Maybe you’ve been here — you’re signing up for a semester of classes and you don’t recognize any of the professor names paired with your courses. Like any modern student, you Google the professors and find their Rate My Professor page. Now what?
What Is Rate My Professor?
Launched in 1999, Rate My Professor is a website where students can rate their professor anonymously on a one-star to five-star system. The site also allows students to leave detailed reviews about the professor.
Professors can’t rate themselves or respond directly to ratings and reviews left by students. This provides an unbiased perspective for future students to get an idea of what a class and professor will be like. Of course, this level of anonymity also comes with some disadvantages, which we’ll discuss later.
Students use Rate My Professor to rate their professors on several factors, including teaching ability, helpfulness, clarity and easiness. These ratings and reviews can be helpful for other students looking for information about a particular professor.
Steps to Leave a Rating on Rate My Professor
If you’d like to rate a professor you’ve had, follow these steps:
- Create an account by going to the Rate My Professor website and clicking the “sign up” button.
- Once you have created an account, you will be able to rate your professors and leave comments about them.
- To rate your professor, you will need to find their name on the website by searching for their name or school.
- Once you have found your professor, assign them a star rating for the following areas — their teaching ability, how helpful they are, the clarity of their lectures and assignments and the overall easiness of taking a course with them.
- You can also leave a comment about your professor. This is optional but can be helpful for other students.
Most ratings are affected by how a person feels at the time they leave the review. Ranking an instructor poorly due to personal struggles could skew others ideas’ of what to expect. Carefully consider the review you leave and what it communicates to future students. A clear, unbiased look at your overall experience with the professor will be the most helpful format for future students seeking information.
Pros and Cons of Rate My Professor
There are both benefits and disadvantages of using Rate My Professor.
On the positive side, the website can be a useful tool for helping students choose classes and professors. For example, students who excel in classrooms with engaging hands-on activities and visual learning aids can avoid professors with reviews indicating a slower, more lecture-based experience.
It can also be a great way for professors to receive unfiltered feedback and note any patterns that could signal the need to adjust or refine their current teaching methods.
By reading former students’ reviews and ratings, professors can get an idea of what they are doing well and what they need to improve.
Some people believe the website is not always accurate and can be used to rate professors unfairly. For example, students upset about a low-scoring assignment could project those feelings onto the professor, leading to biased feedback.
Another disadvantage of the website is it does not always provide a complete picture of professors or classes. A professor may receive a poor rating because a student did not like their teaching style. On the other hand, students might praise the professor for the same approach.
Guide Your Semester With a Grain of Salt
If you are considering using Rate My Professor, it is important to remember that the website is not perfect. However, it can be a helpful resource for finding information about professors and deciding if a specific class is a right fit for you.
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