Examining RateMyProfessors.com

  • “very hard , moves way to fast. picks favorites. extremely unreasonable tests”
  • “*$*# is by far the worst professor I have ever had. Her exams are impossible even if you study.”
  • ” If you really want to learn finance, there is no better professor at the school than *$*#”

Where can a student find conflicting reports about one professor like these but RateMyProfessors.com, a student driven website that grades the Easiness, Helpfulness, Clarity, and Overall Quality of nearly every professor at many Universities around the country. This is a website that students can post freely on after or during a semester, which is where some problems come into play.

“How would you like a job where everybody you work with is allowed to rate your performance from 1 to 5, add a pungent comment about your strengths or weaknesses, and post it all on a public bulletin board. I mean everybody, not just your boss and co-workers, but the people who report to you. Postings are not required. The people who take time to write them tend to be those with strong feelings about you. They identify you by name, but are themselves anonymous”. These are all strong posts made by Kenneth Westhues of TheRecord.com, an online news publication. Students are able to say whatever they want without reprecussions. There is also a “Hotness” function where students can even grade a teachers looks.

The results are often very offensive. But, if you can look past that, there is certainly helpful information for students when they are in the process of signing up for classes. Sometimes you can gain useful information about the class content, such as a post saying that the professor only read off of the slides, or he/she has an interactive and exciting class every day. This information can steer a student to sign up (or not sign up) for a specific instructor. While it is an imperfect science, and it is foolish to rely on it exclusively, RateMyProfessor.com has proved to be a useful tool in some situations throughout college. If the content were managed a little better, they would be able to advertise at universities to drive traffic even higher and compile a more comprehensive list of reviews of each and every professor.

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