Ratemyprofessor.com: A College Student’s Best Friend
posted by LIM College
At the end of each semester, students are faced with the difficult task of choosing their classes for the next stretch. This does not only involve deciding what course to take, but what time to take it, which day, which building, and most importantly, which professor. Some might argue that the professor doesn’t matter, but they have never felt the wrath of an unpleasant professor. Being a “professional college student” (I’ve somehow managed to attend 4 colleges in 4 years), I can tell you that the professor you chose can change everything: not just the grade, but how much you learn, what you remember, and even your overall mood throughout the semester. We’ve all had teachers that we wish we never encountered. They are the unfair graders, the unclear, and the just plain mean. On the other hand, I know we’ve all had a professor that we will never forget because of how inspiring they were and what they taught us (and of course, being reasonable about the demands of the class doesn’t hurt). I bet you’re thinking of one right now.
So what is a college student to do to make sure that they get the best of the best? Luckily, there is a handy little tool known as “ratemyprofessor.com” that I use simultaneously with the course catalogue when registering for classes. I’m sure most of you have heard of it, but if not, definitely check it out. Here, the tables are turned: students get to grade the teachers, rating them on factors such as easiness, helpfulness, and even hotness (hey, everyone likes someone nice to look at!). Students can write comments, which are also useful when comparing possible professors. Would you rather take a class with someone described as “Horrible professor and complete waste of time!” or “Understanding and incredibly knowledgeable” (actual comments from site). Just keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion, and comments may or may not be accurate. A negative comment could always be the work of a disgruntled student seeking revenge for a bad grade. No professor is impossible to work with, but if you have some wiggle room in your schedule, why not know your options?
However, there is one tiny problem with this handy site revealing the good, the bad and the not-so-hot. The LIM database of teachers is substantially smaller than that of most colleges. It is hard to even find some professors listed, not to mention comments and ratings. The fix is simple, but will take a little work on our part. LIM students, if you want others to know your opinion about professors, please rate them. We’d all like to know whom we are signing a semester of our lives away to beforehand. Just think of rating the same way as the evaluations we do at the end of the semester, except that we get to read what everyone else writes!
-- Lauren Howard
Delphic Times, “Professors Share Thoughts about RateMyProfessor.com” Allison Quick
The New York Times, “Everybody’s a Critic,” Campbell Robertson
The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Dear Professor, I Hate You,” Thomas Bartlett
The Chronicle of Higher Education, “They Love Me, They Love Me Not.” Thomas A. Moriarity