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If you're reading this far into the future, this information will probably/hopefully be applicable to you. For those of you that are taking LS7C in summer or fall 2020, good luck.
Esdin was a wonderful professor. He always explained everything thoroughly, gave us time to think about questions, and never failed to answer any question during office hours.
You've likely taken LS 7B so you know all about the Launchpad, participation, difficult exams, etc. As for the changes made during this quarter due to remote learning:
Lectures: Unlike Khankan, Esdin decided to prerecord his lectures and post them on CCLE instead. This prevented us from asking questions during lecture, but this was fine because there was so much material to cover this quarter that all the questions probably would have slowed us down. On the other hand, Esdin still wanted to simulate an actual class environment so he would stop talking for a couple minutes during each clicker question. This was kind of awkward, but didn't bother any of us much, and I just fast-forwarded through the waiting time after I had worked out the answer.
Participation/Clickers: Since we couldn't physically all be in the same class, we took a VERY short (like 2 questions) multiple choice quiz on CCLE after watching each lecture that day. The quizzes opened 50 minutes after lectures were posted and closed at 10:50 PM that day, so you had to watch lecture to answer the questions. I'm pretty sure it wasn't graded on correctness, but we were still given two attempts.
Launchpad: Identical format to LS 7B. Points come from the small quizzes and PEQ. Just power through it, because each week is about a new body system and there's A LOT of information. You got this!!
Discussion: Each discussion session was on Zoom, and we had online worksheets through Gradescope. We would split up into breakout rooms of 4-5 to work on the assignment. Some of the worksheets were super short, but sometimes they took the entire time to finish. It all depends on your TA and Zoom breakout room of course.
CLC: Since everything was online, I took advantage of my time and went to a CLC session each week. This was particularly helpful for the midterm (and would've been for the final). We would just screen share and work on the worksheet shared to the group, and we worked in Zoom breakout rooms.
Midterms/Final: The first midterm was a little challenging, because unlike LS 7A&B, we were introduced to free response questions on Gradescope. We were also given 50 minutes to do 6 FRQs which was not enough time. We had about 30 multiple choice questions on CCLE with 1 hour to do them. It was difficult to finish the free response, so we were given a full hour during the second midterm. If you studied everything from Launchpad, your notes, discussion worksheets, and CLC as much as you can, then you should be okay, just don't freak out if confusing questions arise. You should know by know that's just how the LS series rolls. Due to the protests and just the general chaos of the world, the final was an automatic 100% for everyone!! Thank goodness, because genome browser during the last three weeks of the quarter was stressful and I was burnt out by that point.
ESDIN: As a lecturer, Esdin always took his time to explain everything, which was helpful of course. I ended up speeding the video up 1.5x just as a personal preference. I didn't go to Esdin's office hours often, but when I did I always learned something new and it was a pleasant vibe.
Course topics/studying tips: There was so much information to cover that you have to read Launchpad thoroughly to fully grasp everything though. This isn't like LS 7A; you have to prepare for concepts. I took IB Bio HL 2 in high school and honestly the topics were VERY similar so I feel like that preparation helped me and encouraged me throughout the quarter. A full list of information we went over includes: cell communication, nervous system, endocrine system, motor/muscle systems, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, excretory and digestive systems, immune system, and another three weeks of Genome Browser stuff. What I did to maintain my sanity each week, stop myself from drowning in stress, and just to organize information so I could remember everything was: doing the pre-class worksheets posted on CCLE each week, making flashcards of all the learning objectives with diagrams and detailed info, doing Launchpad early/basically as soon as it was posted so I had time to study and absorb information without rushing it the night before, taking thorough notes of definitions and new info and adding to them during lecture, and checking campuswire and groupme for updates and questions.
This is my favorite class for my first quarter at UCLA. Dr. Esdin is so so nice and cute that I would definitely take his class in the future. His lecture is so clear that if you take good notes every lecture, the exams will be just a piece of cake for you. This class is not that time consuming as there is no homework, but you do have to finish a post-lecture pop quiz after every lecture (2-4 questions each) and this should be okay. The final project is really EASY! If you have the experience of writing IAs (IB), this project should take you less than a night.
Overall, the workload is very light, the lecture is very interesting and you can definitely learn something, professor Esdin is really nice and helpful, the big project is easy and exams take only a very little proportion of the final grade. If you listen carefully and take good notes in the lecture, you will get an A very easily.
Honestly love this Professor. I'm sure by the many other comments posted you can hear in detail how great of a lecturer he is. He's pretty funny and really wants you to absorb the material through a balance of clicker questions and conceptual slides. Overall, it is structured similarly to the other classes in the LS7 series, but if you like physiology then you're going to love this class.
The material overall is much denser than LS7A and LS7B so you need to have better organization if you want to complete the material ahead of time (ie: launchpad ). That being said since everything was recorded you could easily catch up if you're behind.
Exams: Because of COVID they changed the structure of the exams slightly. The midterms were timed 120 minutes each, around 45 multiple choice questions, worth 2 points each (90 points), and conceptually based on weeks 1-3 for midterm 1 and 4-6 for midterm 2. After each midterm, we had an "exam wrapper" which basically was a chance to get 8 points back on your exam grade by answering a series of questions reflective of what was most missed on each midterm.
The final was timed 150 minutes, 82 multiple choice questions, worth 2.25 points each (meaning you could earn 184.5 out of 180 points). The final was 60% new material ie: weeks 7-10, and 40% review material ie: weeks 1-6. I honestly thought the final was much easier than the midterms, but there was no exam wrapper.
Discussion: Discussions were very helpful! The only issue was that it was sometimes really hard the finish the whole worksheet within the discussion and I spent some time outside of the discussion to finish my responses. But besides that, the TAs were actually amazing.
Other: Just remember to do launchpad to get those assignment points and go to CLC sessions and PLF sessions if you can.
This class is not going well, I don't know if it is because I am attending the wrong lectures or if he is actually just throwing random questions on his exams. The class is so interesting but his exams are so awful and his lecture quizzes are not even about the lecture. THIS CLASS IS NOT EASY OR WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. Honestly, I am so upset that I took this course but whatever, it is too late now. I personally do not recommend this class to anyone as it is difficult and tedious for a GE. Professor Esdin also tends to hop around subjects without giving warning, making your notes a complete brain fart of what he said in 10 minutes that could have been said a little more briefly. DO NOT TAKE, I REPEAT DO NOT, it is not worth it. I would say this class is only worth it if you are interested in biology, but if you are not please do not put yourself through a nightmare for a GE.
This professor is great and very thorough. Pay attention to lectures and just do the pre-class reading guides to not spend all your time on launchpad. I would say the clickers for this class very a bit easier than what you would see on the actual tests. The 7 series tests were always terrible though.
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.
This class may have been an easy GE in the past it most definitely IS NOT EASY now.
The lectures are all over the place it’s hard to take coherent notes.
The lecture quizzes are about subjects that sometimes aren’t even addressed in lecture or are not in the course reader. Same goes for the midterm and final.
The lab quizzes are heavily dependent on what your TA goes over in class. My TA did NOT go over anything so the lab quizzes were nearly impossible.
Furthermore all the questions are worded very poorly. This is done on purpose it seems like. I went to office hours to ask for help and the only answer I got was “didn’t you say that you weren’t a stem major? That makes sense.”
I took this class as a GE and would not recommend it except if you are some kind of bio major already.
Professor Esdin is a really great professor. He's supportive and accommodating to his students, and really wants everybody to succeed. His jokes made online school a bit less boring. He is a clear lecturer and I recommend taking him or Khankan. The midterms, like the entire LS series, are poorly worded and can easily confuse you. Be careful taking the exams, and make sure you really understand the concepts. Also, he didn't mention it in class (its in the syllabus), but its possible to earn a few points extra credit by helping people on Campuswire.
I would strongly recommend this GE to fulfill the lab requirement. I did not spend any time studying outside of the lectures and still got an A. No prior knowledge about bio is required at all and the class is very introductory.
After 4 years here at UCLA, I can honestly say this is the most IMPACTFUL AND USEFUL class I've ever taken. As an engineering major, we are only required to take 1 life science GE, and I am glad I picked this one over astronomy.
This class is the "delete facebook, hit the gym, lawyer up" of classes. If you want to get your diet on track, prevent disease, stay healthy, or get and stay fit and/or jacked (The professor is jacked btw) then you've come to the right place.
BACKGROUND AND RESULTS OF THIS CLASS
I came into this class a lowly skinnyfat freshman with bad acne who felt like excrement every morning getting up to go to this 8 am.
When I was in this class, I started eating better and watching my diet, I started lifting weights and exercising, I started sleeping well.
When I finished this class, I noticed my acne clearing up, I had more energy in the mornings, I was able to lift heavier weights, my muscles started to build up, my stomach became flatter and firmer, and I had more endurance for... activities.
Honest to god I even got abs for a time as I really got into the teachings I learned in this class.
As long as you come into this class with the mindset of improving yourself, I strongly believe what you learn here will significantly change the REST OF YOUR LIFE.
COURSELOAD: It's dry, the tests were pure (multiple choice!) memorization of the expensive course reader, but darn it if you can remember what you read last night then you'll get an A. I personally finished the 3 hour final in only 1 hour if that gives you an idea of the difficulty. As for homework, it's comparable to any other GE. Homework becomes very easy once you learn how to read the course reader efficiently though, maybe 1 hour a week. Much of the course is geared towards preventing disease like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, these parts are dry. Slog through the dry parts to get the sweet nectar of dieting tips.
THE PROFESSOR: The big man himself. An inspiration to gym-goers and dieters everywhere. He is passionate and insightful. Might be hard to see/hear. I recommend sitting in the front if this is still in Moore 100. He's not the funniest or most energetic lecturer, but he does his job well, and really, you're showing up not for the professor, but for yourself and your future health. TIP: One of the lectures will have a "nonsense" question that shows up on midterm/final that he gives the answer to, so if you can't show up because you've got DOMS from working out too hard the night before, make sure you ask a (trustworthy)friend to cover you.
THE DISCUSSION: In a small room in the very bowels of south campus, far from the safety of the dorms, you'll get a review and small quiz on what the course reader said last chapter. Hidden gem though, you take measurements such as bodyfat %, heart rate, height, weight, etc. that will help you track your health progress after you leave the class.
THE PROJECT: If your fitness goals include changing your weight (losing OR gaining) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND paying attention to the project. It will tell you how much you're eating, how much you need to change the amount you're eating, and what types nutriments you're missing out on. The project is also a good opportunity to start hitting the gym if you've never gone before, as you'll instantly see how its affecting your caloric intake.
TLDR: TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU WANT THE BODY AND FITNESS OF A MODEL.
ESPECIALLY TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOUR DIET IS BAD AND YOU WANT TO CHANGE IT.
Caveat: If you're not willing to take the steps to become healthier, this class is not for you, give up the spot so some other more motivated student can take it.
Honestly I am astounded. Even though I am a first year, I have so much respect for Professor Edsin. He did not let the transition to remote learning and the BLM movement effect his ability to educate and his humanity. He genuinely cares for the wellbeing of his students (which aligns with the subject he teaches)- both physically, mentally, and emotionally. STEM prof are often a win or loose situation, he is undoubtedly a win. I've taken basic anatomy classes before, and so the topics of the lectures were interesting to me. The class comprises of Labs, Lecture quizes, Lab quizes and a final project. All of which were quite easy and were geared to accomodate for your self benefit and health (yes, it is an easy A). Edsin's character exemplifies what it means to be an educator and what true academica stands for. It would be a mistake to not take this class.
Summary: became smarter, became healthier, got a GPA boost, and had an amazing human being as a professor