Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Before taking psychology, I was very interested in the course, because while I had never taken a psychology course before, I had heard very good things, the things I knew sounded interesting, and the rest I didn’t really know what to expect. Unfortunately, Professor Darvick was unable to increase my interest in this course for multiple reasons
For one, she’s an incredibly hard grader. Normally, that’s not a problem, because I know it’s important to really test that your students know the material. However, the difficulty of the course wasn’t because I hadn’t mastered the material (I spent hours upon hours learning it). Instead, she purposely made the material difficult to maintain a low C average. For example, each week she assigned weekly responses, which ask good, thought-provoking questions about the material we had learned that week. However, her grading rubric for it was fundamentally flawed. If I had answered the question perfectly well, I would get a 2/3 or a 67% on my homework (a fact she admitted herself). A 3/3 was reserved for people who went above and beyond like doing outside research to answer the question, a criterion that was never mentioned in class. These grades were set purposely low in order to maintain that low C average. I asked her, if everyone in the class wrote amazing responses using outside material, would we all get 3/3’s? The answer was no. It was only after several weeks of many complaints from students that she finally changed the grading scheme. Unfortunately, I and a lot of other students still have many 2/3s on our records because it took so long for her to change it.
In addition, while some of her test questions were a good representation of the material, a lot of other questions asked random specifics from the textbook (which included over 200 pages of in-depth reading) that were frankly, quite irrelevant. When I went in to ask her questions about the test, I found there were multiple correct answers because her test was fundamentally flawed. However, she would argue that the answers were not the “most correct,” and refused to back down on any of her incorrect answers.
She doesn’t even know a great deal on the material she is talking about. I went to her office hours a few times to ask specific questions from the book or from the material she taught in class, and she would pull up a page in Google to answer it. If I wanted an answer from Google, I would have googled it, not gone to office hours.
Darvick’s teaching style is taken straight from the book, and to be quite honest, I could have gotten up and taught the course the same way she had. Instead, I and many others pay to go to school with extremely highly qualified teachers who know the material they’re talking about. Both TAs presented guest lectures at the end of class, and, to be quite honest, their lectures were much better and more informative than Darvick’s. In fact, (TA) Peter Clayson’s lecture was so good that I would actually take a class taught by him because he was engaging and knowledgeable on the subject, two qualities Darvick lacks.
Overall, I still learned quite a bit about psych, but the amount of textbook work required for tests was unreasonable, as was Darvick’s grading scheme. The first midterm had many flawed questions, but the second midterm (which took place week 10) was fairer. Her homework policy was also ridiculous, as it seemed that the homework was pulling my grade down more than my test scores were. If you are willing to read a lot and not learn anything new in lecture, I would recommend this professor.
Honestly, she's fine. There's not really much to say because she does try to explain things well, but if you read the book, you'll do fine. The lectures are way too long for the simplicity of the material, so definitely study the book and her posted lecture slides and you'll do fine.
She's a good professor, although the exams can be a little ridiculous. For an introductory course, there are some absurdly detailed questions on the test, which count for basically all of your grade. The lectures are super long since theres no section for this class, and the material can get a little dry. She does a pretty good job at explaining most things, although she purposefully doesn't cover some major things and leaves that to you to read the book, which is frustrating because then you don't know that there are gonna be a bunch of test questions on it. If you bomb one of the tests you'll have a tough time with the class, but otherwise theres no papers or anything so its hardly any work.
DO NOT TAKE PSYCH 10 with Elizabeth Goldenberg.
Dr. Goldenberg is a really nice person. However, her class is sort of weird. The grading is way too strict and exams are too detail oriented. Basically, psych 10 is suppose to be an easy A. With golden berg, it's not easy. It's not even that enjoyable. If you have to take her for psych 10, here is what you need to do well [ I BARELY got an A and I worked my ass off for it]. There are weekly responses. Turn them in early and proofread them over and over again! She only gives 10% of the class a "3" on the responses. If you turn them in early you have a better chance of getting a "3." But, make sure that what you are turning in early is quality work. If it is not good, then you won't get full credit. READ THE TEXTBOOK. On the exams, she will ask questions that are extremely specific and maybe incorporate details from one or two sentences from the book. You can't just study the lectures slides. You'll get fucked on the exams if you just study from the lecture. Go to her OH and ask her specific questions! She'll help you out and maybe drop a hint on what will or will not be on the exams. DON'T OVERESTIMATE THE DIFFICULTY OF THE EXAMS. SHE WANTS THE AVERAGE GRADE IN THE CLASS TO BE A C+/B- so shoot study hard a couple nights before the exam and try not to rely on the optional final because she will make the optional final more difficult or easier depending on the grade distribution of the class.
I liked this class and the professor a lot. She was very clear and engaging in her lectures and she did a very good job in giving examples to help understand the material. The tests were all multiple choice and very fair. You do need to read the book to do well in class as there are some things that were on the exams that were not covered in lecture. The workload is minimal - there is a 250 word response and a 6 question take home quiz each weak. Overall, I would definitely take a class with her again. I do not think this class was hard at all.
If you are looking to take this class for a GE, take it with the another. This class is harder than it should be for a GE, but still doable. There is one midterm and final, both multiple choice, but she doesn't give a study guide. You really need to buy a textbook for this class because at questions that are only from the textbook and not in lecture are on the tests. The lectures can be boring but all are podcasted and the slides are posted online so its not a if you don't go to class.
I didn't really like Darvick (she goes by her maiden name Goldenberg). She was really sweet and nice but whatever she lectured on was in the textbook, so you pretty much didnt have to go to class. She tested us on material that was in the textbook but stuff she didnt cover in class. The average for the first midterm was a C! SOME OF MY SOUTH CAMPUS MAJOR CLASSES DONT EVEN HAVE AVERAGES THAT LOW. She realized that the test was too hard and so the second midterm (non cumulative) was much easier. The reading responses were also a joke because it the beginning lots of people didnt do well and by week 8, they said "oh we're adjusting the grading scale so more people can get full marks." I think she would have been a great upper div professor because she wants her students to critically think on tests and do loads of extra work, but for psych 10 -- an INTRODUCTION to psychology-- it was too much. Nevertheless, I do like how she did two noncumulative midterms and an optional final and she'll drop the lowest score--thats how I managed to get an A in the end.
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