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Joshua Colwell
Professor in the Physics department
at University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Overall Quality
4.0
Average Grade
B-
Hotness
Helpfulness
4.3
Clarity
3.8
Easiness
3.0
Helpfulness
0
Clarity
0
Easiness
0
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35 Student Ratings
Rating Class Comment
10/22/2014
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2053C Taken for Credit:Yes Attendance: Not Mandatory Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: INC
"Participation matters" "Respected by students" "There for you"

Very nice guy and good professor. Physics is hard but his grading is very fair.

12/22/2013
good
3 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
4 Easiness
AST 2002 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: Mandatory Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: B-

I took this class in 2008. He told a lot of corny jokes and loves talking about the movie he was in (Deep Impact). Tests were hard but he did curve them.

07/13/2013
good
4 Helpfulness
3 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2054 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

I had Colwell for physics 1 and 2. Physics is hard as hell anyway, but colwell does everything he can to help you with hw grades clicker questions and a BIG curve. This class is hard and his tests are depressing. Take someone else if you can

05/05/2013
good
5 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
PHY 2054 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Explanations aren't great, and the test questions are tough. The best way to prepare is to do problems out of the back of the book. Keep up with your hw, and lab. Not a great explainer, but a witty guy who really cares about his students. He'll go out of his way to make the class more comfortable. Curves a lot, not as much as his Physics 1 class.

05/03/2013
average
4 Helpfulness
2 Clarity
2 Easiness
PHY2054 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

Loved this class! Dr. Colwell really facilitated learning and I found myself ENJOYING learning about magnetism, electricity, and optics! As others have noted his explanations can be fuzzy, and tests can be challenging. Very very generous grader (throws in freebie clicker points!) I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed this class.

03/06/2013
good
5 Helpfulness
3 Clarity
4 Easiness
2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Very easy professor, always available to help you even if it is right before the test. He may not explain things in a way that it is easy to understand but if you read the book, read his notes, and do practice problems you should be fine. Test averages were pretty bad (F) but he curves a lot!

12/20/2012
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: What textbook? Rater Interest: Meh Grade Received: N/A

Good teacher, teaches mostly concepts, most of the math is done in lab and in HW, the class average on tests were terrible (mid high 50's) but he curves ALOT. Def take him if you can, i thought his class was easy but lots of people struggle if they dont "understand".

12/19/2012
good
5 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Josh is very nice, very helpful, and very intelligent. He is understanding and constantly makes adjustments to help students. Some of the tests were very tricky, but lab and homework boost your grade. I am also taking him for physics II.

12/15/2012
good
5 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Best prof I had this year. Tough tests, but curves them a lot. Clicker questions and in-class demos really help. Uses Mastering Physics, which doesn't help. The textbook isn't great, but his powerpoints are clear. Funny guy, really seems to care about his students. Taking him for Physics II.

11/05/2012
good
5 Helpfulness
3 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2054 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

Professor Colwell is a really nice guy. He isn't amazing with explanations, but there are many opportunities to get clarification if you don't understand something. He is also a very forgiving professor, grade-wise. It isn't difficult to get an A as long as you do your job and read the book and attend SI if you feel you need it.

04/22/2012
average
3 Helpfulness
2 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2054 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Josh is a nice guy, he tries to be funny, and therefore his class is entertaining. HOWEVER he isn't great at teaching. He's very smart, but not the best at explaining things. For example, he will explain a clicker question and let the class retake it, and then the majority of the class gets the answer wrong when they had it right at first

12/27/2011
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

Colwell is a fantastic professor! of course physics is a hard class, but he teaches the material really well, and there are SI sessions that are very helpful. the online hw is important and you cant just memorize it for tests. You have to know the material to do well on the tests. Also he was in the movie. :O i think is was Deep Impact or something

12/15/2010
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

He's a great professor for physics. Physics isn't the easiest of classes but he understands that and curves the class to benefit everybody. Keeps class interesting with demonstration, humor, and clicker questions <-- kind of forces you to go to class which is a good motivation lol. Do well in the lab and homework bc those are easy points!!

12/08/2010
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
PHY2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

Physics is hard but Colwell does his best to teach from the student's perspective and he's funny. To get an A: read before class, keep a formula sheet with you, do the problems in the back of the book, do the homework online, redo some problems before the test, and reread the clicker questions before tests. Cool guy, one of the best profs I've had.

12/04/2010
good
4 Helpfulness
3 Clarity
3 Easiness
phy2053 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

The professor is a really good guy and really does try to make the class interesting. However, the subject material is pretty tough and it is a very good idea to utilize SI and read ahead before you come to class otherwise it is hard to keep up. His tests are tough but his grading scale is lax. Use the solutions manual for the text book for the HW.

08/12/2010
good
5 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
AST2002 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Take this class! It's not 'easy', but it is possible to get a good grade. I got a B+, thanks to office hours and review sessions before the test. Prof Colwell is a great guy, very intelligent and passionate about astronomy, and tries to know everyone's name, even in a class of 300. He doesn't take himself too seriously, so class can be funny.

07/02/2010
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
4 Easiness
AST2002 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

He is probably the best Gen Ed professor at UCF. He is a genius at the subject and has real world experience, but he is also very laid back. He gets so excited about astronomy so it makes it easy to listen and participate. The tests are challenging, but with the amount of opportunities and extra credit he gives, as long as you try, you'll do well.

04/30/2010
average
4 Helpfulness
2 Clarity
2 Easiness
AST2020 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Meh Grade Received: N/A

He is super smart when it comes to his subject. You have to pay attention and come to class. He does clicker questions. He really tries to get you to understand stuff..i wasnt very good at astronomy but if you do the hw and clicker questions you can pass..overall very smart and intersting

12/03/2009
good
5 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
AST2002 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Josh is an awesome professor and really tries to get his students engaged. Tests are HARD but curved. He does review sessions out of class that are helpful. I learned SO much and actually drew an interest in astronomy. Take him if you can but be willing to do the work. It's worth it! Humble, intelligent, and helpful professor.

11/06/2009
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
4 Easiness
AST2002 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Prof Colwell is all that and a bag of chips!! His class is the best astronomy class at UCF.

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