Rating “Rate my Professors”

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(Photo courtesy of RATE MY PROFESSORS)

While many students turn to the website Rate my Professors when planning out their quarter schedules, it is important to keep in mind the unreliability of the website.

Extremist reviews

Often reviews are extremist and come from students who either loved the class or hated it. Reading these skewed reviews is in no way conducting objective research. The subjectivity of reviews must be read between the lines as the descriptor of “hard grader” could come from a student who consistently turned in assignments late and failed to buy the course book.

Misleading scores

The overall quality score given at the top of every professors’ rating page is highly misleading. The score pulls from all ratings of a professor and doesn’t take the specific class into account. Professors teach classes at various levels, and failing to sort scores by class level is problematic.

The average grade also fails to reveal accurate information as students have the choice to omit this section when filling out a review.

Lastly, beyond the ridiculousness of the chili pepper “hotness” rating, the score does not even have a numerical value.

Alternatives to “Rate my Professors”

As an alternative to using the flawed system that Rate my Professors provides, simply doing a quick Google search on a potential professor can lead you to their previous work in academia. This can give you an idea of their course subjects, their experience in the field and perhaps their teaching methods.

For professors in the art fields, researching their previous work outside of the classroom can reveal their art esthetic and style. You can also look at awards they have received or any other credentials they might have.

For professors within the College of Computing and Digital Media, checking out their Vimeo profile or their IMBD profile could be useful for learning about their film experience.

If you are really curious about a professor’s teaching style and class subject, reach out to them to schedule a meeting. This can help you gain a better grasp on class requirements.