Rate My Professors Proves to Revolutionize Enrollment

A. Heimer , Staff Writer

Students can grade their instructors from 1 to 5, leave a difficulty rating and reviews at the popular website ratemyprofessors.com. This gives students tremendous potential insight into what they might be getting involved in with a professor before they sign up for a class.

Rate My Professors is also useful when deciding which school to attend or which University to transfer to as most colleges and universities in the U.S. are rated and reviewed as institutions. Some students use Rate My Professors to game the system by spreading  their studies across various colleges, getting the best-rated professor for the classes they need.

Teachers have wide latitude in designing their teaching plans and two that teach the same course might have two drastically different approaches. Students can save themselves a lot of grief by doing a bit of due diligence first.

While it is crucial to take each individual review with a grain of salt, Rate My Professors can usually give a student an idea of teacher’s technique, from the highest-rated faculty all-stars to the lowest, who are, according to the most common student complaints, usually teachers that needlessly overload their students, harangue them with extraneous opinions or make emotional decisions which could impact a student’s future. Professors generally receive ratings and reviews which reflect their teaching style.

The reaction to rate my professor from GCC teachers varies.  “As a student I liked it”, one teacher told El Vaquero, “but as a teacher, I think it’s one-sided and some students say things that are inaccurate or not true, and you can’t contest it.”

Another professor said she didn’t look at her ratings and pointed out that the reviews are biased opinions; statistically they weren’t fair because not everyone leaves a review, only those who feel compelled for some reason to do so.

“The danger of Rate My Professors is that it can become a platform for bullying the instructor”, a teacher who had experienced online stalking and abuse told El Vaquero, pointing out that “even non-students can use it to attack you.”

Rate My Professors removed its chili-pepper system for rating “hotness” of teachers in 2018, according to USA Today, “after facing criticism on social media that the rating was used to objectify professors, particularly women” and blowback to the site’s April Fool’s name change to “Date My Professor.”

Anyone can post a review on the website but most appear to be written by former students and though some detail obvious grudges in the comments, or perhaps found a subject too difficult and blamed the teacher, many students concur that overall the scores are generally accurate if one takes the time to sift through the reviews to get an idea of a teacher’s approach. The law of large numbers helps even out the freakier comments.

Using ratemyprofessors.com, the GCC faculty directory and a TI 83, El Vaquero crunched some numbers:

With a maximum score of 5, GCC as a school has a rating of 3.6.

GCC has an average teacher rating of 3.92, with some consistent 5 scorers.

Out of 15 division chairs, six were not rated and the average of the nine who were is 4.04.            

Of 174 teachers in the faculty catalog, 59 were not rated and of those who were, 76 were non-tenured Instructors while 39 were Professors or Associate Professors.                                                                                                                  

Non-tenured instructors had an average rating of 4.101 compared to Professors with an average rating of 3.864.

On a scale of 1 to 5, the differences are proportionately more significant.

A deeper dive into the stats by division might reveal some other interesting facts, but it seems clear that good teachers get good ratings and though some have scores that fall far under the mean, receiving what would be a fail in most classes, there are a lot of top-scoring teachers at GCC.

Rate My Professors is a useful tool for planning a scholastic career if the ratings and reviews are considered judiciously. When a student planning his future prepares to commit to hundreds of hours to classes and coursework with a teacher, it’s important for them to know if they are getting involved with a good teacher or one with a dubious track record. And just like students that get a bad grade and must work harder, perhaps the lower-scoring faculty might consider re-assessing their methodology.