November 08, 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.

This is the only class in my Barnard experience that I truly disliked.

Do not take this class if you can help it.

I took Intro to Psych with Stokes and it was great -- she was engaging, clear, and fair.

Balsam is the opposite. I don't understand how a LEARNING PSYCHOLOGIST could be the most ineffective teacher I've ever encountered.

The textbook is dense and the language is horrible. He clearly just likes it because his face is in it.

His lectures are very boring and he simplifies the material. He also always says annoying things like "this is easy stuff guys" "dont worry guys"

...... if it's such easy stuff, then why do you have to curve every exam, with the median grade still being a B-.

Unless you're a Psych wiz I don't think you can endure this class without wanting to punch Balsam in the face all the time.

One time a PHD candidate taught our class when Balsam was out and I realized how simple the material is, but how confusing he makes it. You're right Balsam, it's not rocket science--- you make it rocket science.

Workload:

Two Mid-terms and a Final Exam.

Exams are long and he doesn't SHUT UP during them. He gives multiple choice questions related to examples/experiments discussed in class (but not in textbook) without referencing them first--- so if you don't memorize all his examples you'll get these wrong.

The phrasing is also horrible and often grammatically incorrect.