Face Off: Ranking offers useful resource

headshot2_WEBSometimes, it may be hard for students to decide what classes or professors to take. Luckily, there’s a great resource provided to them. RateMyProfessors.com is a website that was created so college students enrolled in particular classes could publicly share the experiences they had in a college classroom. Students’ identities remain anonymous, although they are required to create an account that proves they are, in fact, students.

Additionally, the website does a good job in protecting students’ personal identities, while giving the opportunity to grant professors star ratings, choose three school-related tags that best describe the professor, share their experiences and enter the grades they received. It truly goes above and beyond to make sure the person rating the professor enters the exact course code that the course held, and if the course code proves to be inaccurate, a student’s rating may be removed. It also specifically states not to discuss if the professor is biased or shows favoritism toward or against a student.

Professors are human beings along with college students, so it is fair to admit that not every comment on RateMyProfessors.com will positively or accurately reflect each and every professor. However, it gives students the chance to voice their experiences. As a college sophomore, I know firsthand that it is helpful to hear from other students. I could be in their shoes when I am taking the course. On college campuses throughout the nation, this website is in fact the first resource students utilize when registering for courses, because it tells real people’s real experiences. College students want to listen to people who are in the same boat as they are, which is why we enjoy reading each others’ experiences although they may or may not be the same as our own. Comments that appear inappropriate are re-worded by the website and profanities are removed. It is just publicly documented constructive criticism.

In addition, it is extremely easy to distinguish the institutions where each professor teaches, even with common last names. After reading a review, students can discover if a professor’s teaching style and ability to convey material is a match for them.

Students all learn differently. If you can have a basic understanding of what to expect prior to registering, it feels as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Students have transcripts and progress reports that permanently leave a mark on our futures. So, it is only fair that professors receive some feedback as well.

—Mary-Lyn Buckley

Sophomore journalism major

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