Fall 2020 - Overall, this class and Professor Kelley were wonderful! If you are looking for an easy GE that is also interesting and highly relevant, this is the one for you (provided that you find economic related topics interesting). Course Overview: Grading consisted of two essays (25% each), completion of a group project (25%) and participation/attendance in discussion (25%). No midterm or final as the essays essentially took place of the exams. Lectures: Lectures were recorded and were really engaging and interesting, especially in the second half of the class. Professor Kelley does a great job explaining movements against neoliberalism and how neoliberalism originated. You will definitely learn something in this class and question how our economy should work. While he did sometimes go on tangents in his videos, they were overall very concise and summarized key points well. He also held group office hours during class time and he is super passionate about what he teaches! Discussions: Overall, discussions were somewhat poorly run, but this varies by TA. Essentially, we would spend the class time discussing the readings and you would have to lead discussion by preparing two questions for one week. Not too bad but sometimes discussion stalled and it was hard to make new points in class. We also had a group project which was basically a section wide slide show where each student made a slide. Not too bad and easy points. Essays: Two essays in this class. The first one was more historical and the second one was based on current times (we had to propose policies to President-elect Biden about how to undo neoliberalism which was kind of fun). They weren't too bad (5-7 pages each), but be aware that the directions can be vague and that you can only use info from the readings & lectures (although they wanted you to use mostly readings). Readings: Prof Kelley assigns A LOT of reading for this course, especially considering it is a GE. That being said, you don't have to really read everything in detail. Focus on the two books that he assigns and just have a general understanding for the other readings/articles. You will need them for essays and discussion, but knowing the key points is sufficient. Helpfulness/Clarity: Prof Kelley was very helpful in explaining assignments further in office hours and through follow up emails. He was also very flexible given COVID and the Election. Summary: This course was definitely eye opening and Prof Kelley is very passionate about what he teaches. Combined with the fact that it was pretty easy makes this a great GE!
Summer 2016 - I thought I would write a quick review for those who are planning to take this class as an online GE during summer: There are basically only 2 aspects to the course if I remember correctly - one is to reply/post on the CCLE forum, and the other is a set of 3 papers you do over the 6 week period. All 3 papers are really really short (the first two are 5 pages and the last one is like 7 pages or something). Once I had detailed plans for each paper, I made 15 minute zoom appointments with my TA, who was really helpful. She gave me insight on what I was doing well and what needed to be improved. I ended up getting 100% on all 3 papers, and a A+ in the class. Dr. Kelley is really cool in real life but his recorded lectures were actually a little monotonous. The lecture lengths range, but it usually took me 3 hours to get through a 1 hour lecture because of the notes you have to take. He speaks really fast. P.S. You don't actually have to do the readings, but you must have some general idea of what is going on because you will need to cite the book for the papers.
Fall 2021 - I absolutely love Professor Kelley; he's the most engaging lecturer I've ever had. He is very radical and makes very very bold claims to grab attention, and then explains them. Very intriguing, very cool guy. The lectures for this class are an hour and fifteen minutes, and normally I get a little bored, but never during Prof Kelley's lectures. I plan on trying to take all his other classes even if they don't help me with any necessary credit. He doesn't just read off of slides, answers all questions warmly and in depth, and is overall just super cool. This class is decently easy as long as you do the readings and attend lecture. After week 8 it's really easy because you're done with all the big assignments (besides the final). Weekly readings can be a little overwhelming but you can skim the long ones. Make sure to at least read a few because you have to use them for the final. My TA graded really easily and said all TAs have to go to norming sessions so I assume everyone was graded easily. I would recommend this class just for Prof Kelley!!
Winter 2016 - I really admire Mr. Kelly for his passion of AA History. He always taught the class with so much enthusiasm and it made the class better. We had a midterm paper and a final paper. There was a lot of reading but they were interesting. I would most definitely take him again.
Winter 2022 - Robin could improve a lot on helping me learn effectively. Due to a pre-existing health condition, I could not go to class in person. After going back to in-person, the lectures only recorded the audio, not the slide show. Although he provided the slide show, it was very hard to follow along. I eventually gave up listening to lectures because they were not helpful. The grade is based on two things and two things only: one midterm essay and one group project. Each was worth fifty percent of the grade. If I needed to do the final essay, each part would be worth 33.3 percent of the grade. The essay question was thought provoking, but the grading was wildly inconsistent and seemingly arbitrary. In other words, it seemed like students earned their essay grade based on the mood of the TA, the person grading the essays. However, the group project is a completely different story. It was so much worse! The group project consisted of seven members that Robin randomly assigned. There was no clear rubric for the group project, so it seemed very open ended. Robin even said that the group project would only help, not harm, everyone's grade. Well, this was a blatant lie! Since there was no clear rubric, we turned in a pamphlet, something recommended on the syllabus. According to google, a pamphlet is usually only a page, front and back. However, he said my group's project was "thin" and gave us a B+! Thankfully my midterm essay was good enough so that I do not have to write the final, but still! Please provide a clear rubric if you are going to be so critical. The professor was not accommodating in any way. Just no, no way in hell. He was FORCED to be flexible during the beginning of the quarter because everything was online. However, his decision to go back in person, along with recording the lectures in such a poor way, made me feel like I was being punished. I would either have to risk my health and possibly my life to attend class, or just rely on poor audio recordings. He tried blaming this on the room's technology for only allowing audio recordings. But come on, that excuse will not work on me! He could have been more forceful about choosing a different room with better technology. If this did not work, he could have continued lecturing online. But obviously he did not care enough to do this. So sad. He did put students in groups for the group project, but half the group did nothing at all. I am not a snitch, so I will not say which group I am in. However, I will say I contributed more than I should have. He removed the participation grade from the grading rubric, something I really do not understand why. He should have left it because half the students in my group did nothing! According to the TA, if we report a group member for doing nothing, that team member's grade would be lowered. But what about the remaining students in the group! Nothing! We made a "thin" project ("thin" is from Robin) because half the members did nothing. Were we supposed to do just as much as groups with seven contributing members? So damn infuriating. I would never take a class with Robin ever again. Everything seems so arbitrary and performance in this class is only based on the personalities of the TA that grades the essays and the group members who work on the group project. My traumatic experience in this class is even making me hesitant to take another history class at UCLA. Before this class, I was seriously considering getting a minor in history. I did not really care for this TA. I have had better. In my opinion, Rory's saving grace is that she is a very slow grader. It took Rory around a month to finish grading everyone's midterm. Everyone turned in the essay around week 6 and everyone got it back around week 10. Ridiculous, am I right? However, this was actually a good thing because I am pretty sure Rory's grading habits made the final essay optional. This totally saved me because I stopped reading the required texts and going to lectures after the first midterm. I would have done so poorly if I had to write the final essay, but now I got an A. I have to thank God for this. It was truly a miracle. God is good. God is great. Amen!