bouchard set homework to the hardest level (level 4). Midterms and the final were set from levels 1-3, so they were much easier than the homework. You can do very well on tests if you do the homework, learn the formatting of the questions, and learn how to use OWL. There are a few programs in OWL that can be confusing to use at first so make sure to know how to use them before the tests.
Bouchard does not lecture. Instead he treats class like "office hours," which I personally disliked. I often skipped class and never felt like I was missing out on anything important. He made prerecorded lectures but I found that they were too repetitive with the textbook so I did not watch them. You do get points for attending discussion however.
The way I learned in this class was very simple. I read all of the assigned textbook chapters and took notes. Then I filled in any gaps in my knowledge by watching videos on Youtube and taking more notes. The content is not difficult in my opinion. The most difficult topic for me was the quantum mechanics section but it was manageable and there honestly was not much use for the complex formulas on the tests. If you want to test your knowledge in the class do the end of chapter problems in the textbook. They are more complex and difficult. I don't think this is necessary, but a good option if you have some extra time.