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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.
I received an A-. TA's grade everything. Use the university images and her online lecture notes to create flashcards. Memorize, memorize, memorize. Tests are pure regurgitation. Seek TA help and approval for your paper and you will be fine. An A is TOTALLY in reach if you put in the time, memorize the correct material, and give it a true effort. And studying isn't half bad- you're looking at pictures! Definitely recommended for a GE!
I got an A in this class but I had to study a lot in order to get it. Before taking this class, I loved Art History and had taken other art history classes but she pretty much killed the subject for me. She is extremely monotone and the lectures are really boring. Most of the class is sleeping their way through lectures. On the plus side, she really knows the subject by heart.
The TAs do all the grading and I thought they were pretty tough graders but very fair. The paper is interesting and not that difficult and the tests are not difficult if you have STUDIED A LOT! I always started too late, resluting in sleepless nights before the tests. If you're not that good at memorizing dates, names, places, and other facts I wouldn't recommend taking this class, I don't recommend it to anyone on the other hand, because it was really not worth the time.
My TA was really really great in my opinion, her name was Doris! I have nothing bad to say about her.
Final Grade: A
It's not impossible to get an A. Don't be discouraged if you start off a little rocky, especially if you've never taken an art history class before or is an incoming freshman. (I failed my first quiz with a 55%.) As long as you're willing to put in the effort, you'll do fine.
The professor is a sweet old lady. The lectures may not be interesting, but this IS art history and it IS a morning class, so it's not fair to blame the boring only on the professor.
As for the TAs, they grade everything, but they're not unfair. Mine did a very thorough job covering the material and as long as you work hard and TALK to her, she'll help you reach that A/A-/B+. (Her name's Tenley, so if you get her, be happy) Go to tutoring, Do the extra credit, and if you have to study all night, it's worth it; you can sleep on the plane home :P . Also, make sure you go to covel tutoring for essay help. (This is important)
I took art history in high school and fell in love with the subject, and couldn't wait to take this class. However, I was immediately disappointed; the professor is dry and boring, repeats herself often and occasionally directly contradicts herself. She spent the majority of her time discussing the physical appearance of the artworks rather than talking about the cultures behind those works; I would have rather learned about the social and religious beliefs that led to a certain art form rather than have her narrate the details of a wall painting (eg. "This is a male figure carrying a basket of fruit and leading a lamb to this altar, and over here is another male figure holding a vase, probably with another type of offering..." and then moving on, rather than describing the religious ceremony itself or the society behind the artwork). If you need a GE this isn't too bad, as lecture notes are online and the material isn't overly difficult, but I wouldn't form an opinion of the subject based on this class; art history can be fascinating, as long as you have a teacher who is passionate and articulate, which Professor Downey -- although she does try hard and is knowledgable overall -- is not.
I have the course reader, Roman Art by Ramage and the university prints all available for sale!
This class was unique and interesting but the materials are basically where you learn everything.
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Okay, here's the deal: the professor herself is not a bad lecturer. She knows her stuff and has no problem elaborating. The catch is that she's not grading you; your TA is. This means that you better hope you get someone who suits your taste. They're fair, but some of them are tough graders, so if you're looking for an easy "A" or an easy GE, keep looking... This class will make you earn your "A" the hard way. There are roughly 65 pieces of art to learn from 3800 years of history and 6 different civilizations, and getting the names, dates, artist, places, and civilization will only get you through the slide quiz, provided you spell everything right, including the names you can't pronounce. (There will be names you cannot pronounce; it's literally greek)You NEED to know your details, everything from the style of the building to what kind of hat a figure is wearing and it's significance. If you want even a "B" on the midterm, paper, or final, be prepared to dedicate days to memorizing and analysis. Diction and syntax also count.
On the plus side, it's an interesting class, and you will never look at art the same way again after you finish.
Final Grade: A-
All you need to do for this class is go to class everyday (you don't have to take notes because she puts up ALL her notes including the slides of art pieces online), thoroughly study the notes, ask TA for help for the essay, and prepare for the midterm/final by just memorizing. I studied for the midterm and the final two days before the tests. I think I could have gotten a solid A if I took more time studying for them. My TA was helpful and nice but there was one TA during my quarter that gave quizzes every single week and graded pretty harsh. This is a class where you should try your best - then you'll get the grade you really deserve. (don't buy the textbooks because I did not read any of them and still got an A-!) Professor Downey can get a little boring because it seems like she's memorized her lecture word by word. But there is no doubt she is an expert at what she is teaching. I have never been to her office hours but I think she's pretty sweet. Good luck!
Here's the breakdown of the class:
Midterm is worth 20% of your grade. It is composed of four slide identifications and descriptions... you literally have to know everything about them. She chooses from over 60 slides that you have to memorize. The second part of the midterm is an essay in which you make a guess at the date of a piece of art that you have never seen before by comparing it to other pieces of art.
Final is worth 35% of your grade. It is exactly like the midterm except in addition you have to write a detailed essay about six pieces of art. She gives you the prompts beforehand.
Paper is worth 30% of your grade. You visit a museum and write a four to five page paper about one of the pieces of art.
Discussion participation is worth 15% of your grade.
Honestly, I would only recommend this class to someone I really, really hated. I dreaded lecture and studying for the exams. I got a B in the class only because I aced the paper; the final and midterm are ridiculously difficult. Unless you have a passion for obscure ancient art, waking up early, and memorizing minute details, just don't take this class.
I would not recommend this class but if you have to, then take it. The professor is dry and I had trouble concentrating. The slides are great though and the art work is wonderful. She provides a packet for you to study with the slides. But there are so many to know! I did bad on my other finals studying for this test! It took up too much time. The exams are fair though--she does not pick really obscure pictures but the TA.'s are a little harsh with the grading (I guess it depends on your TA) The homework assignments are fair and not complicated, but your T.A. could be a harsh grader. Just remember to try your best and study hard for exams. Participation is also part of your grade too. I ended up with an A-. Just avoid this class if you can, but if not, it's not the worst class if you study in advanced and get a kind T.A.
I would recommend taking this class. There is a lot of material to know but the class is very straight forward. Downey posts all of her slides online with lecture notes which have anything you need to know about each image, so reading isn't really necessary. The second half of the quarter is all greco-roman which is my favorite so it flew by. There is one paper with 3 options and requires a museum visit. The tests are typical art history tests, slide id's and a slide comparison. On the final you had to date an image you had never seen before based on the style. But don't worry, other classes do it and they aren't going to give you something impossible, its fine. I don't really remember what lecture was like, it was probably a little on the dry side. Downey is pretty old but she knows A LOT about her subject, esp. greco-roman she's seen it all in person so at least she's super legit. I got an A+.
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