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Teacher Grade: A-

Difficulty Grade: 5/10

BIO 161

Grade Received: A

posted 2019

Despite what some people will tell you, I thought Howes was a pretty good lecturer. I took this class as a first quarter freshman so I didn't really know what to expect, but she did the job and was very nice. I never went into office hours because I didn't feel that I needed the extra help. We had 3 midterms and then a final that was comprised of little over a majority of the new material and then the rest of the exam was "old" material. The tests were very much based on the book reading. I found that reviewing the objectives that she provides you with was very helpful (as more than a few of the objectives very closely mirrored actual test questions). As far as workload, it was pretty light. The only homework that was due was MasteringBio (an online practice workbook type of thing) every week. They took, on average, about 1-2 hours to complete. The rest is just reading the book and studying- which is relative to your own needs. Overall, I'd definitely recommend taking Bio 161 with Howes.

Teacher Grade: A+

Difficulty Grade: 7/10

BIO 452

Grade Received: A-

posted 2018

I thought Dr. Howes was a phenomenal lecturer. I don’t know if I’ve ever learned more in a class. She definitely expects a lot from her students. I had her for lecture and lab. She grades her lab reports hard to make you do better but she does curve the lab at the end. Her first midterm was relatively easy for me. The second midterm was more brutal as you’ll have covered a lot of info. Nonetheless, this has probably been my favorite class at Cal Poly. It’s difficult but super interesting if you are a fan of cell bio!

Teacher Grade: F

Difficulty Grade: 1/10

BIO 161

Grade Received: B

posted 2019

Professor Howes could be described with every single demeaning word towards a woman. She acts like a coward and a bully; she degrades you for trying to do your best in her class (be it asking questions via email or at office hours). After a midterm, I compared with a friend and I was scored higher than my friend. My friend went to her, and she offered to regrade, but leveraged her with losing the curve. Conveniently she found more things wrong; almost as if she was retaliating, like pointing out her mistake was an insult. My friend went to her and asked why the curve was removed and she told her that the curve was only to catch grader mistakes not to bring the average up. When my friend fought this policy she was graded down and not helped for the rest of the course. We scored the same on everything, I got an A- and my friend got a B. Howes is openly discriminating and bias-ly grading to fit her own agenda.

Teacher Grade: D

Difficulty Grade: 5/10

BIO 161

Grade Received: A-

posted 2018

Dr. Howes lecture made the course more difficult for me – I feel like I learned more from just reading the textbook. Dr. Howes has a way of making simple concepts confusing and oversimplifying the difficult concepts. Some of the test questions seemed unfair since they were on material she specifically said would NOT be on the midterm.

Teacher Grade: D

Difficulty Grade: 9/10

BIO 161

Grade Received: B-

posted 2018

This class made me want to climb to the top of bishop's peak and jump, taking Amy with me. Horrendous this class was, I'm sorry but I'm not going to sugar coat it for you. The amount of material that you have to know and memorize to the tee is ridiculous. Her lectures are a joke and waste of time, she barely goes over the main ideas of the chapters and honestly you learn way more from the book. Her midterms are terrible, 3 of them and short answer. The second midterm, fair WARNING, you will have to know so much for this one so memorize absolutely everything. Study a lot for this class. Eat, breathe, sleep Bio 161 because that is the only way you are going to do well. Her midterms often ask about the minuscule things that you read over that one time and you thought you wouldn't need to know that thing but then it shows up on like three different questions, yeah. The final was tough, you have to be able to connect everything you learned in the class to each other. Do well in the lab, get 100% on mastering bio (literally everything is on chegg or quizlet), and try do do as best you can on the midterms. This class is tough, so don't beat yourself up if you don't do well on the first midterm. Joining a workshop is helpful too. Also, don't ask questions in class, Amy just makes you feel stupid about them anyway. Her office hours aren't that helpful at all, she just loves to make her students feel dumb. Good Luck! and READ THE TEXTBOOK