Fall 2019 - This class gave me my first ever B at UCLA. In every class, I go above and beyond when it comes to working hard for the class, especially with stem courses because math doesn’t come naturally to me. I thought I would be fine with this class since econ one doesn’t use any calculus, but I was wrong. My TA consistently gave us the wrong answers for the weekly section quizzes, and on one of the most important questions, the answer key was incorrect and the professor never sent an email to the class making a correction. It wasn’t until I discovered this mistake and emailed both my TA and professor that the professor emailed out the correct answer on THE DAY OF THE FINAL. The final was worth 50% of the final grade, so even though I got a 98% on the midterm, my hard work in the class didn’t matter unless I did really well on the final. Even after giving myself ample time to study, the final was so hard for me, and clearly it was difficult for the rest of the class because the average was a 74%. If this wasn’t an intro course, I’d understand that average, but I felt the final was much too difficult for a class that’s supposed to be “easy”. Overall, I thought I would enjoy this class much more than I did and it’s disappointing because the professor seemed like a really nice lady.
Spring 2019 - Selling the textbook call me at 212-654... haha just kidding she uses a free textbook so not spending 200 dollars for one class like econ 1. This is definetely a good class to take if you are an econ major and want an easy A for your major. Dont read the textbook before she goes over her slides because she skips certain sections (the hard ones) so the best way to study is the slides. It is certainly possible to come into the final with an 100%. The grading was 25% a midterm which I got a 95 on and was super easy, it was also 10% going to discussion and 15% this graph project which was also super easy to get a 100 on if you follow the rubric and took me only 1 hour to do the entire thing. The final also wasnt hard but it requires that you study. Final also wasnt cumulative which was nice. Final and midterm consist of vocab, multiple choice and some short answer which are really easy if you look over the graphs. Going to lecture is important because she explains everything really well but if you were to skip lecture youd be fine teaching yourself. Also she has office hours which usually dont get busy so if youre confused she can try to teach it again. Shes super nice and the most engaging econ professor you will find at UCLA so taking basic econ classes like econ 1 and 2 with her is a good move because you will learn without completely falling asleep.
Winter 2021 - I'm gonna try to be as objective and fair as possible in writing this review because I don't want to only let my own personal opinion fuel this review. But in all short honesty, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. heres why: Like everyone else, i took this class based on its past reviews thinking it was gonna be an easy A and a fun time. As a stem major, i also wanted to take an econ class to learn more about the subject out of curiosity and exploration of interests. This class has since killed that curiosity. The idea behind this class is good in concept but not in practice. It's pretty much "designed" to be an introductory economics course where people who are not necessarily econ majors can dip their toes in the water and get a taste of the subject to see maybe if it's something they enjoy. This goal sounds pretty good and is why I wanted to take this class and also because it carried a GE I needed. But in reality this did not work out. This class was WAYYYY too information dense for students to be able to adequately learn. It's like they took every single topic from economics and threw it at your face over the span of 10 weeks BUT they only give you a surface level introduction to each topic which makes it super hard to understand the underlying concept since you are not given any context or deeper explanation. The end result is a CRAP ton of vocab words and definitions that are very jargon-y by nature and impossible to truly understand on your own. The class ends up also feeling VERY fast paced (even if the workload itself is relatively light) because you're essentially learning 2 whole units per week. Now maybe this wouldn't be so bad if the professor was adequate at teaching. (Before I brutally criticize this professor I do want to make a disclaimer and say that as a person, she seems very kind and nice. In fact, I'm quite surprised that she chose to conduct the class in this way to the point where everyone is upset with her because I truly do not believe she is intentionally malicious in the way she does things. I'm not sure why things ended up getting this bad to be honest.) But the way the professor ended up conducting the lectures and class failed miserably. Her lectures were unfortunately unclear and not succinct at all. She basically read off the slides and did a poor job narrating/explaining the concepts. Since most of the concepts were already brand new to a lot of us, this made learning a whole lot harder. None of it was engaging at all. That all being said, I haven't even addressed the worst part of the class yet: the weekly quizzes, the group writing assignment, and her response to student concerns. Each week we would take a quiz on the lecture material that was about 8 questions long and each was worth 5% of our grade for a total of 45% of our grade. The quizzes were horrendous. They were poor representations of the material we learned and she always put questions that referred to a SPECIFIC number value from one of the MANY graphs/infographics during lecture. Oh, and she didn't provide the graph on the quiz so we either had to go back and look for it in the lecture OR i guess she just expected us to remember all the statistical facts she dumped on us from the material :) Not only that but almost every single question was worded vaguely and horribly. She would say things like "based on the graph below..." but then all the answers were things that were NOT based on the graph below and instead were from the lecture. Several times she also worded things so vaguely I had no idea what she was asking for. In short, it was terrible. For the quizzes to be such a huge portion of our grade, they were extremely unreasonable and unnecessarily difficult. One of the most disappointing parts is when SO many students emailed and complained to her about the quizzes and how the way things were currently being done was NOT working. The professor responded by basically disregarding everyone's concerns and saying that if we needed help we could go to office hours. But such a deep rooted issue in the structure of the class wasn't something that the STUDENTS could solve themselves by going to office hours. If there was to be change made it would have needed to be from the instructor's side. Long story short: she didn't change a thing, the quizzes got even worse, and every one's grades continued being tanked. I'm normally pretty reasonable in my judgement against professors; if I see effort being made on their part that shows that they are genuinely trying and caring for their students then that's enough for me even if they aren't the best lecturers or whatever. But the unwillingness of the professor to listen to students in this course was pretty unacceptable to me. In the midst of a pandemic, out of all the professors I've had, she is the ONLY one who gave absolutely no regard to students' wellbeing and their concerns and honestly I'm baffled that she chose to do this that way. If over half the students hate your course that is nobody's fault but the professors, end of story. And as if things couldn't get any worse, the group writing assignment was yet another example of how this course failed miserably. It was another huge chunk of our grade and yet she provided virtually NO instruction on how to do it. All there was was a pdf of "instructions" that was posted and a deadline to submit. The rest was left to us. Keep in mind, we are all REMOTE and it's extremely difficult to coordinate and work together as a group in a virtual learning environment so I have no idea why she chose to do a GROUP assignment any way. On top of that, she chose to grade pretty harshly given the circumstances and when she released scores she had the audacity to say in an email that the reason people scored low was because they "didn't collaborate" enough. Like what did you expect from a group of strangers who are currently living hundreds of miles away from each other and trying to learn virtually online? I was gonna wait until after the final to write this review but this was the last straw for me, and a lot of other people. I will update this review after the final but as of right now, this was supposed to be my easiest class and now it's pretty much inevitable that this will be the class that's gonna ruin my 4.0. Highly, HIGHLY do not recommend this class. Honestly, I see a lot of potential in this class if change is implemented because the topics we learn about seem very relevant to our current society and interesting to learn about but unfortunately my experience (and that of many others as well I believe) was nothing short of terrible. Update: the final was slightly easier than the weekly quizzes but not by much. I tried very hard and got a B+ she either curved the class or rounded me because I ended up with an A- in the class. Not the worst but still annoying because this class should have been an easy A and not the class that ruined my 4.0
Fall 2020 - This is one of my favorite classes at UCLA. I always like those professors who have a true passion for what they are teaching, and I think Professor Osei definitely loves what she teaches even in this pandemic period. The topic is development economics so we covered a lot of information about various countries around the world -- even the poorest countries in Africa. It is just so exciting to learn about theories of how to develop a country. Maybe not everyone gets the chance to change the fate of a country, but remember we all are part of some country or organization. The assignments are also meaningful -- you pick a country and research thoroughly about it and write case studies throughout the quarter. This makes me an "expert" at the country I selected lol. I would say the final is easy as long as you study at the same pace as Professor Osei wants you to. If you are considering taking econ upper div, choose Professor Osei and you would not regret it.
Fall 2021 - This class is one of the best economics classes I've ever taken and would highly recommend. Not only does the variety of assessment formats (quizzes, a group presentation, discussion forum posts) benefit most students in allowing us to demonstrate our understanding of the subject beyond traditional exams, the exams and quizzes are super fair. Practice exercises reflect the kind of math and problem-solving that we see in the exams so it's not one of those classes where the exams are ridiculously harder. And she's really responsive on email, available during office hours as promised, and works hard to make sure that the way she communicates class materials is clear. The class itself covers content that is applicable to real world contexts and is engaging, containing a blend of intuitive principles (e.g. that rent is higher per sqft closer to the city center) and case studies that are less intuitively obvious but are challenging and interesting all the same.
Spring 2017 - Olivia is the sweetest. If you go to her office hours just a couple of times, she'll get to know you by name and do whatever she can to help you succeed in the course. She's also one of the few Econ professors who gives projects (usually 1-2 per quarter) as part of your grade, which is great if you don't like having all of your grade pinned on a couple of exams and you don't mind putting some effort in outside of class. I would absolutely take this class with her again.