Rate My Professors is a website where students can find and post professor ratings and read comments from both current and former students about their professors. According to ratemyprofessors.com, it is “the internet’s largest destination for professor ratings with more than 6,500 schools and over 10,000 entirely student-generated comments and ratings.” Students today are not only choosing classes based on prior requirements and what time the class may or may not be available, but they are also referring to this website to see what the professor is ranked and how much students like or dislike the class.
You start off by finding a professor or finding a school. After your narrow down your search and find what you are looking for, you rate the professor on a scale ranging from 1-5, including easiness, helpfulness, clarity, interest level prior to attending class, textbook use, if attendance is mandatory or not, and you may leave a comment.
The question is: “How effective is this website?” Students may read a comment or come across a rating that was low and decide to not take the class. For example, Kate Skoblicki, a sophomore public relations major, said, “I know a lot of people who used this website before picking a class. After they saw a bad review, they didn’t want to take the class anymore. I feel Ratemyprofessors.com is mostly accurate, and I definitely feel it can help students decide if they want to stay in a class.” Love Ahuja, a political science graduate student, said, “The students who would use this website are the people who had a really good experience or a really bad experience. People should realize this is not always fair because professors need to share their side[s] of the story, too.”
Media Arts professor Carolyn Levin commented on the legal status of RateMyProfessor.com. She said, “Anonymous speech is certainly protected by the First Amendment. Students have the right to praise or criticize their professors anonymously, in this fashion.” However, she feels that students with caution should use sites such as this. There is a real question about the credibility and accountability for reports about professors that are posted anonymously.
It is clear that technology has become so, especially in circumstances like this. Students must realize that although this website is helpful in allowing a student to figure out what professor was rated as great by certain students and which ones students have said to avoid, the comments and ratings are all based on opinion. All in all, students can agree that just because one student enjoyed the class doesn’t always necessarily mean the other person will as well. Clearly, there are two sides to everything in every situation.