Rate My Professors Heating Up - DatelineCarolina

Rate My Professors Web Site Popular with USC Students

Students Andrew Campbell and Brett Neal check out Rate My Professors before signing up for a class. Students Andrew Campbell and Brett Neal check out Rate My Professors before signing up for a class.

By: Derek Phillips

RateMyProfessors is a web site where college students can provide feedback on their professors and courses they have taken.  The site, created over decade ago, has become the place students go when they're choosing what professor they will take. 

RateMyProfessors allows students to rate professors in categories that include overall quality, helpfulness, and "easiness."  Contributors make their postings anonymously.

Many students agree that ratings can't always be taken seriously, but do take some into consideration.

"I always went through 5, 6, 7 pages of it to make sure how people from other classes looked at the professor," junior Brett Neal said.

Students also have the option to post comments about the course.

"You go on there and there may be a student that had a bad grade or something and they just want to tear down the professor, but some of them you can actually take for their word," USC senior Justin Cromer said.

A survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep showed that 77 percent of students said the number one factor they considered for choosing classes were "Prior Comments Students Made About a Professor."

Professors agree that they must roll with the bad reviews just like the good ones.

"I think when you are a professor and you work with students, it's just one of those things you have to be prepared to handle," said USC journalism professor Dr. Kathy Roberts Forde.

"I don't take it personally," said USC journalism instructor Doug Fisher.  "I find it interesting.  I do pay attention to it because obviously I don't want to psychologically harm people I guess.

Fisher says he's tough on his students because journalism is a tough business.

"I don't want people to come away with a bad feeling, but by the same token, the course is what it is," said Fisher

But tough is normally what turns students away.

"I've avoided some classes because of some of the things that are written on there," Cromer said.

As USC students start making decisions on what to take during spring semester, they say they will continue to read reviews to help choose what courses, and what professors, to sign up for.

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