Most students have either heard of the popular website RateMyProfessors.com or use it, but what do the professors think about it?
On the website, one may find the following statement, “RateMyProfessors.com is built for college students, by college students. Choosing the best courses and professors is a rite of passage for every student.”
Students go to RateMyProfessors to get input from a professor’s previous students. RateMyProfessors is the largest professor ranking website with over 13 million comments listed in the database. On average, 4 million students use RateMyProfessors each month.
When UVU students where asked how they viewed RateMyProfessors, they responded positively.
“I don’t use it as much as some do because I take night classes,” said Heather Williams, Nursing student. “Anytime I do get a professor off of RateMyProfessors.com and they are highly recommended, it’s been one of the better professors that I have had.”
Biology student Hyrum Perkins also expressed his support of the website.
“I use RateMyProfessors every single semester,” said Perkins. “At the end of the semester if you don’t like a professor, or if you do, then let people know about it.”
While students offered support to the program, professors held a very different opinion. John McFarlane, advisor and adjunct professor,said he was aware of the website but never visited it, even though his score on RateMyProfessors was a “hot” rating of 4.8 out of 5.
“I look at the course evaluations that I get from my students, and that is where I get the feedback I need to be better,” McFarlane said. “I have never felt a need to go to RateMyProfessors because it’s a private website not affiliated with the school.”
David Scott, former Chair of the Communications Department, was more opposed to the influence RateMyProfessor brings. Scott’s ratings were not as high as McFarlane’s.
“Teachers with tenure here have proved with their record that they know what they are doing, and to weigh that against a voluntary survey that has no reliability whatsoever is a little bit foolish,” Scott said. “If I compare RateMyProfessor to my student evaluations at UVU, the numbers aren’t even close.”