Fundamentals of Learning

Melissa Sharpe

Fundamentals of Learning

Psychology department

Melissa Sharpe

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from 39 users


Overall 1.6
Easiness of class 1.4
Workload 2.0
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 1.6
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 1.7


  • Uses Slides
  • Is Podcasted
  • Tough Tests
  • Tolerates Tardiness


Winter 2020

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

2 of 4


Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 18, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

Dr. Sharpe is obviously very versed in this field, as it is her subject of her research. However, she does a terrible job making it understandable for her students. These concepts can be hard to understand because they can get so conceptual, and she goes through the material so fast it makes it hard to understand what goes on. Often times, I lose track of what she is talking about because I'm too busy trying to write notes and catch up. She gives examples, but they aren't always clear and the helpful ones are usually from students. Things really are only understandable if you go back and listen to the podcast, because then you aren't stressed about taking notes while listening. Her tests get confusing because she does the whole "pick the best answer, but several of these are correct" thing. I found the tests to be ok, but a lot of people who weren't too clear on the specifics of all the concepts, or just happened to not study the obscure part of the material, struggled with the exam wording. The book also didn't matter at all really.

My biggest issue with her is that it doesn't seem like she cares about her students. She tweeted complaining about how we feel entitled to a good grade when she received tons of emails from students worrying about their grades. She didn't quite understand how grades here are more important than grades back in Australia (where she's from), and she made a rude sarcastic remark about it rather than addressing people's concerns. She didn't even apologize in person after she was caught; she only sent an email that sounded forced. During the final, with the whole corona virus going around, many people expressed VALID concerns about academic integrity and the terrible conditions in which some of us had to take the final in. She sent out a passive aggressive email that stated that she will be ignoring all emails the weekend before the final and left it all to the TAs (bless them).

Tl;dr: Don't take this class with her unless you are interested in her field of research, even then I doubt its worth it with her rude behavior.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 16, 2020 Grade Received: NR

The only reason I stayed in this class is because I'm graduating this quarter.
Worst class. Ever.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 26, 2020 Grade Received: NR

Honesty the worst class I've ever taken in UCLA and I'm certain it has all to do with Sharpe.

This was Sharpe's first quarter teaching in UCLA and I don't think she understands how to teach in the quarter system yet - too much work for 10 weeks and she just rambles on in class with no particular structure thinking we can just understand her when we don't know anything about the content yet. I literally went to all the lectures, listened to the recordings afterwards like three times, and make my own notes. I spent at least 2-3x more time and effort in this class than in any other classes I've ever taken in UCLA. Yet, I'm still predicted a B grade (which I don't usually get, especially with this much work put in).

She makes sarcastic comments in class, insults students on her Twitter ("American students really don't like bad grades, huh?"), and then assumes I don't go to class when I ask more questions in her office hours.

During finals week and the whole COVID situation, she did not care about our wellbeing at all. She proceeded with the final and continued to grade harshly (even though she claimed it was lenient) without being transparent with how she calculated the final grades. When a lot of us spoke up about our concerns about our ability to focus during the finals at these stressful times, she said that she has to take care of her children and her decision was final (basically, that she will be ignoring us from now on).

DO NOT EVER TAKE THIS CLASS WITH SHARPE. Such a shame because the material is actually interesting. and the TAs were super nice and helpful. Please take it with another professor if you have to take this class.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 21, 2020 Grade Received: B

One of the worst classes I've taken at UCLA. I had a high interest in the subject initially (was very excited to learn about learning!)...but it quickly turned out to a complete nightmare to the extent that now I have zero interest in the subject. Sad. I am not saying that Dr. Sharpe is a horrible professor, it's just the material she chooses to teach us is too complicated and totally useless. I don't see how I can apply this knowledge in the future. Her exams are as complicated as my programming exams, probably even more harder. Really trying her best to make them as tricky as possible, and this is just a psychology course. Being an A-student, this class has just ruined my excellent standing. I do not recommend taking this course with this professor if you don't want to feel fooled and miserable after.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 25, 2020 Grade Received: C

Ahhh where to start. I want to preface that during my whole career at UCLA I have never felt the need to write a review about a professor. The only reason I am writing this review is because I wish I had some information to go off of when I initially researched Prof. Sharpe. I agree with all the other reviews posted; she truly is the worst professor I have ever had the displeasure to get to know. The sheer fact that after one quarter (during the time I am writing this) there are 21 other angry reviews really speaks volumes on her as a person and professor.

I will not get too much into how I despise her as a person, because I feel like the other reviews have explained the Twitter and Coronavirus situation well. What I do want to comment on and what really rubbed me the wrong way is the stark difference in how she treats her students during office hours vs. class. I genuinely believe that the way Prof. Sharpe acts during lecture is a facade. She obviously knows she is being recorded (all of her lectures are Bruincasted) so she makes it a point to be a bit nicer and encourage questions. But when there is no audio evidence of what is going on her true colors shine through. I've been to a few of her office hours and each time I left witnessing her be extremely rude to other students. She makes it very clear when she is annoyed of someone. Her tone changes and her explanations get less and less clear. If she does not like your question she will interrupt you and shut you down. She is uninviting and that creates an environment that is not conducive for learning.

Also, she does not let you review your exams during office hours. She goes over exams in the most inefficient way possible. She will pull up the exam on her computer and read each question and answer one by one. If you want to see your exam go to the TA's office hours.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 21, 2020 Grade Received: NR

Antichrist is defined as a person or thing regarded as supremely evil or as a fundamental enemy or opponent. Calling this lady an antichrist would be too nice. She is arrogant while also fundamentally being the dumbest person I have come across during my time at UCLA. Her lectures are recorded and should probably be sent to a teaching lab for an example of how not to teach. She speaks heavy in the jargon used in this bullshit subject that you will never hear before or after the class and that she refuses to define in her lectures. She was such a terrible person during the corona virus situation refusing to answer emails that it led to a schizophrenic breakdown for one of the students. While every other member of the faculty came to the realization that giving out a final during this period made no sense this woman defied logic and required everyone to take it even though the academic senate recommended that all faculty make it optional. Before I had any interaction with this woman she decided to bash all American students on her public twitter account. She is truly a horrible human being and a complete and utter moron. If there is one person on this whole planet that deserves to get a serious case of corona virus it is this lady. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 20, 2020 Grade Received: C

First and foremost, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!!!!!

I am a senior this year and needed to finish up column A, which forced me to stay enrolled. I will give a bullet list because that is what I would prefer to read:

• She needs too much validation from her students (i.e. on the first day she asked to clap for coffee), which only set a precedent for the rest of the quarter. She requested the class to be more "enthusiastic" for her, otherwise it would hinder her teaching.

• The above point showed me she had unrealistic expectations coming into teaching American undergraduates (from the UK).

• Her lectures were extremely unclear, which obviously made students frustrated and ask more questions than I have ever seen in my 5-year collegiate career (yes I'm a fifth year due to being a transfer student).

• During the whole COVID-19 pandemic, Sharpe was icy and flippant in her emails addressing the concerns over the final exam. She basically said "I have a baby and won't be replying to any more emails." As if other professors don't have children?

• She based most of her decisions off of other people. For example, she would not offer extra credit because "other column A professors do not." LADY, this is YOUR class not theirs?!

• As mentioned in other reviews, she speaks too fast and then becomes perplexed when we don't grasp a concept.

• She spoke poorly of American undergraduates on Twitter.. like girl, create an alias to hide your identity. After seeing her be a bit of a bully online (who is clearly projecting her own insecurities), I lost interest in the class and her as a person. She addressed it (only after having a meeting with higher-ups) in an email, which was the sort of apology that was like "I'm sorry you feel that way."

OVERALL, you're better off taking a heavier loaded course (115) than 110 with her. Good luck to my future psych majors!

P.S. If you do take 110, the book is not hard to locate online.


Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 19, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

Dr. Sharpe is very knowledgable about the material considering she often used her own research to "teach" us about the class material. I am a senior, this was supposed to be my easiest class this quarter since I took it alongside Chem 14CL. This was my hardest class this quarter. Dr. Sharpe did not do a good job explaining concepts. The class consists of 3 tests (all equally weighted) and weekly quizzes in the discussion section. The first test was pure memorization. The second and third test were not. She stated the class was non-cumulative. She lied. She included older material on the tests and they were tests that required us to be able to strongly understand what was happening in experiments, but that was difficult because she didn't do a great job at explaining things. In my opinion, she was not approachable. The TA's in the class made the class bearable and they were VERY helpful. Try to take this class with anyone, but Dr. Sharpe.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 19, 2020 Grade Received: NR

Honestly, I like the material and it was interesting overall. BUT, Professor Sharpe did not make it clear to understand the material by not giving definitions to each key concepts. The exams were very difficult for 25 questions, which made each question more heavily weighted. The aspects she was teaching in course did not match well to her exams. Also, she said her exam were not cumulative, yet she had some questions referring back to material from the first midterm. I honestly liked her in the beginning of the course, but after the disregard of student's concerns... Hopefully, in the future for other students and herself that she will do better.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 19, 2020 Grade Received: NR

This class sucked.

2 of 4


  • Uses Slides
  • Is Podcasted
  • Tough Tests
  • Tolerates Tardiness

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