By By Adji Diop
Rate My Professor is a popular website where students can write public reviews about their schools and college professors. It has a variety of reviews about professors ranging from positive classroom experiences to complete disasters. Many students claim the site as a very helpful site because they read the reviews before they choose their classes.
Rate My Professor allows you to find any professor or school and write anonymous reviews. Students enjoy the site because it’s easy to navigate. Professors have ratings ranging from one through five, with one being the worst and five being the best. The site has separate subheads based on the workload of the class, the attitude of the professor, and their grading policies. Each college also has an overall rating ranging from one to five. There are also smaller ratings like the reputation of the school, the area around the school, the food, social life and the staff. The site also includes a blog filled with advice that helps students get through college.
Sometimes, the reviews can be biased. A student can leave a bad review for a good professor based on the bad grade they had received in that class. Students can also leave good reviews on bad professors only because they were offered extra credit for doing so. However, many students do not even leave a review after taking a class. Many students wonder if professors read their reviews and take them into consideration when teaching.
Eric Frederick, an associate lecturer of Speech, has a 4.9 out of 5 approval rating on the site.
“I have read them and my students have been very gracious,” Frederick said. “I appreciate it because I never mention it to my students, so if they choose to write a review that’s great.”
Frederick is a beloved professor among York students because of his detailed lectures and his positive attitude. Students reviewed that his Speech 101 class had helped them get over their fear of public speaking.
But not all professors have such a positive view of the website.
English Professor Matthew Corcoran said he no longer reads his reviews.
“A group of four or five students didn’t do the work, and they wrote unfair, sour- grapes reviews about the class,” Corcoran said.
He also said his teaching style is ensuring that all of his students’ needs are met.
“I try to adjust as much as possible to the students’ individual needs,” he said. “I’m not a huge insister on due dates.”
Tsu Wu, a Math professor at York that has taught for 40 years, has never read his Rate My Professor reviews.
“Students are in a self-assessment mode in my class,” said Wu. “We should be very careful about it because it’s hard to see the truth sometimes.”
Wu said he has never heard of the site but plans to look through his reviews later on to reflect.
Hamid Bahri, an associate professor of Languages and Humanities at York, has heard of Rate My Professor but he does not look at his reviews.
“I don’t pay attention to it,” Bahri said. “It could be helpful but sometimes it can tie you up.”
Bahri said he asks his students for their own assessment and likes to learn from them. He said his teaching style relies on partnership.
“I make my students comfortable enough to tell me the truth,” Bahri said. “As a professor, you cannot be in their face all the time. You have to give them space.”