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I just made a bruinwalk account because I feel the need to inform others of this issue. You might be thinking "if you take such issue with this class, why not complain to the head of the department?". This would be the best recourse if Dr. White herself wasn't the head of the department. Heretofore I find myself writing this review. As others have said, never in my four years of higher education have I been so let down by a class. I've earned bad grades in classes that were totally justified. Either I didn't work hard enough, or I didn't have a good grasp of the material. However, this is the first time that I felt like I was GIVEN a grade rather than earned it. This class, minus the Dr. White module, was pretty much okay. However, the whole experience has been completely soured for me. Going into it I was super excited to finally dive into the world of neuroscience and coming out of this class I feel like the next two classes in the series are just a burden. This is mostly due to Dr. White's module.
The material of the module isn't too shocking by any means. It's a bit tough, but nothing I wouldn't expect from a class like this. We've all taken way harder classes than this. Even the quizzes were a bit easier for this module than they had been in Dr. Chandler's module. However, the exam for this module is a slap in the face as a student. The questions seemed okay and I came out of it feeling completely neutral. This is because of the fact that prior to the exam, Dr. White lulled us into a sense of security saying we wouldn't need to worry, and we should be concise and brief on the exam. Then, the exams are returned to us, and the scores are far lower than the previous module. The comments left by the graders were extremely confusing, and we were essentially expected to write essays for each of the nine questions in an hour. If the exam was as Dr. White had described, the scores would have been better. Her solution is to give everyone ten points, which are forfeited if a regrade is requested. Another reviewer has said that the points were forfeited if the regrade was more than ten points, which is false. It was forfeited period. Clearly she cares more about the average rather than actually assessing our learning. The Machiavellian style of grading by the TA's isn't helpful at all.
If you're reading this prior to taking this class and Dr. White is still teaching it, then get the heck out of this major and study something that will treat you fairly rather than just see you as a number on the registrar. If you decide to stick around, then I would recommend brushing up on your AP english stuff prior to the exam if you want to do well. Good luck.
Apparently the Fall 2020 class had a miserable time, but I assure you 2021 Stephanie White is quite great and her exam is nothing too difficult (she must have eased off on the rubric). There were 9 short answers (some with multiple parts) to do in about an hour and 15 minutes so the time crunch was for sure there, but I didn't answer a part of a question and still did quite well. Mean was an 82.
Her material is on motor systems and circuits and it's actually quite interesting, especially when she talks about her own research using birds. Don't let the other reviews scare you, she's actually very nice!
Long story short: Take this class with a different professor if at all possible. She is the chair of the department so any concerns are futile. All my classmates and I can do is warn you. I completely agree with my classmates from this quarter. Dr. White was a great lecturer, and seemed nice at first, however the exam changed everything. I agree with my classmate that said, "I feel as though I was given my grade, I did not earn it." I treated this class like a part time job, logging in hours and hours of studying to no avail. I finished with an decent grade, however I am not a B student. I spent more time on this course than any course I have ever taken, and this is the second B I have ever received. If you have to take this class for your major (like most of us do), do not listen to this professor if she says to write a short and concise answer. That is exactly what she said to us, then we all received our feedback that said we missed large sums of points for not having enough information in our answer. If you have to take this class with this professor and want an A, either have a lot of background knowledge in the field, or spend 20+ hours a week studying for this class and write as much information as you can in the hour of time you are allotted. To be fair, in light of the 68% average on her exam (the other professors had a class average of ~80%), she did provide a 10% boost to everyones grade. This seems helpful, however considering that each exam is worth 25% of your grade, anything less than a high B on each exam is detrimental to your grade. The biggest issue was the poor communication. Everyone would have written more and had more information in their answers if they weren't told to be concise. I mean the exam was 9 fairly long short answer questions, and we had an hour to do it, so having long answers with a lot of information would have been next to impossible regardless. If you have no choice but to take her, godspeed to you my friend.
White was nice, but I wasn't in love with her the way other people were. Her material was fairly interesting but didn't speak to me. She was nice in making one of our quizzes a practice quiz because she would have been testing us on material from a Wednesday lecture on Friday when we had the Module One exam on Thursday night.
Her test was hell. If everyone left Chandler's exam thinking it was horrible and then got good grades, White's was almost the polar opposite. She had stressed being concise and to the point (just like Chandler but without a word limit like he did) and had made formatting accommodations to make it easier on us. I will not argue the validity of those. However, I think counteracting a high Module One average with a lower Module Two average is bull. I didn't even finish a question and a half on the test, and I know many people that also didn't finish or barely did. I type fairly fast and struggled to read and digest and then spill it all onto the page.
The grading for the test was harsh. One question asked to list something. I got points docked for not elaborating enough. On a listing question. People were docked for grammar and had comments stating that the exam question would receive zero points if the TA were in charge. Dr. White acknowledged that the average was lower than expected and gave everyone 10 points back, which was appreciated. However, forcing students to forfeit the 10 points for other regrades was rather unfair. Most of us were given 10/11s with no feedback on why we didn't get the additional point.
I think a lot of people were burned by this test, and fairly so. I think we were misled in terms of expectations, and this could have largely been remedied by showing us an example question or two with different levels of responses to model the detail required for a 10 or 11.
Overall I think White was okay but not overly understanding or empathetic to students. I think her test was unfairly graded, and she attempted to make up for it but failed to address student concerns.
I came into the class with negative expectations based on the terrible reviews from last year. HOWEVER, it was NOT the case and she was absolutely the best professor out of Chandler and Piri in the class. No problems with the exam; however, the TAs fought hard to make sure we would get points as long as our answers had everything they looked for. Her slides had all the information you need unlike Piri. She was also the most clear and the best at lecturing. Her quizzes were the easiest too. Overall, she’s a cool and chill professor.
Stephanie White is truly a conundrum and not in a good way.
She *appeared* to be an extremely engaging lecturer, her material was easy and straightforward and she was always willing to answer questions
come the exam all of that changed. It was like a don't feed the gremlins before midnight moment and shes the gremlin, the exam is midnight/water... The exam *seemed* extremely straightforward and to be honest easy, however when grades were released the rubric was entirely unreasonable and I don't say that lightly. She functionally expected you to copy paste her entire lecture as the answer even though the questions didn't ask for anything remotely that specific or in detail, and even according to herself she said she wanted us to "answer like you're telling your parents at the thanksgiving table" yet when a question asked us to "describe an experiment we discussed in class that covers xyz concept" thinking oh ya, i'll mention what the researchers did, what they found, and how it related to that concept- but no - she wanted us to literally mention the labels of the graphs in the experiment.. like we literally got points off for not mentioning what the X and Y axis labels were in one random graph in one experiment that demonstrated the concept the question was asking about. We got points off for "not having a topic sentence" yet we were told it was fine to answer in bullet point format... and I guess I was unaware that this suddenly became an english class, would've been useful to know before her exam.
Then once we all requested the rubric be changed to just match what the questions asked she became extremely rude and hostile, many people had extremely rude comments on their exams like "I should have given you 0 points for this" (which like, in what way is that constructive criticism???!)
Additionally, she said that we all scored significantly lower than her average (mind you this is during covid so this was literally an open book exam too..) and because of that she'll give 10 points back to us BUT if we request a regrade (even if the grader just literally missed something we said like we wrote it down verbatim as the key wanted it and they just didn't give us the points) we would have to forfeit the additional 10 points, in her words "if you think you can get more than 10 points out of a regrade sure, but if you request it and don't then you wont receive the 10 point boost" so even if you just mentioned a regrade and got no points back, your "curve" would be removed. This honestly seems rather discriminatory to me considering several students had places where they matched the key exactly and should have received those points (even though the key was absolutely ridiculous) they would still lose points for asking for equitable grading...
You're required to take her class for the neuro series but by far that is the worst exam i have ever taken, because to be honest I didn't study enough for chandler's exam and didn't do that great which was my fault entirely- her module brought me to tears because i worked my ass off studying for the exam and did poorly- but not because i didn't understand the material, or because I slacked off, but because the exam was truly unfair.
Although her module is interesting, professor White's grading methods are extremely unfair. I have never written a review in Bruinwalk, but the amount of stress that I experienced this quarter encouraged me to do so for future generations. Her lectures were okay, but I mostly had to teach myself the material from the book. A day before the midterm she wrote us an email saying how we "would even enjoy taking the midterm". The questions on the midterm were very straightforward, and since she constantly emphasized on the idea of quality vs. quantity, most of us gave short concrete answers. On top of this, there is barely enough time to finish the midterm (good luck if you're not a fast typer, I can't even imagine). Right after the midterm, we all thought we had truly learned the material and had done quite decent. However, when our scores came back, we were all SHOCKED at how poorly we had done (average was a 68), and how we lost points for the most ridiculous reasons such as not "elaborating enough" or "not organizing our ideas" when we barely had enough time. Keep in mind this was during a global pandemic. Overall, I am extremely disappointed at the lack of empathy from the Neuroscience department. As someone said, try doing well in Chandler's (amazing professor) or Piri's module or you'll grade will easily go down an entire letter grade.
In the 4 years that I've been at UCLA, out of all the stem professors, Ive never met anybody more evil. Her lecture content is interesting and her lectures are well organized. I took this class during a pandemic. This woman added so much more stress... She made us think that she wanted simple short straight to the point answers but in the end we lost a lot of points for grammar mistakes. There was so much confusion with the exam and she awarded us 10 points extra because she realized that her communication was bad. HOWEVER, if we wanted a regrade that meant that we would lose those extra 10 points that everyone got. It sounds fair to some but to most of us that was absurd. Her quizzes are the hardest. Definitely try to do well in Chandler's module, or Piri's because this woman is here to kill you... Its so sad. She cares so much about the averages and having the lowest amount of good grades as possible. You have no choice but to take her if you must take this class but please be careful with the exam. Study really well and even then try to not have that many expectations for this professor.
One of the posts on here complained that the other reviews were being too harsh on Dr. White and that we are just mad at the bad grades we received. To be honest, before the grades were received I was pretty indifferent about Dr. White her material was interesting but she didn't really present it in any special way that really captivated me. The main issue for me was in the sense that if she wanted us to be more in-depth with some of the answers that she wanted then she should have explicitly asked for some of the details. Looking over the answer key for the test was absolutely infuriating since all of her comments were asking for really specific details that most students wouldn't know to add unless explicitly stated. Not to mention the mildly passive-aggressive comments received by the students from the TAs that critiqued the grammar, structure, and word choice of the students? IS this a neuroscience class or an English class?? I mean she did try to rectify the situation by adding 10 points to everybody's score but honestly, the situation still doesn't sit right with me. Definitely understand now why so many people have complaints of the neuroscience department here.
The other reviews from Fall 2020 are a little unfair for some points. Professor White did a great job in lectures fully explaining everything in great detail and posted every lecture on CCLE (this was taken during online classes), so attendance was not mandatory and you could go back and get all of the details down that she explained. Her slides are far more detailed than Chandlers or Piris were and her lectures were the most useful. I did not even need to read any of the textbook during her portion of the class. The midterm was 10 short answer questions in 1 hour (just like Chandlers), which was very hard for timing. White did at least not make us follow a strict word limit or create 3 different documents as Chandler did. Her exam was very straightforward and the questions were very fair if you followed her lectures. I agree that some of the grading points were kinda absurd and cared more about formatting than the actual content; however, she gave us TEN POINTS back to every single person's exam even if they did not complain about wanting a regrade. A ton of people complained about this and still complained about the grading (reasonable), but 10 points is a lot and even if they did the regrades that people complained about, it would not have made up for 10 points on every person's exam, so I don't understand why some people were mad about getting 10 points back to their grade when it was probably more than they lost to those absurd grading points? She did say we forfeit the 10 points if we request a regrade worth MORE than the 10 points, which is a detail people are leaving out. idk, people are being petty and unfair and Professor White was a great professor and no one had any complaints about her until they got bad scores on their exams.