Tufts University: Stephen Bailey - Anthropology - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Although Bailey proves himself to be an extremely knowledgeable professor, and the class and information presented is very interesting, Bailey does a poor job of correlating the reading to the class lecture. The textbook (Introduction to Physical Anthropology ed.10, by Jurmain, Kilgore, and Trevathann) is overly-emphatic on genus and species classifications and random findings and locations. It does not focus enough on the overall picture. Bailey tries to ameliorate this problem in classroom discussions, but often drifts off on tangents.
Class lectures are not prone to organized note-taking. Bailey?s methods are basically writing down a list of vocabulary on the board at the beginning as a way to remind himself to cover these topics. A laptop proves an excellent resources for taking notes in this class. Late parts of the class include many slide shows. Pay attention to the information he mentions here, as they will probably appear on the tests (even though they are not particularly covered in the text or elsewhere in the lecture).
In-class tests have three sections ? multiple choice, short answer (usually with diagrams), and essay. The multiple choice section is weighted quite heavily, and usually has extremely obscure questions, most of which are not discussed in class, or are only somewhat mentioned in class or in the text. This section is extremely difficult, since the obscure information load in this class is grandiose. The following sections are more reasonable, although the short answer/diagram question usually requires a lot of precise answers. The essay is almost always very straight forward and on a topic heavily covered in the lectures and reading. Unfortunately, it doesn?t count for as nearly as much as it should be.
Overall, Bailey is a good and interesting teacher (albeit, he arrives to class late consistently), but in my opinion, his exams are utterly beyond expectation. He does curve the grades, but putting obscure questions on his exams do not help or encourage students to better understand the material as a whole.
My suggestion is to take this class as a pass/fail if possible.
At first, the reading is not as heavy as one would expect for an anthropology course. However, reading does increase dramatically by the end of the semester, and a lot of information is covered in each chapter. There aren?t any assignments besides the 3 in-class exams, a final, and a short write-up.
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