Adams, Nikki  

Biological Sciences

2.80/4.00

25 evaluations


BIO 160


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Professor Adams is an alright teacher. She presents the material clearly, but goes off on random tangents occasionally. She lacks the knowledge of the course work. At times, I thought I knew more about what she was teaching than she did. The class takes alot of effort. Lecture is 50% of your grade and so is lab. We had two midterms and a cumulative final. The tests are pretty easy though. Lab is what hurts your overall grade! The lab tests and quizzes are very hard. Overall, I probably would no take this teacher again.


Freshman
D
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
This teacher tries hard, but tends to just wander off on other things, leaving you with no knowledge of...anything. I would try to get someone else instead.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2008
Shes a good person and does somewhat of a good job at teaching, but i think she tends to rely too much on her power point slides. The tests are tough and mostly come from the book so make sure to read it! I got a C- and a D on the tests and a D on the final but still passed with a C, all because of lab! its easy, just show up, do your note book and at-least attempt the quizzes and you will be fine.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Aug 2008
Adams is not that great of a teacher. She doesn't explain anything on her power point slides. She just reads them, which I could have done on my own. She is a really nice lady, and makes an attempt to help. But lectures were dry, boring, and pointless. Her tests came mostly from the book, not the lectures. But the final had A LOT of questions from previous midterms, so go back to office hours, and look at old midterms. Overall, she was ok. But i would recommend taking someone else if possible.


Freshman
F
Required (Support)
Apr 2009
She might be a great teacher for other classes but for Bio160 I felt like she didn't know what she was reading half the time. Yes reading because there was no teaching involved. I can stand in front of a class and read off of a screen. If you are willing to crack the book everyday and study by yourself and teach yourself by all means take her.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2009
Professor Nikki know her material like no other... her test are fairly easy because all of her question come straight from her lectures not the book. The lecture class was easy but the lab was a different story


Graduate Student
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2010
Not only is mrs. Adam\'s beautiful, but she is also wise. She is by far the best teacher i\'ve ever had ever.


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Dec 2010
Bio 160 is a sham. BIO 160 Diversity and the History of Life (4) Overview of the history, diversity and genetic relatedness of life on Earth; broad-scale evolutionary framework of the organization and expansion of life on Earth. 2 lectures, 2 laboratories. This is what the class is according to the course catalog. I want to know at what point it was thought that putting two (2) laboratories a week was a good idea. The concept of a laboratory (I assume) is to fulfill Cal Poly\'s learn by doing attitude. So I assumed going into this course that somehow I was going to learn about the diversity and history of life by \"doing\" it in the laboratory. I said Bio 160 is a sham. And it is. 50% of the Lab is in fact lecture. It\'s not even lecture on how to do the lab. It\'s straight up lecture. Mostly because the lab is about 2 weeks ahead of the class. If we were to do the lab we would have no idea what to do because it\'s something we have not even covered in lecture. So I\'m learning brand new material from a 22 year old grad student who is teaching things that are completely foreign to our ears. For three hours a week. Did I mention he/she is just reading from a power point slide; using words like Locotrophazoa like it\'s common knowledge. Suffice it to say the lab instructors do 90% of the teaching of the class. In lecture? I\'m learning stuff that I already learned from said 22 year old grad student two hours a week. At 9 in the morning. Guess how early in the quarter I figured out not to show up? And three hours a week is the real \"Learn by Doing.\" These include drawing pictures. Looking at stuff and drawing pictures. Yay pictures of stuff under a microscope. Yay pictures of gross fungus and disected animals. Yay for diversity they are different! So in lab we are graded on these pictures. Which is fine by me! But we\'re also graded on... everything else. You have to memorize 4 different fungus life cycles (Well 5 actually there is a \"general\" one that, well after memorizing four unique ones am not quite sure where the \"general\" one fits in), 4 plant life cycles, and the genus name (not the species name mind you) of everything we did in class. (Imagine a teacher asked you the question: What is the most intelligent species on earth and you wrote down as your answer: H. sapiens. Now imagine that you got 75% of it wrong because they only wanted the genus) Oh spelling counts! Misspell any of those words and you get points taken off. Why? Who the fuck knows. Guess how many flash cards you end up making. Yes the lab is learn by doing. But you are graded on how much of it you can regurgitate on the lab practicals. The lab is all about memorization. Useless data. Boring data. Stuff that has no practical relevance to anything. It goes against everything we know about how the human being learns. Here is a brilliant question on my first lab practical: \"What is the technical term for avoiding contaminating your petri dish with the environment or cross contaminating your petri dish with another petri dish (2 words)?\" I\'ve been told by Bio majors that the point of Bio 160 is to weed out students. If this is true well then good job! Mission Accomplished Bio department. If this is not true someone needs to critically reflect on how utterly useless the lab is. Nikki Adams maybe this is not your fault. But I blame you. Here is how you fix this class. 3 lectures 1 Lab. This is an intro bio class so the purpose of the lab should be focused on LEARNING TO BE IN LAB. The majority of the grade should be based on the lab notebook. The lab practical should test you on what the LAB is intended for. If we are suppose to be learning by doing why are we not tested by doing? Why are we tested as if the lab is a lecture (Maybe because 50% of it is?). The lab practical currently is a sham. It\'s an attempt to grade you on what you should have learned in lecture. The questions are things that should appear on the LECTURE exam. Shame on you Biology department. I\'m not a biology major. I took this class for fun. I wish I could get my money back because I did not get what I paid for.


Freshman
D
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
Ok Dr. Adams really wasn\'t that great. I mean she\'s a nice lady and very approachable, but overall she\'s pretty bad. Her lectures had no teaching involved because she was just reading off the powerpoint slides ALL the time. And when she tried to teach, she would have these awkward pauses and would draw a blank for a good 10 seconds figuring out what to tell us. Throughout the quarter I walked out of lecture learning nothing most of the time. I felt like I learned more in Lab because the instructors lectured in that class too...luckily I had a good grad student who knew her stuff. As far as the test go, the questions on the test come from previous midterms and Mastering Biology so make sure to go back and look at them. The Lab is hard and is mainly pure memorization. You need to read the lab manual and study the bold terms. Other than that, I would not take Dr. Adams again because she might/thinks she knows her stuff but in the end she doesn\'t present it well.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2011
the class itself is not too bad, but professor adams does not know how to lecture! she reads off the powerpoint (which she also posts to blackboard anyways) so it is extremely boring to sit there and listen to her when she barely presents any information that is not contained in the powerpoints that you can print yourself anyways. basically don't worry if you miss a lecture. she always ran out of time to talk, and so the last few minutes of class would be extremely rushed and she would start talking as fast as she could to try to cram in last-minute bits of information, which was frustrating. despite her poor lecturing abilities and lack of enthusiasm, the exams for the lecture portion of bio 160 were not too difficult because professor adams gets nearly all of her test questions from the Mastering Biology program that goes along with the textbook. the mastering biology assignments she posts are not required, but they will definitely save you on the tests because the questions she uses are word-for-word! the class has 2 midterms and a final, midterms are 50 multiple choice, final is 100. we also turned in one additional assignment that was worth 6 points and ended up being extra credit.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
Honestly I'm not sure if she taught me anything... lab did that job. She reads directly off her Power Points. Sometimes she would forget what she was saying and talk about something completely irrelevant to cover it up. Adams will tell you this, but I will tell you anyway. Make sure to do Mastering Bio because she takes some of the questions off of it and puts it on the midterms/final. Also, props to whoever attends each one of her classes.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2012
um well this lecture is almost pointless. i went the first few weeks and then stopped, and i think i got an 86 on the first midterm. then i went a few more times for the second midterm. all she does is read her power point slides which she puts online anyways. as long as you look over the slides and do the sample problems on mastering biology you should not have trouble with the midterms. a lot of the midterm questions are word for word from mastering biology. and to whoever is saying she is hot...uh unless you like cougars...shes not hot.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2013
Professor Adams is an appropriate professor for an introductory Biology class. She isn't excellent, but she is fair and clear. Be sure to do the Mastering Bio assignments, even if they aren't required - her midterms draw from them.

BIO 336


Senior
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
Dr Adams is very enthusiastic about teaching invertebrate zoology, but sometimes she gets a little carried away. For instance, she include WAYYYY to much information about diversity and taxonomy that students will think they need to learn so it stresses them out. She did this is lab a lot. There would be ridiculous amounts of material that we needed to draw/include in our lab notebooks and, although we thought some stuff we saw was cool, requiring us to draw and learn all of it was waayyy to much to ask. She needs to focus just on the important concepts about each phylum and not go too crazy. SOOO to sum up, she was a nice teacher, field trips were really fun, BUT don't expect this class to be like a normal 4 unit class! It requires A LOT of time to get down the taxonomy and the labs are VERY extensive. (this class was way harder than my 5 unit!)


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2011
Firstly, this was my favorite class I've taken at Poly. Yes the material is entensive and yes it takes awhile to study and prepare for the tests, but she is a completely fair grader and the class itself is so interesting!! Second, Nikki is one of the best teachers here. She is so knowledgable and very approachable. Overall, great class great teacher.


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Aug 2013
The students that write negative reviews about Adams are just angry because they didn't like Bio 160. Bio 160 is the first class they take as bio majors and for students that weren't used to working hard for A, Bio 160 comes as a bit of a shock. For those who truly love biology, and aren't just Bio majors for med school, Adams is one of the best teachers there is. I had her for BIO 160 and ZOO 336 and she does a great job communicating the material.

ZOO 336


Senior
B
Elective
Mar 2006
I had Dr. Adams for lecture and lab. She is super nice, especially if she likes you!Her practicals and exams are on the same day, but they're not that bad. There is a ton of info, so stay ahead, and make sure you show her that you are trying, it helps!There are a couple assignments but not too bad. If you have a good memory, then you should do fine.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
Dr. Adams is an amazing teacher. She is clear on her notes and only gives you the information that you need to know which makes it easier to study for the exams. She is an extremely awesome grader and gives as much credit as possible, but if you do all the work and study a few hours before the midterms you will be fine. Got a B+ in the course because I got C's on the first midterm and lab practical but then A's and B+'s on the remaining exams and finals. Once you know the way her exams work they are easy. Her lecture exams and lab practicals are on the same day but it is really nice because you study the same material for both so that is way easier. To tell you the truth I thought I was going to hate this class at the beginning of the quarter and almost dropped it but it ended up being my favorite so far here at Poly ... yes that great. I would recommend this class for all BIO majors needing to get their biodiversity requirement out of the way!!


Junior
B
Elective
Apr 2009
Dr. Adams is awesome. She's very knowledgeable about inverts and soo enthusiastic it really makes the class fun. She does go in to a lot of detail (sometimes a little too much) but she does tell you what specifically to know for the tests. Usually people don't do well on the first exam, but you will learn how to study for that class quickly. The field trips are fun and she's a really lenient grader, always trying to give you partial credit. Very approachable, a really nice person and good teacher.


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
Good Teacher, class is fairly straight forward. Doesn't make you memorize as many names as other teachers, but her tests on the actual material are fairly hard. Lectures take a long time which is the biggest negative.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Sep 2012
This class was not easy. I loved it & ended up doing well because of that. Yes, you do need to know lots of genus & species (as well as taxonomy for many of the organisms) BUT Dr. Adams gives a TON of partial credit & is always offering extra credit. She knows how much information there is in this course & does a lot to help students. Take this class if you like observing marine invertebrates and drawing them. There are a few field trips, all were super fun and engaging. (and on the coast ...)

BIO 405


Junior
N/A
Elective
May 2012
It's no wonder all the Bio160 comments were blah about her. Her true passion is in developmental biology. If you're looking for a class to take as an elective and the topic interests you, go for it. Don't let the other comments deter you. Lab is really fun. You get to see fertilization happen in real time, hatch baby chicks, and watch tadpoles grow week to week. The lab notebook is a bit of a pain, but it will help for studying for the lab practical. She's really sweet and very helpful if you have any questions. She wants to make sure you excel and takes feedback about midterms well.


Junior
A
Elective
May 2016
Dr. Adams is awesome! Take her if you get the chance! The course material for 405 is tough, but she helps simplify it and she's a very forgiving grader (Both midterms I thought I got C's on and I ended up getting A's!!)

BIO 440


Graduate Student
A
Elective
Oct 2016
I think its true that the negative comments from BIO 160 students are most likely because they are not used to having to work hard and memorize a ridiculous amount of material as a biology major. Nikki is an amazing teacher, and even teaches multiple courses on how to teach. She knows the ins and outs of effective teaching, and it really shows in all of her upper division courses. She also cares a lot about her students, and puts in a huge amount of effort to make sure you succeed. After taking every class I possibly could with her I am still always searching for more classes with her!

MCRO 452


Graduate Student
B
Elective
Nov 2016
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