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PLEASE READ PLEASE READ PLEASE READ
I have never left a review in my 3 years at UCLA. So I went ahead and made an account just to warn anyone who thinks about taking this class. It is currently Dec 8, 2020 and there is an Essay due in 2 days. There was no rubric, no prompt, no information whatsoever regarding this essay (not even on the most updated syllabus). Many other students posted on the discussion board, inquiring about the essay, but no response. Instead, the Prof and TAs replied to other posts that were not time sensitive. Those posts were just about further implications of content discussed in readings/lectures, and was basically irrelevant at this time. It's as if they purposely avoided Essay posts, because there were a LOT, and only a FEW posts that were content related.
Oh and also, Fanselow doesn't allow emails to him or the TAs and tells us to use the discussion board. But like bruh. Like bruh. idk what to say more to say. The above example is just one of the many cases of unresponsiveness and unhelpfulness. This dude comes off as really rude, and it seems like he's got a stick up his butt.
The content is hard, the tests are hard, the class is boring AF. The profs and TAs don't seem to care about our learning whatsoever. It's like they go out of their way by making our life hell, ESPECIALLY during Covid and everything that's going on. It seems like the only thing that Fanselow cares about is animal sex. I kid you not, he seems more passionate about fish sex, rat sex, bird sex, bird trying to have sex with a human, and I could go on. I kid you NOT, in one of his lectures, he talked about rat sex and said something along the lines of "I hope this brings you comfort/pleasure in your quarantine." If you don't believe me, just look at all the people upvoting this review.
Like bruh, how can you answer 1 post about content, but ignore 10 other posts asking about the upcoming essay. And yes, I am currently writing this, and not working on the essay or a final that I have tomorrow because this class is absolute dong water. I'm heated AF. I don't think I've ever developed actual hate for someone I've never even met.
I could go on, but I really should get back to this essay. I got everything off my chest. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.
Fanselow, if you're reading this, hi. It's unfortunate that you have tenure because you shouldn't be a professor at UCLA. Do all the research you want, hang out in the lab with rats, but don't teach. It just ain't it.
I had to take this class as a graduating senior so I had no choice but to take it with Fanselow, despite all of the awful reviews that I read.
The class is difficult, tests are tricky, and lectures are dull. Above all, what really didn't sit well with me was the way that he treated his students.
During a GLOBAL PANDEMIC and a CIVIL RIGHTS REVOLUTION (BLM protests), many of us have been struggling in many areas of our lives. There was zero empathy or understanding from his side. After many petitions, he agreed to drop the lowest paper score but that was about it. No other alterations regarding the final exam which was a heavy workload.
In response to emails, he would come off rude and condescending which led me to reach out to the TAs instead. When students requested changes or alterations due to the circumstances, we were faced with rudeness. This is unacceptable at a highly regarded institution like UCLA. Not only do we pay good money for a high level of education but we have also worked incredibly hard to get here.
We don't need your big ego served to us with a side of condescending attitude.
All that said, if you have no choice but to take this class, take it along with easy classes because most of your time will be devoted to 110. Take notes, re-watch lectures, get a tutor, read the book, and give it your all. It is possible to get an A but it won't be easy.
I look to Bruinwalk for guidance, keeping the thought in mind that people often write reviews only when they have had a bad experience which may skew data scores. Unfortunately, every review you see will give you an accurate representation of what it is like taking this class. I took this class during a time where we had to take courses remotely, which you would think would allow lectures to be more understandable since they are recorded. A large misjudgment; many of my classmates, including me found the lectures difficult to follow - even with the playback feature of recorded videos. Although you do have to read the textbook to supplement the lectures in order to pass (not even ace, but PASS) the tests, you might find the book easier to understand. The discussion sections were turned into optional office hours this quarter and my TA didn't show up to any of the ones I tried to attend. I tried emailing her beforehand to ensure her presence during these "office hours" but it took her days to get back to me, if/when she did happen to respond. I know the TAs might differ from quarter to quarter, but there was no accountability. After failed pleas and petitions for more understanding and accommodating conditions, given the weight of the events that took place throughout the duration of the quarter (global pandemic, BLM protests, countless memorials, riots, deteriorating mental health, and more) Professor F sent a response that he "understands what we are going through but would hate to hurt those who are doing so well in the class" (*almost 0 personal paraphrasing*). Many of us were baffled to say the least because the solution we offered was a NO HARM final but we were ultimately unsurprised because you learn quickly that this is the type of person he is. The exams are difficult to understand and we were not allowed to go back to previous questions to check our work when taking the test (even though we were taking it on Respondus???). The exam scores this quarter were curved, but that was because barely any of us would have passed otherwise (he sends the quantitative descriptives so believe me, I know). We had the ability to take this class, despite it being a core class, for P/NP this quarter, but we were not aware of our grades until the very last minute for the deadline and many chose to drop the class instead of wait, because no one was sure that the grades would have been released in time. This is just what I have the capacity to remember at the moment, but in sum, only take this class if you are out of other options. Prof F, please do better.
Don't be deceived by my grade because this class was just... PAIN. Never have I encountered such a chaotic structured class, not only academically, but also just overall lol. Lemme start off with Professor Fanselow. He was definitely a great lecturer and has shown a lot of knowledge and passion for the material, as he seems like a very successful researcher... but he definitely does not tolerate any form of "excuses". We are literally in the middle of a pandemic, but he doesn't seem to show much care in the circumstances each person is going through, simply because he doesn't want to make it unfair to provide accommodation to certain students. He even told someone who asked for an exam accommodation because he had to take the exams at 2 am in the morning... but he still said "no" lol. Like it doesn't hurt to provide another exam at a different time window, like 12 hours apart??? I tell you it was pretty shocking that he even pushed our first exam a week later because of the fires lol. For academics, he uses the CCLE discussion forum to answer ANY questions we had, but he + the TAs legit ignore all the questions that they thought were irrelevant, like what (ie. literally ignored all questions about mt2 grades until a week later lol). He tends to sound very condescending so I'm pretty sure a lot of students didn't feel comfortable asking him for help lol, literally defeats the purpose of a professor.
For the class itself, his lectures from the first 5 weeks are doable, but the last 5 weeks... especially Rescorla-Wager got really confusing. There weren't even many practice exams/questions we could do, so you really never know how difficult his questions will be. Okay, I lied, he provided like 4-5 questions and a practicum for practice, but they were way easier than what he provided on his exams. He claims that his questions are very conceptual... but you have to remember such little detail that literally NO ONE will ever look at because he tests you a lot of stuff from the textbook. So yes, his exams (via. RESPONDUS + WEBCAM) are legit memorization of little details... then applying it. Yes, they were extremely difficult... as the averages were around a D-, C, and F for the 3 exams chronologically. However, despite his hard exams, it is possible to get an A or even a better grade than you expected because he curves each assignment to a B- average.. which is pretty clutch honestly. It sucks that this is still a bell-curved based class, but that's practically the only good thing about this class.. is the curve because it can't lower or hurt your initial grade. He grades off some weird GPA scale that helps you a lot that sort of makes up for the exams... but not worth it still IMO.
OVERALL, I would recommend you to take this class with a more accommodating professor because it will kinda ruin your vibe of the class. If you do take Fanselow, just know you have to be prepared to memorize a lot of details and know it well... If you want some hope, here were my stats:
Exam 1: 65/100 (avg 62.7)
Exam 2: 95/100 (avg 74.14)
Exam 3: 68/100 (avg unreleased but around low 50s)
Essay 1, 2 and 3: 100 (no avg)
Final Grade: A-
If you value your GPA, do NOT take this course with this Professor. Even in the middle of a pandemic, Fanselow has zero empathy for his students. It's like he takes pride in seeing half of the class fail. The way he responds to students is extremely stuck up and without any consideration for everything we've been going through. Unfortunately, he has tenure so he's here to stay, but PLEASE do not take this Professor. I never write reviews, but I feel like this needed to be said. All the negative reviews besides this one are true.
Please heed the reviews, I did not and I paid for it big time.
Professor Fanselow does not care about his students, whether it's in an academic capacity or just personally as human beings. A lot of the interactions with students were dismissive at best, passive aggressive and borderline hostile at worst. I truly do not think he should be teaching students, as it seems to be an experience that's unsatisfying for both him and the students.
The material was actually quite interesting, but the overall experience of "learning" from this specific professor detracted from any of the positives this course might have offered. You will learn how conditioning works when at some point in the quarter, you begin to display the conditioned response of indigestion in response to email notifications from Fanselow.
I don't have anything personal against him and I know that there are some people who were okay with his teaching style, but the way that he conducted this class and acted as an educator seriously rubbed me the wrong way. If you must take this class with this professor, put in a good amount of work to understand the the material and read through the textbook. Hopefully by then he'll have become as good a professor as he is a researcher.
I am leaving this review so other people don't have to suffer.
He warns class about how people perceive his tests are tricky and say it is not, but it really is tricky. This is coming from someone who had taken Psych 127A and Psych 150 during this quarter and got A+ and skipped final (the tests were open book, but I barely used notes anyway). My grade will probably come out to C and I felt like this class was worse than Psych 100B. This class is all about behaviorism which I feel like is not actively researched recently and a lot of examples or research used in the lectures are pretty old. I felt like this class is not for most psych major unless you are really into behaviorism. Just download The Principles of Learning and Behavior 7th behavior from lib gen for free and study the material yourself! If you have to take this class, definitely take it with someone else. There was no discussion sections and instead we were given 4 written assignments to submit beside tests. He does not drop any lowest test score grade and would have not dropped one of the lowest paper grade if it wasn't for BLM protest so he would make 0 accommodation if this class was conducted in the regular setting.
This professor was one of the only professor during this spring 2020 quarter with pandemic and BLM protests to make no accommodation (he only made 1 accommodation to drop 1 paper assignment grade), but grades were not posted up to date on timely manner that makes it little irrelevant. Although paper were graded by TAs and they all had to finish grading to curve and post the grade, I felt like communication from professor or TA regarding grading process and so on would have been more helpful instead of dropping announcement before it is too late.
This class was pre-recorded for few weeks in advance so that all the questions people posted on the discussion forum and announcements were only made by forums which I found it really inconvenient and unhelpful. You will have to search up housekeeping, announcements, clarifications, or updates from discussion forum and I felt like he made least effort to answer students' concern or questions. His lectures are dull, boring, and confusing so I would often had to watch lectures 2-3 times, re-read textbooks, and talk with TAs for clarifications. I once decided to go to his office hour, but he didn't showed up for the full 1 hour period which left me hanging on the zoom. There was no announcements, apologies, etc which clearly shows he does not care about student, their time, circumstances, and so on. One the final, he had question about how students are constantly e-mailing him about their concern about coronavirus and BLM protest and how he decides to only respond to discussion forum. And how discussion forum gets loaded with questions as he ignores e-mail to test the concept learned in this class. I find his attitude and deciding to write final exam question regarding that shocking. Throughout the quarter, he constantly stated we were accepting his class policy by enrolling in the course and reading the syllabus which is the reason why he made 0 accommodation during the pandemic. However, he decided to change test questions from 40 questions to 20 without prior announcement that I find it contradictory to his words. He kept repeating how UCLA is allowing pass/no pass and you can always drop this course. What if someone is graduating senior and have to take this course? This shows he doesn't care about student and is only looking out for his convenience. Also, the tests were administered using respondus (lockdown browser) and he refused to let students go back to the previous questions. This really highlighted different experiences I had with other professor who were willing to make accommodation, change test format, and actively took feedback and actually incorporated into the course. Maybe he was relevant, cared about student learning, and were passionate before but I don't think he cares now.
OH MY GOD! Fanselow sucks SO BAD it cannot be expressed in words. Where do I begin. He is boring, unclear, and doesn't give any care into whether or not students do well, just that they know how smart and successful he is apparently.
The way he went through the curriculum was so bonehead stupid and unnecessarily hazards: his lectures skipped around in order of the book chapters yet we had to read the entire book without any idea of what was important for the exams. I spent around 10 hours a week doing this class and still was unable to do well on the exams, despite how long I studied and how much I learned. His exams are so UNNECESSARILY tricky and out there that it is no where near a reflection of the work understanding and time you put into this class. I had stomach ulcers from the stress!