Took her for Psych 10. The class was divided into 3 different modules, with Knowlton as the teacher for my third module (approx. 3 weeks). She's an average lecturer. The only thing I can really give her plus points on is not having an accent. She seems like a very nice lady but maybe not the most inspiring teacher. Definitely not a bad teacher though. Btw, selling the book for this class, Psychology: The Science of Behavior, Carlson et al. 7th edition. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested. Ended up with a B+ cause I didn't take the class as seriously as I should've. The grade was entirely based on 3, 30 question multiple choice tests which weren't super hard but it had it's tricky, strangely-worded questions. The cool thing was even the discussion section was lecture style and podcasted. Soooo convenient. Especially for people who like to sleep in like me.
Never ever ever take Psych 15, Intro to Psychobiology. It is the worst class ever unless you have a memory like Will in "Good Will Hunting." To get a decent grade on the tests you must memorize every minute detail in every section of the book. Concepts will get you nowhere. And going to lecture is a complete waste of time, since she lectures directly from the book all the time. Believe me, I went to all classes before the first test and got a C. I didn't go to class at all before the second test and got a C+. My grade actually improved by not going to her lecture!
Fall 2022 - Professor Knowlton is an engaging lecturer and kind teacher who presents the neuroscience/psychology segment of this cluster. Her material is very interesting but obviously more appealing and foundational to STEM majors. In this cluster, she taught about neurons, synaptic connections, neurotransmitters, psychology of learning, and clinical conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, and Lewy-Body Dementia. In Fall quarter, she taught for about 4 weeks and her material comprised a large part of the midterm. Her exam questions are very detail-oriented, so study her material by grasping the content and memorizing the slide content. Overall, her material, although somewhat basic in the field, provides a good foundation and is especially good to know in a class about the activities of the brain. Now, a comprehensive review for this cluster. This cluster is referred to as a bridge cluster, because it bridges the gap between north (humanities) and south (STEM) campus. The material covered all relates to the central idea of our brain and how it works. However, it takes a very interdisciplinary approach to this learning, with sections on neuroscience, philosophy, and literature during the fall quarter. In terms of GE's, you receive 1 life science without lab, 1 literary analysis, 1 social analysis, and 1 philosophical analysis (along with Writing 2, given by all clusters). This means that even if you are a life science/STEM major, taking this class can still be worth taking, but you have to stick it out through the whole year. Another thing to remember is that clusters count for 6 units, which can be both a blessing or a curse. You don't have to worry about enrolling in your cluster for winter/spring, because your spot is automatically saved. This means you can prioritize the classes you need for your major without worrying about this course. However, 6 units is a lot, and can prevent you from enrolling in classes you want due to the unit cap. But there are a lot of other nice benefits to taking a cluster (not just this one but clusters in general). They give priority enrollment for writing 1 courses and are a necessary requirement for the college scholars honor program. If you're willing to stick it out for a whole year then I would highly recommend taking a cluster due to the amount of requirements you can knock out. If you're interested in the way we think and how our brain develops and responds to our conditions, then I would highly recommend taking this cluster, no matter your major.
Winter 2023 - Wow, wow, wow. If someone would have told me last year that I would be taking anything remotely similar to a philosophy course, I would have not even looked their way. I would have thought they were joking! But here I was at UCLA starting my journey with my very first philosophy experience. I won't lie, some of the conversations and topics that we learned about in class were not the easiest to understand, but upon having experienced college, really digging into the readings and having profound conversations with individuals outside of this course, I realized how important, deep, and applicable the topics really were. I never in a million years would have thought about how deep and extremely flawed certain systems like the mental health system is in this country, but through the amazing philosophy articles, literary readings and even films, really connecting these pieces to the other topics (ie. neuroscience, theater, disability studies), my goodness you are really able to see how connected everything truly is!! I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Gibbons' lectures because not only was she a profound lecturer that goes into detail about our readings the best, but the philosophical conversations that she allowed in class and in our discussion sections were so amazing. I can't even begin to explain the impact this class has had on my life and my experience here at UCLA. Professor Kristal!! How amazing were his lectures!! His passion for literature was seeping through his veins and was just reflected so beautifully during his lectures. Though the books we read were difficult, I can't explain how his passion and deep understanding of these novels made me absolutely fall in love with this portion of our class. King Lear!! Oh the lessons I personally have learned from this novel and the connections I've been able to make within psychology and philosophy. His paper assignment was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE to write!!! Though it was during the TA strike, I really wished I could have had access to his feedback to my paper on what I could have improved and what I did well. Even so, I got a 100 percent on the assignment which made me so happy! I hope he continues to exuberate his beautiful passion for literature because it is truly, truly such a RICH subject! The only minor suggestion I wish is that on the lecture slides, sometimes the pacing was a little bit too fast and there was sometimes a lot of material to write down, but if that aspect gets altered, then his lectures are chef's kiss! Rebecca Smith is hands down one of the best TAs! As a doctoral student, she gave some of the best advice and really made sure you were learning. She gave the best feedback on our paper assignments and has held some of the most productive, deep and profound conversations during section. The discussions and conversations truly helped me with understanding for the exams. Not to talk of organization!!!! Preparation??!! Oh my, Rebecca's organization of the study materials needed for us to study for the exams are the best! Words can't even begin to describe how her willingness to take time out of her day to create those study guides/presentations for studying have helped me not only fare well during exams, but also feel less anxious!! This is something that I currently have issues with in my stem courses/discussions/labs and I can truly say I am appreciative of this amazing woman! She is so knowledgeable and she knows what she is teaching! Her passion is so beautiful to watch and I have had some of the most intellectual and profound conversations with her. She has helped me prepare for my papers and even when I was writing out of the conventional way of writing for my paper assignments, she was so accommodating and accepting of my curiosity and creativity! Disclaimer: The readings!! Gosh the amount of readings we had to do in this class was UNREAL. It was WAY WAY WAY too much. If you are a student who is more engaged in the arts as a major, it may not be too difficult, but if you are a STEM major who does not like to read, please do reconsider. The thing I can really appreciate though about this course is that the discussion section was super super helpful. If not for the discussion sections, the cluster would be really difficult. However, if the amount of readings can be modified, then this class is worth a shot. Overall though, I loved this cluster with everything in me. Hands down taking this cluster was one of the best decisions I made as a freshman. Not only am I qualifying multiple GEs WITH Writing II through one course (alleviates stress), but goodness was the material, discussions and and overall just topics of this class truly profound and interesting. There's not one distinct topic that we went over in this class that I didn't like. Each and every single topic was so applicable to what we were learning and I found it so beautiful to make connections. Who knew that film and literature could be associated with philosophy and psychobiology? Who knew? It was a beautiful class. To this day, some of the material I have learned are still applicable to my life and have helped me to have deep, intellectual conversations with my peers. If not for this class, I wouldn't have been able to adjust to college in the best way. One class where you worked with the same students for the whole year. How convenient!! It is so necessary for freshmen to engage in clusters especially because the transition from high school to college can be so daunting but these clusters really helped balance that. Amazing instructors, Amazing TAs! Keep them all! They absolutely did a beautiful job of connecting all the topics. I truly was able to see the diverse perspectives through the different lectures. My absolute favorite was the film component! I never saw studying film as something that could be interesting, but when you really take the time to see how people experienced in the subject are able to take one single scene and come up with such profound findings, especially in relation to the deep topics of mental health we had in the class, it was amazing. Truly amazing. I loved the interdisciplinary components of combining the arts and psychology. It's so funny because these two subjects are things that I am SO passionate about. I plan on majoring in psychology and minoring in theater so this class was truly a dream come true
Spring 2018 - The WORST professor in the whole 101 Neuro series. Her lectures are garbage, her slides are garbage. There was no logical flow to her lectures or slides, she was all over the place and extremely hard to follow. Her test was extremely specific and she expected answers and explanations for things which she did not cover in class. Her entire module was psych based even though this was supposed to be hard science class. She gave no molecular pathway explanations for any of the phenomena she presented. She also only had 3 office hours total and cancelled the last one due to public holiday without rescheduling before the final. Overall an absolute waste of time and energy which really sucks since neuro majors are required to take this class.
Prof Knowlton's teaching was fine; she was clear, the material seemed simple enough, etc. On the exam (which was mainly short answer questions with some multiple choice), the questions also seemed very straightforward, albeit at times vague. In reality, that midterm was a mess. She expected very specific answers which were not addressed in the questions, or deviated from what the questions were asking. The whole class was upset about this. I really do not like when teachers try to be conniving this way, when we clearly demonstrated our knowledge of the material on the exam.