Tuesday, January 06, 2004


RateMyProfessors.com Have you seen this site? Students can "grade" their professors on several scales including looks, course ease, helpfulness, and clarity. It is really popular and there are tons of ratings on the site. This endeavor has also gotten a lot of press in the last several years.

While this may prove useful to some, the ratings are fraught with peril. Generally, only students who are unhappy with a professor will take the time to submit a rating. (Any one who teaches will always get a few of these...) Further, many students confuse how easy a class is and how well they do in it with quality. They don't care if they learned anything. There criteria for a good professor is 1. did I have to work hard and 2. did I get an A.

I think this site could be beneficial to professors. If you are teaching, go ahead and grade yourself. HARD. Write that the course is a lot of work and that you only got a B-. Do this a dozen times with different writing styles. Also, do it at different times from different computers so it is harder for the RateMyProfessors people to figure out the same person is doing the rating. If you are lucky, the lazy students looking for an easy course will see your fake ratings and avoid your course! That will make life easier for you. Good luck.