Teacher gives ‘Rate my Professors’ poor grade

Shantel Wright
Mesa Legend

rate my professor logoChoosing classes is a hard task, but finding the right professor to meet individual learning styles can be challenging,  Rate My Professor.com  allows students to read written reviews from previous students. Rate My Professor is an anonymous website that allows students to rate their professors based on the level of difficulty of the course, the amount of homework, and all around experience of learning for the duration of the course.  Along with lecturing ability and amount of homework, students can also rate instructors on physical attractiveness. This is denoted by a chilli pepper next to the professor’s name.  Although it may affect some students decision to take the course, the presence of a pepper doesn’t affect their rating.  Other students as well as instructors can view the posted reviews. The reviews given by students also include comments and remarks describing their experiences and encounters with the instructor.

The website consists of reviews of professors all over the country.  Many students find the website helpful when deciding on what courses to enroll in.  However, some professors may find the website rather insulting, while others do not take offense to the negative feedback given.  Kimberly Johnson, a math instructor at Mesa Community College, believes Rate My Professor may not be the best source for students when deciding which courses to take for the upcoming semester. “I haven’t checked my profile in four or five years,” says Johnson, when asked if she had seen her review lately.  Johnson admits that the tool may give insight on some instructors, but offered a suggestion for the best way to find out what an instructor is really like.

“You should ask if you can sit in on one their lectures to get a feel of the instructors teaching style.”  When asked what she thought the website makes instructors feel, she answered, “I have mixed emotions.” She explained that she does not allow the comments to have an impact on her class or her teaching.  “Based on the comments, I can often- times guess who the student is,” she added. Instructors like Johnson who have been teaching for years may use the comments made by critics to their advantage and continue to grow stronger in their teaching. Some reviews given on the website may not be intended to blame or pass judgement, but the difficult side of it is distinguishing between the negative comments and the helpful reviews.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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