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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for William Ilsley

William Ilsley
Professor (2009 – 2015)
Middle Tennessee (MTSU)
Chemistry
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2.0299**
Overall rating
Rated by 67 students
1.74
Avg GPA
across 4 classes
Fall Term 2015 Schedule
Add to schedule TR 4:20pm-5:45pm
Add to schedule MW 4:10pm-5:35pm
All Classes
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1111
CHEM 3010
CHEM 3011
CHEM 3020
CHEM 3021
CHEM 4410
CHEM 6400

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Most Helpful Favorable Professor Review
Most Helpful Critical Professor Review
4****
CHEM 3020 - Organic Chemistry II
Doing this class in the summer gave no opportunities for relaxation. This class is not for the faint of heart, I spent most days reading the text, doing problems. Many people hate on Dr. Ilsley, but if you show some interest and put forth the effort,...
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Professor rated by: Student on 8/12/10
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+3 Helpful
2**
CHEM 1110 - General Chemistry I
This professor is the laziest on in the state of TN, (correction this hemisphere). There is no syllabus, he gives a one page grading scale course requirement sheet for the course. He doesnt teach clearly, HAS THE WORST HAND-WRITING ON EARTH AND PREF...
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Professor rated by: Student on 4/6/06
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+8 Helpful

Student Ratings 1 - 20 of 67

 
CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
This professor is the laziest on in the state of TN, (correction this hemisphere). There is no syllabus, he gives a one page grading scale course requirement sheet for the course. He doesnt teach clearly, HAS THE WORST HAND-WRITING ON EARTH AND PREFERS TO WRITE IN CURSIVE.



I can go on and on, this guy is horrible as a teacher and I took his tuesday/thursday class (85min) He would go over the material in about 30 mins and keep doing redundant examples until everyone who wasnt drinking redbull fell asleep.



If you ask "what chapter are you working out of today?" (because you cant read a word of his handwriting and definitions) his reply would be "somewhere in chapter 5...look it up).



I have to take this class again because its required for my major and I heard that Borden/burden was good. STEER CLEAR OF THIS GUY, HE IS A GPA/LOTTERY SCHOLARS NIGHTMARE.



he will not help you on anything, and he comes to class everyday either sleepy and out of it



TRUST ME IF YOU HAVE A PHD IN CHEMISTRY YOU COULDNT PASS THIS CLASS UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO TEACH YOURSELF.



AND IT GETS WORST...



Homework: no homework but thats not a good thing in his course.



Textbook: you will need the text book to teach yourself.
Professor rated by: Student on April 6, 2006
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CHEM 3020
Organic Chemistry II
4****
Doing this class in the summer gave no opportunities for relaxation. This class is not for the faint of heart, I spent most days reading the text, doing problems. Many people hate on Dr. Ilsley, but if you show some interest and put forth the effort, you should have no problem. The notes he gives in class have several errors, some of which he catches, some of which he doesnt. However, he posts his personal lecture notes online for you to look at, and they're perfect. compare your notes to those online and you'll be fine. Plus, even with his unorthodox teaching methods, you CAN teach yourself organic with the text book. I cannot say this with more seriousness: BEST textbook ive ever used. It helps if you will read ahead in the book. You will have something to guide your understanding of lecture. when i was behind and lecture was new material, i was often lost. Read ahead in preparation for the lecture and it all makes alot more sense. sorry for my longwinded writing, but i felt like people should know the reality about this class.



Exams: Tests are hard, but I had tests from a previous class and they helped ALOT. Often, the same questions are used year to year. get a hold of some if you can. Whenever there was a grading discrepancy, I always took it to him with an argument for my answer planned out. Sometimes, I would be wrong and he wouldnt give me any points. Other times, I pointed out my meaning and he gave me some credit. ALSO, do not be afraid to question the test. Often, the questions are partly wrong and he will announce to the class that there needs to be a change. (for example: on the final, the description of the problem said the reaction occurred in acid, but the reagents said base. he fixed it)



Homework: If it tells you anything, I used an entire pack of 150 sheets of paper along with a good hunk of another pack. I ran 2 pens dry. organic 1 + organic 2 = a stack of 200pages of paper, front and back.



Textbook: EXCELLENT TEXT BOOK. Janice Gorzynski Smith has written an awesome text. I basically taught myself the entirety of Organic with this book. you NEED it. there is a separate answer book that you will need too
Professor rated by: Student on August 12, 2010
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
1*
Pros: None at all
Cons: Everything
First, he gets several problems wrong during every class, which makes it extremely difficult to understand the material because he doesn't work the problems correctly. Also, the formulas for the tests are very hard to remember because he jams so many different problems into the tests. He posts all his notes, but they are too disorganized to understand. He also posts tutorials, however don't be fooled because the problems are not even close to what is on the test. Dr. Ilsley absolutely will not respond to emails and it is almost impossible to get in contact with him. Please take someone else if you have the chance, he makes this class way harder than it should be.
Professor rated by: Chemistry Student on April 6, 2011
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YES
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CHEM 3010
Organic Chemistry I
4****
Dr. Ilsey is a nice man and is very straight forward. I got sick and in the summer you just can not miss 5 days especially in something like organic. He gives 3 tests, four quizzes, and 1 final. All of these plus the lab makes your grade 86 and up is an A, 74 and up is a B and so on. His teaching style just was not the greatest for myself, however several people like him. He will tell you hisself that he does not have great social skills so he may come off rude but actually he is really nice if you talk one on one. Warning!! Know what you are getting into by taking organic in the summer, it is 3x as fast and it is difficult to grasp at that speed. If you want an A or B be ready to study 2 hours for every 1hour in class.......... I know crazy, right? :)



Exams: Organic chem is not easy! Be prepared to study for the grade that you want. The tests are very, very thourough and cover almost everything in the notes.



Homework: none required but problems in the book assigned that can help with test and studying



Textbook: the text book is fare but you need all the help you can get in this class that way if you don't get it in the notes you can try the text
Professor rated by: Student on July 7, 2005
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CHEM 1121
General Chemistry II Lab
1*
Be prepared to teach yourself chemistry. This instructor is very old and doesn't have much energy. He will not waste his precious energy on class.

The beginning of class starts with a simple explanation of what you are expected to do. He often disappears for lengths of time during lab. If you ask him questions he will tell you that you should already know how to deduce the answers. He doesn't really care if you use your phone to find the answer to your questions (not a highly recommended source of information, but it will get you through class.)

He isn't passionate about the material or the students, but he exists (which is all you really need if you have a good lecture instructor and access to Google).
Professor rated by: Environmental Sci & Tech Student on April 12, 2014
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
Dr. Ilsley will laugh about how he has used the same overhead notes since 1992 and that he is an old dinosaur. This is true, but not amusing. He does more mumbling into the overhead than speaking to his students. Although his class does incorporate the subject being taught, there isn't really much teaching going on. His communication skills are lacking, and I found it required a large amount of chocolate or caffeine to pay any attention during his classes, which are entitrely lectures. Overall, he is an intelligent but boring man, and I do not recommend taking his class, especially not during that after-lunch period in the afternoon when it's ever so easy to fall asleep. Count on teaching yourself!



Exams: Tests are mildly difficult, and require that you at least pay attention and spend a short amount of time studying to earn a high grade.



Homework: No homework was assigned.



Textbook: The text, which I did not use regularly, seems to be well-structured. I relied more on previous chemistry experience, but did use the text so study for some tests and the final.
Professor rated by: Student on December 10, 2003
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
Put simply, this guy didn't seem to care. If you asked a question (which, after a while, no one would dare), he would work pretty hard to make you sound like an idiot for not knowing it. Often, when he was showing us an example of how something worked, he'd show us an exception. Like, "If you have X, you do Y procedure. So, you just…oh, looks like we don’t need it this time.” To top it off, his communication skills were pretty poor. It was obvious he knew his stuff, but he didn’t bother to teach it in a way 90% of the students could understand. (The class average was about 40%.) To tell the truth, the only reason I did as well as I did was because I had an outstanding chemistry teacher in high school, so I came in knowing quite a bit of it. If you’re not a learn from the textbook kind of person, I’d strongly recommend against taking this class.



Exams: I didn't really have a problem with the tests.



Textbook: I used the textbook mainly because he was a boring, disrespectful teacher.
Professor rated by: Student on May 8, 2004
Helpful Rating?
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
1*
Pros: He is very thorough in the material which helps to prepare for Gen. Chem. II
Cons: He does not care for his students, no matter how hard they show that they are working. As a group who typically receive As, we tried to discuss materials with him and he was brash, harsh, and just plain rude. He expected everyone to have an extremely high level of understanding of the chemistry field and talked down to those who weren't quite grasping it. The acoustics of the room our class was taught in were terrible and someone would ask him to speak louder EVERY class period without fail. He would always become angry and would only mumble more. He is very monotone and rarely answers any questions asked during class; only replies with a "it's in the notes"... which he hand-wrote in 1992 (the pages still contain the dates) in handwriting that no one can read and that he will not clarify for the students. He is far past having any desire to teach. Class average for the exams were in the 60s.
Professor rated by: Biology Student on April 12, 2012
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
1*
Pros: lol.
Cons: He can't even get his own problems right.
Dr. Ilsley is a nightmare. He's by far the worst professor I've taken at MTSU. I will be receiving a B for the class, but I'm very science-minded and worked WAY harder than I should have for a general chemistry class. The worst part? Him getting all his own problems wrong! And the homework, holy cow...every other problem had an error in it, or he used the wrong unit. I'm not going to bash him too badly, because maybe it's his old age...and maybe he's really smart...but if you're at MTSU on scholarships, PLEASE push this class off another semester until you can take someone else. He will ruin it for it, and use up all your time for studying, keeping you from other classes.
Professor rated by: Biology (MTSU and RODP) Student on April 29, 2015
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CHEM 3010
Organic Chemistry I
4****
This class is very demanding and requires alot of time.If you want to get done with a very hard class in a short period of time take it during the summer. You will hate it while your taking it but it is worth it. Dr. Ilsley expects alot,but is a great teacher and if you put the time in you will do well in the course.



Exams: tests were graded quickly,but fairly.Sometimes he may miss something,but will be fair with you if you can argue your answer



Homework: Homework problems were assigned and recommended,but they were not required



Textbook: there will be times you will need to look at the textbook to clarify certain problems you have with notes and homework
Professor rated by: Student on August 9, 2003
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CHEM 3010
Organic Chemistry I
3***
Dr. Ilsley is not very good at explaining things. He seems mean and cold, but don't let that prevent you from him asking question... You paid for the class, his job is to answer questions!. Let him know you are really trying... that will count in the end. I would not recommend this teacher, but if you have no other choice, it can be done!



Exams: I basically had to teach myself. He is really bad at explaining things.



Homework: He gives practice problems out of the book... Make sure to do them. Sometimes he will pull the exact question from the practice problems.
Professor rated by: Student on August 17, 2007
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CHEM 3020
Organic Chemistry II
3***
Ok Dr.Ilsley is not a horrible person in the least. However, he is set in his ways in his teaching style, and it does not change. The lecture is very dry and you will want to fall asleep. Luckily I had Dr. Dunlap for the first semester of organic (She should be your first choice of organic teachers) and I had a clue about what was going on before i got to his class. His handwriting is horrible and you will question many times why are you learning this when there are definitely other parts of the book that are more applicable. Organic is not an easy subject, If you are not great a chemisty or lack interest this is not the profressor for you, because you will spend much of your time teaching the subject to yourself. Another warning if he is grading your lab reports, he tends to grade them hard. If you do get in his class,it is not impossible and you can learn something you just have to completely focus on it (it is not a subject you studying the night before the test).



Exams: Well the test were mostly fair questions they come staight from the notes (if you can read the notes). He graded them fairly sometimes, sometimes no so fairly. And if you want to question him on something make sure it is not within an hour of when he wants to leave and make sure you dont already have a borderline A or he will just walk away from you.



Homework: Well there are suggested problems its up to you if you want to do them. My best advice would be to rewrite your notes (he tends to make more than a few mistakes in class) then write a quiz based off the examples in the notes. If you can to those examples you will be fine.



Textbook: The textbook is great for verifying reagents that you couldn't read in class and to look at a clear version of mechanisms and other diagrams. There are also homework problems in there but they require a seperate book if you want to actually know the answer. However you must focus on the in class notes not the book because his mechanisms, explanations, etc. tend to be different.
Professor rated by: Student on August 11, 2006
Helpful Rating?
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CHEM 3021
Organic Chemistry II Lab
1*
Pros: He ends up extending deadlines by 4 hours because he can't get his stuff together and open the dropbox for our lab reports
Cons: Has no idea what he's doing

Never gives graded reports back, so you do the same things wrong over and over and get multiple points off for things that could've been avoided

Is EXTREMELY rude to all students
**This review is for PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LAB 4331 (he started teaching it this semester, so it's not listed as an option)

Dr. Ilsley was alright when talking to him in lab if you were one of his favorites (which he doesn't even try to hide), though he literally would growl at us when we would go to his office with questions. To the rest of the students, he was extremely hateful all the time. I quickly lost respect for him after seeing him react with other students.

In addition to his rude attitude, he had absolutely no idea what he was doing in lab. My partner and I would ask him questions, and we would need to explain the entire lab to him in order for him to understand our question, and then he still wouldn't know the answer.

Grading was a real problem. We had turned in 4 lab reports before he let us look at any graded ones, and even then, we were not allowed to take them with us for reference. This means that all of the mistakes made in the first report were also made in the rest of the reports because we didn't know what to correct. It was absolutely unfair.

Overall, TAKE VOLKOV for lab! You will get screwed out of a good grade if you take Ilsley.
Professor rated by: Biology Student on December 1, 2015
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
1*
Pros: Puts up examples on D2L on what he went over that week
Cons: There is a list of things wrong with this professor. The question is, where do I start?

He sounds like a robot when he talks, Does not explain hardly anything in class, and rarely stops to ask questions. He does not care about the class, and he does not care about teaching just talking, and talking. On top of that he doesn't have a power point to go off of he writes on the board and it is really hard to read his writing, and when he talks, not only does he sound like a robot or speaks in a monotone voice, but he speaks at the board not at the class.



Everyone who got up and left, after hey would leave he would then yell at the rest of the class.



I go up to go to the bathroom, and I got about half way down the stairs and he asked where I was going (I did not have my bookbag or coat with me at the time) I told him I was going to the bathroom, to which he replied, hurry back. Now, I don't know about you, but I pay to be here, and if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of class you bet I'm going to get up and go use the restroom.



Horrible instructor/professor do NOT take this guy, you are setting your self up for failure if you do.
*I did not fail this class, but at the same time i had to work my butt off to pass this class.
Professor rated by: Sociology (MTSU and RODP) Student on March 16, 2013
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
5*****
Dr. Ilsley can be a somewhat confusing teacher, especially if your background in chemistry is weak. He goes over a lot of material in class and won't slow down. His writing isn't very neat and his voice doesn't carry very well so make sure you sit near the front. He may also pass out extra credit if the class is doing poorly on the tests. Make sure you know your material and study hard. His tests aren't easy.



Dr. Ilsley may seem somewhat stern but he is actually a really nice man, is willing to help and will explain things clearly to you in a one on one situation. Don't hesitate to ask him for help during his office hours. I wished I had done this earlier in the semester.



Exams: His tests questions are the standard mix of true/false, definition, and problems. He does put a decent number of questions on his tests so make sure you know the material and can do problems quickly.



Homework: Dr Ilsley will assign optional problems from both the book and from various text sources. The problems aren't graded but doing them will help you on your tests.



Textbook: You don't need the textbook per se but it provides good material for doing practice problems and finding examples. It does a decent job of explaining some concepts that may be confusing in class.
Professor rated by: Student on May 12, 2008
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
Dr. Ilsley is a very terrible teacher. There aren't enough ways to say that he has NO business teaching at all. Granted I do not like chemistry at all, but he does not explain anything. He will tell the steps on how to work a problem or what not, but he will not EXPLAIN the steps. If a student asks him to explain something, he will basically recite to you a chemistry book definition of whatever needs to be explained. Does that help? No, it sure doesn't. Why? Because 95% of the world doesn't understand "chemisty jargon." He doesn't seem to realize that no one gets it. He talks to the projector and doesn't seem to even realize he has a class in front of him. Do not, Do Not, DO NOT TAKE THIS TEACHER. PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF YOURSELF, YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHILDREN, AND ALL OF HUMANITY DO NOT TAKE THIS TEACHER.



Exams: The tests are difficult. You need to know exactly what to study, but he doesn't give a study guide so I hope you're a good guesser as to what is going to be on the test.



Homework: None, just work problems on your own(after you teach yourself how to work them, of course)



Textbook: There is nothing required in the textbook but you need to study it...A LOT.
Professor rated by: Student on January 11, 2006
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
This guy makes the class so much harder than it should be. He's hard to hear. He screws up most of the problems he works on the board. People in the class are constantly correcting him. Just coming to class and paying attention will mess you up because you never know when he goofed. If someone in the class doesn't catch it, you just write down and take in bad information. Who knows if the bad info will transfer to the exam? Or to your next chemistry class or God forbid the real World.



I've never felt like I've been ripped off with school before, but there's a first time for everything. This man should not be teaching. He's a nice guy and all, but chemistry is typically a difficult subject for most and clear instruction is a must. This man does not provide that. He takes a tough subject and makes it 3x harder.



My suggestion to students...stay FAR away. If this is the only class left, wait. Find another instructor. My suggestion to MTSU...find other (non-instructional) work for this guy or encourage him into retirement. He's not fit to teach. Everyone gets to that point...time to recognize it and stop punishing students for tenure's sake.
Professor rated by: Student on September 18, 2010
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
1*
Dr Ilsley was a horrible teacher. He did not have office hours posted and i sent him countless emails and he NEVER replied, he was always late to class and lab (i had him as a lab instructor too) but if a student was late he would stop class to tell everyone that just a reminder class starts promptly at 8 o'clock and he was constantly missing class and some GA or other Dr would fill in for him...he claimed that he passed an attendance sheet around every cass but i NEVER saw it...it was a complete waste of time and money



Exams: He would put insanely hard problems on the test that we did not even talk about in class and were completely different from what we did in lab



Homework: none just study...and thats plenty



Textbook: he wants you to memorize the book like he has, but the tests cover a lot more than just what was in the book
Professor rated by: Student on March 29, 2007
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
I love Chemistry and unfortunately I chose a old higher-thinking proffessor to teach me-lol. I am NOT trying to bash Dr.Isley just making you aware of his teaching style: he lectures from poor hand-written notes on the overhead, speaks EXTREMELY monotone, and does NOT INTERACT WITH HIS STUDENTS (outside of his office hrs). If you ACTUALLY want to learn and enjoy class DO NOT TAKE HIM!!! Our class avg. on EVERY EXAM WAS A 50-60. Majority of the class got C's, C+'S,sum B's and alot of D's and F's!!!



Exams: Dr. Isley is indeed a scatter brain and it reflects on his exams. He would have mispelled words and incorrect answers to problems and would not correct them until it was TOO LATE!!! The exams were UPPER LEVEL and usually was not all of what we covered...the easiest exam will be the FINAL!!



Homework: NONE!!
Professor rated by: Student on March 26, 2006
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CHEM 1110
General Chemistry I
2**
This class was Horrible! Everyday I wanted to scream! It's so hard; he teaches way over the level he should. He expects you to understand everything just cause he does. He is really rude and hateful. If you ask him a question, he acts all frustrated. His writing is sooooooo messy that you can't possibly read it. No one can. But if you ask him what something says he gets mad. I'd have to say he is probably the worst teacher I've ever had. Don't take this man!!!!!!!! You will regret it!



Exams: They are extremely hard with a lot of information on them.



Homework: just reading over the information to try to understand it



Textbook: You will need it cause without it you will not understand anything from the lectures cause his notes are so messy you can't read them and it's really confusing
Professor rated by: Student on April 15, 2002
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