‘Rate My Professor’ Identifies the Easy Ones

Eric Konarki

Choosing the “right” teacher is important to students. Up until the new website RateMyProfessor.com debuted, students turned to their peers for information on a teacher or class they were interested in taking.

RateMyProfessor.com, which has been online since 1999, is the Internet’s largest listing of college professors, with more than 6.8 million student-generated ratings of more than over 1 million professor. Inquiring students can find information on professors in schools from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Wales.

Each year, millions of college students use the site to help plan their class schedules and rate current and past professors on attributessuch as helpfulness and clarity.

“This is the sickest [best] website. I found the easiest teachers ever,” said an anonymous GCC business major, 19.

The site informs students about the risks of taking a certain teacher’s class. By just simply typing “Glendale Community College” in the search engine and choosing California, information about the school and professors who teach here become available.

“Over 6,000 schools, 1 million professors, 6 million opinions,” states the website.

The Web site validates and justifies doubts by listing GCC’s website, location, and total number of professors, 949.

Professors are listed alphabetically, a technique that makes it easy for students to browse the Web site. When clicking the teacher’s name, a “Scorecard” appears with the following information: The number of ratings, average easiness, average helpfulness, average clarity, hotness total (sometimes a picture is available), and overall quality. The is also an option to tell a friend.

To rate a professor, you choose either a yellow smiley face that says “good quality”; a green smiley face with a neutral smile that says “average quality”; a blue smiley face with a frown that says “poor quality”; or a red chili that indicates “hot”.

The Web site states that “thousands of new ratings are added each day.”

The dates of the comments are shown, as well as the name of the course and the comments left by former students. Depending on the popularity of the teacher, the amount of commentary varies.

“[The Web site] was mostly true, but over-exaggerated, but overall it helped me pick the professor that fit my needs,” said Narek Melik-Kasumyan, 17. business major.

There is also a link titled “Professors add your rebuttal here.” It gives faculty the opportunity to respond to comments (those left by former students are anonymous) directed at them.

This site was formed to help clarify questions about professors, but has turned into a resource that students use to find an easy teacher who doesn’t give too much homework or too many tests.