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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
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Schachner was a great teacher. Class could get boring often, but it might just be my low interest level of the material ( I am a physics major :P). Still, it was a good class and I did learn a lot. Papers were pretty easy, and tests were fair. Take him for GE!
I am selling my textbook The Human Past 2nd edition by Scarre (pretty much same as 3rd) . No notes or highlights, and in mint condition. Text me at (818) 585-4397 I can meet on or around campus. Selling for $20 with price negotiable.
Maybe I just enjoyed the topic immensely, but I really enjoyed his lectures. He has a slightly monotone voice but it was never a problem. He did a good job of presenting the material you need to know via lecture and the slides. Also helped that I enjoyed his sense of humor. Tried reading the textbook multiple times and found it to be very dense. In my experience, reading the textbook was more useful for first midterm than the final. Papers were a bit difficult but my TA was a fair grader. I was pleasantly surprised that I got an A in the class.
Winter 2014 Grade distribution:
Weekly discussion section 10%
Paper 1 15%
Paper 2 15%
The professor's voice isn't so monotonous as not too unique. Lectures were done with a powerpoint which was posted online as well. It was also podcasted so you could honestly never go to class and learn by yourself. If the podcast doesn't work one day, you can get notes from a friend who actually attended. You do not need the book, so don't buy it. Everything you need to know if given in lecture and his powerpoints. I thought he was a good teacher given the uninteresting content.
Weekly discussion section grade: A
Discussion attendance was mandatory. I has Gwyneth Talley, and she was a pretty cool TA. She was helpful in going over content and was pretty chill and approachable. As long as you attend and participate, you should get an A. At the end of the quarter she even bought us donuts because a majority of us sent in evaluations.
Paper 1 grade: A
The papers are really straightforward and easy. My TA told us exactly how she wanted our papers formatted, with the length of each section of the paper noted. You basically just pick a prompt covering the material, find an article (one discussion is dedicated to showing you where to look for one), have your TA approve it, and then answer the prompt according to your article. I usually procrastinated and waited until the last minute to do both of my papers, and I still got an A. As long as you're thorough, then you should do well.
Midterm grade: A-
The midterm was two parts: 20 multiple choice and 2 short answers out of four prompt options. It was incredibly easy and I finished way before the end time. As long as you go over lecture notes and his powerpoints you should be more than fine.
Paper 2 grade: A
The second paper was about the same as the first one. Very easy and straightforward.
Final grade: B+
The final was very similar to the midterm. 1/3 covers material before the midterm and 2/3 covers the rest of the class. It was 40 multiple choice questions and 3 short answers out of 6 prompts. He never wants you to know exact dates, just time frames relative between each event.
Overall, this class was fairly boring, but incredibly easy.
Tests are hella easy, just memorize his powerpoints.
Don't bother with the reading. The textbook is dense af, I mean like super SUPER dense, and the important stuff, like I said, is from his powerpoints anyway. The reading is a complete waste of time and I stopped after like 3 weeks.
He is very well-spoken and knowledgeable, but you can skip class. You know why? Because the important stuff is on the powerpoints.
He says the class isn't curved but somehow I always do better on the tests than I expect.
2 bs-y papers, which was probably the hardest part of the class.
I took Anthro 8 and I soon learned that I am NOT a fan of studying archaeology. It's definitely really boring and not as interesting as I thought it would be. I had a hard time paying attention in class and retaining any information whatsoever. I didn't read the book, but I studied pretty hard for the midterm and final and got B/B+'s.
I had Stephanie as a TA and she was really cool. I got A's on the papers, though they were really challenging. I ended up with a B because the final killed me, but other people said they studied the slides and did really well.
It was nice that he put the slides and podcast online, too.
Overall, he was a really good lecturer but way too boring and monotone for my taste, mainly due to the subject matter.
I took Anthro 8 with Professor Schachner the first quarter of my freshman year, and to this day he is still the best professor I have encountered at UCLA. I have taken Archaeology courses with other professors at UCLA and no one else compares. Schachner's class is very straight-forward and is very manageable if you invest a little bit of time into the class. Not the easiest class, but as a science major this class was nothing. Honestly, I feel the reading is unnecessary if you really pay attention in lecture, participate in discussion, and review before the exams. Schachner is a verrrrrrrry fair grader and makes sure you are successful in his class. He wants the class averages to be high and is very accommodating as long as you show effort. He is one of the best lecturer's on campus and really knows his stuff. All of his lecture presentations are available online so I suggest only copying what he says in class. And his exams are definitely lecture driven. He is very effective at making a arguably dull subject interesting and even makes his lectures humorous. I am very glad to have taken a class with Schachner and I definitely plan on taking a class with him again!
His class was set up to have two papers, one midterm and one final. I guess my one complaint was that the midterm and final were all multiple choice, which I feel is an insufficient method of testing period. He tries to make his lectures a little funny with his dry humor. Good TA's helped a lot with writing the papers and studying for the exams. Overall, an alright professor. Nothing especially good, but he also wasn't bad at all.
Let me start by saying that I am a south campus science major. For me, this class was beyond boring. Perhaps it was the material, perhaps it was the professor - in all honesty it was most likely a combination. I think Professor Schachner definitely could have done a better job with his lectures. I walked out everyday not knowing what the hell I had just listened to for 50 minutes. He is very monotone...very little excitement at all... which made it hard for me to pay attention. He also has a little habit of walking down the aisles while he is lecturing which really annoyed me for some reason.
I do however like that he posts his powerpoint slides online. Alot of people take advantage of this and skip lecture...I personally still went to every lecture (only missed one), although in hindsight I think I probably could have done okay if I just showed up for the midterm and final. He also posts readings online, but I didn't do any of them...and I got an A. So save yourself the time, because the book goes into way too much detail about things you will never get tested on. You can probably get away with not buying the book because there is a website for the book that has really detailed chapter summaries - I found this site really helpful for studying, although it can also go into too much detail.
Grade is based on midterm (50 questions mult choice), final (75 questions mult choice), 2 five page papers, and participation. Papers were quite time consuming, but the mean and median were about 90 for both.
I personally thought the tests in this class were frustrating. First of all, they were really hard to study for because it was nearly impossible to predict what exactly we needed to know. There were tons of dates, places, and other random things to memorize. And the professor was always really vague when telling us what to study. In fact he was actually misleading because he would say not to focus on specific details, but then alot of questions on the tests were related to little things that he maybe brushed over for a minute during lecture. TA's didn't really help either. If I had to give some advice to someone taking the class, I'd say memorize the powerpoint slides and also look up all the sites that he has pictures of on the slides and have a good understanding of those.
Alot of the time I felt like I was in a history class, not an archaeology class. That was my main beef with this course, and I'm not sure if the blame goes to the professor or the department. You would think you'd be learning how archaeologists relate pottery, etc. to sites and how they make general conclusions based on their findings. But instead we were trying to remember if the people in Mesoamerica were cultivating corn or tomatoes in 5000BC. /end rant