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Don Coltart
Professor in the Chemistry department
at Duke University, Durham, NC
are you Don Coltart?
Overall Quality
3.4
Average Grade
N/A
Hotness
Helpfulness
3.0
Clarity
3.7
Easiness
2.4
Helpfulness
0
Clarity
0
Easiness
0
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27 Student Ratings
Rating Class Comment
04/19/2011
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: What textbook? Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

Yes, Dr. Coltart has an abrasive personality, but he's a brilliant man who can really teach orgo. He lays down the fundamentals and makes sure to explain how the complex topics are based on the simplest of ideas. His test ARE pretty tricky though (due to point value weight).

12/21/2010
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
Chem152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

This is where this site is misleading. The poor reviews are from those mad at doing poorly. If you understand the basics in chemistry, Coltart will take your knowledge to the next level. He's not going to gift wrap you an A. He is extremely clear in lecture. However, I can't speak for his personality because I never went to office hours.

07/21/2010
good
3 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: You need it sometimes Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

I had Coltart 2 years ago, back in Spring 2008, and liked him a lot, but I'd strongly recommend avoiding him this year. Word around the chem department is that he will not get tenure, and since he's going into his last year before evaluation, he won't care about teaching at all. Avoid him at all costs in the Spring 2011 semester for Chem 152.

05/12/2010
good
3 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
Chem152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

I'm going to put it out there that I don't like Coltart, and he probably couldn't care less about what I, or anybody else in class, thinks about him. But to be fair, he is an amazing lecturer, who put an huge emphasis on the basics. Sure, he's never in class half the time, but his tests are predictable. I hate to admit this, but the guy can teach.

05/11/2010
poor
1 Helpfulness
1 Clarity
1 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: What textbook? Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

If you actually have any interest in orgo or science or actually learning concepts, never take a class with him. Tests are complete bullspit and do not test understanding whatsoever. Worst professor in the chemistry department by far. He is outright rude to many of his students and does not care about the class at all. A monkey could teach better.

05/10/2010
average
2 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
Chem152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

To Coltart's credit, he is very good at teaching difficult materials and concepts. However, good teaching skills do not make a quality professor. And Coltart is one of the worst professors at Duke. There isn't enough space on here for me to list all the reasons.

05/10/2010
poor
1 Helpfulness
1 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

Possibly the WORST professor in the entire world. Has extended response questions worth 4pts and multiple choice 'circle the answer' questions worth 15. O did I mention he is S**T at chemistry and his tests are littered with mistakes. My ass could write better midterms.

04/07/2010
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
1 Easiness
Chem152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Didn't teach half of the classes, even when right before a test. Very tricky multiple choice but otherwise tests are fair. A good lecturer when he actually gives it. I would take the other professor if I could though

07/23/2009
good
2 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
2 Easiness
chem152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Good Professor. Class worthwhile to take with him.

05/06/2009
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

An incredible teacher. He drills the fundamentals into you from the start and teaches you how to apply them to more advanced concepts. His exams are difficult but fair, although I never liked them. However, he was not a very approachable guy. But if you work hard enough and can appreciate the fundamentals, you'll do fine in his class.

05/25/2008
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

What a great teacher. Incredible. Do not listen to reviews from last year. He goes out of his way to help you by making very helpful handouts etc. Just a great teacher who beats the basics to death so you are guaranteed to understand. And understanding is key to orgo.

03/25/2008
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Sorta interested Grade Received: N/A

Good professor. People who complain about him are just dumb .

01/13/2008
average
2 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
3 Easiness
Chem151 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: What textbook? Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

Honestly, I felt so bad for him when I read that he got bad reviews on this site. People, he is not a bad professor ... I actually enjoyed his lectures because they are quite straightforward, and you don't even need to look at the textbook, and if you just focus on resonant stabilization you can get through any problem. (This last point is key!!)

11/09/2007
good
4 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
5 Easiness
Chem152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

I don't understand why ratings for Dr. Coltart are so bad. You will truly understand organic chemistry if you learn it with him (not about memorization). His tests are also quite easy and straitforward. Easy to get an A.

10/23/2007
good
4 Helpfulness
4 Clarity
2 Easiness
Chem152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Low Grade Received: N/A

I think Coltart is outstanding. People whine about his grading being unfair, but the grading is the same for everyone. Coltart wants students to understand the fundamental concepts of the material. I did poorly initially until I began to grasp the central concepts and how to apply them. Students who try to use note cards in this class are morons.

08/03/2007
poor
1 Helpfulness
1 Clarity
1 Easiness
Chem152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

Terrible professor. Only class where you can get a question almost right and still get 0/30.

05/20/2007
poor
1 Helpfulness
2 Clarity
2 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

Coltart is probably the worst professor I've had at Duke. He skipped class on a regular basis (once he skipped his own review session). His grading policy is very unfair and awards almost no partial credit on exams. Overall a very frustrating experience. Try to get Baldwin or Sebehar if you can.

05/20/2007
good
5 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
5 Easiness
CHEM152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

Remember: It's an easy class IF you take the time to study He's the sorta guy that tests not only what you learn but also how you apply the knowledge, but you get used to his style. Many complain about his personality in class, but it's only because he has to teach 300 students in a short amt of time. He's very nice and open when you approach hi

05/02/2007
poor
1 Helpfulness
3 Clarity
4 Easiness
CHEM152 Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: Essential to passing Rater Interest: It's my life Grade Received: N/A

Coltart is so full of himself. He speeds through lectures and seems to hate lecturing every morning. Tests were fairly straightfoward and easy if you read the textbook and understand his 3 basic concepts that answer all his 'harder' questions. Not very approachable and makes you feel dumb. Lectures straight from the book.

03/13/2007
good
4 Helpfulness
5 Clarity
3 Easiness
CHEM152L Taken for Credit:N/A Attendance: N/A Textbook Use: It's a must have Rater Interest: Really into it Grade Received: N/A

Coltart is the man. Teaches very well and doesn't mess around. He may come off as a little harsh to some people who can't take it, but overall he's a great professor. Highly recommended. Tip: take his old exams, since the ones he gives are typically very similar to the previous year's

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