International Political Economy

Tyson Roberts

International Political Economy

Political Science department

Tyson Roberts

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from 9 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 2.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.2
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.3
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 2.9
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters

Grades

Winter 2020
35.6%
29.6%
23.7%
17.8%
11.9%
5.9%
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.

Fall 2020
28.6%
23.8%
19.0%
14.3%
9.5%
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.

Summer 2013
16.0%
13.3%
10.7%
8.0%
5.3%
2.7%
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.

Fall 2013
22.1%
18.4%
14.7%
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.

Fall 2012
31.3%
26.1%
20.9%
15.7%
10.4%
5.2%
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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1 of 1

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 29, 2020
Grade Received: A

This review will consist of 1) my overall summary of the class, 2) an outline of the class structure, 3) the Bad parts, 4) and the Good parts of the class.
____________________1) Class Summary______________________
The class structure is disorganized and confusing due to how poorly the material is presented. Roberts rambles during lectures, does not explain key concepts clearly, and will rush through important economic and game theory concepts. Reading is moderate, but you will be swamped with weekly assignments that are unhelpful busy work. Essay assignments are relatively “easy,” but they are graded harshly, do not have a clear or consistent grading rubric, and were NEVER graded quickly (i.e. within 3 weeks). Exams were difficult, in large part because you are never told which material to focus on and because the assignments don’t really mirror what the exams are like. All that said, Roberts is a nice guy. He pushed back deadlines when he did not post an assignment on time (which happened A LOT), was understanding of student’s technical errors, and made the class easier when the class did terribly on his assignments. He’s a nice guy who knows a lot, but he just isn’t a good teacher and you will suffer as a result.
Out of all the Poli Sci professor’s I’ve taken, Roberts is the worst. Definitely not the worst in the department, but the worst that I’ve taken. I HIGHLY recommend that you save yourself a quarter-long headache and do not take a class from Roberts.
_______________2) Class Structure________________
Grading had two methods:
* Synchronous-- In-class participation: 10%, In-class Exams: 50% (Midterm 20%, Final 30%), Reading quizzes: 10%, Problem sets: 10%, Research exercises: 10%, Final paper: 10%
* Asynchronous-- In-class participation: 5%, In-class Exams: 25% (Midterm 10%, Final 15%), Reading quizzes: 15%, Out-of-class participation: 10%, Problem sets: 15%, Research exercises: 10%, Final paper: 20% (The Asynchronous method is only used if you score less than a A using the Synchronous method.)
In-class participation consists of showing up and responding to in-class polls.
Exams were open book/note/google, around 30 questions, and mostly multiple choice with about 4-5 short answer Qs thrown in. There was some extra credit on exams and the Midterm was curved because most of the class did very badly. Apparently, Roberts will curve so about ⅓ of the class gets an A. The Final is cumulative, but 80% will be on material from after the Midterm.
There are 2 Reading Quizzes a week that are due before each lecture. Qs are about the textbook and sometimes about news articles/podcasts. 3-4 of the quizzes are dropped from your grade.
Problem Sets usually deal with basic economics and game theory concepts, you are given a week to complete them, and there are 4 over the quarter. One Problem Set is dropped. If you know these concepts you’ll be fine, but if you don’t you’ll have to work with classmates because Roberts doesn’t teach the concepts well.

Research Exercises are a 2-3 page analysis of a news article using the concepts you learned in the textbook. There are 3 over the quarter and 1-2 are dropped from your grade. Beware that the grading rubric is vague, grading can take 3+ weeks, and grading is very inconsistent with few helpful comments.
The Final Paper is a 5-page version of one of the Research Exercises. You will expand/improve on one of the topics you chose for a previous exercise.
Out-of-Class Participation consists of posting a comment/Q in one of the two weekly discussion forums and posting a short 1:30 video on that week’s topic.
Readings: Basically, all you need to read is the IPE textbook by Oatley. Each chapter is 20 pages and you have to read two chapters each week (40pgs). You also have 4 chapters from Rodrik over the Quarter and several Economist articles and Podcasts to listen to each week. Skim the Rodrik chapters and only read/listen to everything else for the reading quizzes since you don’t need to memorize it for exams.
________________3) The Bad and Ugly____________________
Lectures: Roberts rambled during lectures and had intermittent polls and students “answering” questions. This made lectures hard to follow and unclear. When explaining economic and game theory concepts Roberts rushed through key concepts and didn't assign material to explain concepts set-by-step. If you know these basic concepts then you’ll be fine. If not, you’ll be lost.
Quizzes: Reading quizzes are tedious and unhelpful for studying for the exam. Also, Roberts often doesn’t post them on time.
Research Exercises: As I’ve said, they are vague, don’t help you study, and are graded harshly/with little feedback.
Exams: Roberts basically doesn’t give you a study guide or tell you what’s important material. Practice exams and quizzes are not similar to what you will encounter on the Exams. (**Note: know how to do the Problem Set Problems--those problems are tested on.)
Emails: Roberts doesn’t respond to emails very frequently. I would recommend going into his office hours instead.
Deadlines: Roberts can’t keep a deadline, he even forgot he had an upcoming assignment to post at one point. This will cause you a constant headache and stress about upcoming assignment deadlines for assignments that aren’t posted.
Grading: Grading is VERY slow, little feedback is given, and grading is inconsistent. You can get a 100% on one assignment, then 80% for writing the next assignment in the same way. Why? Only some mysterious grader in Europe can say...if they wanted to, which they don’t.
_______________4) The Good_________________
Roberts: Roberts is a very friendly guy who knows a ton about IPE… Of course, he often does a poor job explaining IPE concepts, but he tries. He tries.
Extensions and Grading: Roberts will extend deadlines on most assignments because he doesn’t post them on time. Roberts will also probably drop a couple more grades if you push him to and if a lot of the class is doing poorly (which they usually are).
Extra Credit: Roberts offers extra credit on almost every assignment. He basically has to since everyone dose really poorly on most of the assignments. He also offered a 1% grade bump if you did 10 hrs of out-of-class volunteer work.
Problem Sets: Problem sets actually do have problems you will see in the Exams. Know how to do those problems and you will do well on a good portion of the Exams.
Your classmates: Work with your classmates on problem sets and study guides.. It’s your only hope.
Google: Your only true friend when the panic sets in...

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 31, 2020
Grade Received: A-

If you have the time and really enjoy learning about the economy I would recommend this course because that passion may help you do well. Professor Roberts was very disorganized at the beginning of the quarter but that is understandable due to the first time teaching the course online. However, I found that by talking to former classmates of his that he is generally disorganized. The professor is willing to change assignments if you talk to him about issues with any assignments such as changing the number of research exercises we had to do for the quarter. Originally, we had four but then he changed it to only one of them being graded so if you got a high grade then you did not have to do the rest.
The midterm and final were alright I did not get an A but he has two grading systems in place so I was able to get an A- due to either one of them letting me get an A. He is a nice professor but if you could take another course I would recommend it. Sometimes it felt like the professor was just repeating out of the book and it felt like those who had a background in econ had a higher chance to succeed than those who did not.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 30, 2020
Grade Received: A

If white bread was a dude but also just no. Go for it if you hate yourself.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted July 27, 2020 Grade Received: A

I would rather have my fingernails pulled out than take another class with this man. Don't get me wrong the class is easy, but it is tedious and in general this man is an uninspired professor. He loves to just pile on a bunch of useless busy work that makes you want to stick pencils into your eyes. But hey, like I said its a pretty easy A, as long as you don't mind the soul sucking BS.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted June 30, 2020 Grade Received: A+

It's been two quarters since I've taken this class so it's a little fuzzy but I can remember most of the important details. I think I did get the top grade in the class but I'll be as objective as possible.

Professor Roberts is a FAST talker. If you are someone who feels intimidated by fast talkers this class is definitely not for you. If you know a lot of the stuff beforehand, it will definitely help you understand what he's saying.

Midterm: (Only took a midterm cuz CORONA)

TBH a lot of the concepts are rehashes of ECON 1. If you've never taken ECON 1 or you don't have a firm grasp of ECON concepts you are in for a rollercoaster of confusion. On the midterm people got some disastrous grades because they weren't 100% sure about some basic concepts. The midterm was curved up, though, because people got some awful grades. There is also extra credit on the midterm. (I think I got a 100, and then my grade was boosted to 111 from extra credit+the curve.) I just reviewed quiz problems + past midterm exams that the professor uploads.

Read the book. Go. To. Office. Hours.
I don't think anyone can say they deserved a 111 but I did come close because I intuitively knew that I would have to go to the Prof's office hours as much as I could for research exercises and problem sets because they are not well-explained SO GO.

Good luck. I felt dumb a lot of the time because I couldn't understand what the Prof was saying most of the time even when he was talking directly at me in office hours. Good guy though. He tries to be helpful. He tries.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 12, 2021
Grade Received: A

There will be times when you don't understand the concepts and will have to ask your classmates. Make someone your study buddy. There are weekly readings for this class with 2 quizzes every week. The exam can be hard especially if there is not enough time. Good luck

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted Sept. 23, 2020 Grade Received: B

This wasn't my favorite class I've taken (I'm not a big fan of econ), but I definitely think the previous reviews are a little extra. This class had a pretty big workload with a ton of reading each week, reading quizzes before every lecture, research memos, problem sets, and a midterm and final (which I didn't take because it was optional). However, Roberts was really understanding about how overwhelming it could be and extended the due dates for problem sets and research memos a few times. In regards to the midterm, the multiple-choice questions are pulled from the quizzes and the other section is from the sets and memos, so as long as you make a quizlet or some form of study guide AND review your assignments (assuming you do well on them), you'll do fine. Just a heads up, he is a quick lecturer, but he posts the slides online and they're really detailed so you can always go back and review! Overall, I like Roberts and the material was kinda interesting (again, not a big econ fan to begin with), just beware that the class demands a lot, but it's definitely manageable.

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
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