The Visual System
I took Dr. Butcher's Psych M119X in the Spring of 2008. He never put up videos throughout the quarter; it was all lecture. ^_^ I was taking this class together with Physics, Honors Physics Seminar, Anthro, and Honors Contracts Anthro, and so I didn't have that much time for it. I attended maybe 6 meetings throughout the quarter and got an A-. So... his class is easy, although the tests can be tricky because of how the questions are worded. They were all multiple choice choice, and we used a scan-tron. Anyway, as a teacher, never mind that he's elderly-- Butcher has a good sense of humor. I actually feel bad (in retrospect), because I enjoyed ALL of the few times I attended class. Now what I really didn't like was the textbook. The writing style is very, very, VERY FLORID, and even Butcher admits it. The key to doing well is NOTES. And even those, I did not take down myself -- I purchased from the class notetaker's in the bookstore. Maybe if I took my own notes I would've gotten an A. Be sure to do well on the exams, because you are not graded on anything else but the 2 midterms and a final. I'm surprised some people thought M119X was hard(??). That's a ridiculous assessment. If you survived LS 1 & 2, Psych M119X should be a breeze.
Just so you know before reading my review, I'm a 5th year PsychoBio major with a computer specialization. I've completed all but two of my upper div electives for psychobio. Prof. Schein is deeply interested in what he teaches and he tries to pass that interest on to his students. Condescending? Not really -- I think people are misinterpreting his high expectations for his students as condescension. Personally, I felt he was very nice and personable. His class was rather easy in retrospect; however, while taking it you'd swear it's the hardest elective ever: a ton of reading (a lot of it repetitive), quizzes every week or so, two oral presentations, a paper, and proof of attendance to two neurosci seminars. A lot of work during the quarter, but NO FINAL (always a good thing). He also grades on class participation, but not very heavily. Just speak up in class -- especially in the first couple days of lecture, even if you're lost. Quizzes (all short answer) are generally difficult because there's so much reading between each quiz that you don't know what he's going to pull out of the reading as questions. He also pulls questions from the lecture, but not random stuff -- usually important concepts. I think he's kind of lax on grading though -- if an answer is reasonable, he'll accept it. Oral presentations are EASY -- don't OVERDO it though, you'll miss out on points if you go too long. Be concise but thorough. The paper is on WHATEVER you like and he grades it fairly easily. There's room to earn extra credit on practically anything -- it's not really advertised though. If he feels you did exceptionally well on a particular item (ie. an oral presentation, or the paper), he'll give you extra points out of nowhere. Overall grading must have been pretty lax -- I got an A in the class and my percentage on all the work was below 75%. Prof. Schein's class is all about learning, not grading -- but if you do need an A in an elective class and you're not afraid of putting in a little effort and actually learning something, this is an excellent class for you.