Most Helpful Review
Baum isn't as boring as some of these reviews make him out to me...but I did fall asleep in his class a lot. I think this had more to with the class being in the middle of the day and the really dim lighting in Perloff, though. This class is very interesting, especially if you're interested in politics, the media or both. Oh, and as for the difficulty ratings for Baum...did we take the same class? Because I found this class, even though it was really interesting, to be a complete breeze. Everything is written. The tests are essays and the final is a massive paper. Baum's class is only hard if you never open the reader. In that case, this class will destroy you...the reader's huge.
Most Helpful Review
This class is HARD. It's a lot of work (outside group work, reading, writing) but personally I found the material really interesting. Professor Groeling is funny, super organized and communicates frequently with students. He's also very tech-savvy, which is refreshing compared to a lot of professors who freak out when their technology stops working for a moment. The downside is--he expects you to be pretty tech-savvy yourself too. Here's a quick breakdown:
1. You have readings to complete before every lecture, and it's generally a good idea to read them because a. you can fall behind really fast and then you'll have a crapload of catching up to do and you'll be miserable b. he will have one-question quizzes on them almost every lecture that count towards participation and give you some free points.
2. For this quarter he used a different system for midterms that included three short take home essays you write yourself, then you have to get together with a group to combine the three together. Then that same week you have an in-class short answer section, so you have to write and study simultaneously during the week. He might change the format and I hope he does because every week you have an exam for this class, you can pretty much forget about any other classes you're taking. He has a discussion forum in which you can post and read suggested questions from other students and he WILL use them, so study off of that--it makes the process a lot easier.
3. The political ad project. You do this with the same group as you do your essays with, and even though he requires you to complete an iMovie training during the first couple weeks...man. He helps the process by giving you deadlines for having your ideas complete (storyboarding) so you're not freaking out the week before it's due trying to think up the whole thing from scratch. If you are already familiar with iMovie in some capacity, you have an advantage. This means that Mac users probably have an advantage. My group met outside of class at least five times for about 2-3 hours each just for this project. It was really rewarding though in the end, but I strongly advise you consider the workload of your other classes first before adding this one to it because it is a LOT of outside work.
Professor Groeling is great though. His investment in this class and his students is apparent, he's interesting and engaging with good material and he uses really good examples to illustrate his points. After taking this class I'm very interested in political communication, especially campaign strategies. Take him if you think you can handle the time demands.
Most Helpful Review
The long evaluation preceding mine is just plain wrong. Is this a time-consuming course? Yes. If you cannot handle it, shame on you. Maybe you shouldn't have chosen UCLA.
The 3 hour iMovie thing could have been avoided by a.) simply emailing the Prof. Kernell and saying "I do not need training for iMovie; I am proficient in it." (I know how incredibly difficult that must be) or b0 fast-forwarding until you get the completion.
To say she doesn't care about students with disabilities or those with children/commuters is just plain ridiculous. She was one of the most caring professors. How many do you know that take the time to learn almost EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S NAME?????? She is the only Professor I have ever had to care to do this. Also, I have had SEVERAL courses that do not allow computers and if you are a Comm major, you will need to take Comm10 and Suman doesn't allow electronics either. Some professors due this based on RESEARCH that PROVES that students learn better by handwriting notes. Sorry that you cant go on facebook for a damn hour and 15 minutes.
She DOES NOT force you to buy a Mac.. LOL That is just insane to say. My specific group used iMovie, but she that if you are proficient on another platformt hat you could use that instead. Plus, it was a 3 person group and, at least in my group, only ONE person had a Mac and used it for iMovie.
You could have rented an iClicker and if not she gave you the option of taking the quizzes at the front of the class. Does that sounds like someone who does not accommodate her students? NO. Plus, one should be thankful that JUST CLICKING IN GIVES YOU 12 FREE PERCENTAGE POINTS. THAT IS GENEROUS. Most of the quizzes were easy enough to guess right even f you had not done the readings. Lastly, on this topic, she gives you plenty of time and even makes sure that each student has their clicker out before she starts the quiz. Then she READS THE QUESTION AND OPTIONS THROUGH FOR US TWICE. If you didn't have enough time, you deserve to lose those points. Again, these clickers are NOT mandatory if you for 2 minutes sit in front of class and take a paper quiz.
She was an excellent professor with excellent material and engaging lectures. She continuously allotted time for us to break into discussion groups and collaborate with our peers, another refreshing rarity on this campus. She had several videos that were fun and relevant to the material, which made class that much better.
I went to her after class, or in Office Hours a few times and felt she was genuinely helpful and caring! To say otherwise baffles me. She even cares to ask about your personal life and is encouraging and helpful if youa re at all confused. NEVER would she belittle someone.
Though, at times, the workload was a lot I would recommend this class because I think you will learn A LOT and be forced to think in a new way.
If you don't want to do the work and read a lot, then don't take this class. You don't deserve to. However, if you come to UCLA to get, oh, I don't know, an EDUCATION, then I urge you to take this engaging course with an AMAZING, CARING Professor.
Georgia Kernell should be placed under review by the Academic Senate Committee and considered for an AWARD. :) BAM!