James Larkin
Department of General Education Clusters
AD
4.3
Overall Rating
Based on 23 Users
Easiness 3.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.0 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.4 / 5 How helpful the class is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Is Podcasted
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again
  • Often Funny
GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS
25.7%
21.4%
17.1%
12.9%
8.6%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

39.0%
32.5%
26.0%
19.5%
13.0%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

28.0%
23.3%
18.7%
14.0%
9.3%
4.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

26.3%
21.9%
17.5%
13.1%
8.8%
4.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

22.1%
18.4%
14.7%
11.1%
7.4%
3.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

23.9%
19.9%
15.9%
11.9%
8.0%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

21.7%
18.1%
14.5%
10.8%
7.2%
3.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

23.5%
19.6%
15.7%
11.8%
7.8%
3.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

22.2%
18.5%
14.8%
11.1%
7.4%
3.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

ENROLLMENT DISTRIBUTIONS
Clear marks

Sorry, no enrollment data is available.

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Reviews (17)

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Oct. 2, 2020

This class was so so interesting. If you have any interest in space and how the universe works- TAKE THIS! It was so incredibly cool. It's like one big planetarium lecture and I feel like it changed the way I see the world around me. Tests are definitely tough but if you look at previous midterm and final questions you are totally fine. Just take good notes, pay attention, and study at least a little and you should be fine. The professors are really nice and approachable and love to answer any questions you may have. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in space, want's 4 GE's for only 3 quarter's worth of classes, and want to make friends. Also, they send out study questions for each test. ANSWER THOSE THOROUGHLY and just drill urself with those questions and you are set. Larkin is super interesting to hear lecture and my TA Jesus was super chill.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
June 13, 2020

I highly recommend this class if you think you might be interested in the subject. The first quarter deals with the more "spacey" topics, basically taking you from the beginning of the universe to the creation of Earth. Winter quarter then picks up from there and goes into evolution and the formation of the surface of the Earth. I'm not a very sciency person, so some of the concepts were pretty difficult to grasp, but the instructors do their best to break it down. Professor Larkin was especially good at this, to the point that I felt I even had pretty good grasp on the material.

Overall, the workload was pretty heavy, but I didn't feel like it was unmanageable. There was a reading or two every week as well as an online quiz. A clicker is required for participation, but you only need to answer once for credit for that day, and you only need credit for half the days to get full participation. The research paper is not that hard and you basically get walked through it by the TAs. I would say the most difficult part of this class was the midterm and final, as you're expected to know the content pretty in-depth.

Lastly, I highly recommend the field trips! It's a great way to get to know the professors and classmates, and also they're actually pretty applicable to the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Feb. 19, 2020

Pros:
- Larkin is extremely engaging and thorough. He's one of the better lecturers (out of Friscia, Lawrence, and McKeegan, although Friscia does not lecture fall quarter). He also (as almost all the professors do) understand that this is a class taken by a lot of non-STEM majors for their GE credit, so he explains concepts in easy terms.
- The class has a lot of busywork (e.g. reading quizzes), so you have more to pad your grade. THIS IS NECESSARY. If anything, try to do well on labs/readings/quizzes/clicker questions, because they are easy. I'll explain more below.
- You don't even have to buy the books for this class, you can find them easily online. Most of the time, you don't even need books. A lot of the readings are Larkin's supplemental readings that they post online.

Cons:
- You can do well on everything, but then fail the midterm and final, as I did. For some reason, they don't feel like they properly encapsulate anything else covered in the class. They go much more in-depth, so you have to put a lot more work into studying for them. They cover more than the review sessions go over (although the review sessions are very helpful).
- The amount of work for this class was much more than any other class. It makes sense, because it is a cluster, but it's very easy to fall behind.
- The labs seem irrelevant to what the class is trying to teach. Concepts covered in labs are not reflective of concepts covered in lectures. But pay attention in labs, because material from them will be on tests.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: C+
Dec. 30, 2019

damn, this class was a trip.
I decided to take this cluster on a whim and although, I did pretty bad, I have no regrets lol
the course material is a mixture of astronomy and physics but like none of the math, so it's just about learning dense material thru only concepts. I struggled a lot with this course because I am not a science major AT ALL. but the professors understand that and designed the course for non-STEM majors. I did well in participation, on the quiz readings, final paper and all other assignments except for the midterm and final. I totally failed the midterm and then barely passed the final but the curve helped to boost my grade up a bit.
take this class if you are willing to put in a lot more effort into learning dense material
ps.
yes, I will be taking this cluster for the next two quarters, even if I barely passed, I want to knock out those science GE's lol

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 23, 2019

Larkin was definitely my favorite of the 3 professors that taught the cluster this quarter (the other two were McKeegan and Lawrence). His lectures were informative and generally interesting, and he does a pretty good job of explaining some of the more complicated aspects of the material. In general, I'd recommend this cluster to anyone looking for some relatively easy but still interesting science GEs. The workload for the first quarter was pretty manageable: a "research" paper, a midterm, and a final (plus weekly lab assignments). The midterm and final weren't too difficult, and I think they slightly curve everyone's grade up at the end of the quarter (the syllabus was kinda unclear). Also, I found that I didn't really need any of the books listed in the syllabus as they were only used a couple of times and I was able to find PDFs.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 23, 2019

If you care about the material, this class is great. Sadly, I do not, so I didn't do as well as I would've liked. The paper is incredibly easy to get a good grade on, as well as the labs. The quizzes are a little less than weekly and count for only 10% on top of attendance. The midterm and final murdered me, though. I only studied for Maybe a day for each, though. All I'm saying, is if you want a B in the class, it's easy. If you want an A, have some passion and study skills for the class. I highly recommend Alex Fisher, he's the best TA what a guy, truly helpful and a lenient grader if you do the work.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 22, 2019

Larkin is amazing in lecture and office hours. A great conversationalist and extremely thorough yet understandable while teaching rather complex topics.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 21, 2019

Only criticism is that he speaks pretty fast, so it's really hard to get everything down during lecture. As a result, I highly (HIGHLY!!!) recommend listening to the lecture again over Bruincast to catch the details and really understand his explanations, which will come in handy during the FRQ parts of the tests. The concepts he teaches are, in my opinion, often hard to grasp, so they're hard to digest in a day or two (so study a week in advance! Even if it's in short bursts). Otherwise, Larkin's a very engaging lecturer and tests what he teaches - it's just a matter of grasping all the material.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
April 2, 2019

Larkin is an amazing lecturer. He explains all of the concepts so well and is passionate about the subject. I went to office hours often and was blown away every time. He is very engaging and friendly in person as well. This class did have outside reading which was a bit annoying but would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking this cluster.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
Jan. 30, 2019

Probably the easiest set of classes I've done at UCLA. The whole Cluster 70 series was a breeze. If you took a lot of advanced science classes in high school, these series of classes will basically be an easier version of that. If you are in orientation and aren't sure if you should do this class because a lot of people are saying "clusters are so much work, they're packed, etc." don't listen to them, this cluster at least, is super easy. The essays and projects are super easy to do too, always received A's on them even when I spent no more than a day total working on it. Don't be discouraged by people from taking this cluster series, especially if you're a north campus major that just so happens to have been really good at science during high school.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Oct. 2, 2020

This class was so so interesting. If you have any interest in space and how the universe works- TAKE THIS! It was so incredibly cool. It's like one big planetarium lecture and I feel like it changed the way I see the world around me. Tests are definitely tough but if you look at previous midterm and final questions you are totally fine. Just take good notes, pay attention, and study at least a little and you should be fine. The professors are really nice and approachable and love to answer any questions you may have. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in space, want's 4 GE's for only 3 quarter's worth of classes, and want to make friends. Also, they send out study questions for each test. ANSWER THOSE THOROUGHLY and just drill urself with those questions and you are set. Larkin is super interesting to hear lecture and my TA Jesus was super chill.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
June 13, 2020

I highly recommend this class if you think you might be interested in the subject. The first quarter deals with the more "spacey" topics, basically taking you from the beginning of the universe to the creation of Earth. Winter quarter then picks up from there and goes into evolution and the formation of the surface of the Earth. I'm not a very sciency person, so some of the concepts were pretty difficult to grasp, but the instructors do their best to break it down. Professor Larkin was especially good at this, to the point that I felt I even had pretty good grasp on the material.

Overall, the workload was pretty heavy, but I didn't feel like it was unmanageable. There was a reading or two every week as well as an online quiz. A clicker is required for participation, but you only need to answer once for credit for that day, and you only need credit for half the days to get full participation. The research paper is not that hard and you basically get walked through it by the TAs. I would say the most difficult part of this class was the midterm and final, as you're expected to know the content pretty in-depth.

Lastly, I highly recommend the field trips! It's a great way to get to know the professors and classmates, and also they're actually pretty applicable to the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Feb. 19, 2020

Pros:
- Larkin is extremely engaging and thorough. He's one of the better lecturers (out of Friscia, Lawrence, and McKeegan, although Friscia does not lecture fall quarter). He also (as almost all the professors do) understand that this is a class taken by a lot of non-STEM majors for their GE credit, so he explains concepts in easy terms.
- The class has a lot of busywork (e.g. reading quizzes), so you have more to pad your grade. THIS IS NECESSARY. If anything, try to do well on labs/readings/quizzes/clicker questions, because they are easy. I'll explain more below.
- You don't even have to buy the books for this class, you can find them easily online. Most of the time, you don't even need books. A lot of the readings are Larkin's supplemental readings that they post online.

Cons:
- You can do well on everything, but then fail the midterm and final, as I did. For some reason, they don't feel like they properly encapsulate anything else covered in the class. They go much more in-depth, so you have to put a lot more work into studying for them. They cover more than the review sessions go over (although the review sessions are very helpful).
- The amount of work for this class was much more than any other class. It makes sense, because it is a cluster, but it's very easy to fall behind.
- The labs seem irrelevant to what the class is trying to teach. Concepts covered in labs are not reflective of concepts covered in lectures. But pay attention in labs, because material from them will be on tests.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: C+
Dec. 30, 2019

damn, this class was a trip.
I decided to take this cluster on a whim and although, I did pretty bad, I have no regrets lol
the course material is a mixture of astronomy and physics but like none of the math, so it's just about learning dense material thru only concepts. I struggled a lot with this course because I am not a science major AT ALL. but the professors understand that and designed the course for non-STEM majors. I did well in participation, on the quiz readings, final paper and all other assignments except for the midterm and final. I totally failed the midterm and then barely passed the final but the curve helped to boost my grade up a bit.
take this class if you are willing to put in a lot more effort into learning dense material
ps.
yes, I will be taking this cluster for the next two quarters, even if I barely passed, I want to knock out those science GE's lol

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 23, 2019

Larkin was definitely my favorite of the 3 professors that taught the cluster this quarter (the other two were McKeegan and Lawrence). His lectures were informative and generally interesting, and he does a pretty good job of explaining some of the more complicated aspects of the material. In general, I'd recommend this cluster to anyone looking for some relatively easy but still interesting science GEs. The workload for the first quarter was pretty manageable: a "research" paper, a midterm, and a final (plus weekly lab assignments). The midterm and final weren't too difficult, and I think they slightly curve everyone's grade up at the end of the quarter (the syllabus was kinda unclear). Also, I found that I didn't really need any of the books listed in the syllabus as they were only used a couple of times and I was able to find PDFs.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B
Dec. 23, 2019

If you care about the material, this class is great. Sadly, I do not, so I didn't do as well as I would've liked. The paper is incredibly easy to get a good grade on, as well as the labs. The quizzes are a little less than weekly and count for only 10% on top of attendance. The midterm and final murdered me, though. I only studied for Maybe a day for each, though. All I'm saying, is if you want a B in the class, it's easy. If you want an A, have some passion and study skills for the class. I highly recommend Alex Fisher, he's the best TA what a guy, truly helpful and a lenient grader if you do the work.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 22, 2019

Larkin is amazing in lecture and office hours. A great conversationalist and extremely thorough yet understandable while teaching rather complex topics.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 21, 2019

Only criticism is that he speaks pretty fast, so it's really hard to get everything down during lecture. As a result, I highly (HIGHLY!!!) recommend listening to the lecture again over Bruincast to catch the details and really understand his explanations, which will come in handy during the FRQ parts of the tests. The concepts he teaches are, in my opinion, often hard to grasp, so they're hard to digest in a day or two (so study a week in advance! Even if it's in short bursts). Otherwise, Larkin's a very engaging lecturer and tests what he teaches - it's just a matter of grasping all the material.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
April 2, 2019

Larkin is an amazing lecturer. He explains all of the concepts so well and is passionate about the subject. I went to office hours often and was blown away every time. He is very engaging and friendly in person as well. This class did have outside reading which was a bit annoying but would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking this cluster.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2017
Grade: A
Jan. 30, 2019

Probably the easiest set of classes I've done at UCLA. The whole Cluster 70 series was a breeze. If you took a lot of advanced science classes in high school, these series of classes will basically be an easier version of that. If you are in orientation and aren't sure if you should do this class because a lot of people are saying "clusters are so much work, they're packed, etc." don't listen to them, this cluster at least, is super easy. The essays and projects are super easy to do too, always received A's on them even when I spent no more than a day total working on it. Don't be discouraged by people from taking this cluster series, especially if you're a north campus major that just so happens to have been really good at science during high school.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
4.3
Overall Rating
Based on 23 Users
Easiness 3.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.0 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.6 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.4 / 5 How helpful the class is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (16)
  • Is Podcasted
    (16)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (13)
  • Needs Textbook
    (14)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (15)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (13)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (9)
  • Participation Matters
    (12)
  • Would Take Again
    (13)
  • Often Funny
    (11)
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