As students prepare for winter term, many dread deciding which professors to choose for their upcoming classes. After eliminating the scheduling issue, it all comes down to “Which professor do I think will enhance my performance?” If you haven’t discovered the Holy Grail of professor selection, I think you should put your Facebook to rest and type ratemyprofessor.com into your browser.
Rate My Professor often gets a bad rep for being a website used by students with poor academic performance to rant about their professors when, in reality, it’s is much more than that. Not only do students get to rate or view ratings of previous and potential professors, but this site also gives student’s information on the top schools, scholarship opportunities and school-related blogs.
If you’ve ever visited the site, then you’re familiar with the different categories used to average the professor’s total rating. Each professor is rated for every course they teach on their helpfulness, clarity easiness and overall hotness. Students also leave comments explaining why they rated the professors the way they did. What is helpful about this site is that students who are registering for a course that may be difficult can use this site to choose a professor whose teaching style will ensure their understanding of the material and overall success in the course.
Although the rating and comments left by previous students are based on their individual experiences, oftentimes, a correlation between a course’s true nature and ratings can be seen. Hence, if the majority of the ratings for a particular course are similar in response, then we have to believe that there is some truth to those ratings. It’s not a coincidence that a professor consistently has low ratings from multiple students.
I know it probably seems silly to put all of your faith for your course selection in a website, but you put everything else onto the web, so why not some faith? Plus, if you’re anything like me, you know the importance of a good professor. A good professor, who is unfortunately hard to find, is someone who can make just about anything fun and understandable.
Many times, in higher level courses, students find it hard to maintain a high average because they are not able to effectively self-teach. We know the higher you climb the ladder of education, the less involved you can expect your professor to be. However, students should still be able to rely on their professors for guidance. Rate My Professor is one more reassurance that students will not have to completely self-teach themselves material that they are paying to learn because this site helps students choose the professor they think will be most compatible with their individual learning style.
If saving you from doomsday, professor edition, was not enough, this site has a lot of helpful information for both current and upcoming college attendees. Through this website, students can view upcoming scholarships, apply and sign up to receive alerts via text message. Students can also read about various universities and find out what the highest-rated schools are and why. This could be helpful for a student who is currently deciding on where to attend or considering transferring. For entertainment purposes, Rate My Professor has a section called RMP BUZZ that talks about things students can relate to, such as summer courses and anticipating graduation.
Professors are known for giving constructive criticism, and I’d like to think that Rate My Professor is just that. This site can help a professor improve their teaching techniques because comments are anonymous, so students are more likely to be honest. The security of being anonymous gives these comments a little more validity. So when a professor talks negatively about a site that is so beneficial to student success, it screams, “I have a low rating, and I am upset about it.” Cry me a river. The comments are not just for students to read; professors should make it their business to read the comments. If multiple people are in agreement, whether it is a positive or negative comment, professors should take note.
If all else fails, Rate My Professor is a great site because it’s better to be safe than sorry, any day. Plus, when it comes to choosing between a professor with a red hot chili pepper rating and one that’s lukewarm, I’d like it red hot, please.