Until a few years ago, the only way a student could find out about a professor, before registering for a program, was by the word of mouth. This was mainly due to the fact that teacher evaluations done in the campus were kept confidential and only for the committee. The teachers and students had absolutely no idea about these ratings. Fortunately, thanks to the newly developed websites that allow former and current students to rate professor, confused students can now make a more informed decision when trying to pick classes.
Professor rating tools allow students to leave anonymous remarks about teachers they have attended classes of. The ratings are however extremely candid because these sites are completely anonymous. They use a 5-point scale or a grading system to rate professor on factors, such as ease, helpfulness, interest, ability, and knowledge. To see these ratings, all one needs to do is log on to the website, type in a professor's name or the area of specialization, and the result is displayed immediately.
Although most teachers are pretty unenthusiastic about these tools, Sheila Tombe, an English professor, holds a very positive opinion. She believes that students are entitled to know how good or bad a professor is before registering for the course. In her article, 'Professor Rating: Free Speech', she explains that most of these websites are sophisticated and well presented. And also, that they are extremely helpful to students who are coughing out a lot of money to get the right teachers and obtain a meaningful degree.
How To Interpret Professor Ratings And Reviews
The reviews that are normally posted beneath the profile are incredibly helpful, but it is quite important to know how to interpret them. For instance, it's good to stick to specific comments like "this teacher gave too much homework which was difficult to complete". Such comments are far more helpful than remarks like "his class is pretty hard".
Also, don't take outlying remarks too seriously rather stick to the general trend. Remember, irrespective of how good the teacher is, there will always be a dissatisfied student who might be disappointed over something. This may however be the student's fault. Similarly, if all votes are against the professor, then a sole good opinion should not matter.
Things To Look At In The Professors Profile
The most important thing is to take a good look at the synopsis of the scores. It's also good to pay special attention to areas, such as helpfulness and ease. These are very important factors and the relevance of the two must be checked - like if one is planning to take advanced biology, certainly the teacher has to be tough rather than easy for the sake of his or her students. Besides, if you are taking an oversize lecture, helpfulness will be low compared to an undersized seminar course.
In addition, it's recommended to focus on the number of people who have participated in the professor ratings. If it's only a handful, then the score should not be regarded as the final decision maker, but if there are more than 35-40 students who have graded the professor, then that rating can be considered as holding some kind of truth.
Overall, professor rating tools are very useful. Like other reviews, however, it is recommended to take them not too seriously. It is extremely important to understand that the ratings on these sites are not absolutely accurate, and there is a likelihood of unhappy students to rate their teachers badly. Apart from this, schools with fewer students are likely to have distorted ratings as well because there are very few students to really rate their professors.Online Essay Maker