RateMyProfessors not a fair deal for educators

RateMyProfessors.com (RMP) is a review site, founded in May 1999 by John Swapceinski, a software engineer from Menlo Park, California, which allows college and university students to assign ratings to professors in several countries. The description of the blog says that RMP is “the best professor ratings source based on student feedback.” Although many found this blog quite helpful, there is a doubt it is totally fair.

In some cases, the professor appears to a student that cruel and rude as it said in the blog, and only the necessity keeps a student off from the dropping. However, after showing up for several classes, it becomes obvious that the teacher is not as bad as it says; he or she just does his job and do it quite well.

“Yes, he was very strict and required a lot, that it seemed like we are the military team, but he tried to make us professionals. The asked questions never would be rejected, but answered thoroughly. Despite all the negative reviews, I took his class and do not regret about it”, says Kristina Ilyenko about one of the instructors, whose class she took recently.

The opposite situation could be with a professor with the highest ratings. Nice and fair at the beginning, the teacher turned out to be a ”great waster of the student’s time”.  The instructor with the “excellent” sign near his name in the RMP, has one of such reviews: “Worst teacher ever. I even went to the dean about this teacher because he is literally that bad. AVOID HIM AT ALL COSTS!”

For sure, tastes differ and the reasons for unfair rating also.

“Scientifically speaking, I do not believe the site is always very useful.

In fact, I know there are professors who actually ask their students to write positive reviews and these professors even give the students the correct words to say”, said about the RMP the ESL professor, Mark Rau. He also added that it is quite easy to manipulate the site’s reviews: “There are students who are angry with their grades, so they give the professor a negative review and they do this not one time, but many times: they pretend to be different students”.

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