Steven M. Peterson
Department of Communication
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3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 19 Users
Easiness 2.5 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.7 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.3 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Issues PTEs

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

20.0%
16.7%
13.3%
10.0%
6.7%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

20.0%
16.7%
13.3%
10.0%
6.7%
3.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

26.2%
21.8%
17.5%
13.1%
8.7%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

28.7%
23.9%
19.2%
14.4%
9.6%
4.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

22.2%
18.5%
14.8%
11.1%
7.4%
3.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

25.5%
21.3%
17.0%
12.8%
8.5%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

26.1%
21.7%
17.4%
13.0%
8.7%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

31.5%
26.3%
21.0%
15.8%
10.5%
5.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

35.9%
29.9%
23.9%
17.9%
12.0%
6.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (12)

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Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A
March 24, 2019

I've seen a number of poor reviews for Peterson, but I thoroughly enjoyed his Comm 156 class this summer. The material for this course was VERY interesting, as are his in-class anecdotes. Many reviewers mentioned that his tests aren't on the in-class material, but focused on his posted readings for each week-- this is 100% true. BUT if you know that going in and focus on that material, his midterm and final are not overly difficult. There are also two projects-- a small one and a large one-- which each take a lot of time to complete, but if you're proactive and start when he assigns them they are manageable. This class isn't the easiest in the department, but it's definitely a great class to take on an interesting topic with a professor who puts in effort to make the content relevant and interesting.

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Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A
Oct. 6, 2018

I'm pretty sure Peterson only teaches this class during the summer session C now...
Overall super easy comm upperdiv if you need to check off that comm technology and digital systems requirement. Pretty minimal work: 2 mini assignments-1st one is a summary of 3 articles, and the second one is a social network analysis of like 8 people. 1 midterm, 1 final, and 1 group project which is really just a research paper. Peterson's lectures are super easy to tune out because he just rambles on without any true coherent structure, but does make some interesting points about modern social media and it's influence on the world today. Would definitely not take again, but it was the easiest class for the worst comm requirement.

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Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: B+
Jan. 29, 2016

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook. The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper. It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper. Peterson is a good guy but you definitely have to do a lot of self teaching in this class so if that doesn't work for you either get a tutor or don't take it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: B+
Jan. 29, 2016

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook. The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper. It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper. Peterson is a good guy but you definitely have to do a lot of self teaching in this class so if that doesn't work for you either get a tutor or don't take it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
May 30, 2015

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook.

The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper.

It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 7, 2015

Contrary to a lot of reviews here, I actually quite like Steve. Are his lectures the most interesting and worth wile to go to? Nope. Are his tests deceptively easy? Kinda. Is he a swell guy who knows a lot of people and is willing to do whatever you need of him? Yep.

I appreciate him and enjoy his lectures.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 18, 2015

I took 156 with him and he is a great professor. Although the class has a lot of assignments they are all pretty interesting and not too hard. Tests are really easy as long as you go to class. He's a nice guy and very helpful

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 7, 2015

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS

Peterson seems like a pretty nice guy but this class is terrible. As a comm major this is the worst class ive taken within the department and at UCLA and definitely the most work and the most tedious (I haven't taken 150 yet so that might be even worse). It's week 5 and I have literally learned nothing from him. His lectures are totally unstructured, he rambles about news without giving you any idea if its relevant for the test, he doesn't really teach anything. Instead he mentions a couple of random thoughts and thats it. Whilst this makes the actual class fairly interesting it makes studying for the midterm pretty much impossible. He assigns about 100 pages of reading a week which is absolutely ridiculous given that he doesn't mention 90% of it in class and then we are responsible for every single reading for the midterm. Ive emailed him 3 times and not received one single reply. He is totally unhelpful, the class is stupid, you learn absolutely nothing, the reading is ridiculously long and dense, and he is a harsh grader. Oh and there's a ton of assignments every single week that are graded extremely harshly even though they are really vague. All in all this is the worst class ive taken at UCLA. I wish it wasn't too late to drop

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 16, 2013

I would describe Professor Peterson as amusingly disorganized. To clarify:

1. He uses PowerPoints in which the first slide has an outline of the lecture for the day. Do not expect to follow that outline whatsoever. Sometimes he'll even catch himself at the end of class and say "Well, that lecture was kind of freeform. Next time we'll talk more about blah blah blah" That's a lie--all of his lectures are pretty much freeform. It's bearable and whatever but initially I was tripped up because I felt like I didn't really know what was important/noteworthy and what wasn't because he didn't really have a system of letting you know what you should pay attention to.

2. Most of the lecture will be spent discussing current events/news articles. I found them interesting but (related to the first point) I was always waiting for the "actual" lecture to begin.

3. He has a great dry sense of humor and is genuinely interested in the ideas students come up with. He'll try to accommodate them and work with you to work it out. To me this makes all the points above more palatable.

4. From my experience the midterm disproportionately included questions about the one guest lecture we had. There will also be concepts that he talks about in lecture but doesn't really emphasize, then asks ~5-6 questions on them out of nowhere. He will not pressure you to complete the readings so it's up to you to stay on top of it because he does ask questions about them.

So to summarize, I think someone else said it fairly well--he's disorganized to the point that you feel disorganized. At some points I felt like I didn't know where I had to be in terms of knowledge. However, I find him a really cool and engaging professor and the material he covers is really relevant to your own life, so it's worth paying attention to.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 1, 2012

The idea of the class is interesting but professor Peterson is all over the place. He didn't seem to cover much in lecture, barely touched on the readings, and spent the rest of the time going off on tangents or anecdotes about current events. While the news he talks about is generally interesting, he doesn't really teach you anything and you are left pretty much on your own for this class.

The exams were multiple choice and based on the readings. The assignments were very vague, which is somewhat frustrating.

Overall, it's a pretty easy class (both grading and exam-wise). I just wish I could have learned more on this topic but the professor was too disorganized.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A
March 24, 2019

I've seen a number of poor reviews for Peterson, but I thoroughly enjoyed his Comm 156 class this summer. The material for this course was VERY interesting, as are his in-class anecdotes. Many reviewers mentioned that his tests aren't on the in-class material, but focused on his posted readings for each week-- this is 100% true. BUT if you know that going in and focus on that material, his midterm and final are not overly difficult. There are also two projects-- a small one and a large one-- which each take a lot of time to complete, but if you're proactive and start when he assigns them they are manageable. This class isn't the easiest in the department, but it's definitely a great class to take on an interesting topic with a professor who puts in effort to make the content relevant and interesting.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Summer 2018
Grade: A
Oct. 6, 2018

I'm pretty sure Peterson only teaches this class during the summer session C now...
Overall super easy comm upperdiv if you need to check off that comm technology and digital systems requirement. Pretty minimal work: 2 mini assignments-1st one is a summary of 3 articles, and the second one is a social network analysis of like 8 people. 1 midterm, 1 final, and 1 group project which is really just a research paper. Peterson's lectures are super easy to tune out because he just rambles on without any true coherent structure, but does make some interesting points about modern social media and it's influence on the world today. Would definitely not take again, but it was the easiest class for the worst comm requirement.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: B+
Jan. 29, 2016

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook. The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper. It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper. Peterson is a good guy but you definitely have to do a lot of self teaching in this class so if that doesn't work for you either get a tutor or don't take it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2014
Grade: B+
Jan. 29, 2016

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook. The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper. It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper. Peterson is a good guy but you definitely have to do a lot of self teaching in this class so if that doesn't work for you either get a tutor or don't take it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
May 30, 2015

Interesting class and very relevant with regard to using what you learn after college. A lot of reading but it's all online - no textbook.

The lectures are interesting but they are not what the exams are on . The exams are completely about what you read so you have to self teach from the readings. 2 exams, 2 little papers, and 1 big group paper.

It's doable but you have to make sure you understand all of the concepts to get an A on the final paper.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 7, 2015

Contrary to a lot of reviews here, I actually quite like Steve. Are his lectures the most interesting and worth wile to go to? Nope. Are his tests deceptively easy? Kinda. Is he a swell guy who knows a lot of people and is willing to do whatever you need of him? Yep.

I appreciate him and enjoy his lectures.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 18, 2015

I took 156 with him and he is a great professor. Although the class has a lot of assignments they are all pretty interesting and not too hard. Tests are really easy as long as you go to class. He's a nice guy and very helpful

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 7, 2015

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS

Peterson seems like a pretty nice guy but this class is terrible. As a comm major this is the worst class ive taken within the department and at UCLA and definitely the most work and the most tedious (I haven't taken 150 yet so that might be even worse). It's week 5 and I have literally learned nothing from him. His lectures are totally unstructured, he rambles about news without giving you any idea if its relevant for the test, he doesn't really teach anything. Instead he mentions a couple of random thoughts and thats it. Whilst this makes the actual class fairly interesting it makes studying for the midterm pretty much impossible. He assigns about 100 pages of reading a week which is absolutely ridiculous given that he doesn't mention 90% of it in class and then we are responsible for every single reading for the midterm. Ive emailed him 3 times and not received one single reply. He is totally unhelpful, the class is stupid, you learn absolutely nothing, the reading is ridiculously long and dense, and he is a harsh grader. Oh and there's a ton of assignments every single week that are graded extremely harshly even though they are really vague. All in all this is the worst class ive taken at UCLA. I wish it wasn't too late to drop

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 16, 2013

I would describe Professor Peterson as amusingly disorganized. To clarify:

1. He uses PowerPoints in which the first slide has an outline of the lecture for the day. Do not expect to follow that outline whatsoever. Sometimes he'll even catch himself at the end of class and say "Well, that lecture was kind of freeform. Next time we'll talk more about blah blah blah" That's a lie--all of his lectures are pretty much freeform. It's bearable and whatever but initially I was tripped up because I felt like I didn't really know what was important/noteworthy and what wasn't because he didn't really have a system of letting you know what you should pay attention to.

2. Most of the lecture will be spent discussing current events/news articles. I found them interesting but (related to the first point) I was always waiting for the "actual" lecture to begin.

3. He has a great dry sense of humor and is genuinely interested in the ideas students come up with. He'll try to accommodate them and work with you to work it out. To me this makes all the points above more palatable.

4. From my experience the midterm disproportionately included questions about the one guest lecture we had. There will also be concepts that he talks about in lecture but doesn't really emphasize, then asks ~5-6 questions on them out of nowhere. He will not pressure you to complete the readings so it's up to you to stay on top of it because he does ask questions about them.

So to summarize, I think someone else said it fairly well--he's disorganized to the point that you feel disorganized. At some points I felt like I didn't know where I had to be in terms of knowledge. However, I find him a really cool and engaging professor and the material he covers is really relevant to your own life, so it's worth paying attention to.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 1, 2012

The idea of the class is interesting but professor Peterson is all over the place. He didn't seem to cover much in lecture, barely touched on the readings, and spent the rest of the time going off on tangents or anecdotes about current events. While the news he talks about is generally interesting, he doesn't really teach you anything and you are left pretty much on your own for this class.

The exams were multiple choice and based on the readings. The assignments were very vague, which is somewhat frustrating.

Overall, it's a pretty easy class (both grading and exam-wise). I just wish I could have learned more on this topic but the professor was too disorganized.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 19 Users
Easiness 2.5 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 2.7 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.5 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.3 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (2)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (2)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (1)
  • Snazzy Dresser
    (1)
  • Often Funny
    (1)
  • Issues PTEs
    (2)
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