All Ratings and Reviews for Robin Kelley
The course material is really interesting and Professor Kelley gives very interesting lectures. I would recommend this class if you're actually interested in the topic, if you're not I guess this is an easy enough GE.
There are no midterms or finals for this class, the two midterms are papers and the final grade is a group project with your entire discussion section. From what I've heard almost every group got a high grade. For the midterm papers, you can only use the course readings and lecture notes, so be sure to go to lecture. He also doesn't post his slides.
I really enjoyed this class and would recommend it.
This is probably the most rewarding GE I have ever taken. I got my A+ by reading all the materials, attending all the discussions, and going to lecture. Biggest pieces of advice are 1) keep up with those readings, sometimes they’re crazy long and if you put them off you will struggle to catch up and 2) attend. Lecture. I cannot emphasize this enough because not only are they engaging but when you are writing your essays it is WAY easier to cite from his lecture than from a reading. There are no exams but 2 essays and a group project. That group project was the most frustrating thing I have ever done. No exaggeration. Me and one other girl were pulling most of the weight which is the only reason it got done. I say this not to brag but to warn you that it was the only part of this class I really didn’t like. When you get there BE ON TOP OF THAT because it’s 25% of your grade and he presents it in front of your 300 person lecture class. Despite that, I’d still take it again because it was so interesting and rewarding.
This class was highly engaging and informative, especially if you're interested in economics and politics on a global scale. The readings can be long and dense, but it isn't necessary to do all of them in order to do well on the papers, although some of them contain information that can seriously alter your world view. I went to Kelley's office hours a few times and you can tell he's truly passionate about the topics and enjoys connecting with students. I definitely recommend this as a GE.
I would call this a pretty easy GE.
To be honest, I only went to about half of the lectures for this class. I was involved in something else really time-consuming this quarter and I just had to skip this class in order to make time for it. I still ended up with an A-.
I thought it was really meaningful to learn about the effects of capitalism on the world. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. However, the lectures can be a little dull and repetitive, especially for someone like me who does not have a strong interest/background in politics or economics. If you love these topics this class may be a little more engaging for you. Professor Kelley is a really cool, passionate guy, and I feel a little guilty for missing a lot of his lectures or spacing out during them. I wish I could have learned more from him but that's my fault.
There is a lot of reading, but I did not do most of it. I would just read some of the books/articles when writing my essays and I still did fine.
This class has 2 essays and a final group project. The final group project is with your entire discussion and can kind of be a huge mess, but it seemed to turn out okay for every group. Try to choose a topic/project format that is a little more unique to make it memorable to Kelley. Also, do not just focus on neoliberalism in America, make sure to mention its effects on the whole world/other countries. Groups that did this really impressed Kelley.
Also, this class is very very liberal, if you couldn't tell. If you are conservative you may feel uncomfortable with this class since it is essentially how capitalism is evil. Your essays will mostly be on the destructive effects of capitalism.
This class is not at all what I thought it would be. A lot of the information given to us I would look up after lecture and it is just false. Kelley has radical left wing beliefs and to get a good grade in this class you just have to write about how capitalism in the root of all evil and government intervention is good and everyone is racist.
There are little facts used to back up any information in this class. There are things you are told to think and say and get punished if you disagree. The course completely disregards economic facts or quite frankly, anything that is taught in classes that actually uses evidence.
This class is the definition of a "radial left social justice-oriented course".
In terms of grading
Just go to class for clicker questions.
Midterm grade and final paper grade depend on TA. My TA was awful - gave everyone in the class a B- on the first paper (we asked around) and then increased everyones final paper grade by 10%.
There is a stupid final project at the end where each discussion provides one project - everyone gets the same grade. Quite frankly the definition of communism. Some people work hard for 2 weeks while other sit on their ass and get the same grade.
Don't bother doing reading and only do relevant readings when given paper topics.
I am the friend of the first reviewer who signed them in. I went to almost every lecture, and tried to listen to Kelley. I can confirm that this class is stupid. A lot of the history Kelley spent hours talking about, I could have Googled and learned more effectively. All arguments Kelley made in class seemed like an exercise in brainwashing young minds against the principles of capitalism.
I can also confirm that the changes in the syllabus were annoying and inconsiderate of the students' schedules. Students, who were responsible for finishing these papers at the whims of their professor.
In addition, the group project is also stupid. Assigned groups, first of all, never work. I personally had to deal with a whiny, crybaby group mate, who made my life much more difficult than it had to be.
The entire grade depends on your TA, so if you end up with a shitty TA, god only can save you.
I hated every minute in this class, because attendance is required. But guess what, my TA revealed to us in 9th week, that lecture attendance might not have any weight in the final grade. And so continues this professor's rule of lying to his students.
I loved this class. The other reviewer clearly just didn't show up to class, it's what you make of it. He was extremely engaging in lecture and the readings were interesting. At times he would make changes to the syllabus, but that was always to accommodate the students complaining about too much reading, so it was ultimately in service to us. The assignments were reasonable and the grading wasn't too harsh because his emphasis was on learning the material, not earning a grade. Overall, I loved this class and enjoyed lectures and would highly recommend it.
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.
This class is easy. My friend signed me into the lectures, I went to discussions and didn't do the readings; I ended the course with an A-. However, the easiness of the course is offset by the lack of structure. I was always getting emails about a change in the assigned readings, or a due date being moved up because some students were complaining. By the end of the quarter, the course looked almost nothing like the course that was outlined by the syllabus during Week 1. Overall, I found this to be disrespectful of me, and my time. Take it if you want an easy A, but be prepared to change your schedule according to other people's desires.
I do agree with some of the things said in the negative reviews. I hated the group project and my TA kinda sucked so it was annoying that my grade ultimately relied on him. But overall, I think this class was interesting as hell. While it was a history class, it wasn't just a boring regurgitation of dates and legislation and it covered some important, relevant to life shit. Not to mention Professor Kelley is the man. He is knowledgable, engaging, and very personable, and I enjoyed his perspective on the content of the class.
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