Although Rate My Professor sounds like a useful tool, it can be misleading because students usually just air their frustrations, rather than using the site for its rightful purpose.
Even though it may seem like just another rating website, it is important; especially for prospective students who want to study at Northwest and don’t know about the expectations, the teachers will have.
Students, in general, don’t want to know whether a professor brings food to class or is mean. They want information on how the classes are structured and whether the class will require a lot of outside work or be an “easy A.”
Some students’ reviews focus on the professor’s appearance rather than their approach to teaching, adding unnecessary comments with no useful information. We should be providing constructive feedback that can aid other students with their future career paths.
We want to see more reviews that show class sizes, professor’s style of testing, professor’s interactions with students and whether they offer additional support outside of class. We don’t need to know if they’re hot or not.
Rate My Professor has a number of tags that can be used to describe the professor when rating them. Some of these tags are “gives good feedback,” “accessible outside of class,” “lots of homework,” and “Skip class? Won’t pass.” These tags let students know what they might expect when taking a class with a professor.
However, these tags aren’t being utilized, and oftentimes, the site lacks negative critiques for the professor in an attempt to make them look good providing no real, useful feedback for students. We want to know if the teacher is going to give us a 20-page essay, not just that they are a tyrant in the classroom.
According to Village Voice, Rate My Professor attracts an average of 3 million students per month and as many as 80 million page views when registration period commences.
Students rating professors is a great way for universities to improve their standards in certain categories.
However, this can’t be done if students are just going to be petty and shallow in their comments and ratings to push their own personal vendetta. This isn’t even limited to our professors but our campus as a whole.
Students want to make the most of their university experience, which starts with the choice of classes. The other factors also impact the review, but the main vital aspect is students feeling safe in a class environment. With random and harsh comments which can potentially damage the reputation of universities, it can majorly affect student’s judgments because they cannot tell whether the comments are truthful or not.
If we are going to critique our professors, we need to at least be constructive and not push biased agendas.