Saturday, September 30, 2023

Judge my professors or hate my professors?

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

It is generally accepted that a great professor can turn a generally boring or difficult class into one that is fun and easy. Likewise, a terrible professor will either make you fall asleep, cry in fear as the test grades are passed, or drop the class altogether. To find the best professors, we’ll talk to friends, classmates, and almost always turn to Rate My Professors to get as much information as possible.

While this website has helped me make better decisions about which classes to enroll in, I’ve found that Rate My Professors seriously misjudges many wonderful, passionate, and caring professors. It’s true that nightmares exist, but a bad professor gets fired from college if he or she gains a reputation. There’s a reason student evaluations exist; the university ultimately wants students to get good grades, actually learn and graduate. There are quite a few classes where I have made a 10 with professors who score very low. One was during the summer and I loved the class – the professor had a rating of 2.7.

When I look at assessments, I often don’t see the grade the anonymous student got, sometimes not even the course they took. What I see is a disgruntled person who probably hasn’t done the work it takes to do well in a class. They usually omit details such as how the teacher grades, how tests are formatted, and even how he or she teaches. Another point is that the assessments are anonymous and the student doesn’t even have to attend the class to submit an assessment. What it comes down to is quality. When I look at reviews of a washing machine, I want to know if the appliance is good, but not for someone to say, “This is a good washing machine!” I want to know the details such as cycle time, cost and how clean the clothes get. I only trust a source who has bought and used the device for a while. Rate My Professors does none of these things – it’s not Consumer Reports.

Rate My Professors has a place and for some purposes it can be very useful. There are occasional good reviews and one can tell if the teacher has a heavy accent, is on time or attendance is important. I will continue to use this website, but the best way to research a professor is to talk to a good student who actually had the professor.

Remember that professor with a 2.7 rating? I emailed him to find out what class he’s teaching next semester. I am registered.

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