A website dedicated to rating college professors can be a valuable tool when preparing for a student’s upcoming semester.
At ratemyprofessors.com, students can find a teacher that fits their needs, read the opinions of former students, see how easy or difficult the course was, and even check to see how attractive the instructor might be.
Pretty cool right?
But the question that needs to be asked is: How reliable is Rate My Professors?
Are students honest in their assessments? What grade did they receive? Maybe one student’s opinion of a professor is completely opposite from another.
Many different issues can be made with these ratings and one could wonder if there’s any bias or dishonesty involved. However, before we dive into how we feel about Rate My Professors, let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of this website.
According to it’s webpage, Rate My Professors is the largest online destination for professor reviews. It has more than 15 million ratings of over 1.4 million professors at over 7,000 schools.
The rules of the site are simple: leave accurate course codes for your ratings, discuss the professor’s teaching style, their ability to explain course material clearly, and no name-calling or claims that the teacher shows bias or favoritism. Otherwise, it’s fair game on what you can say about your professors.
Now how much can you trust Rate My Professors and it’s ratings?
“Rate My Professors never disappoints,” said business major, Jorge Orozco. “Word of mouth is the best way to get opinions on professors. Who better than students who’ve witnessed it for themselves? I have never had a teacher whose rating wasn’t completely accurate.”
To some, these reviews can be spot-on every time and completely true. Students may not mean ill-will against the professors or the course, either, and everything may have been roses throughout that semester.
But Orozco claims that everything students need to know from what they should study for exams to how to “win over a professor” would be found on this website.
While some students have complete faith in the website, others have shown a less enthusiastic view of it.
Political science major Kenny Taylor believes it can be a useful tool, but shouldn’t be considered the “end-all-be-all” of choosing your schedule. This speaks truth, especially when every student may have a different experience due to personality types, studying habits and other personal factors.
“You can use Rate My Professors to get a general idea, but I wouldn’t base your whole opinion on that,” Taylor said. “People that take the time to post a negative review probably didn’t do too well in the class and it could be their fault, not the professor’s.”
Maybe a student didn’t agree with the way the professor ran the course or didn’t do all the studying and homework that needed to be done. A bad grade in the course could lead to a bad attitude on the website.
Of course, every story has two sides to it and opinions tend to differ. So what should be made of Rate My Professors? It’s your call. If you think that you can trust one person’s experience in a course then go for it, but if you’re the type of person who likes to form their own opinion’s then take that route.
Moral of the story: whether you want to believe somebody’s rating according to a website or not, you’re still probably going to need to take that class.