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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
Everyone has left such rave reviews but I really did not enjoy this class. I believe the nice reviews were left when the professor was first starting out, but she has definitely made the class more difficult. We had to complete weekly quizzes and were generously given an hour to complete them, but the questions always seemed to be confusing each week regardless of how intensely you listened to and reviewed lecture. They always had trick questions as well as questions that had a few right answers but one "best" answers which I hate because I was still understanding the content. I have yet to take the final for this class, but she plans to structure it just like the quizzes, which worries me because what I mentioned previously about the difficulty of the quizzes. Our entire grade is the quizzes, final, and a huge economics project that was completed with a group. Overall the class was not terrible and Olivia was very sweet, but the content itself was tricky and this GE left me spending much longer hours working on this class than any of my upper divs.
Ignore the spring 2020 reviews. It looks like the class has got significantly more difficult. Her recorded lectures and slides are ok, but the weekly quizzes are ridiculous. The 1-hour time limit was not the problem, but the questions were ambiguous, confusing, and sometimes, unanswerable from the content we were provided with. One econ major in the groupme said that some of the quiz questions were upper div econ material. If this is supposed to be an introductory class, I really wonder how difficult the upper divs are (101, 102, 103, and 106 series).
There is also a group essay where every member gets the same grade, meaning if you are unlucky and get a slacker or two in your group, you may have to put extra effort to get the grade you want.
But as a math/econ major, this class still provided a decent review of AP micro and macro and previewed what I can expect from more advanced econ classes. I would recommend taking this class only if you are already familiar with economics at least upto the AP econ level. Don't take it if you barely know the supply and demand curve.
Honestly I took this class because it had really good reviews on Bruinwalk and seemed easy enough and let me tell you, it was not. I can’t tell you how many people had the same complaints as me in the GroupMe chat I was in with the class. I think the biggest problem with this class is the weekly quizzes. Every week we have a quiz on the material from the week before and they seem straightforward enough, you’d think you’d just watch the lectures, take notes and then take a 5-10 question quiz on it the week after. And that was kind of how it was, but for some reason the professor would make the questions incredibly difficult and confusing and ask about material that we didn’t even learn in the lectures because she expected you to do research on the topics on your own and even this wouldn’t be such a huge deal but she literally doesn’t clarify at all in the lectures what stuff you should research or what’s really important to know and she goes over a lot of stuff. And to top it all off, you can only take the quizzes once and they’re timed.
People tried emailing her about the quizzes to see if she could ease up on the difficulty, offer extra credit or maybe drop the lowest score and for a while she just ignored it until I’m assuming she heard from too many students and decided to just offer an extra Quiz that would replace your lowest score.
If it wasn’t for the quizzes and the lack of consideration from the professor, this class would’ve been fine but it was probably the worst class I took this quarter and on zoom in general.
HOW IS IT FAIR TO GIVE A GROUP ESSAY WHERE EVERYONE GETS THE SAME SCORE (YOU DONT HAVE THE CHOICE TO DO IT INDIVIDUALLY) WORTH 35% OF YOUR GRADE DURING A FREAKING PANDEMIC.
The content of this class isn't difficult and but her grading scheme makes it so I literally don't have control over my grade. I have a high quiz score average (around 95-ish), but this dumb group essay makes it so that the highest score I can get is an A- before going into the final. My group got an 85% which isn't bad, but considering it's THIRTY FIVE percent of our grade I am now FIVE WHOLE POINTS short. Seriously, the fact that someone who did not contribute at all to their final essay but got lucky in a good group is able to get a much higher grade simply because I got unlucky is beyond ridiculous. But even as I say this, I don't even blame my group mates because this was just a completely tone-deaf assignment in the times we're living in. It especially pisses me off because I know the only reason they made the group essay mandatory was so they had less essays to grade, even though this professor literally had no commitments to this class. I saw her face once throughout the entire quarter lmao.
The average of the group essay was a 31/35 (88%) which doesn't seem bad until you realize that's a whole 4 points gone from your grade. From one stupid assignment that is nowhere near representative of how much you've learned from this class.
I will respect a class that allows for students to fairly earn their grade, but this definitely isn't one.
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! The funniest thing in the world is that you can get an A in a super hard major-required course, but you will get a grade of A- or even lower in the course.
I admit that I have no economical background except for the knowledge in AP Micro, but this course is just a GE course! For the worst part - group project, it was graded extremely toughly. The feedback mainly attributes the loss of points to our misunderstanding. BUT THE SPEC HAS ONLY A LINE OF WORDS OF DESCRIPTION FOR EACH QUESTION WITHOUT ANY USEFUL INFORMATION OR SUGGESTIONS. Maybe the professor realized this point and put her Q&As in the discussing forum, but what she explained was different from the grader's standard. Again, I learn the lesson that be very careful to choose a course largely relying on group cooperation
Grieving for my 4.0 overall GPA.
I think what most reviews are missing is that the content itself was not necessarily difficult--rather, the main problem was that the quiz questions did not correspond to the difficulty of the concepts we learned. Sometimes we'd learn fairly straightforward concepts, like supply and demand or excludable vs. non excludable goods, and then the quiz question would be very confusing or vaguely worded. This was a huge problem for me since I felt like I understood the concepts really well but still ended up getting some questions on easy concepts wrong. I also took AP Micro in high school and picked up these same ideas easily, which made me more sure that the quiz questions were, in fact, the problem and I wasn't just incompetent. Since each quiz does not have many questions, getting one wrong will instantly put you down to a B; this made me spend a ton of time poring over every question to make sure I understood it.
The group paper was a whole different problem. If you see an unusual amount of reviews today on March 16th, it's because the grades for them just came out. I got a 96% average on all of the quizzes, only missing a couple here and there, and a C on the paper. Also, your whole group gets the same grade no matter what. The questions all connect to each other (requiring a lot of coordination) which makes it extremely difficult because everyone is doing the class online. In person, this would have been okay, since the group could just meet up and coordinate everything in person. Even though I have a 96% average in quizzes, the highest grade I can get is a B+ because the paper is 35% of your grade. Again, the content/topics were not hard--it was the way she structured the assignment that made it difficult.
The professor seems nice but is unresponsive and unhelpful if you email her. She ignores most emails people send, no matter how genuine your concerns are.
Overall, I felt like I had very little control over my grade. I also had an advantage since I took AP Micro in high school and I enjoy econ; the class was probably even worse for people who took it for easy GE credit.
With all due respect... f this class. Idk what happened between spring '20 and now but she definitely made the course significantly harder for whatever reason. Lemme tell you... do not take this class. The class consists of weekly quizzes which made me want to rip my hair out. The answers are impossible to find in any of the slides and the questions are so vague that for every question, 3 of the answers could be right. I guess she just expects us to guess which one is the most correct in her mind. When the whole class is averaging 50-60% on the quizzes, that's a you problem Ms. Olivia! And then when the whole class emails her about the vagueness and ambiguousness of these quizzes, she basically tells us to suck it up. No curve, no dropping the lowest scores, nothing helpful at all. She did give us an optional extra credit quiz to replace your lowest score, but when you've failed like 4 of the quizzes this doesn't really help. To make matters worse there is a group project worth so much of your grade in which everyone gets the same score... Like what is that. And she graded it sooo harshly so that's cool!! Basically this class really sucks and I had to switch to pass/no pass in the middle of week 8 bc I just could not do it. Don't get me wrong, I am a hardworking student and I work for my grades, but this class is just bs. She even told the TA she makes the quizzes so that not everyone gets an A... Not sure why she wants to set her students up for failure in the middle of a pandemic, but oh well! Now I have to somehow study for this final with no study guide and (no exaggeration) 1000s of slides. Anywho take this class if you want to hate your life like everyone in our GroupMe did.
Content was not bad, but how much effort you put into this class and how good you understand the material might not be equal to what grade you would get.
Quizzes make up 45%, group paper 35%, final exam 20%.
Quizzes all have enough time, but you won't get full grade because there're really difficult questions or multiple choices that should be right but we should choose the best that matches the "picture given above."
Group paper graded harshly and not fair that everyone gets the same grade, especially in the pandemic when you can do nothing if someone doesn't put effort into their work.
Final exam is similar to quizzes.
The professor is nice to talk with.
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU WANT A HIGH GPA. From day one this class was a massive train wreck. The class has “mini lectures” that are multiple and add up to a dummy long amount of time. For example, topic 1 would have like 5 lectures ranging from 8-25 minutes each and we would do 2 topics a week. This was way too much time spent on a GE.
The class was make of 45% of weekly quizzes, 35 from a group project and 20 from the final exam.
The weekly quizzes DID NOT reflect what we learned and since each week was 5%, missing points would drop your overall class grade by like .25-2% . She would ask questions that were made to trick you. Like who is that helping? Seriously, every week when the quiz released I would just roll my eyes before starting the quiz.
The group project was graded harshly. We actually put our time and effort into the project and she would dock off hella points and say “elaborate” or “interesting I would like to hear more.” But she gave us a page limit?? How would put more if I can’t even get over the page limit. Additionally if students are going to put effort into the project, then at least return the effort with grading by adding more statements and critique-do not come at me with one line sentences and expect me not to be salty.
Overall, the class is a good idea. It’s supposed to be an introductory Econ class for those who haven’t taken Econ or want to get an easy GE out of the way, but I would advise to not take this class at all. There were so many topics that were just the shallow top of the subject and she just kept adding and adding. In the end, it just ended up being a massive amount of vocabulary terms that are hard to piece together into one coherent class. I have taken and passed both AP Econ classes in highschool and I still cannot even say I learned anything in this class just because there was too much information and most of it did not fit together.
Lastly, this professor is so uncompromising and will not listen to students. Everybody in the GroupMe chat was stressing because of the grades on the quizzes and kept asking for extra credit or some kind of curve since it was nearly impossible to even get an A. But noooooooo, there was no extra credit and no curve. She just gave an extra quiz to replace one of the other quizzes. This class had everyone stressing to the max. And for what? Pls tell me. People would email her asking for more leniency and she would just not budge. She would basically tell everyone to go shove it and end the email with “ “warm wishes.”
Take this class at your own risk, but if you don’t want to wake up with the mentality of “ I hate it here” then bestie plss do not take this class.