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RateMyProfessors.com gives students a way to grade professors

RateMyProfessors.com gives students a way to grade professors

With Halloween just passing, themes of horror and fear have been all around us. As a college student, few things are scarier than picking what you think is the perfect schedule, only to arrive in class and realize that one of your professors is actually your biggest nightmare.

In this day of technology, students can easily utilize social media and the Internet to find out more about professors and see what other students think about them and their courses. RateMyProfessors.com is widely known and used by thousands of college students nationally.

On Rate My Professors, students can find their school and search through professors by name, college (Arts and Sciences, Business, etc.) or course. It allows students who have taken a course with a professor to share their experience and let other students know what they’re in for. Along with being able to leave their comments, students can also rate each professor in categories such as clarity, helpfulness, easiness and hotness.

Many users swear by the site and everything it represents.

For many students, Rate My Professors is a way of life. Sophomore Kailah Ledgister said she only picks professors with good ratings and comments. Other students such as Maiya Madden, Tyrone Coverson and Shaun Elie also refer to Rate My Professors.

“I look at it for every subject prior to registering,” said Coverson.

Elie said there was even a time when he changed his entire schedule because the professors he selected didn’t have “high enough” ratings.

Despite the high reliance on Rate My Professors, none of the mentioned users have ever left a comment or rated their professors. This demonstrates that the site doesn’t tell the full story of a professor. Not everyone’s opinion is shown, and that can make a professor seem more negative or even more positive than what they are in actuality. Despite this flaw, students seem to still rely heavily on the site.

Journalism professor Jeffrey Riley says he understands the popularity of the site because it’s a place for students to state their opinion and share their views on a professor. He looks himself up to see what students have to say about his teaching methods.

“I take it with a grain of salt, and same way that I think students who use it for selecting classes or professors or sections ought to take it with a grain of salt,” Riley said.

But, do those comments put up a real mirror to what each class and professor is like?

Riley adds that as he reads his ratings, he keeps in mind that comments show the reality that is true to individuals and each student may have a different perception.

“Reality is a weird thing, so to the student who’s typing up the review, that maybe his/her absolute reality,” Riley said. “I’m teaching one class, and every student is going to receive it slightly differently. It absolutely is reality, but it’s the understanding that it’s the reality to the individual.”

Riley said that despite the variety of perceptions, he goes out of his way to encourage students to use Rate My Professors.

Professors receive feedback from students through the assessment students fill out at the end of each semester, which is more of a scientific approach as it was developed by the Education College. Riley finds those assessments really important because they establish what is working in class and what isn’t.

Those assessments are controlled by professionals and are more formal documents, while Rate My Professors is developed specifically for students to use.

“Any time students have the ability to take back some power and to voice their opinions, to have themselves heard in an environment, then absolutely, yeah, go, use Rate My Professors,” Riley said. “Embrace the opportunity and power social media gives you to have your voice heard by other people.”

Since registration for spring courses has started for upperclassmen, activity on the site is expected to be at all-time high. The question is: Will you use Rate My Professors?

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