Spring 2017

KOR 101 First-Year 1st Semester Korean

Instructor: Han Eun Hee

What grade that you get for this class largely depends on how well you do for your tests and exams. But I still feel that it is easy to get A- and above. My classmates had a range of grades from A to B though. I know 2 had A and I’m sure there are more. We don’t know our grades for most of the assessment for this class, so I’ll just say how well I think I did. You need 90 and above to get A, and 85 – 89.9 for A-, 80 – 84.9 for B+, 75- 79.9 for B.

I’ll start with the simpler stuff first. Attendance and participation is worth 15%. Basically, she wants us to have a good attitude in class and also come to class on time. People who are often late for class or don’t come to class often won’t get full marks for this. As a class, we agreed with her on this. 

Homework and assignments are worth 10%. Homework is done in the exercise book inside the textbook. After completing a chapter, you will do the homework for that chapter. Very easy one lah; it’s all what you learnt in class. just do and you’ll get the marks 😀 We had 2 writing assignments. The first one is about our family, second one is about our holiday. The assignment is 200-250 words (inclusive of spacing). I got A- for the first assignment as I had some grammatical errors, most probably it’s the same for the second too.

We had 2 mini tests, 10 marks each, 5% each. There are 10 questions in mini tests, which consists of listening questions and translating the vocabulary questions. I got 10 for the first test, and 8 for the second. Class average is 9 for both.

Next is the oral assignment and exam. It is a total of 10% of your grade. Not sure exactly how many % for each component though. Oral assignment is very easy, she just asked us to send her a voice recording of our self-introduction. Oral exam is slightly tougher though, because most of us are not really good at speaking. Speaking is different from writing because for writing, you can take time to think what/how to write. But for speaking, you really have to think in Korean on the spot lol She usually tests those conversations that can be found in the textbook. After chapter 3. Like for example, chapter 9 is about describing hometown and scenery, so you need to know how to describe it and also make sure you know all the relevant vocabulary and nouns. Chapter 10 and 11 is about ordering food in a restaurant so make sure you know how to order also. She will bring printed pictures of food and the order list :p I was tested on talking about my family, hometown’s scenery,  what do I want to eat and drink, and ordering food. I think it’s because I stumbled when I was trying to order the food so she tested me on other topics to give me more chances. Overall, I think I did fine. I don’t have problems with pronunciation, just that I need time to think of what to say. Before we had our oral exam, Ms Han told us that students from past semester have did well for oral exam.

The midterm exam is 15%. It consists of questions such as translating the vocabulary, correcting grammatical errors in a sentence, making a sentence with the appropriate markers and particles (part of Korean grammar), and completing unfinished sentences based on the pictures given. There is also a listening comprehension too. The questions are of the same style as those in your exercise book. So when studying for your tests, make sure you revise your exercise book too. I got 91/100 for midterm. I lost marks due to some spelling and grammatical errors. Ms Han told us that the average is around 80 for the other class, but our class’s average is lower. So she was a little sad because she thought we would all do fine for the paper, but some did badly. She thought the questions were really straightforward and they were also of the same style as those in her lecture notes and the exercise book. I thought so too. Take note of your spelling during exams, Ms Han said that many students make careless mistakes! So for the final exam, she made it easier, it was mostly just choosing the correct particle/marker from the table, comprehension passages with MCQ questions, creating your own sentence using the word given, and translation. No listening comprehension. Final exam is 20%. The whole book is supposed to be tested, but since we could only finish till chapter 13, we were only test till chapter 13. I don’t think I got more than 4 questions wrong for the final exam. 

Lastly, the final project is worth 20% of your grade. In groups of 2 or 3 or 4, we had to write a script, memorise, and then make a video. On the last day of class, everyone will watch each others’ videos 😀 Video will be 4 – 5 or 6 – 7 or 8 – 9 mins long depending on the number of people in your group. The more people there are, the video will be longer. And that duration is solely for speaking Korean, it does not include the time where you are walking around, etc. The script is marked as a group, pronunciation and fluency (as seen from the video) will be marked individually. So make sure you can be heard when you review the video. Quality of the video doesn’t matter, at least that’s what she said. And it’s still ok to stumble/blank out once or twice; these people still managed to get an A at the end, though many were really smooth in their speaking and memorising. I’m sure there are other criteria, but she didn’t say anything else. However, one thing to note is that, try not to use too much voice-over. Because it means that you aren’t really putting in effort to memorise. Also, you must really memorise your lines properly and look confident, if not you will look like you didn’t put in much effort in memorising. I think me and my partner lost marks because of this; in the first scene, uhm, it was a bit uncomfortable to watch lol I was very stiff throughout the conversation because I was nervous and my partner was struggling to remember her lines. We only filmed one or at max, 2 tries for each scene because she didn’t want to waste time as she was busy. And she was very insistent on it. So even if we made any mistake, she didn’t want to film again. So I think we lost a lot of marks for this 😦 Anyway I think if she can see that you really put in effort, she will probably give quite high marks one lah.

Anyway, although this is a 5 credit class, the amount of work and studying needed doesn’t feel like 5 credits. More like 3.5, maybe at most 4 only.

Hmm… so what else? Ms Han is really nice and she is also expressive and funny when she is trying to give and explain examples to us. Like there was once where she used a tissue paper to demonstrate the difference in pronunciation for the consonants, or when she tried to express the meaning of a word with actions, facial expressions and all. Initially Ms Han looked really strict for the first 2 lessons (during the introduction and also when she was teaching us the Korean alphabet – vowels and consonants (hangul)). Maybe she wanted us to pronounce properly. But halfway through the second lesson, one student suddenly got up, told her “too difficult”, and walked out of the class and never came back lol. She was shocked and she asked us if it was really difficult, everyone was like ‘no’. Eh but tbh I felt that the pace is a little fast and sometimes I got a little lost. I think it’s because some people already had some slight background knowledge of hangul. Even before the lesson started, some people already had written notes of all the alphabets! Anyway after the first week, the pace slowed down and was consistent after that. That’s why we could only complete 13 chapters instead of 15.

Oh and after that day when that student left the class, there was a noticeable change in her attitude, she became a lot more friendlier lol

Anyway, in her class, other than teaching, the rest of the time is spent practicing the conversations in our textbook and doing the questions in our notes. Btw she has really nice powerpoint slides and notes 😀 Oh and sometimes she would make her own picture cards so that we can test ourselves on whether we can remember the nouns. There was once where she let us play the “Telephone Game” (I’m not sure if there is any local name for this game), the game where the last person in the line writes on the board.

I also find her very lenient because we didn’t do well for our mid terms, she made the finals easier. I’m not sure if she made the other assessments easier. But she still helped us in our oral exam though, such as telling which topics we should focus on. She also gives second chances.

** When learning hangul, it is very important to learn the pronunciation of each vowel and consonant properly so that you won’t make mistakes when you learn the pronunciation of new words and when writing down the pronunciation  Because the Korean alphabet is like a mix and match of various consonants and vowels, the pronunciation is also a mixture of the respective consonants and vowels. So try to have a consistent spelling for the pronunciation. For example, 동 is made out of ㄷ, ㅗ, and ㅇ. Individually, I named the pronunciation as d/t, oh, ong. So for me, 동  is pronounced as d/tong. Also, I’m not sure why some students do badly in their exams, but if you understand how those grammar rules work, I think the tests should be easy. So if you are unsure about the grammar rules that are being taught in class, please ask Ms Han 🙂 Anyway, having some or a lack of knowledge of Korean phrases or alphabets beforehand doesn’t determine your performance in this class. It’s pretty strange but true from what I’ve observed. Me and another classmate have 0 knowledge of Korean, but we still did well as compared to students who watched a lot of Korean dramas in Korean and already know some phrases. So work hard! Anyway if you do take this class, I hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

My grade for this course: A-


COM 451 Communication and Marketing

Instructor: Ray Monteverde

Quite hard to get an A- an above. Most people got only a B+ or B because for the midterm exam, losing 1 mark = losing 1%. Here is the grading scale… 

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For this class, there are quizzes, midterm, a final project and a class participation component for this module.

We had 3 quizzes this semester. Mr Ray will pick the best 2 out of the 3 to account for 20% of your grade (10% + 10%). He will tell you specifically what concepts he will test on. Whatever he said will definitely be tested. He usually tests 3 – 4 concepts and there are 3 – 4 short answer questions. From what I’ve seen, he doesn’t test the same concept in more than 1 question. The quiz is a case study, so you apply what you have learnt to answer the questions. For example, maybe he will ask you to give examples of brand attributes based on the case study, or apply the MECCAS Model to it. Sometimes he will ask you to come up with a brief marketing communication strategy. You don’t need to write super long, detailed answers. Just answer the question and you will be fine. Each question is about 4 – 6 marks. Oh, and it is really important to remember the concepts and use them for the correct question so that you won’t mix up the answers and lose precious marks. It happened to me too often :/ I got 13/20, 13/20, 14/20 for the quizzes. Average is around 14 – 16.

For the midterm, it is exactly the same format and everything, just like the quizzes. However, it is 25 marks, 25% of your overall. I got 15/25 for this. Most people got 13 -16.

After the midterm results were out, Mr Ray gave us the second class activity and told us that it is to help us pull up our marks. He didn’t say how. Class activities are 10% of your overall grade and both of our class activities were 10 marks each. It is pair work. I haven’t heard of anyone not getting the full 10 marks for both activities. Our first activity was to do a brand analysis for the brand of our choice. Second one was just applying the MECCAS Model for the same brand.

As for the final project, it is 35%, 100 marks. Basically, we have to come up with a marketing communication strategy for the brand of our choice (He gave us 5 choices) in the form of a written report, and also do a video presentation about it. Video presentation is just about filming ourselves presenting. The project is done in groups of 5. We have to use the following marketing communication tools for our campaign: Electronic Direct Mailer, PR, Social Media Marketing, Advertising. And of course, we also need to come up with the design of the advertisements, mailers, etc. Quite simple one lah, just analyse, be creative, and meet the requirements. We got 94/100 because of some minor mistakes here and there, like some typos/printing error (strangely, some words got cut off), and certain ways which we could improve our marcom strategy. The others got around this range also.

Lastly, attendance is just 10%. He takes down attendance at the end of every class so even if you are late, it’s still ok. Just come to class. I think most people should get 10 for this lol

Prior to this class, I have totally 0 knowledge about marketing or marcom. But after this class, I feel that I have learnt something. Like at least I now know what goes into a marketing campaign. The textbook is not required as Mr Ray’s notes are comprehensive enough even for people like me to learn from and understand. Whatever you need to study for the quizzes/midterm or examples to use for the project are all inside it. His lectures are also pretty straightforward and easy to understand, maybe because it’s more of examples than theories. First 2 lectures are boring because they are about the basic concepts of marketing, but the rest are more interesting and he will also show videos about some cool and funny advertisements.

And he is also really friendly. When class ends, he likes to go around and talk to students, ask them if they have any questions, etc. or sometimes chit chat with them. Quite a number of my classmates are taking his classes for the second time. I guess that means he is ok :p

My grade for this course: B


PSY 101 Introductory Psychology

Instructor: Reena

If you put in effort to study, you can get an A- for this class. Getting an A is really hard though because you will lose marks here and there, especially for the project because it is quite tough. Most people got an A- or B+. 90 and above to get A, and 85 – 89.9 for A-, and 80 – 84.9 for B+.

There are 3 exams and 1 project for this class. Project is 30%, divided into 2 parts, lit review and experiment findings, 15% each. She gave us 4 topics to choose from: Parent-adolescent conflict, cognitive development in children, gender differences in cognitive development, and diffusion of responsibility. For the lit review part of the project, you need to come up with 2-3 factors and find research papers on it and write. The word limit is 700 words. We got 8/10 for this section. We asked some other groups and found out they usually got 6 or 7. Dr Reena said a lot of groups made mistakes in APA formatting. Well, most of them are in their first semester, so they are not sure about things like APA format. The other problems are writing the hypothesis statements or lit review incorrectly. So ask her if you are confused about what is required in writing the paper. But take note, there are a lot of people wanting to ask her questions, from projects to class content, so you might need to queue for a long time. She doesn’t really answer questions through email though.

The second half of the project is tougher; this section is where you need to conduct your experiments/interviews and write your findings on it. To be more specific, you need to talk about methodology, results, discussion, limitations, and conclusion. Oh and did I mention that you need to do a video recording of the experiments/interviews? Btw we did diffusion of responsibility and we had to film whether there were people helping us to pick up stuff :p Discussion of the results is the hardest part, because you need to analyse your results, compare with existing literature (such as the lit review) and explain the significance of your results. I better not explain too much, because I’m not good at this either. Our group got 42/50 for this. Not sure about other groups though.

Now, the exams. The first 2 exams are 20% each, 50 and 60 questions respectively. Final exam is 30%, 70 questions. All MCQs. Her questions are a little tricky; it’s mostly application questions where you read the question then you pick the best answer. Such as, giving you a scenario, then asking you which theory is that. There are also some questions that will directly test on facts. No true/false questions or definition questions. But as long as you study everything for the test and read the questions carefully, you will do fine. She doesn’t test on the videos she showed in class, she will say it if she wants to. I got 37/50 for the first exam; didn’t study 1/2 chapter lol A lot of people did very well for the first exam, most people got 40 and above. My group mate told us that someone got 49 too. But not long later, it was revealed that there were people in our class who had access to questions from past year papers and circulated them to others. Dr Reena also found out about it. She said that’s why many people got high marks in our class, but not in the other PSY 101 class. Big issue leh; for the first and second exam, she only returned us the photocopies of our OTAS sheet; originals are with SIM’s examination department. Dr Reena told us that this is a serious issue and it is considered cheating. Even the UB provost knows about this incident. Dr Reena told us that “there is a long list of names” of those who were involved in this and they will be issued a warning. If these people cheat again, they will be expelled from school. Damn scary sia :O

So don’t do that ah. If you see any past year questions pleasssse DON’T circulate!

So for the second exam, 60 questions. She told us that this time the exam will be more difficult. I got 51/60. Average was around 48 and many people were disappointed with their results. Final exam is 70 questions. We don’t know how much we got. I think I only got 2 questions wrong. :p

Oh and Dr Reena takes attendance, but I don’t think there’s any impact on your grade. She just wants you to come to class and listen. But if you are late she will ask you to sit right at the front of the class lol

So about Dr Reena, she is nice! And unlike other lecturers, her lectures makes me more interested and want to learn more about psychology. Like the way she teaches it just makes the content really interesting. Seriously, I’ve seen more students ask questions in her class than in other lecturer’s classes, and her lectures are not just all lecturing. Very often, she will have concept checks (questions) in class to reinforce what we have learnt. There was also once where she made a fun online quiz to test our knowledge of the concepts learnt in preparation for the exam. When she is teaching the chapter on cognitive psychology, there were also plenty of activities to test our cognitive abilities, which proves that what the textbook said is correct. The bad-but-not-so-bad-things in her class is that you have to handwrite all your notes, no laptops, and as a senior student, I feel that she treats everyone a bit like kids lol maybe because everyone is a freshie. 

My grade for this course: A-