Allyson is a solid professor for Frontiers. She is generally knowledgeable about the material, grades generously, and is very approachable regarding any questions or problems that you may have.
A few more specifics on the academic layout for this class:
Seminar - 40% (consists of homework packets called "WIAs," quizzes, answering to random questions Allyson posts online, attendance, term paper, Museum of Natural History visit)
- For large lectures, I advise to go to them. Even if you already know the material, it helps your overall understanding to hear it from the specific professors who speak. Plus the lecture hall has wifi in case you get really bored or need to work on another assignment.
- You should go to seminar lectures too since it counts for your grade and such
- After each large lecture, Allyson makes you to email her a question you had about the lecture. If you don't have one, just BS a vague question about the general lecture and everything will be fine.
- Homework is really easy if you have past science (esp. AP) experience. Even if you have a bit of trouble, just ask a friend or go to office hours. The grading goes from poor-fair-good-very good-great-excellent with good and above receiving full credit (I have never seen anything lower than a "very good")
- Quizzes usually aren't too bad, but some people have trouble with them. They are usually 2-3 short response questions with one extra credit question. Just look over the lecture again if you really need to.
- Over the course of the semester, Allyson may post random stuff online. It's worth a brief look and a brief response.
- 1500 word term paper is annoying. Most people end up BSing a lot of it. For optimal grade, submit a draft early to Allyson for her to take a look over it and revise it.
- Museum visit is generally enjoyable and it's worth going with Allyson and her enthusiasm. She bought us Shake Shack afterwards.
Midterm - 20%
- Choose 2 out of the 3 questions presented for each of the first two units and answer them fully. (So you answer a total of 4 questions which consist of smaller sub-questions)
- Generally, they are pretty similar to the homework.
- Standard studying is to just go through the powerpoints posted online and usually that is enough. If you need more, then go to office hours.
- You are allowed one sheet of paper (both sides) as a cheat sheet. I've found it doesn't help much, but it you need it, it's there for you.
Final - 40%
- Similar to midterm except doing the third and fourth unit (and choosing 1 of 2 questions for first two units). So total of 6 questions answered.
- Still similar difficulty to homework
- Essay at the end which usually is pseudo-science related. It's hard to study for this; just being generally familiar with the concepts of the class is enough though