As university students, we’re all familiar with ratemyproessors.com. It’s a website/search engine that allows you to search your school, find a professor, and get an opinion on the professor you’re curious about. The website offers up to 10 million opinions on 1 million professors at over 6,000 schools.
I first heard about ratemyprofessor when I moved to Chicago last August. I was signing up for classes and was new to Loyola. I was seeking some feedback on which professors to take for which classes. I quickly learned that ratemyprofessor was necessary (at least to the students I was interacting with) when signing up for a course. It seemed like an almost unwritten rule of the registration process. As I read various reviews, I started to see why the site held value. In a mater of a couple comments, you could become familiar with a professor’s teaching and grading methods, and even if they were good looking or not. ( If theres a tamale next to a professors name, you can assume this is a hot professor). As I familiarized myself with the site, I actually started to resent it. To me, it was so mindless to base my judgments on whether or not I should take a class based on the subjective comments I read of someone else. There really was no censor to the opinions left either. Comments I noticed more than others included: “NEVER TAKE HER” and “He’s a pushover, Easy A…”. However, there was also some productive feedback on the site that gave just a brief synopsis of the teacher’s methods, but these were noticeably more seldom.
What I got from the site is you can find how to get through school by knowing which teachers will grade easier ahead of time by reading these opinions. Is this not doing a disservice to yourself? Is it so bad that you might be challenged in college? Isn’t the reason you’re in college to learn? And if that’s not the case for you, that was the case for a number of the professors that are being publicly talked about right on the site. I find it degrading to a professor’s field and profession to sit and speak negatively about him or her online where they can see it. I’m not saying there are some instances where I felt a professor could use constructive criticism, but that’s why we have evaluations at the end of each semester. In the case that you had a rusty teacher, why do you wish to prevent them an empty classroom in their next upcoming semester? Don’t you think this could affect them more than keeping a comment to yourself would affect you?