January 09, 2013

Taylor, Kathleen
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

If I had to describe the class in one word, it would be "straightforward". Taylor goes through the material quickly but clearly and is happy to answer questions. The lectures often have videos and personal anecdotes that make them more enjoyable. The lecture slides are uploaded after the class with "Study Questions" added, and those questions are what she bases the exams off of.

Taylor is very no-nonsense, but she manages to enforce her rules in a respectful manner. I never found her to be rude or cocky, but then again I can handle tough professors better than most. THAT being said, I wouldn't even consider her tough, just focused.

There's an emphasis on the fact that it's an intro course with lots of different topics to cover, meaning if you ask to go in-depth on something, Taylor will likely divert your question in order to save class time, but will recommend coming to office hours to get it explained if you're interested.

I went to office hours for 2 of the TAs and constantly emailed one, and they were more than happy to help. The only issue was that since they study different subject areas, one would be more knowledgeable about a certain topic than another, but they would ALWAYS direct you to the correct TA to ask. I had a wonderful experience with the TAs.

The reading helps - in fact, the book is pretty funny and quite helpful, and I would recommend doing the reading - but she in no way enforces it unless she did not have time to cover some material due to extenuating circumstances.

Workload:

3 semester exams + optional cumulative final (you can take all 4 and your lowest grade is dropped)
Super-easy written assignment that you have 2 months to complete
3 hrs of research participation
We had an extra-credit online quiz that counted towards our first exam, but she might not keep this