Volume 47, Number 7 - November 16, 2009

About the Reporter

Laurie Charles
Laurie Charles
Staff Writer

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Ratemyprofessor.com: teacher's nightmare or gift?

By Laurie Charles

Ratemyprofessors.com can be an instructor’s worst nightmare or a precious gift.

The site gives students the power to anonymously evaluate their professors based on their classroom performance without fear of retribution.

Students can leave comments and score their professors on a scale of one to five based on criteria such as easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and textbook use.

They also have the option to include the textbook that was used for the class and the grade that was received, an attendance rating (whether or not it is mandatory) and the professor’s status (if he/she is still teaching or retired).

A fun extra on the site is that students can rate their professor’s appearance as hot or not.

Because students have the liberty to say anything- whether it’s true or not- questions arise about the credibility of the site. Reading through the ratings, most professors, despite their rank, have a combination of negative and positive comments.

North Campus English professor, Lisa Shaw  happens to have a lot of negative ratings on the site. Students have posted comments warning about her personality, grading policy, and teaching methods.

One post read, “The subject matter was enjoyable; her attitude left much to be desired.”

Shaw believes that many students abuse the site and use it to release anger.

“Ratemyprofessors.com is a dangerous site,” Shaw said.

“Students use it to vent out their frustration and grudges held against professors and base their comments on how they were graded and on the professor’s personality, not on the content that was learned.”

On the flip side, North Campus sociology professor, Dr. David Demko, has nothing but positive ratings. Demko said that he believes Ratemyprofessors.com is a great site where students can share their experience.

“Ratemyprofessors.com is like a consumer report,” Demko said. “Students get opinions from other students who have experienced different classes.”

Students also have mixed feelings about the site’s credibility.

Cindy Pulido, 20, an elementary education major, believes that ratemyprofessors.com is an accurate site.

“After picking classes my first semester, I had a bad experience with one of my professors,” Pulido said. “I then read the ratings for that professor and saw that they were pretty bad reviews; my experience reflected those reviews.”

But Christian Castellanos, 18, an accounting major, said that although he trusts some of the ratings, he considers the site to be deceptive at times.

“The information can be misleading,” Castellanos said.

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