Saturday, November 19, 2011

RateMyProfessor.com Research Study

The Chronicle of Higher Ed published an article entitled, "Researchers RateMyProfessors, and Find It Useful, if not Chili-Pepper Hot." The research "suggests the popular service is a more useful barometer of instructor quality than you might think, at least in the aggregate. And the study, the latest of several indicating RateMyProfessors should not be dismissed, raises questions about how universities should deal with a site whose ratings have been factored into Forbes magazine's college rankings and apparently even into some universities' personnel evaluations."

Another study cited in the article, "concluded that the site's evaluations 'closely matched students' real-life concerns about the quality of instruction in the classroom. The paper added, 'While issues such as personality and appearance did enter into the postings, these were secondary motivators compared to more salient issues such as competence, knowledge, clarity, and helpfulness.'"

Professor Comments

Professors, like the one pictured at left, can get a bit squirrelly when it comes to criticism. Some cherry-picked examples from the Chronicle's article:

"The only way such anonymous online "evals" might actually earn some credibility is if we knew the grade and GPA of the student doing the posting . . . too much opportunity for payback against the prof." Huh? What only smart students will give valid evaluations? Hmmm . . . is that an oxymoron? (Use your dictionary app)!

Here's another: "The lemming response is also a strong biasing factor. A student's remarks about a professor will often be swayed by previous comments made by other students." Students are lemmings? (Use your dictionary app)! It's not a compliment.

And finally,
When discussing voluntary response samples and web polls in my stats class, I show RateMyProfessor on the projector screen, have the students pick a state, pick a school from that state, and pick a teacher from that school. I ask if anyone knows the teacher. Assuming my students are honest, I never use a teacher we know. Then I rate them as helpful, clear, hard and always hot. For the course I put in something like 'intro 101'.

The students laugh along until I click on "submit". Then a shocked silence fills the room as they realize that I really submitted the rating and it's now a permanent part of the web site.

It's a far more effective lesson on web poll validity than any lecture I could give (and it takes less time).
All I can say, I hope he never "picks" me.

The Weird Factors

Weird Factor No. 1. In this time of fiscal crisis, paid college researchers are spending our hard-earned money researching "RateMyProfessor"? Shouldn't they be researching things like, oh I don't know, which professions and what markets will be viable once students graduate?

Weird Factor No. 2. This is the FOURTH academic study of RateMyProfessor.com by an institution of higher learning. AYK? See Weird Factor No. 1.

Weird Factor No. 3. Professors? Chili-Pepper-Hot? Weird.

Weird Factor No. 4. According to The Chronicle's article (and professor comments) you would think that none of these professors ever deign to look at their rating. In the infamous words of Mel Brooks (look him up on Wikipedia), "C'mon you do it, you know you do it. Everybody does it! I just did it and I'm ready to do it again!"

Yes, I have to admit I just looked at my rating.

Do you use RateMyProfessor.com or some other website to make class choices? Do you think taxpayers should continue to fund studies like those mentioned?

55 comments:

  1. I actually do use ratemyprofessors.com its a helpful site. I have looked at professors that had good reviews and the class was actually as good as it was stated. I have also taken a class without the use of this sight, received a bad grade due to weak lesson plans, checked the site after the fact and the professor had bad reviews.

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  2. Yes, I do use ratemyprofessors.com when choosing which classes I should enroll in. To be honest, I really don't want to have a professor that lectures for the whole class period or doesn't know the material well enough to teach it. So, I look at this website and when a majority of the ratings are bad for that instructor, I will avoid enrolling in that class.

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  3. In the beginning of the fall quarter, I did use ratemyprofessors.com but I did not use it to choose my classes. I looked at this website to learn a little more about my professors and to see what kind of teaching techniques they used. Like do they teach with just power points, do they take the time to answer questions. Sometimes those type of things but I do look at their ratings to see how clear they are.

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  4. I'll admit I've heard of ratemyprofessors.com, but I've never used it. No, I'm not lying. I think it's all a bit silly, actually. I mean, there's no way to really judge a person until you've met them for yourself--professors included. Sure, you can see what other people have to say about them, but who knows? You might be one of the people who has a different view. Either that, or there could be a whole bunch of people who already have that different opinion, but just don't go on the site to state it. It all depends. I guess I'm just old-fashioned in weird ways.

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  5. I've used ratemyproffesors.com in the past, but not to look up how a professor is. My friends and I would look up teachers and laugh and athe comments people would place under their names. I think it's a helpful tool to figure out how ones professors are. Knowing how your professor will be going into the quarter is more helpful rather than figuring it out midway.

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  6. I use ratemyproffesors.com every time i'm about to start a new quarter, and though it might be funny to see some of the features of the site. It is very helpful in choosing only the best teachers. i really like how the comments about the teachers are from their past students. The students don't sugar coat anything, and tell you exactly how the teacher will be. It is always good to have a "heads up", and be ready for what you will get yourself into. In my opinion ratemyproffessors.com is a really helpful site

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  7. I LOVE ratemyprofessor. I really only accept the moderate comments as truth, comments that are like "He is a good lecturer, but he talks too fast and sometimes is too excitable" and "the class is easy if you actually study the material". Anyone who believes every comment, whether negative or positive, without a second thought should not even be in college.
    Have you ever taken an exam that you weren’t completely confident about and there are answers already on the sheet? Did you ever trust the ghost writer's answers and let them sway your decisions? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! That is the same as trusting the rates on the site without using your own brain.

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  8. ^^ That comment was by Elizabeth VanDeberg.

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  9. i had no idea there were studies done on ratemyprofessor.com. I find it a great place to get an idea of how the potential teachers will be throughout a quarter or semester. From my experience, the information posted on this website is quite relevant to how professors really are in reality. But although the chronicle's article is correct on some level with the credibility of ratemyprofessor, it does still show truth on how well the teacher connects to the students or vice versa. That is why I thought it is great that there are studies being done on a site like ratemyprofessor.com. Hopefully this will help improve teaching for professors that need that improvement. If this research is going to help improve education for teachers and students, then I do think taxpayers should continue funding studies like the one in this article.

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  10. Erica Lopez
    I admit I do use ratemyprofessor website to determine what instructors i will be choosing for the quarter. I don't fully trust all the comments on there because some students may of just had bad experiences with that instructor and they are posting things our of despite. If the majority of the post are saying the instructor is pretty good over all i most likely will take that instructor. Looking at it from an instructors point of view, I can see why maybe they don't support this particular website. Students sometimes take things too personal and may post bad comments, and it doesn't necessarily mean they are bad instructors. An instructor may also ask what particular students are giving feedback. Teachers shouldn't take comments to heart because again, not all comments students post are true. But over all I really appreciate this website and is very helpful.

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  11. I have used RateMyProfessor.com every quarter since a similar website called Revium.com was hacked. The funny thing is that my counselor and I sit before every quarter starts searching professors for my courses. This is a website that not just student rely on but the administration of the school. As mentioned in the article, even professors look themselves up, for some it may be a way to improve their teaching and for others it is just a biased website. After reading this article, I don't think I am going to just rely on a review from a student whose GPA may be lower than 2.0. As resourceful as it looks, I just realized that some students just rate the professors to get revenge in a legal way.

    I definitely think taxpayers should continue to research this so students don't rely on these types of websites. Many people use them and they should be given the real facts of how false and bias they are.

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  12. I use ratemyprofessor.com and and feel it has been really useful. The average concern, comment, suggestion offered by the students have seen to be pretty realistic. If there is one bad comment thats one thing, but if there are several comments stating the teachers short falls, then you tend to believe. Perhaps, schools should start their own rate my professor website, rather than having students bubble in circle and evaluating the professor at the end of the quarter. This would eliminate government funding to do research on it!!

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  13. In my personal opinion ratemyprofessor.com is an extremely useful tool when selecting classes. My experience with the website has been more than fulfilling. However I do take each comment with a grain of salt, because each professor responds to students differently and it would be unfair to myself to completely invest time and money into something I know nothing about. Professors should see this website as not only a site to bash them but as a guideline in how to improve their own classes.

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  14. I do use ratemyprofessor.com when I am picking my classes. It is actually really helpful, and I have found that the evaluations are pretty accurate. You can tell that when there is one totally different from all the others, they might have had a reason to dislike the teacher. I don't take every word said on the site as truth, but it helps me to get a general idea of what to expect from the teacher. I look for teachers that are clear and helpful and whose teaching styles will work for me.

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  15. Using ratemyprofessor.com definitely helps me pick out my classes. I usually see what classes are open first, then I check out the teacher, if they aren't a 4 or 5 rating overall, I'll try to avoid it. The comments about the teacher aren't always true. But the actual ratings, they always match my expectations. The teachers that get low ratings, usually are the boring classes from my past experiences. I mean it's actually helping me or else I wouldn't have been using it the four semesters I've been at DVC.

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  16. When it comes to choosing my classes for each semester I always look at the ratings for my professors because it helps me understand what kind of the teacher I will have and most importantly, how the class will be structured. I definitely think that site such as, ratemyprofessor.com, are quite helpful because it can give you a chance to see how that class will be like. Now you should always remember that sites like these are very bias and you don’t know what kind of students are writing the reviews. That is why you should take every review with a grain of salt, meaning that don’t base your decision on exactly what the reviews are saying. You should always remember your own work habits and let that be a deciding factor. For instance, if a teacher got reviews in which everyone criticized how the class is taught and the work load, then maybe you shouldn’t take it. However, if the teacher has average reviews or a couple of bad reviews, just think about how you will handle that class. At my first semester, I took teachers whose reviews were just “average”, and it turns out that some of those classes were hard while others were super boring, but in the end I forced myself to do well in each of those classes and pulled A’s in the end. If you are a person that doesn’t want to learn or just wants to have an “easy” class then you should definitely research a lot into your teachers at ratemyprofessor. In the end, just remember that these sites are biased but you have to make a decision on the teachers/classes that you think will work for you because in the end we all have different learning habits.

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  17. As I pick my classes for the next sememster, I strongly took into consideration the time of day and the teacher's rating on RateMyProffesor.com. Acting as an insite for what the class will be like, and in some cases providing helpful tips. But as I searched my pervious teachers, I realized that the comments and ratings were not completely accurate. After seeing friends of mine refuse to take a class because the subpar “ratings” of a certain teacher, shows how easily we are misconsued by the internet. With so much unreilable in formation on the internet, being higher-education students we should be able to tell the differences between bias ratings and “hottness” levels. As RateMyProfessor.com is just another one of our technoligically advanced tools to make our life easier, that is not always the case and could just end up hurting us in the long run.

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  18. Whenever i pick my college classes, I always check on ratemyprofessor.com to see whether the teacher is nice or mean, whether they are helpful or not, and other things like that. It helps me decide whether I want to take that specific teacher or not. To me, it's a great site. Former students talk about the teacher and let us know how good they actually are. I do think that taxpayers should continue to fund studies mentioned above.

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  19. I am a user of Ratemyprofessor.com and use it because I have had teachers that are completely not my learning style and their classes, as far as learning from them, have been completely useless. Yes, they fullfilled the requirement but did I actually learn anything to use in the future? Probably not. The reason usually was that those teachers were the ones that would talk and talk but would never make anything interesting enough to retain or their class was way too easy so I just breezed through it with minimal work required. I like to go on the site to find teachers that are good teachers but are going to make you work for your grade a little. I want to get the most bang for my buck since I pay for my own college. I don't want a really hard teacher that is unreasonable, especially when I am carrying a full time load and working fulltime, but I want a teacher that challenges me so that I learn something. I have a great Biology teacher right now that I chose because of the site and I couldn't be happier since this class was one that I was worried about. It's not easy, but he doesn't make it impossible, you just have to earn your grade. I can say that I don't think I would be retaining as much if I didn't take his course because his style of teaching works best for me. I'm sure everything on that site is not accurate but you have to take it for what it is and look for the information about professors that you are looking for.

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  20. RateMyProfessor.com is a website I was introduced to my first year of college. I continue to use this website because for the most part, I find it helpful when choosing professors. I am aware that some students misuse this website by posting inappropriate comments about certain instructors; however, although I may read these comments, I make my decisions based on the majority of students’ ratings. At the end of the quarter, I have found that most of the time I agree with many of the students’ ratings and comments.

    Posted by: Charisse Viloria

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  21. At first I was skeptical about the whole "ratemyprofessor" website. I felt that the ratings left were not valid or trustful. I was convinced to try the website after a friend of mine brought it up in a conversation. After becoming a believer, I decided to base my spring semester off the ratings on ratemyprofessor.com and so far they have been true. From my personal experience, Ratemyprofessor.com is a valid source and the users who leave ratings are specific and straight forward. So, I recommend anyone to give this website a chance, at least on a few classes. However, I do not believe scholars sound be spending their time and effort to research further into this field. I understand web poll statistics are a valid field of study, but ratemyprofessor.com shouldn't be taken to seriously.

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  22. Excellent post. It is one of the best post from other. It is a useful and charming post. I want to sharing this topic with some of my close friends. So thanks this post.

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  23. Using RateMyProfessor.com is a very useful website that I continue to use. This is my first year in college, but I was introduced to the site before i signed up for classes, and it truly helped me a lot. This website allows you to make a pretty good judgement on the type of teacher you might get. I do make my decisons based on this website and for the most part, what I had read is true due to my own experiences. I highly recommend it that people use it.

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  24. I do use ratemyproffesor.com, I find it to be very useful, and very helpful. I have a very hard time focusing on one thing at a time, and so I need a teacher that can keep me engaged, someone who does a lot of discussions, and someone who does require class participation; because I know for myself it forces me to be more attentive in class. Also as a full time student, and someone who works full time, I use ratemyproffesor.com to gage what kind of homework, and tests the professor gives. I have found that the best way to use ratemyproffesor.com was not to focus on the the professors number rating, but to focus more on the comments students have left. Of course someone who has taken the class is the best judge of what the class is like.
    I have used it for many classes, and for the most part the students who rate their professors are right on with their evaluation of the teacher. Of course there are the students who post unrealistic expectations of what they thought the class would be like such as " they gave me homework..what?!" well of course..it is a college class. So like anything some reviews need to be taken at face value. I would highly recommend for students to use ratemyproffesor.com to find their next teachers, and get the most out of school.


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  25. Yes, I use ratemyproffesor.com. Starting my first year in college I heard about this website and I knew I was going to use it. Even though I was given my classes for me for the first quarter, I looked at the ratings of the professors given to me. When looking at the ratings I knew which professor was going to be hard, and which was going to be easy, so I can figure out how to manage my time wisely. So when I got to pick a new class for my second quarter, I went on there again so I can pick a professor that has a good rating and that was not so hard. I personally think the website is really helpful because if your a person that doesn't do to well on tests or quizzes, you can ready on there what people say about if the professors tests/quizzes have to do with the book or if it's harder. I do think that people will do bad ratings on this site if the professor gives them a bad grade but I also think it's pretty accurate.

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  26. I do use this website ratemyprofessor.com. I find it very useful in my search for course instructors. I don't really like when I get a student teacher because most of them are generally not as helpful as those professors who are not students. Also, I try to see if the rates show that someone has a heavy accent. That is one of the things that I had to deal with I had a teacher who could barely speak English and it really frustrated me. I was not able to grasp the material very well. I personally have never given any professor a rate. If I did poorly in the class then I feel that it was my fault and I should have managed my time alot better. I am not the kind o student who will give a professor a horrible rate online. The only rating I do is the one that we get at the end of each quarter. Since I found out about the website, I make sure to use it in my search.

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  27. Guilty. I admit i do use RateMyProfessor. I actually really enmjoy this site and find it very useful. When i'm picking my classes for school i look up every professor for the classes im considering and base my choices off of the results i find. I don't think they should use so much money on research, anyone can recieve a bad review, and most people know that already. If a professor has, let's say 10 bad reviews then i know there is a real issue. I don't actually rate or review professors but i love to use it just to look them up.
    Overall, it's a great website, very informative.

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  28. Ever since I began college, I've been using RateMyProfessors. Although these reviews of the professors are biased, I still use it all the time when I register for my classes and it is very helpful. For example, I'm taking a history class on world civilizations and I read the reviews for my teacher and everyone said he wasn't a good teacher. I ended up taking his class because he was the only option and the reviews that people gave about him were pretty accurate. I don't know how many of my teachers actually read RateMyProfessors but I feel like if they read about what the students have to say, they can improve the way that they teach.

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  29. Yes I do use RateMyProfessor.com too make class choices. If the professor have good ratings I am more likely to join the class. Although if I have need to take the class and it has bad reviews, I will bear through the class and get it over with. Even if the professor have bad reviews, you need to look at the what the review is saying. I saw a review that gave a professor a poor score, and one of the complaints was they got kicked out because they were talking in class. You have to take the reviews with a grain salt and analyze the review. I also think taxpayers money is being wasted, it could be used for something else that is more productive such as repairing the road.

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  30. As with all public forums and rating systems, one must use a certain logical reasoning to accepting certain attitudes of their fellow "raters." Just like a review for a book on Amazon.com, students need to avoid ratings that simply bash the hell out of the professor. If a person had a truly horrible experience in a classroom that merits a terrible review, they will always profess some good about the experience. A person that posts a negative review complete with capitol letters, explicatives, and poor grammar most likely did not do well in the class. Even with the difficulty of understanding the right reviews, Ratemyprofessors.com is by far an underrated site. As a student, I cannot afford to wait until the syllabus gets passed out to determine if I will be up to the task of completing a class based upon an extremely hard professor. I like the ability to see who I am working with. Why should I have to play wildcard with my education?

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  31. I always use RateMyProfessor.com to make class choices. From my experience, the teachers with good ratings have impressed me so far. I took two Psych classes during my Sophomore year of college, and the two teachers I had had almost 5.0 ratings. When I took the class, I understood why. These teachers were so helpful and so-down-to-earth, that the ratings they've received were deserved. I believe that if teachers are truly great professors, students wouldn't write bad things about them. RateMyProfessor.com saves a lot of academic lives because in many cases, your success in the class depends a lot on how well the teacher is teaching.

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  32. I started using RateMyProfessor.com this semester. and I have to say it really help me pick which teachers to take based on their reviews. But in the middle of the semester boy were those reviews wrong for some of my teachers. Like my history teacher. People said she was really easy and the class was really easy to understand. Well not for me. She was all over the place. And all the notes on the board didn't help for anything. she wouldn't even talk about what she had put up on the board. The test reviews weren't helpful. Maybe I just caught her on the wrong semester considering less then half way through her whole house was burned down and she was left with nothing. you can imagine how stress she was not knowing what to do. Sometimes life gets in the way so I cant really blame her. As for my child development teacher he was worse and his house didn't burn down. he was just all over the place. if you came into my class you would think it was an art class. there were drawings all over the board and there weren't really notes. he would write key words on the board at random.You cant always trust what other people say. There definition of an easy teacher could be the opposite of what I think is an easy teacher. I just used it yesterday while signing up for classes. I use it to guide me a little.

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  33. Ever since i got into college ive been using ratemyprofessor.com because i would like to know how the class is or learn more about the teacher.some of the comments can be biased because they just dont like the teacher. But some can be very helpful. i dont think that the schools should be spending money of researching the site, they should rather be evaluating the teachers instead or spend the money on the students with better facilities or newer equipment.

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  34. All throughout high school, my classmates would always discuss how they would use the website, RateMyProfessor.com. I thought it was pointless in high school because we could not really pick our teachers. There was only a couple teachers for each subject. I started using RateMyProfessor.com during the Winter Quarter of my Freshmen year. I used it to search my professors, after I had already had my schedule. It was very helpful and accurate, there wasn't any alarming information about the professors that scared me away. Students are paying to receive an education, and they should be able to see reviews of their professors in order to succeed in college. However, everyone's opinion and perspectives are different, so the reviews can really change depending on a person. I think it is extremely helpful and should be used while choosing classes and professors. Tax payers should continue to fund studies like these, because it is benefiting the education of further generations.

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  35. Writing false good reviews is harmful to the students who actually have been mistreated. I know some teachers write good reviews for themselves. Gullible other teachers or adults might read the reviews, and the students are discredited.

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  36. I definitely use RateMyProfessor.com to make class choices. I started using this website as soon as I found out who my professors would be my first quarter of college, Fall quarter to be specific. It's very helpful to me, and although people's reviews can be very biased simply because they don't like a certain professor, the website hasn't failed me, YET. The reviews I've read for the professors I've had so far have been pretty accurate. There was a specific English professor I had and when I went to see the reviews for his class, they were just outrageous!! Many people warning future students not to take his class, like whatever we do, don't take his class. I thought I could handle it, so I didn't even bother to change classes to a new professor. Well, let me tell you, all the reviews about him were true, and from then on out I use RateMyProfessor as a handle tool and resource. Taxpayers should definitely continue to fund studies like these, because it is certainly having a positive impact on education.

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  37. I do use Ratemyprofessor.com ever since I started choosing my own classes these past few quarters. However, I don't necessarily use it to determine what professor I am going to choose. I just read the reviews to have an idea of what the professor is like and what to expect. I don't believe everything that is on there but I do like to compair how many good reviews and how many bad reviews there is. I feel like it is not useful when there is only 3 or 4 reviews, it becomes bias. When there is a good amount of rates and comments then you can get an idea of what the professor might be like.

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  38. The first bit of advice I got when I first came to college was to use Ratemyprofessor.com to choose my professors. Ever since my winter quarter of my freshman year, I’ve been using this site as a guide to see what my potential professor would be like. The reviews are really helpful in determining which professor I should pick for my classes. I base it off of how clear the professor is and how much knowledge they have on the subject. I had a professor that had a low score on all the major criteria on the site, but I had no other choice in taking his class because it was only offered in spring. The reviews were completely correct; the professor had no idea what he was doing for each class meeting and came unprepared for the whole quarter. Having this site as a second opinion is a great tool for students to use. The reviews are accurate, no matter what level of education the student has. Everyone’s learning strategies are different, but how well the teacher communicates information, how their lectures are presented or even how they grade their exams is all the same information, regardless of the student. Taxpayers should continue to fund these types of studies because it has a positive impact on students and helps students in choosing their classes. It helps to benefit education and help students succeed in their classes based on these sites and their reviews of the professors.

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  39. Yes I use rate my professor often because I always want to know what I am expecting. When I use rate my professor I go for a teacher that will help me and explain things for me. I choose all my classes based off of rate my professor because so far the comments that were left and rating about the professor was accurate. I believe tax payers should keep funding this because this really is very helpful for students like me who are choosing their classes. Students that use rate my professor love the website because they can choose the professor that fits them best.

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  41. I only started using RateMyProfessor.com after my first quarter in college as I wanted to see if others feel the same way as I do, under the same professor that is teaching the same class. To my surprise, the ratings were not what I thought it would be. I had this professor which I didn't really like his style of teaching but I had to admit his instructions were clear and it was easy to pass his class. However, when I looked up the ratings of this particular professor, I realized that he was highly recommended. Scrolling through his ratings, I found out that the positive and negative reviews were commenting on the same thing that they like or did not like about him. Because of this, I feel that the website is not a really useful indicator of a professor's quality.

    Since then I mainly use ratemyprofessors.com to see if the instructor's had a strict grading or not or how the hectic the assignments were in class even though sometimes the reviews were pretty true to what I experienced about the professors.

    I feel that taxpayers should not continue to fund those studies mentioned as those money could be put to better use. In addition, each college has their own evaluation method that they take to evaluate the faculty and some colleges even involve the students to participate in the evaluation anonymously, allowing the student to freely rate and feedback about the professors honestly.

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  42. I started using ratemyprofessor.com after my first year here at CSUEB. I do this because I want to know what I am going to get myself into before I actually take the class, in other words I do not want any surprises. I find this site very helpful when it comes to choosing between different professors. I know that what people post is just there opinion and that that does not define how the professor is, but it does give a pretty good description of how the teacher runs their class. I always look for if they care about there students, like if they set themselves available to the class, like respond to emails and help you when you need help. I also look for how heavy the work is and if there is a a lot of homework given in the class. All the times I have used this site it has been very accurate and very helpful in my opinion. I was once stuck in a lab class with an awful lab instructor, had I looked the instructor up on ratemyprofessor.com I would have avoided being in that specific class. I feel taxpayers should continue to fund this because it is super helpful. I have to say that thanks to this site I have had the best professors at this campus! And as I know it has helped me a lot, I know it has helped and will keep helping many other students as well!

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  43. I always use rate my professor when I'm selecting classes. Although I don't base my entire decision on the rating, I take it into consideration. You can't always believe what you read on the internet, so I keep an open mind when reading ratings. From my experience, a lot of students' opinions are actually true when I take the professor's class for myself. Ratings of professors can be biased because some people will give a professor bad ratings if the class isn't easy to pass. Professors can also get bad ratings because of different styles of student learning. The way some people learn might not line up with the way the professor teaches. These are things I always keep in mind, but I still find the ratings helpful when it comes down to putting my schedule together. It’s also helpful to compare rate my professor with opinions from friends who have had that professor. I trust my friend’s opinions, and if they are consistent with the ratings, then I really know if I should take a professor or not. I want to enjoy the class, but also get my money’s worth because I’m paying for my education. I don’t think taxpayer’s dollars should be spent on studies about rate my professor. I think it’s a waste of money because those funds could be going to things that are more important. It’s simply a website- educated college students should be able to make their own judgments on whether or not they want to believe the ratings.

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  44. Whenever it's time to sign up for classes, I usually go on ratemyprofessor.com to see what other people have to say about that professor. I don't make my entire decision on what I see from ratemyprofessor.com, though. I ask my friends who have had the professor, too. I also take the kind of learning environment my friends prefer into consideration as well. I feel like it is a useful site to look at when I want to get an idea of how a professor will be like, but I know that I can't rely on just what people say. People may be biased on which professor they prefer and they may have different learning environments that they prefer as well. After all, everyone is different and a professor someone really likes might be a professor I might not really like and vice versa. In the end, I think we all just want to find out about a professor on these kind of websites because we want to do well in our classes and get our money's worth since we are paying for our classes. With that said, it is also the student's job to also do their part by engaging in their learning and making an effort in the class before making any judgments about the professor. I do not think that taxpayers should be funding for research on these type of sites because the internet is not always reliable. They could do a study about certain groups of people, but then again they can't track everyone to make sure that those people are who they say they are.

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  45. i always here about the website ratemyprofessor.com but i've never really got a chance to use it before. I think its a good opportunity for students to get a little information about their professor before signing up for classes. It's like asking a friend what they think of a certain professor, but you can't always rely on what you read on the internet. Everyone is different, something that is easy to someone can be difficult to others because we all learn differently. This website can be good for students to have a clue of how the professor teaches his or her class and see of the class would be good for them.

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  46. I think that RateMyProfessor.com is a productive website. Sure, it's the internet. There will always be shady internet trolls rating professors low just because they didn't do well in their class. So all you have to do factor that into the equation. When you look at a professor's rating, check how many people have rated that professor, and figure that if he or she is at least 3.5 or more stars, then they are probably a pretty decent and lenient professor. Personally, I have never rated a professor on RateMyProfessor, but I have looked at the website recently and I don't think it would be a bad thing to start using prior to choosing classes. I do believe that taxpayers should be funding things like this for research. College is a big deal in our world for people of all ages. We've all had bad teacher and professors, and we've all had great ones. It does make a difference.

    - Zachary Kanlong ENGL 1002-02

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  47. I use Ratemyprofessor.com very frequently. I use it when I have to plan my classes. The only time I didn't was my first semester in college and my professors weren't great. When I had discovered the website I looked up those professors and on their profiles they had bad ratings and warnings everywhere. Since then I've used Ratemyprofessor.com to select my classes, and since then I can't complain about the professors or the class. I've personally haven't rated a but the student comments are what i'm concerned about. I really don't care if the professor is attractive, if they aren't passionate about what they are teaching or don't care about their students I wont be taking their course. I think that research on these websites should continue just because if students say that a teacher is horrible and they didn't learn anything in their class then maybe we should look at what the teacher is doing wrong. Although these studies should be aware that some students revenge postings. I had a teacher my second semester who had a horrible review and she is one of the best teachers I've had.

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  48. Josephine FitzwingeMarch 29, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    Before I register for a class I almost ALWAYS go on ratemyprofessor.com and compare the different professors teaching the course I am interested in. In my opinion it is extremely helpful. But it is important to remember it is a tool to help you and some investigation must be done on your part to find out what is true and what is false. There are obvious posts from students that did not get along with professors, usually that go into great detail while they expel their rage into online comments. The good ratings tend to be short and straight to the point.
    I work in the restaurant business and in our monthly meetings we go through about 5 different review sites. We are rated, scored, and evaluated on EVERYTHING we do. My old boss used to stress over these ratings, in turn stressing us out. However my current boss explains that these are just opinions, they give insight to how we can change but also show us how we are being perceived.
    Ratemyprofessor.com is similar to what I go through at work so i understand how to use it. For example the past two english courses I've taken at school have been a joke, so through ratemyprofessor.com I was able to find a class that would challenge me and improve my skills.

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  49. Before I started college, I was told by many of my friends that I should use a site called RateMyProfessor before picking classes. RateMyProfessor is a very helpful website I use while looking for course instructors for classes I’m interested in taking. I use the ratings to get a sense of the class and the instructor. It’s nice to know what is expected, such as looking to see if the book is really mandatory, to see how the grading is broken down, to see how the professor teaches during lectures/discussions, and more. The website actually works because the classes I have taken so far do follow the ratings and reviews I have read before picking the courses. So far, the ratings on the site have been pretty accurate and they have help me become successful in my classes. I like this website because I’m able to learn about an instructor before picking a class and I’m able to pick an instructor that fits me. Overall, taxpayers should continue to fund studies because this website does make a positive impact on education.

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  50. I think that RateMyProfessor is a really helpful resource for college students. In my experience, many of the professors I have looked up and have had are correctly "rated" on the website. It does make choosing instructors/professors a little less stressful when signing up for courses because the feedback given are from actual students, as opposed to other faculty or departments. Although there could be a flaw in that, it is more relatable for students to hear from other students and receive genuine reactions and responses to a professor. It also gives students, like me, the opportunity to help other students make good decisions or avoid making a bad one. Since the beginning of this school year, I really enjoy being one of the people to inform others how my professors were. I think it is really beneficial to encourage students to include their input, as this often brings more credibility for a professor's review.

    What was really surprising to me in this article is that those ratings on RateMyProfessor have been used as factors in Forbes magazine's college rankings and universities' personnel evaluations. I think that if more students posting on RateMyProfessor knew this, there would be more thought or sincerity in some of the posts. At the same time, however, the freedom this website gives to students allows them to be brutally honest at times and give real advice to future students.

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  51. I use RateMyProfessor.com when registering for my classes. It helps me determine the quality and difficulty of various professors who teach the same subject. Considering that many if not most students use RateMyProfessor as one of their primary sources to determine a professor’s quality, spending a small amount of taxpayer money on studies to evaluate the website and its accuracy seems justified.

    On a different note, I also find it weird that the website has a “Chili-Pepper-Hot” option. I’ve never been sure what this rating is actually supposed to signify (physical attractiveness? Popularity? Prone to tantrums?). I also agree that four studies on the same website seems a bit much, especially if the funds come from taxpayers. I could understand one study every few years to ensure the website is still accurate and being maintained, but any more than that is excessive. Also, I was surprised that the article stated “none of these professors ever deign to look at their rating.” I’m not sure if the article implies that they actually do and simply deny it. Considering how widely used the website is, all professors should check their ratings and reviews, similar to the quarterly student reviews on Blackboard, to see common complaints and identify areas for improvement.

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  52. I believe RateMyProfessor.com is a very useful tool because it helps students have some background about their professors before they sign up for a class. I found the part about the professor saying students should also attach their GPA to be interesting because it shows the ratings can be biased. If I get an A in a class I am going to be so happy that I would give the professor a good review despite whether he was a good professor or not. Likewise someone that did not study or go to class and fails might try to blame the professor.

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  53. Paola Davalos
    English 1002
    Extra Credit 4
    Yes, I admit i use RateMyProfessor. I admit i am an addict to that page and make most of my decisions based off that page. I go off the comments rather than the overall rating, and i know the pepper sign is outdated because most of the teachers have been teaching for a long time and their pepper-ness may have faded. However, i have never actually thought about how it is open for anyone to post. It's a little weird thinking about how that professor lies and gives false advertising, like why would you do that? But at the same time, it is to teach students a lesson, don't always believe everything you read on the internet.
    As for should the website be funded by taxpayers? No. Perhaps donations from students or something along those lines because taxpayer's money could be going towards other much more beneficial sites like Wikipedia (just kidding).
    But all in all i don't think rate my professor is such a bad website, I mean I did pick Dore Ripley's class based off of that website.

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  54. I believe the online site "ratemyprofessor" is extremely helpful. I have used it while registering for classes. Although some cases students may seem a little bias I believe as long as you are reading every review and somewhat averaging them out (good vs bad) it is an amazing resource. Of course, students are not going to want professors who are not that great of teachers. Many of us are paying out of pocket for this higher education so we want to be able to have professors who are reliable and are great teachers. Although I do agree in some cases the reviews may not always apply, everyone has a different learning style, but if a professor has all bad rating from numerous different people I think that speaks for itself. Although I do not think it is fair that these teachers are being searched for personal evaluations. I believe ratemyprofessor should be used as a tool for students, and not as a way to rid someone out of a job or such. I think students should make sure they are writing an honest review about the teacher, but other than that I believe it is a great resource for students who are trying to choose the correct professor.

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  55. I LOVE RateMyProfessor.com, that was the greatest invention made for college students. I have been so lucky to use that and see the type of teachers I am looking forward to. For example, with Ms. Ripley, this class is AMAZING. I'm glad that this class fit my schedule perfect, just kind of upset that the class didn't fit my schedule for next quarter, (business classes suck) but the critiques some students use on there is harsh but I feel like professor should take advantage of that and use it as constructive criticism. They shouldn't take it in a negative way, they should take that and improve on it. Similar to how music artist read comments and tweets and go do better off of that constructive criticism. Professors shouldn't take it too much to the head and just make sure they can help students be the best they can be. I always use ratemyprofessor and I would advise it for anybody to use it. Of course taxpayers should put their money towards it so it can get more recognition and professors would probably pay attention to it more and make sure that they get good reviews.

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