January 10, 2012

Balsam, Peter
[PSYC BC1105] Psychology of Learning (w/ or w/o lab)

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Psychology of Learning - I have never had such a terrible experience with a psychology class and as a psych major, I've taken a lot of them. This class was absolutely horrible, the lectures are boring and you end up with only a handful of people attending. The textbook assigned is also incredibly dense and difficult to understand. As for the exams -- Professor Balsam needs to understand that this is an Intro level class. He is unclear about the content and when he tries to teach math he fails. The lab instructor ended up being the only reason I understood the math because she spontaneously decided to go over it in lab. In terms of getting help outside of class I would say that he is very unfriendly and unapproachable. He is borderline condescending and this is an opinion shared by numerous peers who were taking the class with me (even students just went in to pick up their exams found that he was rude). I got the impression that he did not have the capacity for patience with students asking intro-level questions; maybe he makes a much better graduate level professor.

Workload:

Lab is standard, group work once a week but the lab report you hand in is individual. The tests are non-cumulative and really difficult but he adds a good curve -- the text book helps if you can get through it.