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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for Maria Ayala

Maria Ayala
Professor (2010 – 2015)
Michigan State (MSU)
Sociology
Rate Professor
 
2.2857**
Overall rating
Rated by 28 students
2.64
Avg GPA
across 4 classes
Fall 2015 Schedule
Add to schedule T 1:50pm-4:40pm
Add to schedule TR 8:30am-9:50am
All Classes
CLS 201
CLS 893E
CLS 896
ISS 330C
SOC 215
SOC 499
SOC 839

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Most Helpful Favorable Professor Review
Most Helpful Critical Professor Review
4****
SOC 215 - Race and Ethnicity
I'm a Pre-Medical Physiology and Human Biology double major with a minor in Spanish. I'm in the Honors College. I have a 4.0 overall. I have two jobs on campus and I'm the head of a huge organization on campus, which I won't say here because I want t...
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Professor rated by: Student on 5/21/10
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
+1 Helpful
1*
SOC 215 - Race and Ethnicity
Don't even bother going to the reviews, they will NOT help you and they are a complete waste of time. You never know what to study and she will not help you with that. Classes are often just dicussions about opinions on racism, but you have to go for...
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Professor rated by: Student on 4/27/10
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
+5 Helpful

Student Ratings 1 - 20 of 28

 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
1*
Don't even bother going to the reviews, they will NOT help you and they are a complete waste of time. You never know what to study and she will not help you with that. Classes are often just dicussions about opinions on racism, but you have to go for the clicker points. Some classes can be helpful, when they actually have substantial material in them, which does not happen often. Everything about the classes is ideologies, opinions, and subjective, which won't help you for the exams. Ready the book and study the few facts (which are arguable because they are opinionated) presented in class. Understand going into this class that its completely subjective and can be difficult to learn things this way. Fairly easy to do well on the exams though if you study, but there are trick questions. If you go to class and study you should easily get a 3.0 if not at least a 3.5, but don't expect to learn anything. The most entertaining part is heated classroom debates.
Professor rated by: Student on April 27, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
1*
Pros: The topic is very interesting. Aayala is passionate about what she does.
Cons: Ayala is a terrible teacher. She literally repeats the same couple lines over and over each class. I fully support what she is trying to argue but it is embarrassing to watch her try to argue back as the dickheads rip her to pieces.
Ok so I'm LIBERAL as hell and 100% for racial equalities but I can see why this course could actually make you more racist. Her points makes almost no sense and you spend the class wondering how many times she can rehearse some line she read on the internet. DONT TAKE THIS CLASS. I got a 3.5 but who knows how?!
Professor rated by: Surgery Student on September 1, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 499
Soc Iss & Chng in Society (W)
1*
Pros: NONE
Cons: Unfair grade weighting

Lectures that are too difficult to follow

Readings that are too difficult

no extra credit opportunities
This is one of the worst classes I have ever taken, but because of the stupid ass Spartan Advantage program's requirements that I have 12 credits and because MSU offers WAY too many 3 credit classes as opposed to 4 credit classes, I can't drop it. Dr. Ayala is passionate about what she does, I'll give her that, and she's nice too.



However, the way lectures are constructed is based on constant critical analyis every freaking minute of the class so it's impossible to follow unless you're really, really into sociology ( I am an interdisciplinary humanities major taking this for my tier 2 credit, and they had no Asian seminars, and to get into an English seminar, I would have to stay a couple of extra semesters to take the prerequisites).



I have not learned a damn thing this semester, and the readings are just as bad. It feels like she is teaching more to graduate students. I have taken 400 level classes before and they were not nearly as hard as this nightmarish class, so I don't really accept the excuse that it's a 499-level class.



I am probably going to end up failing this class, unless I can get her to re-do the lectures at office hours in a way I can get. I doubt this is going to happen since she just said last class that this is how she works.



Oh and the grade system is bogus:



40% Class participation ( How can I ask questions or comment when my brain doesn't process intersectionality and all the random crap we blast through at 100 miles an hour?)

60% photo posts, and critique papers. I'm turning in my first one on Wednesday so I will see for myself how harshly she grades.



So basically even if you do well on all the papers, you can still fail in class participation ( I have had not one thing to reflect on or ask about specifically-the class operates on way too high of a level)



I am one pissed off student because my GPA is going to get shot by this stupid seminar, and will consquently probably not graduate with honors.





DO NOT EVER TAKE THIS SEMINAR. Not with Dr. Ayala anyhow. I have nothing against her personally, but I do not have time to re-read all the readings trying to get some kind of points. I've got three other classes this semester. ><
Professor rated by: Global Studies Arts Humanities Student on September 18, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
4****
I'm a Pre-Medical Physiology and Human Biology double major with a minor in Spanish. I'm in the Honors College. I have a 4.0 overall. I have two jobs on campus and I'm the head of a huge organization on campus, which I won't say here because I want to remain anonymous. I am very clearly a very driven person.



I only took SOC215 for a cheap way out of my Social Science requirement for my Cultural Relations specialization within my Spanish minor... Biggest mistake of my life. I very nearly lost my 4.0 to fucking SOC215... I've gotten 4.0's in six upperlevel Biology, Chem and Calc classes... yet, I almost didn't get one in SOC215?!



The class is boring as hell. Professor Ayala says the same things over and over again every class period. She starts out by saying that she doesn't want to throw opinions at us- the entire class is covered with opinions. The material is sometimes racist itself, particularly the book.



I think this class has great potential to be really eye-opening and interesting, but the way in which Ayala teaches it allows for none of that.



I only gave her a 2.5 because you can tell that she really does want to teach well and that she really does care- but she can't quite figure out how to do the former. Also, the exams are easy if you listen to what she says, write it down, review it before the exams for an hour or so, and read the book. I only almost lost my 4.0 because she grades really weirdly on attendance. If you miss like one class, she takes off more points than what one class would be as a percentage of the entire total. So, although I only missed two class periods, one of them had an in-class assignment within it that I miss because I wasn't there... so that coupled with the two missed class periods= 14/20 for participation, which was 20% of your grade.



In short, take this class with another professor.
Professor rated by: Student on May 21, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
2**
Pros: Ayala seems to genuinely care about the students, and wants us to succeed. She frequently invites us to office hours, and prints out scholarship opportunities and lets us know about events relevant to the class.
Cons: This class is very very disorganized. This makes it very easy to take notes, since each class period is only worth about half a sheet of paper. She will change the slide, then turn the projector off to draw a random picture on the board while she talks. She spouts off the same lines every single class period, and seems to want to make students say the racist things. Teaches mostly about Hispanic issues. The graphs that she teaches from are either skewed or biased. IF she manages to put a correct graph up, she will interpret it completely incorrectly. The text book is horribly written, and the questions on the exams make NO sense, even if you study.
I took this class because I thought that it would be eye opening and interesting, But the complete opposite has been true. I have learned nothing, because Ayala just spouts the same sentence every single class. She seems to genuinely want us to learn, but she just doesn't know how to teach.
Professor rated by: Nursing Student on March 28, 2016
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
1*
The only reason to attend this class is because of the clicker points. Otherwise, she is a terrible teacher, who just spits out lines from the book. She then repeats the same lines over, and over again throughout the course. She is a pretentious woman who mentions that she is, in fact, a "doctor" once per class meeting. She puts up slides on the board for you t copy down and will proceed to lecture on a completely different topic for the next 20 minutes. The lectures are haphazard and not structured, making it hard to know what will be on the exam. The book is terrible. It is one run-on sentence after the next, and the entire book carries an opinion that white people are bad people. All in all, I would not recommend this course. It is easy, but you will literally have to suffer through it.
Professor rated by: Biochem & Molecular Biology Student on February 20, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
4****
Pros: Prof. Ayala is a really dedicated professor. She is very very passionate about race issues, why we still have them, and why america is not yet in a post racial society. The class is not "racist" like I see people claim. I am a white woman, and I have had no problems, nor have I ever felt uncomfortable in class.
Cons: She rambles sometimes, but she still finishes the lecture slides 90% of the time.
I was really nervous prior to taking this class, because I checked this page. I don't read the textbook and just attend class everyday, and I have gotten 90%+ on every exam. Professor Ayala is a great professor. And if you can't go into this class with an open mind, do not take it, because you're just going to complain that it is racist.
Professor rated by: Social Work Student on March 24, 2016
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 499
Soc Iss & Chng in Society (W)
1*
I am a senior here at MSU and Professor Ayala is hands-down the worst professor I have ever had. The short critiques that you write are not graded very harshly, yet that hardly matters. "Participation", as she classifies it, is 40% of your grade and unless you are willing and able to speak multiple times in class (if there is even time for that since every student is so desperate to get a word in to get "points") when she hardly gives you a topic let alone any direction, it will more than likely hurt your grade.



For me, personally, I had well over 90% on the papers and everything else. She constantly was on us about our participation grades, yet when she spoke it seemed no was even aware she asked a question, let alone what she was asking. This makes it very, very hard to have any real discussion. The class seemed to be talking about the same things everyday- anything that fell into the realm of relevance to the class as a whole, and yet each student's addition to the discussion led in another direction, it was very messy and ill-structured.



Half-way through the semester I had only about 60% of my participation points. So, I went to every single class from there on out and made sure to speak more than usual, even if I was seriously BS-ing. I was hoping to get my grade up to at least 75% in participation (mind you, I am no slacker, I have 4'd all but one class in the past 2 years-- just to help you gauge this decision better). When I checked my grade it actually WENT DOWN. Everyone in that class complained about her grading system but she refused to change it, clearly it was not working for most of us.



I ended up with a 2.5
Professor rated by: Criminal Justice Student on December 23, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
2**
Pros: -Prof. Ayala seems to really care about students and want to see us succeed and learn the information, you can tell she knows and cares very much about the topic but she just doesn't know how to properly teach it.

-Easy quizzes, usually only 2 questions, common sense usually so you don't really need to study.
Cons: -Slides are terrible and lack information that will be on actual exams.

-Extremely repetitive

-You never know what in the world to actually study for the exams

-Review sessions the class period before exams aren't helpful AT ALL!

-I recommend buying the book because it is somewhat helpful since her lectures and slides are trash

-You have to go to class because she doesn't post notes online.

-Exam questions are worded terribly.

-Prof. will tell you that you don't have to remember a specific name or statistics and then boom you see it on the exam.

-Learned more in the TA's office hours than I did in actual lecture.
If you don't have to take this class, PLEASE DON'T. I'm struggling currently to keep a solid grade in this course because of how ridiculous it is set up. At first I was excited to take this course because the topic itself is so interesting and I thought I would gain some new insight but no.
Professor rated by: Journalism Student on April 24, 2016
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
CLS 201
Intro Chicano/Latino Studies
5*****
Pros: %40 of your grade is in class participation,
Cons: %40 of your grade is in class participation,If you are someone who does not go to classes
Dr. Ayala is seriously the most amazing professor I have had.



%40 of your grade is in class participation, %40 of class is essays, %10 is in class assignments and 10% for short essay.



At first I was uncomfortable speaking up in class because I typically don’t and I am not of Latinx background, but knowing to was worth a large portion of my grade made me. AND IM SO GLAD IT DID. I am able to ask questions and she is able to guide me how to go about finding the answer. She digs deep into what the social norms are and debunks them and puts fact and graphs behind it. She has me leaving class challenged to go against what people think are social norms, and not being afraid to speak up. She makes me want to dive deeper in sociology and that is not even my major!

Professor rated by: Business Student on November 18, 2017
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
2**
She sucks. Prefaces the class by saying she is not teaching opinions but half of the class material is opinion. She says the same things over and over and over class after class after class. Real boring. Plus class participation is 20% of the grade so you have to go. Tests aren't really comprehensive and are somewhat tricky but are pretty easy once you get a feel for what she thinks is the right answer. She doesn't seem that bright either (as much as she thinks she is). I found an several errors in my grade and on the test and it took talking to her 3 times to finally get it corrected. Class can be fairly easy but I would not recommend the prof. Oh, and a 4.0 is a 93 which sucks.
Professor rated by: Student on May 14, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 499
Soc Iss & Chng in Society (W)
4****
Just a warning to whoever plans on taking this class, get ready for a TON of work. You have to come to each class period with about three 30 page essays read with your opinions on them to participate in class. If you dont participate then you get points marked off at the end of the semester. Added onto that is 4 essays that critically review the articles your reading during that week of class. The final is a HUGE paper that is extremely exhausing. Overall, Professor Ayala is a very sweet lady and only wants to teach you about the complexities of migration but there is aparently a lot of essays needed to accomplish that task.
Professor rated by: Student on January 11, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
1*
Pros: Professor Ayala seems like she cares.
Cons: Professor Ayala repeats the same thing over and over again and her class is not engaging at all. It is hard to stay focused because of how repetitive the class is. The wording on her exams is unnecessarily confusing and some of the questions do not make any sense.
I would highly recommend avoiding this class. It has the potential to be very engaging and interesting based on the topic, however it is very disorganized and you pretty much hear the same thing every day. You will be emailed random homework assignments that are very unclear and the grading is very harsh.
Professor rated by: Student on April 20, 2016
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
3***
I feel the pain of others who have posted. She states she will not lecture opinions, but she does. The book we were required to read was all opinion and each authors' personal experience with issues concerning race and ethnicity.

Towards the end of class we were allowed to look at an Excel document that contained our grades. The ID marker was our PID instead of identifying students with their names. So many errors under my PID - it had to have been another student's grades.

Anyways, take this class if you're up for another challenge. If not, seek another professor or class. You'll be better off.
Professor rated by: Student on September 13, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 499
Soc Iss & Chng in Society (W)
2**
Dr. Ayala is really a nice person, but as an instructor she is dreadful. This class was based on participation, 4 reaction papers, and a final project. The reaction papers I HATED because if you didnt write the way she wanted you to then it was all wrong and you lost a significant amount of points. Even if what you wrote was relevant to the material. She also grades based on more so how she feels about someone personally. I tried to stay on her good side and met with her multiple times. I received a 3.0 but it was no where near easy.
Professor rated by: Student on January 9, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
2**
Terrible professor. Had no idea what was going on during lecture. Would talk about herself and only one race during a multiracial course. Was very strict and not very nice. You HAD to attend lecture for clicker points but everyone wanted to leave so bad because we had no idea what was being talked about. Made sure you knew she was a doctor and you couldn't address her saying "Hi" in an e-mail. Thought I would really like her at first but she ended up being kind of snooty and more difficult than what I expected.
Professor rated by: Psychology Student on May 10, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
4****
The worst teacher i have ever had. The tests aren't too hard if you study. But im telling you not to take this class. Her test reviews are terrible, she makes the R.A. do it and they are group discussion. Want to know what to study? Forget it, she wont tell you. Participation is required (Iclicker). and you will probably die from boredom, i just barely hung on. And i know she's not racist but i get the impression she thinks all whites are racist from the way she talks about it.
Professor rated by: Student on April 13, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
2**
Dr. Ayala is the nicest lady and although she is from Mexico, her English is very good. That being said, I dreaded going to class. She covers the material pretty much straight from the book, but the BOOK is more INTERESTING. Her lectures are boring. Getting a 3.0 is the class isn't that difficult, if you read the book, go to half the lectures, and study for the exams.
Professor rated by: Student on December 11, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
3***
Mrs. Ayala is a nice lady, however, I can feel some of the pain that other posters felt. The 3 tests she gives out seem to be based on opinions from the book rather than facts. I don't know what type of grade most of the class got at the end of the semester, but if it was the same grade I received, I can see why she never stays at one school more than one semester.
Professor rated by: Student on May 26, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
SOC 215
Race and Ethnicity
1*
i was excited to take this class but soon found out that my excitement was dead. She is the worst teacher i ever had at MSU. She cannot answer questions because she doesnt actually know her information. If you take this class pick another teacher! She repeats the same lines daily and doesnt know what she is talking about at all.
Professor rated by: Student on May 2, 2010
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
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