Reviews for David D. YagerAverage Rating:
Grade Expected: B
December 7, 2013, 9:13 am
|This course is the epitome of why the minor is as a whole a useless endeavor that should be avoided for the supplement of actual research ( See the Phenomena of Psyc300 being absolutely useless for teaching research). You'll waste at the average 12 hours of life that you could use for work in a research lab or hwk/real science each week and write lab reports that are in effect glorified narratives of what was conducted in lab. The lab rarely demands an actual understanding of biology and in fact is all about knowing the minimal foundation, going into the lab and doing lab work that is as you guessed it minimalistic. |
The class teaches basic 'neuroscience techiques' which really are just classic (See: useless) techniques that give you a very minimal understanding of electrophysiology in response to sensory stimuli (This course should be renamed Sensory Neuroscience Lab because there's little behavior actually studied and more principles of supposed circuits firing to supposed ganglians to cause supposed sterotyped behavior that we in majority do not get to see). We use a program (Chart) that is worse than anything on this Earth and generally we can all accept that we learn absolutely nothing in lab other than the pain of learning that we made a massive mistake attempting to finish this minor. And in lecture we are taught what I would call very much minor brush strokes of biology, we genuinely learn a minor amount of the biology of an organism just enough to do the lab but not actually understand the very fundamental information necessary to know anything worthwhile.
So in short if you want to take a course where you pretend you've learned something. Go ahead, if you actually want to do neuroscience go join a research lab. I know that if I could go back I wouldn't do this course, it taught me absolutely nothing about neuroscience that I wanted to know.
So if I were to break it down into ratings (1 to 5)
Materials in lab ( In 301 you're taught all about these magical methods and now you're using metal toothpicks for electrodes) : 1/5
Time Spent efficiently learning: 1/5
Way Course is tested: 1/5
Conclusion: Do something else with your life.
Grade Expected: A+
July 11, 2013, 11:10 am
|While I will not say that this is an easy course for most students, I had taken a graduate level neuroanatomy before and helped the students in my section with review sessions. Greg is helpful, but he doesn't go over the material a second time and neither Dr.Yager nor Greg will give you hints to memorize things. I still have my notes/review guides if anyone should need them, and if anyone needs any help, feel free to reach me!|
Grade Expected: C
June 9, 2013, 8:17 pm
|This man knows what he's talking about. Awesome, interesting class...no doubts about these statements. But if you want an A you better know that material INSIDE AND OUT. Very conceptual course, not detail oriented. His exams are very hard. Koofers helps out a lot, but do not fully depend on it. Usually he uses the same diagrams and short essays as koofers, at least. Going to class and paying attention is a must if you want to fully understand the material. Dont ever underestimate his exams. I made this class my main focus and still received a C. If you enjoy neuroscience or are used to taking courses in the physical sciences, it clearly is much easier. |
Bottom line: one of the most interesting courses you will ever take, but involves an immense amount of effort. Although i received a C, i do not regret taking this course. Yager is awesome.
Grade Expected: A
March 26, 2012, 1:19 pm
|Dr. Yager is fantastic! This was my favorite honors seminar out of all 5 that I took. It was insanely interesting. It really does change the way you think about sleeping. Yager does a really great job teaching it - he's very relaxed and doesn't bullshit you. He also brought in a real brain for us to look at! Overall I really really loved this class. We had to do one paper about a book but he let us hand it in early if we wanted and he reviewed it for us and gave it back so we could definitely get an A. Dr. Yager is funny, blatantly intelligent, and very sincere. I highly recommend this seminar if you are even remotely interested in the brain or psychology.|
Grade Expected: A
January 21, 2012, 6:02 am
|Dr. Yager is a great professor, both knowledgeable and engaging. If the class is talkative, then the lectures become very enjoyable to attend. |
Take this class at your own risk however, for it is very hard to get an A, not so much because the material itself is hard, but because his grading is rather tough. If you dont have exactly what he wants you will lose points...a lot of points. And make sure take good notes and attend every lecture. You can read the light blue book to get a general understanding, but know that whatever extra information you grab from this book will not be worth a thing if you write it as part of an answer on his tests...unless you get it wrong.. then it will cost you points.
What Ive learned in this class is just phenomenal and i would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the importance of sleep with many aspects of college life.
I have to say.. unlike some other classes.. ex. orgo, calcIII... this class is actually interesting.
PS... best thing to do is to just go listen in... learn the stuff... and not fret about getting an unsatisfactory grade.
Grade Expected: C
December 17, 2011, 10:09 am
|Basically, if you want an easy A, if you're a non-science major, or if you need an honors seminar, I don't recommend taking this class. |
Typically honors seminars are supposed to kind of be an easy A; not this one. You have to take copious amounts of notes, study hard, and have an intuition for science to get a decent grade.
The lectures are fine, a little boring, but the videos and information are interesting enough. Just make sure you take a ton of notes because that's your main study tool.
The tests are difficult. They consist of 5-7 questions based on broad topics discussed and repeated in class, but then you have to apply a bunch of details and connect it all to get points on the answers. You definitely need to study for them.
There's also the ten page paper which, if you're a good writer and can look past the surface meaning of the book, should be fairly easy to write.
The in-class discussions for the weekly papers can be painful. There seemed to be the same 4-5 students talking each week. Conversation is difficult to stimulate because sometimes it seems like no one wants to talk.
Overall, this class was difficult, especially for an honors seminar. If you're a science major and are interested in this subject matter, it'll probably be a lot easier for you than it was for me.
Grade Expected: A
February 10, 2011, 10:36 am
|This was probably the best psychology course I have taken in the department so far. I wanted to review it because there aren't any other reviews. This class is unlike other lab classes where the lab supplements the lecture. Instead, the lecture provides background information, and the main focus is information gained in lab.|
The labs are 4 hours long, and sometimes they go long - they expect you to stay, so don't plan anything after this lab. The longest lab we had went for 6 hours! At the time it seemed horrible, but I really learned a lot looking back on it. The last lab of the semester is the best one. You get to perform brain surgery on a frog and record neural pulses straight from the optic tectum (part of the brain that integrates visual information). Recording action potentials and other things you learn about in other psychology classes you actually get to do in this course! I would recommend to anyone - just be prepared to do a lengthy lab write-up each week. It truly a science course.
January 10, 2011, 3:03 pm
|For Psyc301 you HAVE to go to class because his slides are just pictures and he just talks for the whole 65 minutes. He is a good lecturer and knows his stuff really well, but as others have said his exams are definitely rough. The multiple choice had an answer choice for a, b, and c, choice d was all of the above and choice e was answer choice a and c. Definitely know everything he puts on the review sheet and try to look at things in the big picture. It's a hard class, but the material is actually really interesting. |
Also, I would suggest using Terpnotes from bookholders because someone took amazing notes that are very similar to what he teaches now. I heard that is first exam was on koofers too, but I'm not sure if that is true.
Grade Expected: B-
December 15, 2010, 3:26 pm
|Professor Yager is very knowledgable and very passionate, but he tends to be a bit boring in his lectures (I dozed off in his class every time except for once). The exams are pretty challenging, but they're fair if you study. Take notes on everything he says, because that's what's tested. And READ THE BOOKS (especially the blue one). I didn't read the books all year, and my friend pointed that there were helpful bullet lists and things like that.|
Bottom line: Interesting material, very interesting if you're a psych or bio major. Involves a lot for critical thinking. If you're looking for an easy A, look elsewhere. Recommended with caution.
May 25, 2010, 7:57 am
|Yager was good in the sense that he knew the material well, but he's the type of prof who's only there for his research. He doesn't really care as much as he should for his students. I went to him several times for help and it didn't help at all. His exams are horrible, like they come straight from hell. It doesn't matter if you know everthing he said in class. You HAVE to know extra miscellaneous stuff and have to know how to apply your knowledge to the bigger picture. He really knows his stuff...that's why the exams get so hard.|
Overall, he's not worth it. He might be able to explain stuff in class, but he won't help you a lot during reviews and the exams are HELL. Don't do it to yourself.
Grade Expected: B
April 18, 2010, 11:22 pm
|Dr. Yager is an excellent and knowledgeabe professor! He communicates the information well and makes the class interesting. You MUST attend every lecture though since the tests are extremely hard and lecture based. You have to work really hard to pass this class but it's definitely worth it if you're interested in biopsychology.|
Grade Expected: B
January 25, 2010, 8:24 am
|Very interesting class. The material gets better for the last 2/3 of the class. Presentations are difficult to get an A. Exams are not bad but need good notes. As for the essay, he accepts drafts for review, so make good use of that opportunity. Overall, a lot of work, but if you're interested, take the class!|
Grade Expected: A-
December 28, 2009, 9:43 am
|Dr. Yager is an excellent professor. He is very knowledgeable in his field and explains concepts very well. He says A LOT in class, so you'll need to be ready to take good notes and write down everything he says, but the book is just supplemental, he never tests on anything from the book that he didn't mention in class. There are 3 tests (you can drop the lowest) and a cumulative final, but there are no papers or other work. Tests require a lot of studying, and you need to be able to expand on what you know. He also holds reviews before exams which are very helpful. Fascinating class, difficult, but very satisfying.|
November 30, 2009, 12:22 pm
|the professor is a nice enough guy and knowledgable (except for the astonishing amount that he seems not to know things in the field of sleep... which he probably should?) and the class is interesting but definitly an annoyance because of the note taking and the epic paper. it is true if youre not going to be a neuroscientist or whatever and youre looking for an easy A... DONT DO IT.|
Grade Expected: B
May 12, 2009, 7:57 pm
|Well don't that just say it all.|
Grade Expected: B
December 20, 2008, 11:24 am
|Warning: If you're an honors student looking for an easy, interesting honors seminar, just stop reading now and go take the multiverse one, or multiple me's.|
This class was, overall, an interesting class. Sleep was always something interesting to me (both from a scientific standpoint and from an experiential one), and I greatly looked forward to to the class. I soon found out, though, that though the information was definitely interesting, the class was going to be a lot harder than I'd thought.
First off, my main gripe is that the class is almost completely-discussion based - he spends every class going over information in his slides, trying to get people involved, but then gives absolutely zero percentage of your grade from participation.
Your grade will consist of 40% two midterms, 30% the final, 20% two scientific paper presentations, and 10% a 10-page paper.
So first off, the tests. Make sure you take good notes, because if you don't you'll basically be screwed for the midterms, because he'll ask you specific things from the lecture, like 'list all the ways sleep inertia is bad to society' and if you don't list everything, you're screwed. On the tests, make sure you answer everything in bullet format, because it's the fastest, easiest way to answer, and it's what he wants anyway (even if he doesn't specifically tell you). If you answer a question, no matter how much you've written, as long as you write the specific things he's looking for, you get full credit. No matter how much you BS an answer, if you don't include the specific answers he wants, it won't matter.
The final was similar format to the tests, you just have a lot more time to do it. Also, he included some extra credit on the final just to boost your grade, but even then, be prepared for B's and C's on the tests, or if you're 'that guy' maybe a low A.
For the paper presentations: every week a different group gives a presentation on a scientific paper that he posts online, and everyone will have to do two of these. For this, what he's looking for is basically that you spend 5 minutes max explaining the paper and its outcomes and everything, and that for the next 10-15 minutes the class will be engaged in good discussion on it, thanks to your amazing leadership abilities you are expected to have. Make sure you have friends in the class who you have convinced ahead of time to get involved in the discussion, and whatever you do, don't say anything to try to get the discussion going unless you absolutely have to. If you do that well, you can expect an easy A for that 20%, but if not be ready for B's and B-'s.
As for the paper, it's actually 8-10 pages, on one of the books you'll be assigned. There's absolutely no research necessary, and the book it's on is actually a (pretty interesting) novel about this sleep clinic, so you'll basically be writing a literary analysis on it. Do with this what you can, and though you'll have a lot of time to do it, don't push it off or you'll feel the consequences.
Overall, I'd say I enjoyed the class (though the lecture style did start to get old), and did learn a lot about an interesting subject I hadn't actually known much about, but I do wish the class had had some sort of a participation grade, because otherwise no one has incentive to participate, and it's the same 3 people taking over and over.