Fall 2020 - Overall this was an extremely useful class with engaging content and assignments. The applications of GIS are endless, and the geography department at UCLA is stellar in teaching this subject. Even before the pandemic, in place of lectures are prerecorded tutorial-esque videos. However, Professor Burkhart was extremely helpful regarding assistance with the weekly projects in the CCLE forums. These projects, typically creating a map or working with spatial data in one form or another, are very time consuming and graded by your TA. My TA Jason was very knowledgeable and helpful with the intricacies such as visual design or QGIS errors and made lab sessions worthwhile with solutions and even examples of his own projects and various applications of GIS. Unfortunately, not all of my peers had the same experience with their TA's and were graded harshly based on aesthetics or inclusion/exclusion of seemingly small details. It also may be difficult to get above an A- as you must go "above and beyond" (which varies according to your TA) if you want to receive 100% on an assignment. Although experiences may differ based on professor and TA, you will definitely learn the material very well and be prepared to equip yourself with a highly valuable and coveted skillset.
Fall 2018 - Professor Burkhart is probably one of the most engaging/helpful professors I've had all throughout UCLA (just graduated); part of the reason why is because he actually loves what he teaches (he's like a rare Pokemon), and he structures his class to where you actually start liking what he teaches as well. That isn't to say that this class is an easy one. You definitely need to put at least 10-14 hours (depends on how badly you procrastinate) a week if you want to get a good grade. The assignments are worth way more than the final project, so make sure you don't put those off. In addition, He's also an extremely fair grader: we had an incident in the quarter where we had an undergrad TA that was grading quite harshly, and after a couple of us emailed him, he announced that he would now personally grade all our assignments and gave back points to those who deserved them. I wouldn't say he's an easy grader, but it's just because there are a lot of things he puts on the rubric and a lot of people do the projects last minute and forget to include all the specified guidelines. I got an A despite doing most if not all my projects last minute, and it included turning in an response assignment late and thus getting a 0. But that's because I just made sure all my maps included the guidelines he specified, and I also did more than expected to create more engaging and creative presentations. So just make sure you do really well on the assignments, and the quizzes & map critiques won't really matter. Burkhart truly wants his students to enjoy learning about his subjects, and it doesn't matter if you're not into GIS. I certainly wasn't, until I took this class, and I realized these things were actually pretty stinking cool and useful in real life.
Winter 2021 - (This course is now numbered Geog 181A after the renumbering) Professor Burkhart does a fantastic job with his online lectures and assignments. Everything you do feels very reasonable and applicable. He also reaches out to his students multiple times during the quarter and felt very accommodating. I highly recommend this professor, and I hope to take more courses with him in the future.
Winter 2022 - This class was entirely asynchronous when I took it. The lists of things you need to get done each week were very straightforward: lectures, weekly quizzes, and projects (with technical videos). The lectures were very clear and concise, like those in GEOG7 but added on some more concepts/ reviewed the old ideas from GEOG7. The weekly quizzes had multiple attempts, and they were open notes so that you could expect good grades from that portion. The projects were definitely the longest and most challenging part of the weekly assignment. Unlike GEOG7, especially in the second half of the class, you need to figure out how to do some stuff yourself. The technical screencasts would not walk you through all the processes. You will have a final project on any topic, very open-ended, but you are expected to use techniques you have learned from this class. Overall, I think it is a very useful class for people interested in learning GIS. The course structure was the same as GEOG7, so it is not hard for you to get used to it. However, I think I would have a better experience in the class if there were assigned time sessions (but voluntarily participate) that you could drop in together with other people and ask the TA/ professor the questions. GroupMe is very helpful, so please make one so you can connect with other people in the class. I went to the office hours, but there was such a long wait. My TA was responsive to the email, which was excellent and helpful. The projects you complete every week are very cool, and you would be proud of them. I enjoyed the class and would recommend that anyone interested in GIS enroll in this!