New students helped by professors’ ratings

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You aren’t truly a college student until you have praised or criticized a professor among your friends.

RateMyProfessors.com is a website that allows users to give their professors a grade. You can rate your professor in three different categories: helpfulness, clarity and easiness. 

The website is a valuable tool for students who are in the process of signing up for classes. You are able to see a teacher’s grade and also read comments about the professor. 

Lynn Hunt, an associate math professor, said he reads the comments about him  but doesn’t place much stock in them because he doesn’t think he hears from all his students. 

“If there are any bad ones, I incorporate that and see what I need to change,” Hunt said. 

Jordon Sharp, an adjunct communication professor, said he thinks any feedback is good. 

“It does worry me that these can be anonymous,” Sharp said. “I think that it’s helpful to students to be able to get a feel for what teachers are like and if they would be a good fit for them.” 

Randy Jasmine, an assistant professor and English department chair, declined to read the comments about himself. He said he feels the evaluation system in place through the university is effective enough. 

“I think [the comments] could do more harm than good in terms of [a professor’s] self-worth and self-opinion,” Jasmine said. “I guess I’m just not interested to find out what students say [on that platform].”

Although there are a variety of positive, negative and neutral comments on RateMyProfessors.com, Sharp said anyone can read the comments and make their own conclusions. 

“You are always going to get outlier comments,” Jasmine said. “People who really want to go on there and talk about you are going to do it for one of two reasons: they either really like you or they really don’t like you.”

One big concern I have with the website is that anyone can go online and make comments. You aren’t required to sign up with an .edu email, so it is possible for individuals to create more than one profile and write multiple comments for professors, negative or positive. 

Dixie State University invites students to give their professors evaluations at the end of each semester. Unfortunately, this information is not made available to students. I feel like this information is partially wasted, as it could be a huge benefit to students. 

During my first few semesters at DSU, I struggled in several classes because my learning style was totally opposite from my professor’s teaching style. After I started researching my professors on this website, I was able to find professors who I knew would help create a constructive learning environment where I could flourish as a student. 

DSU is limiting itself immensely by withholding this information from students’ evaluations. Not only would it increase transparency, but it would also show students DSU truly cares about students having a positive learning experience.