Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Professor Gerstel is extremely knowledgable and her lectures were super interesting. I enjoyed going to lecture, but section was a waste of time because I had a horrible TA and we had a few busywork assignments. The final – IDs and descriptions – was pretty hard, but I felt like a learned a lot.
Took art hist 51 Medieval art. Great class and the professor is really nice. you can learn everything you expect from the class and get any answers about your questions during office hour. Also, the grade is fair. Most people can get A in the class. Selling all the books needed for the class. Text me 3109624479
Took art hist 51 Medieval art. Great class and the professor is really nice. you can learn everything you expect from the class and get any answers about your questions during office hour. Also, the grade is fair. Most people can get A in the class. Selling all the books needed for the class.
Most of you are obviously taking this as a GE because its easy. If your taking it because your interested then it'll be even easier! Gerstel is a great speaker. She tries to make the topic interesting and she really cares about us learning. Unfortunately...no amount of effort or engagement will ever make medieval art interesting to someone just taking this class as an easy GE. It's no one's fault except maybe the system's. Gerstel tries her best and most students just want an A.
She changes the structure of the course every year so I won't talk about the grading distribution. However, this is an easy class regardless of how she organizes the course. There are only like 40 possible artworks that she can test us on in the midterm. And there is a similar amount on the final. Tests are non cumulative. Take it for the easy A. You probably will learn a lot. I did. However I still don't care about art.
First off, I took this course in Winter '14. The grading scheme was initially 5,10,15% respectively for 3 separate papers and 5% for a presentation given in section, 15% participation, and 5% for a quiz taken in section. The midterm was worth 20% and the final was 25%. I'll get to the reason I said initially later.
Unlike what most, if not all of the other reviews here said, you don't absolutely need to attend lecture. I went to a total of 3 lectures, including the first day, before the first midterm, and stopped going completely after it. I don't know whether or not she did this before, but she uploads her powerpoints pretty much the day she shows them in lecture.
Why don't you need to attend lecture, you might ask, since everyone else says you do? In my opinion, she is very passionate about her subject, but for me at least, it was really hard to take notes in her class, as her powerpoints are composed almost entirely of pictures. She speaks pretty quickly so it's almost impossible to write everything down, therefore I just stopped going. Instead, I just studied for the exams by looking at the powerpoints and taking notes on each image that was on there.
The average on the first midterm was around a 70%, maybe a little lower. My TA said that a third of the class (out of 240) failed the test. Now I was actually really surprised at this, considering Professor Gerstel literally told us what the format was. Our midterm was pretty much 10 known/unknown works of art (unknown meaning its not specifically from the powerpoint but it's a different view of something we have seen, or something from the same time period) which we had to identify with 5 mins for each identity. Then we had a 15 min essay comparing two pieces of art. And then an extra credit about Harry Potter, since she's a big fan apparently.
However, since the average was so low, and apparently alot of people complained, she decided to change the grading scheme by lowering the midterm and final by 5% each, and raising participation by 10%. She also told us, in even more detail, exactly what the format of the final was and she told us which images from the powerpoints we had to know, which made it even easier. We had 6 basic questions on vocabulary and identity, 5 pure identity questions, and a 20 min essay again comparing two works of art.
All in all, really easy class, I don't know why so many people failed the first midterm but from what I saw it seemed like alot of people didn't really care about the class. Going from other reviews, she might completely change the format of the course the quarter she teaches this again (we never had a research paper), so read this review with a grain of salt. I studied for the midterm and the final 2 days before the exams, and I got an A- in the class, which given the lack of effort on my part, is a pretty satisfying grade for me. If you need an easy GE, and you're good at memorization of images and facts, then take the class.
You will NEED to attend every lecture. Her lectures cover all art pieces: names, interesting facts, analysis, etc. These same art pieces will be the ones on your midterm and final. She'll never test on something you haven't covered, and she'll give you a list of art pieces that you need to study because a subset of them will be chosen for the exams. You don't need the book, but it helps to give more info on an art piece that you're studying. The book alone will not help you; going to lecture really gives you what you need. As for the exams, you WILL have a hand cramp, guaranteed. You are going to write so fast for a whole hour and fifteen minutes. It will also be the fastest hour and fifteen minutes of your life. The majority of your grade will be on the research paper. This is not an easy A class, but it's not hard either. I cannot not write papers to save my life, but I worked so hard on it I got an A. She is really cool, take her class!
Class: The class itself is pretty interesting (for me at least) and you NEED to attend EVERY lecture.
Professor: She is willing to listen to your advice about the class and tries her best to make it easier. She is truly amazing when you talk to her because she knows everything about her field. I suggested to change the final exam because the midterm was too hectic and it took her a second to change it.
TA: My TA was Carlos Rivas and he was understanding and I believe he is a fair grader.
Exams: Essay question and 10-12 Identification questions. Very easy if you attend lecture and study the images. She does not trick you!!!
Overall, It is an easy GE class and I recommend everyone to take it.
I think the evaluation below me is definitely a more honest look into the class compared to all the other previous reviews; and I also had Jamin as my TA, and he's a really fair grader too.
Prof. Gerstel is overall a great professor (although I agree she goes over the stuff super fast) because she's willing to take student comments into consideration to improve the class. It's not often you see a professor so accommodating to students, and I commend her for that. After taking our midterm, she was willing to change the final slightly according to student suggestions to help us out. I felt I did much better on the final than the midterm because I had a much better idea of how the test was going to be, and changed the final so that the number of essay questions went from two to one and the ID's went from 10 to 12, which really helped me because I'm usually a mediocre essay writer during tests, but much better at memorizing. I also found the revised final to be much better for me because of the changed time limit, with 20 minutes for the essay, and 4 minutes for each ID. Plus, she provides a full list of every ID that will possibly be on the tests, so you can tell she's trying to help you.
It's not as easy of a class as the other reviewers make it seem like here, but it's doable. Throughout the quarter, I've heard some reasonable student complaints, but I thought others weren't. I knew there were a lot of first years in this class who seemed to struggle more than I did (I'm a second year), possibly because of the lack of experience with fast paced tests and with writing research papers. I personally didn't find much to complain about though because I've had more demanding classes before.
In summary, it's a super fair class. And she lets you know about your grades as soon as she can...I mean, it amazes me how she and the TA's grade the exams and gives us back our grades the next day. I just took the final yesterday (during 10th week) and got my grade this morning... an A-. I'm quite happy with my grade given the amount of work and time I've put into it.
Great and knowledgeable professor. Interesting subject matter. But she skims over it extremely quiclkly. None of her notes are recorded on the powerpoint, only mages are. So you truly have to be able to write very quickly. I was disappointed with the class based on these ratings. She skimmed each topic, so it wasn't wholesome in that respect. And the section was mostly concerned with the readings, which were so heavy that most people did not complete them. This led to a painstaking amount of nudging and nagging to get students to participate. I felt bad for my TA for having to force so much out of students. It would have made a lot more sense to expand on topics discussed in lecture rather than on things that were mentioned for a minute and the dense readings. Since the lectures are already extremely fast paced, I would have learned a lot more if section expanded on what we learned in class. For example, the research paper was completely disjointed from anything we learned for most of the class and it counted for 40% of the grade. I felt like I was going in completely blind into the paper although I only missed one lecture. The research scope was minimal but it counted for more than the final and midterm put together. The professor is knowledgeable too, but everything went by so quickly and her notes were only spoken so it was difficult to get everything on paper and learn the significance which she expected us to pick up on from minimal and speedy descriptions in class. And the midterm and final were totally memorization, which is usually doable for an art history course, but there is so much info and VERY LITTLE TIME during exams. She just tries to do way too much in too little time, her grade breakdown in completely out of balance, and the section is so disjointed from lecture. That was probably the biggest downfall, even though I had a really great TA. She definitely needs to restructure the course. But the research paper portion may only have been during my quarter because I've heard no mention of it before and the scrolls we did the paper on are no longer on display.
It's a shame, really, because the subject matter at hand is so interesting and section expanding on lecture would have made it much more wholesome.
Jamin An was a concerned and kind TA. I think he did well with what he was given, and I definitely recommend him. Fair grader.
Did this review contain...
Thank you for the report!
We'll look into this shortly.