When college students register for courses they often have more than one professor choice.  To make the optimal choice students require relevant information about the professors and their courses.  Like almost everything today, the solution to this dilemma is on the internet.  Specifically, it is at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com.  Click HERE for the site.

When I was in college eons ago, we informally sampled our friends and asked them questions like:  “Is the course easy or hard?”  “Is the professor boring or interesting?”  “What are the course requirements?”

If you go to ratemyprofessors.com you can search by school and by professor name.  There you will find student comments about professors, rating them on a 5 point scale for “overall quality”, “helpfulness”, “clarity” and “easiness”.  Students post these ratings on their own; there is no requirement for them to post, and they can say anything they want anonymously.  This results in some “stinging” results for many professors; many of whom don’t like the website.  In case you want to look at my ratings you can find them HERE.

Like any review on the internet, it pays to look over 10 to 20 student comments to get the “range” of viewpoints.  There are always one or two students that worship the ground you walk on.  Likewise, there are always a few who rip you unmercifully.  Throwing out both extremes you will find a really true reflection of that professor.  There are many professors that have only 5 or 6 reviews; a sample size that makes their rankings statistically insignificant, but even in these cases the rater comments can be very helpful.

I like to take the “overall quality” ranking and divide it by the “easiness” ranking.  I do this because some professors appear to receive high evaluation scores by making their courses easy.  In my case, the “overall quality”/”easiness” ratio is 4.1/2.3 = 1.78   In my opinion if this Q/E ratio is greater than 1.5 it is a good sign that the professor is not “buying” votes from students by offering an easy course.

Professors with bad scores will claim that students aren’t qualified to assess a course or a professor.   Or, they argue that just the dissatisfied students “vent” their opinions on ratemyprofessors.com.  One thing is certain; incompetent educators will always find excuses to keep their jobs.  In my opinion ratemyprofessor.com is the closest thing to a “free market” evaluation of professors that we have in the United States today.  I like the site.

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