Teaching

Teaching Evaluations (anonymous and in their entirety, without omission or censure, and in the order received) for UCLA Introduction to Psychology, Fall 2014.

1) flawless

2) Abramson did a fantastic job at making the class interesting and relatable to everyone. His anecdotes helped to keep otherwise mundane lectures interesting, thus keeping everyone engaged.

3) Abramson is such a approachable guy! I was able to just walk up to him and just talk to him. He is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. Sad to know it’s his last time teaching Psych 10. He’s so wonderful!

4) Abramson was a very passionate and knowledgeable professor. However, his intentionally unique style in teaching the course is a hit-or-miss. Oftentimes it felt like I was watching an episode of Discovery Channel where I learned random, but interesting facts that I’d likely forget later. It didn’t correspond to an intro psych class I expected and I felt like it was a fun class, but not all too informational or great at establishing a strong foundation for those who wish to pursue psychology. Also, his outlines were great, but the formatting (font, size, CAPS lock) was awful. I spent way too long re-formatting it so that it wouldn’t be an eyesore instead of a useful guide.

5) Abramson was such an interesting lecturer who really enjoys the field of psych and is so knowledgeable about it.

6) Abramson was truly excited and knowledgeable in his course material. The only downfall of the class would be that sometimes the lesson plan of the day would be disorganized.

7) Although Dr. Abramson talks quickly, he is very thorough with the course material and makes it very interesting. I wish there were discussion sections where we could go over what he’s talked about in class, though. One of my favorite classes so far here at UCLA.

8) As a first-quarter freshman, I was really pleasantly surprised when I went to my very first college lecture.

9) Professor Abramson was entertaining, funny, and clear when lecturing, and he incorporated various, light material such as films and autobiographical readings to make the course more relatable. He truly cared about our understanding the topics, and he even taught us about more than just psychology – he taught us how to make the most of our days here in college, and I’m so glad I got the chance to take his class.

10) Before taking the course I was interested in psychology but didn’t have that much idea. But know, due to professor Abramson’s intriguing and interesting lectures I know a lot. He has done a great work.

11) By far, the BEST professor I have ever had! His class is the reason I am switching majors to psychobiology. I feel truly blessed to have taken the last psych 10 class he is teaching. I really liked his teaching method which allows me to focus and be interested in the topic that week. His outlines were very organized especially in complement to his lectures. He made it easy to listen to lecture while following the outlines which helped us to understand the concepts discussed in class, instead of worrying about taking notes. The supplementary videos and readings were excellent. I liked that he used many examples and scenarios from movies and novels of first-hand experience with psychosis.

12) The required reading “The Center Cannot Hold” by Elyn Saks was excellent! The fact that he knew Elyn Saks and brought her to lecture was such an awesome experience! He is so interactive with students that we are able to give rise to new discussion. This way of learning is different than the average professor who does all the talking. In his lecture, we were challenged to think through many perspectives. He did an excellent job teaching psych 10. I hope to enroll in his Sex and Law class.

13) Congrats on us being your last class to teach!

14) Dr. Abramson in very concerned about students and their interest in psychology. He tends to lead lecture as discussion, which made it interesting.

15) Dr. Abramson is a very interesting and intellectual lecturer. His notes are very concise and informative. He is also very passionate about interacting with students, always making sure the questions are properly answered.

16) Dr. Abramson really tries his best to make the information understandable for his students. His biggest strength is that he invites students to speak up about what has been learned. He provides interesting lectures and makes the lectures easy to understand. I don’t think he has a weakness, and I think his course was fantastic.

17) Dr. Abramson was an excellent lecturer and used applicable studies and videos to really enhance the class discussions. I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Abramson’s lectures and attending his class.

18) Dr. Abramson was such a great professor! He genuinely cared about addressing our questions, if there were any! The way he taught this class was very unique, and he made it very interesting. His selection of books and other materials were very integrative!

19) Enjoy his lectures even though there are 300+ students.

20) Enjoyed the class and instructor. Very good class for an intro class. Made it very interesting and engaging. Great professor and learned basics of psychology. Outside of lecture material was relevant and interesting (movies, books, guest speakers). Glad I was able to have him before he finished teaching.

21) Everything was great just the facts that it was a late class made it bad.

22) Excellent class! The movies, lectures, readings, guest speakers, everything! I love reading the novels, and I loved how there was no textbook, only novels! Great teacher!

23) Excellent professor. Enjoyed listening to him lecture Free, fairly loose structure of teaching that encouraged students to come to lecture to interact with each other and the professor. Overall, an excellent learning environment. Only weakness is that it leaves a desire for more lectures.

24) Funny and entertaining to listen to, outlines extremely helpful.

25) Great passion and just made class super interesting.

26) Great planner and communicator. Extremely fun as well.

27) Great professor! Genuine concern and incredibly knowledgeable on subject material…made class engaging and worth going to.

28) He is an excellent professor who loves the material so it translates very well to how he cares and teaches the class.

29) He needs to change his outlines to a more professional format. The all caps needs to go.

30) He was enthusiastic and outlined the course material well.

31) His charisma really enhanced the topics he covered. He always kept me engaged and shared enriching media when relevant. He is excellent to say the least.

32) Hope that the homework answers could be posted.

33) I enjoyed the amount of knowledge the professor had in covering the course material, as well as his ability to incorporate interesting examples relating to the lecture. I felt that the course could have been a bit more structured as far as the implementation of weekly readings.

34) I like the structure of this class primarily because I am taking this class solely in the interest of learning basic pysch for the MCAT exam I have to take next year. I feel that possibly the flexible structure of lecture that uses examples and stories more, rather than concrete definitions and terms may be a bit of a flimsy base for serious psychology students, but for people interested in getting basic knowledge about psych – the class was second to none. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and feel that I really have taken something valuable and extremely interesting from it.

35) I love Professor Abramson! As a 3rd year, i have had my fair share of experiences with professors, but Abramson is the best. He keeps me engaged throughout a long class. I always attend class because I know I will always learn something new and applicable. He has brought in two guest speakers that were amazing and strengthened the learning within the class. I am sad that this is the last time he is teaching the class. It would have been a great if all UCLA students were able to listen to his lectures.

36) Wonderful!

37) No weaknesses. Very smart in his field.

38) I really appreciate the outlines and study guides that are given. Maybe have some sort of visual aid/draw on the board/walk around more during lecture to make it more visually engaging.

39) I thoroughly enjoyed Abramson’s class because he always had some exterior knowledge to bring to the table. I also enjoyed that he connected things to class that I feel I would not have made connections with had I chosen to take this course with another instructor. I’m thankful for the speakers he brought in to speak in class because that reminded me of exactly how all we talk about directly connects to “the real world”.

40) I enjoyed his humor and his anecdotes and he had an overall warm demeanor that made him easily approachable. I will miss his class and am beyond grateful for having him as my professor.

41) He was a great professor!

42) I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Abramson’s class. He is a well round professor who knows what he’s talking about and gets the students interested in the subjects at hand.

43) I’m so glad I got to take Psych 10 with Professor Abramson during his last quarter teaching the course.

44) He is one of the only professors I’ve had that go out of their way to include interesting material in the course to pique the interest of the students.

45) Instructor provides detailed examples of what is being covered in the class. Instructor was engaging and entertaining.

46) Although lecture note outlines were helpful, instructor was still slightly hard to follow. Instructor was definitely focused on student success, because of in class presenters he brought in and distributing an exam study guide for us. Overall grade could be based on more than just the midterm and final.

47) Interesting Topics, amazing movies/books introduced.

48) It is my honor and utmost pleasure to review Dr. Abramson, the best professor that I have had the privilege of learning under. Dr. Abramson was an absolutely phenomenal professor, whose concern for his students is explicit, and whose passion for the material he teaches resonates with the students in the room. The way he presents the material is connected with incredible ingenuity, and the “broad concepts” are reduced to palatable portions. After digesting his material, one truly feels engaged and enlightened. I truly believe that I have mastered the material presented in this course with credit to Dr. Abramson’s pedagogy, and hope to continue studying this field. I absolutely loved this class!

49) Kindest and most interesting professor ever. The first year teacher I never had! One of my favorites by far.

50) Love this class and love Abramson! He can be a little scatter-brained at times but he is a fantastic professor. Very lax yet encourages us to know our stuff. Love his simple approach and he’s quite a unique individual to get to know. Would take him again in a heartbeat. Also, his drawings are always hilarious.

51) Loved Professor Abramson’s class! This was my first psych class ever and I had never taken anything even related to psych before. I loved his way of teaching, presenting interesting information, and the fact that rather than forcing us to memorize and use boring textbooks, he chose autobiographies of people with mental illness. It was fascinating to be able to read firsthand what the experiences were like for these people rather than read about the illnesses abstractly through dull clinical language.

He always seemed really open and friendly to talk to. Very approachable and the lecture environment was always very nice to be in.

I also really enjoyed listening to Professor Abramson talk about his own research, his own cases and how they applied to the concepts we’re learning in class. I also liked that he showed that he wasn’t just an academic but also someone with interesting hobbies like music and being in a band. Sometimes, we forget that professors and TAs have other interests. The videos he chose to present in class were also really interesting. They were all fascinating to hear people talk about John Nash and then listen to Nash himself. Watching real clips of the Stanford prison experiment and then talking about it. I also thought that the movies he chose were also culturally important and also entertaining. Out of all the videos, the most boring one was the Freud movie.

I absolutely adored the speeches by Elyn Saks and Robin Finck. They were so amazing to listen to. So enlightening to see and hear these people talk about schizophrenia and shyness.

Overall, I’m so glad to have taken his class. This has definitely sparked my interest in psychology. I hope to take more classes with Professor Abramson and hopefully learn from other professors like him!

52) Loved the course, instructor was clear and concise and helped outline the material adequately. Maybe to just follow the order of the outlines, but overall I loved this class.

53) No weaknesses! Let me go on record for saying this: loved the podcast! Oh my god, helped me so much! I’m a commuter and a very tech savvy student, so listening to my lectures on the go is a blessing. I wish other professors would record their lectures. I cannot complain for the difficulty of the class or any material that i did not understand because it was all on a file in my phone. Any questions i missed on the midterm or final was all my responsibility; therefore, no criticism on the function of the class. The material was easy to understand and easy to follow because he explained it so analytically. If i did not understand something, my peer learning facilitator helped me out as well. I was astonished by so much help this class offered me. This is how every class at UCLA should be like. The TAs were insightful. The movies were interesting etc etc. The study guide! Thanks a lot. Thank you x3 Great job.

54) Professor Abramson Is the best!!! His teaching style is so unique and the material he covers is fascinating. I have gained so much insight into psychology that I would have not otherwise learned if I had not taken this course.

55) Professor Abramson chooses to teach this course in a different manner. He bases his lectures on his past experiences and they are not boring because there is always something new that can be learned. He also includes films and documentaries to enhance the understanding of certain criteria, then he discusses them afterwards. Overall, this course not only introduced me to psychology, but it proved me right in choosing it as my major.

56) Professor Abramson is a fantastic professor. I loved his lectures. I felt the class was very broad though and the midterm questions were very specific and some were not in the “study guide”

57) Professor Abramson is a great lecturer and chooses fascinating topics to discuss in lecture. The required texts are both informative and relevant, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

58) The class was great, it really increased interest my interest in the field of psychology. I found I was able to enjoy lectures and the required texts and films because the class wasn’t high-pressure and fast-paced like many of my other courses; you can tell the professor structures the class in a way to make the learning interesting and fun. I would definitely recommend this class to my friends and peers.

59) Strengths: interesting, relevant and applicable to our lives, great choices in readings and films, low pressure. Weaknesses: n/a.

60) Professor Abramson is a great lecturer. The topics are very interesting and he gives good and relevant examples in order to explain the material.

61) Professor Abramson is one of the most talented, wonderful professor I have ever had. He’s so knowledgeable, understanding and respectful of the students. I love how he always respect us by giving his best to our lectures, and make the class engaging and fun. I do hope I get to have him as a professor again soon, and I’d like to thank him for all he has done for our class this quarter and wish him a restful break.

62) Professor Abramson is really great! He brought in really interesting guest speakers. Overall, he really got me more interested in the field of psychology. I like his method of using two novels to guide the course rather than a textbook that provides less of an engaging experience. Sometimes the outlines he handed out for lecture were difficult to understand, but it never caused a problem because he would clarify if you had a question. I highly recommend him!

63) Professor Abramson is very engaging and presents his material from a very interesting perspective. He conveys the ideas and concepts very well and it is a pleasure to be in his class.

64) Professor Abramson is very helpful and humorous and his TAs are extremely helpful!

65) Professor Abramson makes his lectures interesting and was dedicated to helping every student understand each topic discussed. Also he is easily approachable and genuinely concerned about his students. The fact that he did not teach off of powerpoint presentations made the class less routine like and the material was way easier to understand.

66) Professor Abramson truly cares about whether or not his students understand the course material; that much in itself is rare. And, I appreciate that. He’s also super cool with his extracurricular activities and his enthusiasm for the subject. I enjoyed the various case studies he lectured about.

67) Professor Abramson was awesome! His lectures were very interesting and made me really think about the things that I believed.

68) Professor Abramson was truly an amazing teacher.

69) Professor Abramson was very knowledgeable and easy to approach.

70) Professor Abrasion is an excellent professor i would recommend him to every student. I bet all his classes are this awesome. He made class fun and interesting. He always knew what he was talking about and never hesitated to answer a question. Best professor here at UCLA.

71) Professor who keeps his students interested with interesting material. Professor’s material was very interesting and engaging; however, I often felt like the class dragged on during simple examples that took way to long to explain.

72) I really enjoyed the class and am definitely glad that I chose my major!

73) Psych 10 with Abramson is one of the best courses I’ve taken at UCLA. He is super knowledgeable and does an amazing job of incorporating all types of media into his lectures and class. I like the more relaxed approach to studying psychology because it allowed me to really enjoy learning about psych for myself as opposed to purely for exams. I really admire Abramson’s speaking skills and personal perspective and achievements in psychology, and I wish that all my professors were as talented as him.

73) Strengths: Excellent professor. He introduced interesting topics and made every class interesting and exciting. Every lecture was well prepared and he method of lecturing was simple yet intriguing. He choice of books is wonderful. I greatly enjoyed reading the assigned books for the course. By far one of my favorite professors.

74) The best professor I have ever had at UCLA. I wish all professors were as involved, organized, passionate and knowledgeable as Professor Abramson. It is truly a shame that he won’t be teaching this class again! He goes above and beyond for his students and made us feel like he really cared about what we were learning. He was able to make every subject matter interesting to us. Thank you!

75) The instructor is passionate about the subject, and presented a lot of interesting and valuable material. He was able to foster discussion, which was difficult at times, in a class of a few hundred students. Overall, he made this class a success.

76) The instructor is very approachable, outgoing, and very concerned about student understanding of the course material. The weaknesses is that there were no homework assignments to engage in deeper understanding of material, this was not a big issue but for me it could of helped.

77) The instructor is very entertaining and informative. He does not lecture so fast and stops between subjects to give us time to ask questions. He also uses other examples on how they relate to the topic that he will be discussing later.

78) The instructor was always very interested in student feedback, e.g. questions and opinions, on lectures and films shown in class. This showed that he was sincerely interested in the topics he was teaching as well as the student learning process. I did not identify any weaknesses.

The lecture was always interesting. Learned a lot and am glad he was our first teacher and I got to take him for my first psych class at UCLA. I believe power points may have helped a bit to be more organized. Besides that, everything was fun and interesting.

79) The professor is well organized with his lectures and lectures are always very well presented and explained. Class discussions are not frequent and only a couple times throughout the quarter.

80) The professor lectured for a long time, which made students uninterested, but he always knew exactly what he was talking about and answered any questions that students had with knowledge.

81) The strengths about the course are that we were given a different view of the material we covered. Rather than reading a textbook which gives us information that we can typically find elsewhere, we were prompted to read novels that demonstrated some of the things that we were learning about and how they are put into practice. The overall organization of the class presentations were always well prepared and he provided us with outlines so we could follow along as we listened to the lecture, allowing us to engage more with the lecture than we would’ve otherwise. A weakness about the course would be that sometimes it felt like the instructor was cramming a lot of different things into one lecture with limited time, so there was not too much time for discussion an participation in between. Well at least not as much as I would like.

82) This class was great.

83) This class was interesting, but lecture slides would have made it easier to understand in my opinion. The whiteboard drawings weren’t the easiest to take notes on.

84) This course was very interesting, all the documentaries, movies, and books really illuminated me to the different aspects of psychology. Though it would have been really helpful if the professor made the format of the outlines more print-friendly and the outlines themselves more detailed, this course was in general very enjoyable, informative, and rewarding. Thank you so much Professor Abramson for this class!

85) This professor is a charismatic, phenomenal speaker. There are no weaknesses in his ability to teach and peak interest in his students.

86) This professor is very knowledgeable about psychology and has a great sense of humor.

87) He is a cool professor, and he will also answer any questions you might have. This is the best introductory psychology course at UCLA!

88) Was very interested in the material

89) You are an amazing professor, and the research that you are taking part in is so interesting. However, I feel like there is no student to teacher interaction.

90) You are an awesome professor. I had a great time listening to all your lectures and hearing the different stories related to the topics. You made class fun and interesting! Before this class I didn’t know much about psychology because I never had the chance to take the subject in high school. But after this quarter, I found psychology to be fascinating. I really enjoyed your class and having you as my professor!

91) You inspire me to pursue Psychobiology. Thank you. Your lecture is really great. It is NOT boring facts but intriguing. I wish you could continue to teach Intro to Psychology because you are a really great professor. I enjoy your class every week and every day. Thank you.

92) Amazing professor! loved his lectures! very knowledgeable and great at explaining! excellent professor!

93) Engaging course content, really enjoyed the class.

94) Great teacher he talks about very interesting stuff and explains what he lectures very well.

95) Real strength: gave very interesting lectures. seemed very enthusiastic about work. weakness: The class was very long and sometimes it was monotonous.

96) Very interesting.

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