Rate My Professor is a website where students can go to inform others just how awesome, or not so awesome, a teacher is. Students can post comments about past instructors and share whether the class was too hard or extremely easy, but most importantly, students can critique professors.
The site is a way for students to get a hint of what exactly they are getting themselves into for the semester, but students and staff say that the site has become a bashing ground for students who are fed up with their professors. Staff and even students say that the site should not be taken too seriously.
Stephen Murphy, a part-time history instructor at Longview, said that he does not have a problem with the website, and that everyone has their different ways of assessment, yet the site has a tendency to be inaccurate.
“I think that some of the posts on Rate My Professor say more about the student than it does the instructor,” Murphy says. “Some ratings are positive and flattering, and then you’ll see something very mean and derogatory. I have no problem with it, but I take it with a grain of salt,” he said.
Murphy is not the only one who feels this way. Some students agree.
Britini Nelson, a student at Longview, said that the site is a good idea, and that she has been using it ever since she started college to get a feel of her teacher, and how class would be. Although the site is a nice insight, Nelson is still skeptical.
“A lot of comments that I see are usually students complaining about work,” Nelson said. “Some students don’t get along with their teacher, so they bash them,” she said. “I’ve actually read a really bad review on a teacher, and still took her class. I ended up loving the class and the teacher, so you really can’t take it to heart,” she said.
So how do professors feel about the the thoughts of students? Joyce Kuhn, who has been teaching at MCC-Longview for 24 years, said she understands social networks for all ages.
“We all like to have answers to things we are concerned about,” Kuhn said. “A lot of students don’t know each other and need the site to communicate,” she said. “I don’t think it’s my place to judge it, really. I feel that you have to have an area where you can inquire, socially, about different things. I think that’s normal, and with the student’s age group, I can understand it and I’m not critical of it at all,” she said.
Even with possible inaccurate posts on the website, Kuhn said that you can’t stop communication.
“Each person has to prove themselves. We can’t deprive people from communicating, it’s against the law for one thing,” Kuhn says. “By your own actions you’re proving who you are,” she said.