Finding Out What a Professor is Like: How Ratemyprofessors.com Details an Instructors Pros and Cons

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Every university student has walked into a new class with a new professor not quite knowing what to expect from both the class and/or the professor. With today’s web community and integrated information it is becoming routine to find out if Professor A is better than Professor B for a certain class.

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An example of rating professor – image by slideshare.net

Websites like Ratemyprofessors.com have pioneered the niche of unofficial professor evaluations.

How Ratemyprofessors.com Works

When a student has determined what classes they are taking during a term their professors are usually determined as well. Any student knows that different professors teach in different ways, for example, some allow for extensions on assignments, some do not.

To determine where a particular professor lies along those lines, any student can log on to ratemyprofessor.com, type in the professor’s name or go through a list of schools, and find the professor desired.

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How this website works – image by buzzfeednews.com

The website is easy to navigate, but the main page is inundated with advertisements. This must be overlooked considering the entire site is free to use. When the professor in question is found the student will find that each professor is ranked on:

  • Easiness
  • Helpfulness
  • Clarity
  • and, Rater Interest

Each category is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best. These four scores are averaged out and a cartoon smiley face is then applied to visually show the professor’s rank.

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There is hotness rating – image by sparknotes.com

There is also a Hotness rating that is hard to make into a quantitative number as an obvious bias usually exists in some way. Most professors are not even ranked under this heading anyways.

One major addition is that professors are also ranked by which class they teach. Anyone who submits a ranking has to say what class their evaluation was determined from. The date of the evaluation is a helpful feature as professors change over time and so can the quality of a class and university.

Things to Consider When Using Ratemyprofessors.com

With any free community website, abuses and false information exist. Ratemyprofessors.com is no exception to this. Similar to tripadvisor.com, a user must weed through the angry students who might have had a grudge against the professor in question.

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Angry students might have had a grudge against the professor – image by uniavisen.dk

All websites like this one has a solid amount of bias behind their ratings. However, if a professor has many submissions under their name some consistency can be established.

Keeping an open mind is also very important. Often a professor will be ranked as tough, but fair. A student should search for these types of professors. An easy and unpredictable professor might seem nice, but being unpredictable can quickly overshadow a professor’s lenient predisposition.

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Keeping an open mind when going through the website – image by thecollegianur.com

Most of all, any user of this service needs to remember that higher education is suppose to be hard. If a professor is rated as being a hard marker that should be a warning of what to expect, not a reason to avoid the course. Ratemyprofessors.com is a tool for students to be prepared on day one of class, not a forum to bash an unpopular professor or complain about a poor mark. If a user understands this, ratemyprofessors.com is a free and helpful tool.

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RMP is a helpful tool – image by gmufourthestate.com

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