This was one of the best seminars I've taken at Columbia. The first class I think turned some people off since it was very general material, but the rest of the classes actually had really interesting readings. She normally would have a student do a short presentation on one reading and lead for the rest of class and offer interesting insights in both areas. The class, which focused on the intersection between the media and politics dealt with a lot of current issues such as how social media effects campaigns. I highly recommend it!
Professor Knight's class is extremely interesting. She really cares about every student and presents the information in a very clear manner. At the beginning, she makes it clear that the if you are doing the required reading (very manageable, about 40 pages a night for the first half and then almost none the second half) and listening in lectures, you will know what is required for the course. The only complaints people had in this course were generally from those who did not attend lectures and were not able to do well purely off their last-minute studying. Yes, sometimes the lectures could be more engaging, but she actually definitely made an effort to make it more interesting. She had a great TA and both would often include examples, videos, and other multimedia to try and make it less dry. Overall, definitely a good course. People who came to most lectures did pretty well at the end.
Clearly the worst class in Columbia.. The way the class is instructed is as though we are studying in a Community College. I am quite appalled that Columbia (or Barnard) hired her. She teaches the class by reading off from the slides in verbatim and the way she talks is so monotonous. It is a struggle to go to each class because you know you can be reading the slides at home. I am glad that the person below is got an easy A.. For me it is an easy B.. I didnt have know what to study or what was important because everything was just definitions of words. And the questions on the exam were weird like "What is the most important characteristic for a journalist." It is a highly random question. It sounds easy but it is a multiple choice question and the answers are all the same. I just feel that we paid good money to be studying from highly intellectual minds in Columbia and Kathleen Knight is not. She is a nice lady to be honest. Her class wasnt hard but I did not enjoy it at all because she made it boring and uninteresting; completely no motivation for any of us to be interested in the class and made an effort at all cause it was such a waste of time. You must be wondering why I stayed till the end, it was because I thought the class would change to deliver "more meat" but I was wrong and it stayed dry till the end.
This was one of the least intellectually stimulating classes Iâ€™ve taken at Columbia. Class consists of Professor Knight reading off of PowerPoint slides containing definitions and â€œtheoriesâ€ taken directly from the texts. (Her propensity for mispronouncing names and vocabulary from her own notes and the news is shocking.) Toward the end of the semester, she frequently played commercials and news clips, which helped keep the attention of the small percentage of people who were still attending class. The midterm and final were very easy (think high school multiple choice/true false/short answer style tests) and basically required you to regurgitate definitions and models from the PowerPoints/readings. I was able to pull off Aâ€™s on the papers and exams with little to no effort, but the â€œeasy Aâ€ doesnâ€™t make up for the boredom and frustration inspired by this class. The media should be an interesting and engaging topic, but Professor Knight manages to reduce it to a list of key terms and a few chapters from a textbook. (I should point out though that some of the books are good reads on their own terms.)
THIS IS THE WORST CLASS YOU COULD EVER TAKE AT COLUMBIA. -She is boring. -The classes are based on a set of PowerPoints, lifted from the course texts, from which she basically reads verbatim. -She spews buzz words and makes assumptions with 0 backup for what she (a.k.a. the authors of the text she shamelessly paraphrases) think. -The coursework is founded in memorizing the (not even famous or notable) texts' theories cover to cover and then regurgitating them for them midterm and final that will screw over your grade big time if you aren't good at differentiating minutae in multiple choice and T/F. The ONLY redeeming quality is the freedom she gives you in the essays. This class is a total waste of your time and your credits. Don't even bother, even if it's your favorite subject in the world.
Professor Knight sets up her class in a very specific style. She assigns readings for the week, and has someone in the class present on those readings. Since the seminar is geared towards your final paper, as the semester goes on people present during each meeting on their research.
Professor Knight is extremely absent-minded & flighty, she can never figure out how to use the media technology correctly, and the lectures are extremely boring. We also missed about 4 classes due to random family emergencies & health problems. However, Professor Knight is an extremely nice woman & able professor. The reading she selects is gernerally good & a welcome departure from the boring theory that most majors are used to. There was always a great deal of confusion about what to do for exams and papers but everything works out well. This is a good class for majors who want a break, nonmajors who want to take a polsci class but are afraid it will be too hard as well as people interested in journalism & surprisingly enough people who are interested in advertising & marketing.
as some people have mentioned, knight has this way of taking a really exciting, fresh, and relevant topic and removing from it everything lively and timely and urgent and interesting. the media's effect on america should not be taught within the bullet points of a power point presentation. that said, whatever real information that can be absorbed is really quite interesting, and knight seems like a jolly lady. she believes in the importance of the subject and is well-meaning, but she'd pretty disconnected from the real world to be teaching a course which is supposed to center around it. bottom line: you will be excited when she brings in a clip from the daily show, then crushed when she is unable to work the video player.
If you can stay awake in this class, wow. The class is a joke, and she's an easy grader, but be warned, it is boring as ever. Knight is very nice, though, if that counts for anything...
While there were many in the class who probably walked away wondering what the hell they just did this semester, I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I also did the reading when it seemed unrequired. There were some very different opinions amongst the students in the class about topics which sometimes dominated the discussion. Professor Knight was bothered, obviously, by this. Each student was required to make one formal presentation on a topic relating to women which took up practically the entire months of October and November - but were interesting, but I would have rather talked more about the reading.
She's not an especially dynamic or engaging professor. In fact, because you spend a lot of time watching news clips with the lights closed, or are otherwise listening to her low, unprojecting voice, it's quite easy to fall asleep. Her lectures were necessary to go to, at least for me, b/c I didn't do the reading all semester, but before the final I caught up, and I'll say this much: the material itself is very interesting - and exactly what you're looking for if you're at all interested in how politics and the media interact. Don't expect too much from her, but if you stick it out I think you'll find you actually learned something.
Professor Knight has a tendency to give fairly dry, boring lectures, but overall it's not a horrible experience. She's a fair grader and gives out keyword lists to study for tests and there are lots of opportunities to consult with her about papers. She also livens things up with videos (even though she did have a big problem with the technology at the beginning of the year) and tv clips. I've heard Nacos is better to take the equivalent course with at Columbia.
I definitely agree with the last review for mass media. It had so much potential to be a really interesting class and for the first few weeks I was somewhat excited about it - but don't be fooled. It's all downhill from there. Knight has good intentions but has the ability to take an interesting topic and turn it into a cure for insomnia.
Overall not a bad class. I learned something about women in politics and didn't have to kill myself to get a good grade. Class discussions could be very interesting but also in need of a balancing voice to counter the "women-are-all-powerful-and-better-than- men" vibe that reared its head at times. As far as workload, readings could be skimmed or skipped. I read only what I found interesting and did fine. No need to buy any of the books for the class; all are on reserve and used once or twice. That said, I learned a lot from my own research topic and two presentations. Knight is very loose with assignment topics, so anything with a woman in it is fair game.
She definitely knows a lot about the topic and is up to date with all the latest materials written about women and politics. she has interesting readings assigned for discussion each week and most of them are very current. However, you hardly have to do any of the reading for the class to be able to participate in the discussion and get a good grade. Everyone has 2 5-10 minute presentations summarizing a chapter from 2 different readings throughout the semester so you learn a lot regardless. The class is mainly discussion and most barnard students are lively and smart participants so the class is very engaging and the period goes by fast. Knight does a good job directing discussion but most of the class will depend on the other students and not her teaching ability.
A very interesting professor. She's very nice, and her papers are very manageable. There is a lot of required reading and even more reccommended reading. You must read to get an A, but you can get a B if you just attend the classes because the lectures are summaries of the reading.
Prof. Knight is knowledgable and interesting, if a bit unorganized. I found the class to be very informative, and the workload was very managable.
Good God - this is the worst class I've ever taken. Prof. Knight found a way to suck every ounce of interesting information out of what might have been a good class. If you've read the texts, don't bother attending lectures; they're a failed attempt to sumarize what you've already read.
Provides pretty good coverage of american politics, and women's politics when the course is appropriate: this means women's candidates, women as voters and women as leaders. She knows a lot about the women's movement, and I also heard her media class is good.