Animal Behavior - BC2280 - Evaluations



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I taught this lecture course only once during 2010 at Barnard College. I very much enjoyed giving the class - the students were very enthusiastic and inquisitive. The course was a little different to a usual lecture course in that it consisted of three 50 minute classes per week as opposed to two 75 minute classes. As I have not taught it again, I haven't had the opportunity to act upon some of these suggestions. If I did, I think reducing some of the textbook examples and providing more from new research articles may be an improvement although many students still like to have most of the material centered around a core text.


What did you value most about your instructor's teaching methods?

  • - very chill, funny, straightforward. the powerpoints were helpful and consistent.

  • - The very detailed powerpoint slides made reviewing them easy.

  • - James Curley is an amazing professor. He is to the point, approachable, and extremely knowledgable. I wish every professor at Barnard could be more like him - he doesn't take himself or the class too seriously, and is humble and very good to his students. Wonderful class.

  • - Professor Curley was very organized and clear when presenting the material, the slides were great. I also liked that he showed videos to help understand concepts better and get an in depth knowledge of the topic

  • - Lectures were typically clear and concise, he was very responsive to any questions asked, and he seemed to be very passionate about the subject material itself, which made it all the more interesting.

  • - His commitment to ethical research and critical approach to new studies

  • - Sarcasm

  • - The instructor was knowledgeable and this greatly facilitated the flow of the lectures. Also, he was extremely interested in the topic. His enthusiasm spread throughout the class. The use of videos was also very helpful in understanding concepts.

  • - Power points were always interesting and often involved pictures, sound recordings, brief videos.

  • - He made the information interesting, but then again, it is an interesting subject to begin with.

  • - His interests in the subject.

  • - down to earth, approachable

  • - The slides consisted everything that he planned on saying during the lecture

  • - Understandability and enthusiasm -- Britishisms a plus.

  • - The slides were very interesting and he knew how to present the material in an understandable fashion.

  • - powerpoint presentations

  • - he was very laid back but got through a remarkable amount of material. he was very nice, explained things well, and taught us to think critically.


What did you value most about this course? In what ways did the course meet your expectations? Explain why you would or would not recommend this course.

  • - I would recommend this course to anyone looking to major in biology, psychology, or neuroscience. It is interesting and adds a whole new dimension to all these topics.

  • - I would recommend this course, Professor Curley is very approachable, interesting and gives fair exams.

  • - I learned so much in this class, more than I ever expected to learn. I would reccommend this class to ANYBODY, even non-science people, that's how approachable I found the material.

  • - There was a lot of information and the fact that we had 3 exams besides the final made it helpful to keep up with the material

  • - I like learning fun-facts about different animals, and I have been able to apply what I have learned in this class to every-day conversations, which I think is cool. I would recommend this class because it is interesting.

  • - Thought I would hate the material -- lecturer did a very good job of making it interesting.

  • - i would recommend it - interesting and he's funny

  • - The subject matter - it did meet my expectations. I would recommend this course because the subject matter is really interesting.

  • - it was fun and interesting, while pretty easy. I would recommend this course to anyone, even someone who hated science. It was very accessible

  • - Enjoyed most: use of as many different species as possible as examples in discussions of theories, principles, anomalies, etc., use of published scientific research papers as regular reading. I would recommend this course because of the reasons listed above-- especially the integration of current research into weekly reading of the text book.

  • - I enjoyed learning about animals and the mechanisms behind their behavior. If you're interested in animals, I would say to take the course. Otherwise, you might want to look at other courses.

  • - It taught me a lot more in-depth about many topics that had been touched upon lightly by my previous biology classes, and was a good way to merge my interests in biology with my interests in psychology. I especially appreciated Professor Curley's emphasis on the problematic nature of seeing things too simply or too dichotomously (such as the nature/nurture debate) - I feel like that is a very popular misconception, and he helped me to understand that things are much more complicated than that. Also I love learning about animals!

  • - everything we learned was interesting and an example of a simple biological concept. there was a good interplay between theory and individual situations. the professor also emphasized the importance of evaluating scientific data without randomly extrapolating findings to the rest of the world.

  • - It was low key and fun but we did learn.

  • - I learned a great deal about animals and their interactions.

  • - The subject material of this course was very interesting. It was only enhanced by the fact that Professor Curley was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this course. I thought it was good to have three midterms because there was a lot of material covered throughout the semester.

  • - very interesting information!

  • - i enjoyed the video clips in class


What improvements in the instructor's teaching would you recommend?

  • - Stray a little from the textbook more! It was pretty boring -- the tangents he went on were much more interesting than the textbook examples.

  • - Rely less on textbook. It's horrible.

  • - Some of the questions on exams were vague. Some examples in class were also vague ( maybe more text on certain slides, especially examples not in the book)

  • - nothing

  • - none

  • - Make lectures more dynamic, not just reading from slides.

  • - Speaking more slowly and explaining the slides a little more.

  • - Maybe there could be more opportunities for student participation. You could pose questions to the class.

  • - less lecture slides

  • - more class/teacher interaction

  • - To make the videos from lecture slides available online.

  • - None. Amazing as is.


What improvements would you like to see in the organization and content of this course?

  • - A different textbook or more of a deviation from the textbook -- I tried to read it, I really did, but it didn't do much for me. A lot of the examples were almost overly simplistic or stereotypical, the things that were more interesting seemed to come more from Professor Curley's own research or other outside examples.

  • - I would like it if the tests were returned a bit earlier.

  • - The format was very organize.

  • - the information was a bit dry. lectures could have been more engaging.

  • - more student participation instead of the teacher talking to us

  • - Tests are long for us to take and him to grade

  • - nothing

  • - Tests, etc., probably could have been harder, though I'm glad they weren't.

  • - Regarding the final exam, do not include old material.

  • - Course could be taught in two 75min classes a week.

  • - meet 2 times a week. 50 min classes were too short and unnecessary to meet 3 times a week.

  • - The professor should walk in with a little more motivation in the morning.

  • - Sometimes it felt like examples were just being thrown at us, and it was difficult to digest it sometimes.

  • - I found myself struggling for time while taking the exams, even though I studied a good amount

  • - He felt obligated to include the human behavior lectures only to dismiss its applicability. 10 minutes would have been necessary. Also, not complaining, but grading was extremely easy. Anyone that shows up to class is getting an A i think.

  • - None.

  • - A non-cumulative final exam would be appreciated. In addition to smaller quizzes, since there is so much information to take in.

  • - Less vague questions on the exams.


How much effort did you put into this course versus comparable courses? Did the course inspire you to put in extra time and effort, over and beyond what was required?

  • - I put a comparable amount of work into this class. Sometimes this class inspired me to look up a little more information about some of these or different animals, or I looked up videos about them on youtube.

  • - There is a lot of textbook/article reading, but reviewing all the slides 1-2 days before the test is sufficient to do well on the exams.

  • - Not too much effort, a little read through of notes before a test.

  • - It didn't inspire me to put in more than was required, but that's a good thing! I found this class to be less work than a typical biology course - at the same time, I feel like I learned just as much if not more in this class than I do in other classes, that's how well done James Curley did.

  • - Lots of extra time and effort.

  • - Comparable to other courses

  • - i put a fair amount of effort into studying but i felt the workload was very reasonable and well balanced.

  • - Same effort as others on text book reading, but always sought additional external journal, video, sound recordings, when available.

  • - Not that much effort -- but the material didn't seem to require it (the examples were easy to remember without much studying).

  • - I put the same effort as my other courses.

  • - similar

  • - I put at least 5 hours into studying before every exam.

  • - The same amount of effort as other courses.

  • - Just what was required of us - did the reading and studied for exams.

  • - This course required an amount of work that is comparable to other upper level bio classes.

  • - Equal to other classes.


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