Not too easy. Not too difficult.
I would recommend this course - specifically this professor - because Professor Deneke makes the subject fascinating and ultimately, simple. Any biology class is known for its complexity, so if science is not particularly your strongest point, I caution that it will take more effort to get the hang of it, but nonetheless, it is not impossible. Lectures and labs are easy to follow, mainly because of the printed outline that allows students to easily follow along and highlight important points. The material can be complicated but Deneke does a great job with simplifying it, giving various types of learning methods, and providing more than enough opportunities for students to practice what they learn and ask questions. Grades depend on exams, attendance, a couple lab reports and a couple essays. There is no homework so students don't need to worry about constant due date. However, the main approach to success in the class is an abundance of review - which is expected considering you're learning about the world of plants. The excessive amount of review is why I've rated the class 4 stars instead of 5. The class gets 4 stars because you end up learning a lot especially because it's applicable to every day life, and the class is relatively simple if you keep up with daily studying and review.
I learned a lot! I learned about the hormones that cause plants to grow tall and skinny vs. short and fat. I learned about the hormone that causes fruits to ripen. I learned why the bark on the tree is callous and what is made out of. I learned about the different types of leaves on plants and why some are shaped the way they are. I learned about roots that grow up and plants that eat insects. There is so much more I learned, and I learned it because I see it everywhere! I can apply what I learn in lecture and see in lab directly to the world outside my classroom. Students were assigned a variety of plants to germinate and grow on their own and with a group of students. We made slime molds. We watched videos of fascinating plants. We observed living plants that we see in everyday life, but microscopically and in a bigger scale. And on test days, the professor hands out dark chocolates for our mental health.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Review review review! There is so much material that it would be extremely detrimental - even impossible - to cram everything a couple days before exams. Flashcards are very helpful in reviewing important ideas and terms. Audio record the lectures that way you can review and fully complete the lecture outlines at the same time. Review the lab manual beforehand so you are prepared to handle any specific instructions instead of standing there clueless or confused. After each session, review your notes, add to them, make more flashcards, and review those too. Make study groups! Going over material with other students and other minds can be very helpful. Being able to teach a concept will help you understand them 10x better than studying on your own. Inversely, learning the concept in a different point of view from others may also help you fully understand it.