Methods for Social Research with Marnie Brady is easily the worst class I have taken at Columbia. After doing the absolutely ridiculous amount of reading assigned prior to the first assignment and finding that none of it was helpful or particularly relevant, I promptly gave up and only read when the TA's mentioned specific sections or readings that might be helpful. Based on my discussions with classmates when asked to discuss the readings or lecture content, no one read or paid much attention in lecture, and we were all able to have discussions based primarily on common sense. The only reason I bothered attending lectures was for the unannounced quizzes, all of which were easy to pass based on common sense and a vague understanding of what general research for any subject entails.
I was never certain of what was expected in assignments, and instructions, due dates, and resources were difficult to find and comprehend. Marnie seemed disorganized and asked more questions than she gave answers. The assignments were easy, but again I found myself unsure of what exactly I was supposed to be doing. The content was exceedingly boring, and Marnie's teaching style and unenthusiastic lectures didn't help. The lectures also barely touched on what we actually needed to know in order to conduct our own research and analyze it for assignments.
Professor Brady also assumed that we had all been doing extensive sociology research prior to this course, which was odd as it is a required course for the major that many use as an introduction to sociology. Because of this, I often found myself teaching myself basic terminology and methods that she had assumed we all knew.
I would like to say that the TA's were excellent. Although they, like us, often didn't seem to understand what Marnie wanted or expected, they did their best to help, and discussion sections were really engaging and helpful.
This is, unfortunately, a required course for sociology majors, but if you can take it with someone other than Professor Brady, I would recommend that, at least.