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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for Max Ervin

Max Ervin
Professor (2009 – 2014)
Middle Tennessee (MTSU)
Biology (MTSU and RODP)
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4.2000****
Overall rating
Rated by 20 students
2.16
Avg GPA
across 5 classes
Spring Term 2014 Schedule
Add to schedule MWF 8:00am-8:55am
Add to schedule MWF 12:40pm-1:35pm
All Classes
BIOL 2020
BIOL 3010
BIOL 4110
BIOL 4111
BIOL 4130
BIOL 4131
BIOL 5010
BIOL 5130

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Most Helpful Favorable Professor Review
Most Helpful Critical Professor Review
4****
BIOL 4110 - General Physiology
Dr. Ervin is one of the nicest instructors I have had at MTSU. He appears to genuinely care about your progress, and will seem disappointed when the class performs poorly on the tests. He is very approachable (one of the few that don't have their off...
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Professor rated by: Student on 7/12/08
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+2 Helpful
3***
BIOL 4110 - General Physiology
Dr. Ervin is one of the nicest professors you will meet at MTSU. he will answer any questions you have, and walk you through anything you don't understand. However, his tests are murder. The average is usually around a low C, but he does curve a litt...
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Pros: Knows what he's talking about
Approachable
Genuine
Gives you all the information
Curves
Cons: Talks fast
Hard to understand sometimes
Does not always explain all the information
Professor rated by: Forensics Science Student on 8/30/11
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+2 Helpful

Student Ratings 1 - 20 of 20

 
BIOL 4110
General Physiology
4****
Dr. Ervin is one of the nicest instructors I have had at MTSU. He appears to genuinely care about your progress, and will seem disappointed when the class performs poorly on the tests. He is very approachable (one of the few that don't have their office windows covered). He really knows what he is talking about.



Don't let his kind personality allow you to think that the class is an easy grade. This class is hard. I took this class in 'May-mester' (7 hrs a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks) and I would not recommend the condensed class if you are a person like me who needs to spend large amounts of time outside of class getting familiar with the material. There is not enough time in the afternoons and evenings after class to study on the level that is needed for this class. You will have to not only have an intimate understanding of the concepts, but also know all the minute details that will probably be in the multiple choice section of the test. Don't think that any detail is insignificant enough to skip over! If you take this class in the summer, don't plan on doing anything else at all. We were in class/lab 7 hours a day, and we studied for 5-6 hours each day, leaving not much time for anything else if you like to sleep.



Everything you need to know is covered in lecture and he gives out his PowerPoint slides which are very well done, so the book is not needed. The labs are relevant, interesting, and often fun.



The class average on each test was around a D (and he said he even gave us some points by not counting some questions). I made a solid D on every test, the lab grade moved my course grade to a C. It seems he might do a slight curve on the final grades, but it didn't seem to help me much. If you are pre-med/pharm, this class will probably be unavoidable, so if you have to take it be prepared for a rough ride and some intensive studying if you don't want a bad mark on your transcript (like I now have).



Exams: Tests were extremely difficult and took 3-4 hours to complete for many students. They required that you had an extensive understanding of all the subjects covered down to the smallest details. Tests came directly from the lectures and notes. The few essay questions were worth enough points to ruin a test grade if you did well on the multiple choice but didn't do well on the essays.



Homework: The only assignments were lab reports, lab notebook and a journal article review. The lab reports were short, although some took a bit of effort, and were graded leniently. The lab notebook didn't seem to be too big of a deal, it just contains all your notes and measurements plus a few thinking questions to make sure you understand what is going on in each lab. The scientific journal article also provided easy points, but took some time to do properly.



Textbook: I never bought the text book and never felt the need for it. Everything you needed to know was in the PowerPoint slides which he gave out and covered in lectures.
Professor rated by: Student on July 12, 2008
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BIOL 4110
General Physiology
3***
Pros: Knows what he's talking about

Approachable

Genuine

Gives you all the information

Curves
Cons: Talks fast

Hard to understand sometimes

Does not always explain all the information
Dr. Ervin is one of the nicest professors you will meet at MTSU. he will answer any questions you have, and walk you through anything you don't understand. However, his tests are murder. The average is usually around a low C, but he does curve a little with each test. As far as labs and notebooks go, they are a breeze; he doesn't expect perfection and he doesn't grade like he does.

The class would be better if he didn't have such a thick southern accent and talk so fast. All the information you need is NOT explained on the slides so make sure to go to class every time! My advice is to take notes on a computer so you can keep up. I saved my grade by doing that the last week (it was in the May-mester) and pulled off a B-.
Professor rated by: Forensics Science Student on August 30, 2011
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
5*****
Pros: Dr. Ervin is an amazing teacher! I loved his class and he does everything he can to help you achieve a good grade. He is highly approachable and will everything he can to help. The tests come straight from the powerpoints and lecture so it's easy to get an A if you study.
Cons: The class covers a lot of material really quickly. It was a difficult class but the best one I have ever taken. The terms are pretty difficult to master is you are not studying every night and the lab is even more difficult than the class.
All in all embryology was the best class I have ever taken! Dr. Ervin makes it totally possible to obtain an 'A' and he always curves everything. He is nice and super friendly to those who are trying and attend class regularly. You cannot miss class. That would definitely keep you from getting a good grade. His lecture is required to learn. His power-points are great and easy to understand and I did not have to buy the textbook in order to get an A. I always studied the night before the test and still got A's. People will tell you this class is impossible but it's not if you love biology and are willing to put forth some effort. If you have the option to take this class do it!!! It was so interesting and I loved getting to learn all about the embryological origins of the human body! Pretty amazing stuff!
Professor rated by: Biology (MTSU and RODP) Student on December 22, 2011
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
3***
Only if I intended to pay for the most torturous class of my college career and worked myself to death, all for the retention of nothing. Honestly, he puts so much imphasis on the tiny details that you just have to cram them all into your head and spit them back out on the test, but a week later you won't remember ANY of it...guaranteed. He doesn't teach for retention at all.



Exams: His grading was fair in that the numbers were right, but unfair in that he should have given a curve for the degree of difficulty of the tests. AKA - hard (lab - very hard)



Homework: None for lecture, but in Lab you have to work your butt off doing your Lab notebook. We're talking hours & hours of work inside and outside of class. And you spend all this time on it, expecting lab to help your grade, but actually it really lowered everyone's grade because he grades it rediculously harshly.



Textbook: You'll have to use the book if you want to learn the material. He goes over it all in class in a whilrwind, leaving you with no other options except to pay attention in class and then spend lots of outside time going over and comprehending what all he went over, using the book.
Professor rated by: Student on January 9, 2003
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 4130
Histology
4****
For the lecture part, read your book and save the powerpoint slides. For lab, spend hours on slides before trying to take the lab tests. The lab tests are based solely on slides that you've already seen! I would have gotten a better grade, but I spent all my time on the drawings for lab instead of looking at slides. Believe me, you'll need to stay for the entire lab each week to get it all done. Don't fall behind on your drawings like I did!



Exams: Yes, they were graded fairly and most of the time there was a curve.



Homework: No homework, but it's good to go over all of the powerpoints and read the chapters of the text book.



Textbook: The textbook was very helpful. Without it you're just listening to lectures without actually gaining any knowledge. This course entails a lot of detail, more than you'd expect! You'll need to text to sort out all of the info Dr. Ervin gives you!
Professor rated by: Student on May 12, 2006
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BIOL 4130
Histology
5*****
This teacher is very intelligent an dprobably the nicest Biology teacher. I guess he makes Histology as interesting as it could possibly be. He is also very accessible to talk to outside of class.



Exams: Test are very hard, I studied anywhere from 10-15 hours on test to make low A's. He post lecture notes on the web, if you memorize these and take notes, then you will do fine. Lab was harder, it takes up a lot of your personal time outside of the scheduled class time. It is important to know all slides(usually about 40 questions on test) and laserdisc(about 20 questions on test). And know lab material for lecture test, it will be on that too.



Textbook: His lecture comes straight from the book, almost word for word, but he explains it where you can understand it. It is useful to lok back on and read if you don't understand something.
Professor rated by: Student on April 7, 2003
Helpful Rating?
YES
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BIOL 4130
Histology
5*****
Histology (along with embryology) was my favorite class here at MTSU. Dr. Ervin teaches it in a way where its very interesting and exciting. Please understand that it's a very difficult course given that the lab requires A LOT of extra studying. In the end, if you have put forth the effort then the histology will make more sense. I have no complants and wish there was a another type of histology class offered at MTSU.



Exams: Dr. Ervins test are very long. He likes to give about 75 multiple choice, 3 essays, some matching, and maybe something else. The tests really reflect if your understanding the material.



Homework: Most of your time is spent studying slides for the lab.
Professor rated by: Student on May 15, 2010
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BIOL 2010
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
5*****
I would definitely recommend taking Dr. Ervin for A&P 1. He is a great teacher, and you will learn a lot if you put the time into studying everyday. He moves quickly through the material during class, but he will answer any questions you have after class. If you are willing to study the material and you want to learn a lot and feel ready to go to A&P 2 and nursing or other health field, take Dr. Ervin.



Exams: The tests were hard, and you really had to know the material to do well. He did curve the test grades.



Homework: Just studying and reviewing the notes.



Textbook: It is helpful to clarify concepts, but the tests came straight from the lecture notes.
Professor rated by: Student on July 6, 2008
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 2020
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
4****
It's true Dr. Ervin is the nicest person and he really knows the material. That being said if I had it to do over again I would not take him. I am a senior with a 3.5 GPA and I almost failed his class. The HIGHEST grade on our first couple tests was in the mid 70's and the class average was failing. He curved all the tests so our final grades were not that bad but I would rather the tests be a little more reasonable. His slides are mostly pictures and graphs with little explanation, if you take him I recommend recording his classes.
Professor rated by: Chemistry Student on December 5, 2013
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BIOL 5010
Embryology
5*****
I really like Dr. Ervin, he is a extremely helpful professor and cares if his students learn the material. I had no problem going to him and asking questions if I did not understand something. With that being said, do not take this class if you are looking for an easy course. Embryology is very detailed and in depth course and I did not do as well as I would have liked because I felt there was no way to learn all the material given. I would study for twelve hours before the test in addition to reviewing class notes after I left for the day and still made C's on most of the tests. For each one hour lecture he would have anywhere between 20-30 slides chock full of information. Towards the end it seemed like it was a guessing game to know what would be on the test and what would not be. (He will pass out study guides, but sometimes something I would be sure was on the test and studied hard to know would not be, and vice versa.)



However, if you plan on doing anything in the medical field this is the class to take. Outside of Organic Chem I think this was the most challenging class. There are some extremely interesting lectures and preserved specimens that are touched upon.



Exams: They were pretty hard. Make sure you know all charts that he gives you and that you understand fetal heart development very well. The final is mostly cumulative of the other tests, and can help your grade. The lab served as a buffer for me, as I am sure for a lot of students. Study well for the lab tests and make sure you put forth some effort into the notebooks. It can save your grade.



Homework: The class was taught very traditionally, however in lab we had notebooks that we had to keep that were due every test. It was basically drawings of slides and labeling that actually helped learn the material. I spent several hours each lab making the drawing and coloring them, and although it got tiring at times it is worthwhile as it brings your grade up.



Textbook: I did not buy the textbook. He does a great job including drawings from the book into his lectures, and I felt it was not needed. The book had way more information than we were require to know and I felt it was pointless wading through all the facts and topics that we did not cover.



The lab manual is a different story, and was priceless for this class.
Professor rated by: Student on January 17, 2009
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
4****
Dr. E is great! He's probably the nicest Biology teacher at MTSU!! He will answer any of your questions and he's VERY approachable!!! He is very tough though! You have to study A LOT to make an A in this class and it's a whole lot of material! If you don't have to take this course then I wouldn't!!! But if it's in your concentration then it's fine, but it really is very hard because it's sooooo much information. It's definately not the professor, it's the amount of material to remember for each test that makes this class difficult! If you're good at memorizing your notes then you can definately make it in this course! Oh and definately don't take this class if you're taking a boat load of other biology's or chemistry's because this one requires a lot of your time to study! Good Luck!



Exams: The Tests are hard! Studying daily is the best bet to stay on top of everything. Make sure to take notes during class because his powerpoints don't explain everything needed to know. When studying make sure to fill out the study guide, the short answer-essay quesitons come straight from it!! Know the derivatives...when he says this structure gives rise to this structure...WRITE IT DOWN and remember it!!!



Lab tests were near impossible! Make sure to look at the ACTUAL slides and learn the structures...and study them during EVERY lab or you'll fall behind! That's basically the lab tests....the slides!!! You have to know ALL the structures and there can be anywhere from 50-100 to know. He doesn't list out which structures you need to know, you just have to expect ALL of them to be on the lab test! There are maybe 5 or ten questions that come from models.



Homework: Drawings for the lab notebook are all that's required, besides going over your notes daily!!! A lot of people where overwhelmed by the notebooks, but they're easy...all ya gotta do is draw the picture of the embryo, COLOR it and label it just like it is in the lab book manual and you'll get a definate 94 on it (assuming you did all the drawings...he does list those for you!) There are a lot of drawings, but if you do them each week and don't wait till the last minute then they're not too bad. Plus they give you an easy A on a lab test (three notebooks equals a lab test so try on them!).



Textbook: Never used the thing!
Professor rated by: Student on November 14, 2007
Helpful Rating?
YES
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
5*****
work. your. a**. off. this is hands down the hardest course i've had at MTSU. i studied with a grad student who'd had the class at another university, and this class still threw her. dr. ervin is awesome, a great guy and a great teacher, but you better know your stuff. i came out of this class knowing i could handle anything else thrown at me...it's a great experience looking back, but terrifying and time consuming at the time. if you keep up, you'll be alright.



Exams: he was generous on essay grading..of course, multiple choice is right or wrong. duh. as previous reviews have said, the lab tests are a bitch. but the lab manual is wonderful and will help you out a ton. also be prepared for the comprehensive final...thank goodness most multiple choice come from your old tests.



Homework: just an intense amount of studying. KEEP UP WITH THE MATERIAL. review for an hour every day. except weekends, take those off, unless a test is looming.



Textbook: it's nice but you don't need it. he has powerpoint slides posted online, just take notes on those. you do, however need the lab manual.
Professor rated by: Student on March 18, 2008
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 4130
Histology
4****
Pros: You learn some many beneficial things in this class.



Dr. Ervin knows his stuff and is willing to help you out. You can tell he's excited about his field.

It will prepare you for other upper course work and for med school.



Cons: There is soooo much stuff to do.



You will literally live, breath, and eat histology.

Dr. Ervin WILL cover the entire book I promise you.

The class is time consuming so don't take it with a heavy load of classes.
This isn't a class to complain about the professor. Yes, Dr. Ervin compacts a lot of information into one semester, but he does do his best to make it all work. The lab drawings take sooo long to do but not to hurt you. The lab drawings are turned in with every lab test and the average of your drawing grades counts as a lab test grade. If you are pre med you need to take this course. People who go on to med school from MTSU say this is the most useful course they took here, and that Dr. Ervin's class will beyond prepare you for med school histology.
Professor rated by: Chemistry Student on April 22, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIOL 5130
Histology
4****
Pros: You learn some many beneficial things in this class.

Dr. Ervin knows his stuff and is willing to help you out. You can tell he's excited about his field.

It will prepare you for other upper course work and for med school.
Cons: There is soooo much stuff to do.

You will literally live, breath, and eat histology.

Dr. Ervin WILL cover the entire book I promise you.

The class is time consuming so don't take it with a heavy load of classes.
This isn't a class to complain about the professor. Yes, Dr. Ervin compacts a lot of information into one semester, but he does do his best to make it all work. The lab drawings take sooo long to do but not to hurt you. The lab drawings are turned in with every lab test and the average of your drawing grades counts as a lab test grade. If you are pre med you need to take this course. People who go on to med school from MTSU say this is the most useful course they took here, and that Dr. Ervin's class will beyond prepare you for med school histology.
Professor rated by: Chemistry Student on April 22, 2012
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 2010
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
5*****
Don't be fooled by what you read here. The course was conducted in Maymester for 14 days. In that 14 days, we covered 17 chapters in a 29 chapter book. It was intense and very difficult. The girl who sat beside me in lecture who was a straight A student and mature got a C. But, getting that class over and done with was so worth it for me. You may not be able to party for 2 weeks, but if you can manage to pay attention through a 3 hour lecture, you can still have weekends free.



Exams: The tests were lengthy. The average was about 104 tricky multiple choice and from 2-7 essay questions that were relatively straight forward.



Homework: None. But he did make study guides available. Those same questions ended up on the test in some form, if not in the essay portion itself.



Textbook: Use of the book was for context. I am not the brightest crayon in the box. The Ervin went straight along with the book with a "this is what you need to know" type attitude.
Professor rated by: Student on August 21, 2006
Helpful Rating?
YES
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BIOL 4320
Seminar: Advancements in Biology
4****
Bc i am premed, this class really geared me up to the fast pace of med school prep; lecture is alright, but its lab that make make or break your grade in this class--the lab is sooo demanding--you need to keep up with it to get by in the class. Dr E teaches well, but I think he goes too fast, fortunately for me, everything he talked azbout in lecture was review from previous upper div biologys--i would NOT recommend taking histology as your first upper div course purely for that reason



Exams: It was fair bc it was mostly multiple choice--but they were tricky multiple choice



Textbook: All of his material was from the lecture, but the book helped out with the lab stuff
Professor rated by: Student on May 11, 2005
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
2**
Pros: Dr. Ervin is nice and approachable, and very knowledgeable in subject matter.
Cons: Teaches and tests significantly more in dept than the book. His powerpoints consist mostly of pictures that he points to and briefly talks about.

The lab notebook is very time consuming to keep up with, but isn't difficult. It will help your lab grade that you are otherwise doomed to fail.
Taking this class was the worst decision I have ever made in my academic career. The only people that passed are the people that had previously taken the class and had their old exams to study from.
Professor rated by: Biology (MTSU and RODP) Student on January 16, 2014
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 3010
Embryology
5*****
he is a great teacher and a laid back person. easy to follow and understand. he is very knowledgable and always easy to find to ask question. always willing to help.



Exams: If you know your notes, you Will do great on the tests. They are clear and Straight forward. They are a mix of Multiple choice, ID, short answer, and fill in the blank. know the lab information. this was probably the most difficult part.



Homework: just study your notes and some figures he goes over



Textbook: the Textbook helps the information to really sink in.
Professor rated by: Student on December 1, 2000
Helpful Rating?
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BIOL 4130
Histology
4****
Pros: He genuinely cares about students and makes sure they he presents a broad view of the material
Cons: his class is hard and requires a lot of time and dedication but he's truly a great teacher
Professor rated by: Biology (MTSU and RODP) Student on May 19, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
BIOL 4130
Histology
4****
Professor rated by: Biology (MTSU and RODP) Student on June 19, 2012
Helpful Rating?
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NO
 
 
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