Richard Harwood's Courses

Physical Science 101

Physical Science 101
Student Comments

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Below are some of the student evaluation comments for the Physical Science 101 course. These comments and evaluations are collected by the instructor at the end of the semester. Comments are reproduced in their entirety as written by the student and are in no particular order. Opinions, views or grammatical errors are those of the student and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the instructor.

Most Recent Comments

Honestly, the class was very interesting and had a lot of facts about the world. The only downfall is the exams are VERY lengthy and jam packed with information. Make sure to look over the study guides and quiz yourself with note cards and such. For myself I did a lot of studying as for my grade in the class did not reflect that. So study or not, your choice......

Honestly, this class was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm not a big fan of science, but I found this class to be one of the better ones I have taken. The material is fairly interesting and the labs are not that bad (except for the lab that makes you hike around campus for 2 hours - that one is horrible). Make sure to take advantage of all the materials that are on the course website. The lecture notes and study guides are very helpful when it comes to studying for the test, and the lab practice is great when getting ready for the practicals. Study a lot for everything. The tests and lab practicals are not difficult if you put in the proper amount of study time to get ready for them. Overall, you will do just fine if you put in the work necessary to succeed. 

The key to this course is to work hard and use all the resources you have available to you. None of it is unnecessary information or trivial, so you should take full advantage of all of it. The more effort and time you put in the class, the better your grade will be. Also, make sure you review frequently too, as the course continues. Review questions on the test will always be there, so make sure you refresh your memory every once and a while. 

this course is really interesting if this is the field your are trying to go. the class overall it is complicated because there is some material that is hard to understand. for this course you have to be putting attention at all time. the tests are complicated but not impossible. you really need to spend time studying and preparing for the test. the study guide really help you prepare for the test. but just a quick advise STUDY!!!

For the class, studying is key. The tests and lab practicals are very extensive with the information you need to know. Also, there's no need to buy the book. Going through this class, we didn't look through the book even once.

I'm not a huge fan of science classes due to being a bit of a dumbass, but I enjoyed Prof Harwood's Physical Science class. I'm an auditory learner and found the way he presents the material to be easy to follow (for the most part) and he tries to make it as interesting as possible. He also tries to tie the concepts we're discussing in class into a real-world example to make it easier to understand. Attendance: For the love of all that's holy, show up to class and take notes. You will NOT pass if you just play on your phone the entire time. Prof Harwood can and will drop you from the class if you miss 4 (four) meeting periods. If you miss four classes though, you may as well just give up because you're fucked on notes. Exams/Lab Practicals: He posts study guides for the exams on his website (he'll give you the URL or just Google ""Prof Harwood BHC"" and it'll show up). Some students swear by the study guide, but I don't use them because they seem to confuse me more. You're the only person who knows what can help you, so do what you need. The tutoring center in Bldg 1 offers tutors for this class so if you're having trouble, they can help. Labs: You complete the lab either by yourself or with a small group (3-5ish people). When you're done, you'll go to the lab workstation and Prof will go over it with whomever is finished. No matter how poorly you do on the lab, you get the full point for participating in lab. You can absolutely butcher all the answers and he doesn't care. But don't rush through it thinking that it won't matter. Do the lab, don't be lazy. Book: DO NOT RENT/BUY IT. YOU DON'T NEED IT. SAVE YOUR MONEY. Extra Credit: Doesn't exist so don't ask. Use the oxygen for better things. Help with Concepts: Prof will stay after class to answer questions for you if you need extra help. I frequently stay late to ask questions, should I need an additional explanation for it to click. General Thoughts: Prof is a decent guy. He is quite opinionated and isn't afraid to discuss those opinions, but I respect it. He gives great book recommendations in class, and his master's thesis isn't too bad either. Overall, I'd drink a beer with him.

you NEED to study. this class will go smoothly for you if you just study and know the material. start off strong in the semester. you cannot slack off in this class. go to lecture and attend your labs. it will only benefit you in the long run. 

In this class, you will learn a lot of things in a short amount of time. You will learn things from almost every kind of science. (Chemistry, Geology, astronomy, physics, etc) It is cool to know a little about everything, however, this class is not that easy. If you are someone who doesn't care about their grades as much and likes to skip/breeze through class; this is not the course for you. You will need to study for every test and lab practical. This course was more challenging for me, I usually put all my other classes on hold just to study for this one. Don't let the other bad comments scare you. This class is NOT the death of your GPA, as long as you are willing to put in work. The professor is very nice and is always willing to help. There have been times where I stayed after class to get help on subjects that I didn't understand. Also, the classes are very structured. You will know exactly what day every test and practical is ahead of time and you will have your study guides on canvas. You can study as far ahead as you'd like. I highly recommend not cramming the night before. I made flashcards for every test with the study guide questions on them and that is how I ended up with good test scores. :)

This class was nothing like what I expected it to be like. I knew it would be challenging, but I never thought that I might come to like science because of it. For many future students, this may be one of the hardest courses that they take in their academic careers, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. Most students are scared off by the messages on this page that read "Get out while you can, but these are not a fair representation of what the class is actually like. Instead of just explaining what the class is like (That's what the syllabus is for!), I'd like to explain what my study strategies where. I took advantage of the printed lecture notes. Because I am a slow writer, I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss anything, so filling in the blanks proved to be most effective. I also took the time to draw diagrams in the margins of the page and practice putting them into words in case that appeared on the written portion of the exams. Another important part of studying was the study guides. I filled them all out and made sure that my unanswered questions were answered before the day of the test. Professor Harwood is incredibly knowledgeable and clearly answered any questions I had both in class and out of class. Reading material was extensive, but I copied and pasted the articles into the least robotic sounding text-to-speech ap I could find and listened to all of them on my coffee breaks or during other convenient times. Before each test, I would look over my original notes at least two more times to ensure I could describe any lists from the lectures. It looks extensive when written out, but my advice is basically to take notes, ask questions, do the reading, and review a few times. This requires time and effort, but contrary to what you will hear my peers express on this page, it is possible to get an A in this class. If you work hard, then the tests won't seem like hard work!

This course is far from easy and shouldn't be taken to just get a good grade. You need to work hard and take good notes. As long as you listen and study you can get a passing grade. To get a good grade I recommend using the study guides, lecture notes and lab material to study from. Also you should ask lots of questions and even form a study group. As for the Professor he is sometimes annoying but very knowledgeable. He's easy to get along with and does good at further explaining anything you need help with.

To the future student who takes PS-101-100, If you slack off in this class and do the bare minimum, you will not pass! I highly recommend printing out and doing the study guides. They are extremely helpful! The lab practical practice problems are also very helpful if one subject was confusing during the lab. Professor Harwood is very intelligent and does an amazing job at teaching the material. However, you will still need to study for a decent length of time in order to truly understand the material. Personally, I thought this class was somewhat challenging, but the material made it very fascinating and putting in the work to pass definitely pays off.

Word to the wise, STUDY! This class is very difficult (despite what Harwood says) and requires many hours of review every week. The key is reviewing the lecture material very careful, with the help of the study guides posted on his website. As long as you listen to what he says, pay attention, and take good notes you will have all the material right in front of you. This class was very difficult for me, but it is not impossible to do well. If you put in the hours and the effort, the grades will follow. Many of the concepts introduced in class take lots of practice to master, especially for the lab practicals, but there are also online lab practices made available. This is really important if you want to master any particular skill. Professor Harwood was always very good about staying after class, even if it meant helping the same one; like me, day after day. Overall, the class was difficult but manageable if you distributed your time correctly. Procrastination will only put you back further. You will not succeed in this class without studying. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Bug him every day after class if you have to, he will make the time for students who care. 

To all the people who want to take this course, do it if you have the time and the dedication to study otherwise you're doomed. The exams are hard, so study 

This class was very tough for me. So if you plan on taking it make sure you take time out of your day to study. The study guides were helpful when studying for each test. The lab practical were the hardest things in the class by far. Harwood was a nice teacher, knows his stuff! 

This class is not the hardest class that exists out there, but you do have to understand that he is a strict and precise teacher, his tests are a lot harder than you think.

Past Comments

It was a good class. Harder than I was expecting. You really have to study for your tests and keep reviewing the material even when you're done with the unit. I found the Labs were really interesting and you learn a lot of new things from this course. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

Professor Harwood is very passionate about what he teaches. He constantly provides extra info about how what he teaches applies to real life. Although there are a lot of notes you'll need to take during his lectures, he makes them interesting and fun. The labs are amazing. Rather than having you follow some instructions and hope you get it right so you can get a good grade on a lab report or something, Harwood checks up with everyone during the lab. At the end of the lab he checks your work. You may be sent back to do something correctly if you got it wrong, but once he's checked that you've learned what you've needed to and got the questions right, you get a 100% on the lab. I've been lost in previous science class's labs and it's a huge relief that Harwood ensures you are not lost. I will warn you though. Harwood has difficult tests in his class. Class averages are usually 75%-85% with usually 5 or less A's out of about 20 students (this was for my only class with him and these numbers aren't exact, just what I remember). You'll need to study for these tests. There are tests for the lecture material and lab material. I recommend getting together with other students to do group studying and to use the study guides that are on Harwood's website (ask him how to get to them). Don't worry too much though. Others in the class consistently got F's, D's, and C's on the tests, yet were able to comfortably pass if they got above about 50% on the final. I can highly recommend this class unless you are really bad at testing and don't want to put in a little extra work to still do alright on the tests. If you dislike labs, then take this class as your grade shouldn't suffer for it. Regardless, I don't think anyone should miss out on listening to Harwood discuss how the administration has built the blackhawk campus or the causes of global warming and its deniers.

Professor Harwood was simply amazing. He is a very intelligent man who cares deeply about what he is teaching. He is the best professor I have ever had. The website had everything you needed from the study guides to the lecture notes, so you could pay attention in class instead of writing notes all day. Just a great class! Use those study guides! Only thing is the room we were in smelled like rotten eggs one day and moldy cheese the next. If you get past the smell it is an amazing class.

I really like that Professor Harwood gave the study guide, and notes to students in advance. It was helpful being able to fill out the study guide sheet while he was talking because it made you pay attention more. It also, saved time later when it came time to study for the test. He is very enthusiastic about science, and is very experienced in his field of study. It seems as though he has been to every place he talks about! (Except the moon). The only thing is that his class is very test heavy. All of your grade depends on Lab Practicals, and Exams. I wish there was more assignments incase you do poor on a test. Having said that, study hard and more often then usual! I did pretty well in the class, and enjoyed it!

This class is definitely not one you want to procrastinate in. Take the time to study the material and go over it so that you actually understand it. The study guides are a huge help, use them wisely!

I recommend to study the study guides that are given. Pay close attention during class and write plenty of notes down. Have all the study guides printed out so you don't forget them during lecture to write down answers during lecture. My personal favorite way of studying was using quizlet because easy to use, saves paper, and there's a mobile app for it too so you can study anywhere since we always carry our phones. As soon as you get one lecture done, fill out questions for study guide and study them. Go to professor if you are unsure about some of your study guide questions. STUDY STUDY AND STUDY. Though class seems to be long it is the only longer class I had that i didn't feel like falling asleep in during lecture because in someway it just always seemed interesting, the way lecture was given. This class is not as easy as it might seem, but if you just listen, study consistently, and ask questions then it will be easy.


He was an excellent professor. I'm not interested in Science, but this teacher made it fun and interesting. He really relates some things he teaches to everyday life.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking this class much more than I expected, and I learned a lot. I took this course for a general education requirement for my degree, but all of the material covered in this class was very interesting. Professor Harwood did an amazing job of teaching the material and made it possible for me to understand clearly. He provides examples and visual representations in his lectures that were very helpful to students who learn better visually like myself. He also provided lecture notes to help students follow along in lecture, and study guides to assist in the studying process for the exams. I would highly recommend this class with Professor Harwood to all students of any degree path. 

The only tip I really give is to study!!! Study, study study! You will not pass the class if you don't. Oh and take lab practicals seriously.

For this class you absolutely need to take good notes and really try to understand the material instead of trying to memorize it.  Paying attention in class and participating will 100% help improve test scores. P.S. KICK ASS AND TAKE NAMES

To the next student who decides to take PS-101-100, If you enjoy learning about astronomy, chemistry, physics, geology, and meteorology. . . this is the class for you! I know it may sound like a lot but professor Harwood actually takes the time to break some of these sections down and really help you get to learn them. Not only that, but professor Harwood already has all materials such as reading materials, lab materials, lecture notes, and study guides ready to go on his own website so that students can be well prepared for class and for exams. However, this course is not the course you want to try and do the bare minimum work for. If you do not study, chances are you will not pass. Also, if you are someone like me and you are really unsure about taking this course because you really just don't enjoy science that much, take the course anyways because Mr. Harwood is a great professor and he is always willing to teach you and help you if you are willing to learn.