Mon. May 16th, 2022

With a new semester, we students all have to adjust to new professors and their teaching habits. From how strict their attendance is to how hard the tests are, every educator is different.

As a first-year student, it was a little strange to switch my schedule completely mid-year but I am beginning to get used to it. Only one of my professors is the same as last semester; the rest are all new to me. Although, I knew a few things about all of them before I finalized my schedule.

How did I manage to know about all of them and some of their teaching habits? Yes, I had some friends share about the teachers they previously had, but a website called Rate My Professor helped with the majority of my research. This website is easy to use and does not require you to create an account. You simply type in the name of a professor and choose the one according to the correct university.

A rating of their overall quality out of five, a percentage of students who said they would take their class again, their level of difficulty and some words students used to describe him or her all appear on screen. You can also scroll down and see comments provided by the people who have rated these professors. This website helped me to distinguish the courses I wanted to take due to the negative or positive thoughts from another student.

There is a flaw, however, when basing your decision fully on this website. We must take into consideration how many ratings they have. Rate My Professor shows how many students provided ratings, but this is commonly forgotten. By this I mean that a teacher may have a poor rating because only students who had a bad experience with this teacher may be providing the reviews. Because of this flaw, a teacher may be underappreciated or given a poor reputation. This may cause students to miss out on an amazing teacher all because of the spitefulness of one student and their relationship with the professor.

In order to prevent this, we the students must take it into our own hands. A few simple steps can help to increase the accuracy of professor’s ratings. If you go on the website, before all other information there is a box that says “Rate This Professor.” After clicking on this you answer 10 to 12 short questions, none of which require personal information. Completing these questions for one professor took me about a minute, so it would take no more than five minutes to complete this for a semester’s worth of teachers. You can be as detailed as you want and you should be honest in your answers. All the website asks of you is to not use profanity.

Doing this will make basing your schedule off of Rate My Professor more dependable. Next time you’re deciding on your classes try this website, but remember to look at all the factors as well.

Amanda Hearn is a first-year student majoring in psychology. ✉️

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