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COURSE DESCRIPTION: I took 4 upper div classes this quarter and devoted more than half of my study time just to this class. The reality is that while this class is not difficult per se, there is a lot of material covered and you really need to understand how course concepts connect in order to do well. The (asynchronous version) class is structured as follows: 45-1hr lecture every M/W/F, released on CCLE for each two week unit, so you could theoretically watch all 6 lectures at once (don't). Weeks 3,5,7,9 and finals week, we had a 30 question MC exam covering that last unit's material. These exams weren't particularly hard for me, but I can imagine that they are tricky for other students.
Each week you have discussion, which covers a review and 6 question MC quiz covering the material from the last 3 lectures (based on your discussion day). You also needed to be on the zoom to get attendance credit, but you don't need to do any activities or speak up which was nice. After each exam, Schein held a live Wednesday lecture to go over the previous exam's answers and take questions. He then releases grades a few hours after. Each Friday he held another live lecture where he reviews the weeks lecture content, thought I thought these were redundant so I stopped going.
Lectures themselves were interesting but hard to follow at times. He has around 100 slides a week and each of them is packed with details and images that you should know, because anything may show up on exams and quizzes. He was good at incorporating real life examples and entertaining stories to make concepts more clear, though he sometimes said contradicting things so make sure to pay attention and resort to looking at the textbook if needed.
HOW DID I STUDY: For the first two exams, I took notes by hand (pencil and paper), made a quizlet, and read the textbook thoroughly. Don't do this. I ended up scoring my lowest grades on these exams because I missed details that Schein said outloud (not on the slides), and ended up learning details that I didn't need. For exams 3-5 I changed my study habits, taking typed notes, and solely rewatching lectures each 3 times. This really helped me remember small details and understand things better, and I got higher quiz and exam grades as a result.
GRADE BREAKDOWN: The class is graded out of 434 points. (5 exams x 60 points each =) 300 points + 126 quiz/attendance points + 3 points for a course survey + 5 points for attending a movie screening. My grades were as follows:
- EXAM 1: 83 (avg 85, inflated because Schein forgot to use respondus)
- EXAM 2: 76 (avg 68)
- EXAM 3: 93 (avg 71)
- EXAM 4: 97 (avg 73)
- EXAM 5: 93 (avg 85)
- QUIZZES: I got a mix of 12s (6/6), 10s (5/6), and 8s, so I ended up getting an 86% discussion average (lowest quiz+attendance dropped)
- MISC: I did the course survey and went to the movie - 8 pts
- My final course percent was an 88.5, which was bumped up to a solid A. He grades based on percentile, with 35% of the class getting a grade in the A range, 30% B range, 30% C range. The "curve" is made after all points are added up so even if you're below average for any one exam you can still finish with a good grade if you do well on the others. A lot of students switched to p/np after exam 4 which I would be careful with because the curve is more helpful than you may think.
All in all, be prepared to dedicate time for the class and don't be discouraged if you aren't getting perfect grades. Follow my study suggestions, and take time on the MC exams because they may be tricky (all of the above, A and B, none of the above-type questions show up often). I would give the class an overall 7.5/10. You got this!
I dont know where this last person is coming from, but schein is totally the opposite of what this person is saying. Even if you know the material inside and out, you'll still struggle to get a good grade thanks to his tricky test questions. The man is totally condescending. He thinks the world owes him something since he has both an MD and a PhD. His office hours are at the worst time. Late in the afternoon when most people are exhausted and usually at home. Worse, if you just drop by his office during the day without an appointment, he gets grumpy and might even start to chew you out.
Psych 115 is a lot of material to study, but very interesting. I loved how Stan teaches the lecture as he is very fair and knowledgeable about the subjects. If you are interested in the pdf copy of Behavioral Neuroscience 8th edition for cheap, text me at 661-292-9419.
Psych 115 (Fall '11), LS2 (Fall '10)
I've taken two classes with Professor Schein. The subject matter of the two overlaps greatly and the classes were both very similar in structure. Basically, I've got 2x the experience with the guy.
As a lecturer, Schein is one of the best I've had. He's very clearly interested in what he's teaching, and he really* wants his students to pay attention. He tries to keep them involved by asking questions and playing the "repeat after me" game (be prepared to aimlessly repeat a variety of vocab words). He learns the names of the students in the front rows, and his general excitement leads to an above-average lecture. The downside is he will often run over in time, trying to cram the last 10 lecture slides into 3 minutes of your time.
As a tester, Schein is one of the only teachers I've run into that really tries to test on concepts rather than rote memorization. He doesn't want to make his students memorize the entire Kreb's cycle every step of the way. He admits himself that he gets things confused all the time, so if he can't remember it, why should his students? THAT BEING SAID he often falters when making his tests, throwing in questions like "what's the size of a eukaryotic cell." This greatly increases the difficult of the tests, because you'll not only need to understand concepts, but also pick out the small facts that he may ask you to produce. All in all, his tests are difficult. They require a lot of thinking and a lot of patience. He loves the "which one of these is NOT true?" question format, making up about 8/50 of his questions. Without a really solid understanding of the chapters, you'll find yourself guessing pretty often.
How to succeed:
I've gotten an A in both of his classes. What I found to be most useful was reading the chapter AFTER reading through the lecture slides once or twice. The lecture slides outline important parts of the chapter, and these parts will probably be the majority of his exams, but the slides don't tell the whole story. The book was necessary as a supplement in order for me to really grasp the concepts. After reading the book, memorizing the slides is recommended. He's a really concerned teacher and is fairly approachable. He has a bit of an ego which really threw me originally, but I got over it. I really respect him as a teacher, though I'm not really sure if I'd get along with him.
**tl;dr** Don't let the difficulty scare you off. Schein offers pretty rewarding classes given that you put in the effort. Don't slack, don't fall behind, and the grade will fall into place. There ARE easier teachers out there, but this one may be one of the most concerned/helpful.
Do not bother with the textbook. Focus in lecture and take detailed notes of what he says! Some of the test questions come from what he speaks of in lecture, not necessarily what's on the slides. Make sure you understand every single slide because even slides that may seem irrelevant could still be tested on.
Midterm 1: 66/100 (average = 70)
Midterm 2: 86/100 (average = 77)
Final: 90/100 (average = 77)
Final Grade: A-
Schein definitely knows what he's talking about. With that being said, he expects you to know way too much information in a 10 week course. It's overwhelming. He says he tests on concepts and main points so don't memorize and that's pretty accurate. I skimmed some chapters in the book. Also, I definitely relied on background knowledge from the LS 7 series and other psych classes like 120A. No way I would've gotten an A without those classes. For the class itself, the exams are noncumulative. Grade is composed of 3 exams, clickers, quizzes in discussion, and a paper. The top 35% gets an A, which is pretty generous. In retrospect I like him a lot more than I did during the course lol. Good luck!
Class was interesting, but lots of material to learn. Professor is very passionate, but his lectures were hard to understand and a bit complicated at times. His tests are very difficult. Reading the textbook really helped me a lot! I'm selling it if anyone is interested! Please text me at 310-918-8113 or email me at email@example.com
Schein is a good professor and super knowledgable. But he does go a bit fast and kinda glosses over a lot of topics in lecture - basically just reading super fast from his slides which have a TON of text and bolded terms.
His big emphasis is to not memorize, but to be honest you do need to put a lot of studying in because his exams are very specific. Your grade isn't just exams -- he gives you clicker points, you have discussion points, theres a movie showing, etc. There are two midterms and a final. Pretty standard for a ucla science class.
Exams are weighted the most, so its important to do well on them. But his curve is SUPER generous. 35% get an A.
Professor Schein is a great professor. He is the most human MD/PhD I have ever encountered. Schein NEVER translates his vast knowledge and expertise into the typical arrogant, "You measly undergraduates are so far beneath me" attitude that we see a lot among science professors. Instead, he **genuinely** wants students to LEARN. He doesn't jumble exams with trick questions but rather tests the major concepts. Neuroscience is a tough course, but he truly breaks it down to make it as understandable as possible. The balance of anatomy and function in his course was perfect, unlike PHYSCI versions, which expect memorization of EVERY single axonal pathway, tract, cortical region, etc. While we are expected to know the systems involved, i.e. dorsal-column vs anterolateral (for touch/pain), the focus of his exams is HOW that particular pathway leads to the larger physiological phenomenon in question. His first lecture, he gave AMAZING advice on a study method for doing well in PSY115:
1. SKIM slides & chapter (emphasis on SKIM!)
2. Attend lecture
3. READ chapter thoroughly
4. Review slides & chapter
5. Watch podcast (if time allots) to refresh important topics he particularly focused on in lecture
I'd say only about the 5-10% of "GOOD UCLA STUDENTS" actually followed his very keen advice, but honestly he hit it right on the nail. I waited until week 5 (or so, around first midterm) to even crack open the book. Even though I was able to cram all the info (do not be put off by my positive feedback, the COURSE MATERIAL IS NOT EASY! This is neuroscience, guys!), I know if I had followed his instructions from the get-go, my stress levels would be <25% of the stress of cramming 6+ DENSE (often unrelated) chapters in a few days. The class is very manageable, if you put some time into it. Again, what truly made the course was Professor Schein. He will learn your name if you show him you give two sh*ts about school and his course. He will want to get to know you aside from PSY115 class. His office hours are very intimate and engaging, as he has students sit in a half-circle, discussing confusing topics (keep on track though! He often does and WILL steer 200 degrees off-track if you spark him with an interesting scientific idea.. And trust me, he knows a LOT and finds almost every phenomenon interesting!). My take-away point is that Professor Schein is truly a gem. He urges us to get involved in research, and his Honors Section is quite interesting (just need to attend, sometimes present, and summarize 10 science-based seminars; meet one hour a week). Stay on top of your reading, and you will do well !! Seriously, Schein has the balance of this class perfected to an art form. Listen to his advice and nobody can take that A from you! I mean, the top 30% gets A's so why put some effort?