Is RateMyProfessor a 100% success

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Is RateMyProfessor a 100% success

Erron Thomas, Staff Writer

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There are eight semesters in the typical college student’s experience. This means that they will have to face the tedious act of scheduling classes eight times. Therefore, students will inevitably wonder whether their soon-to-be professor is worth the money.

 

The anxiety of choosing a professor that meets a list of personal standards from a menu full of never before seen names became too much for John Swapceinski. In 1999, the software engineer founded ratemyprofessor.com. 

 

Ratemyprofessor (RMP) is an online database compiled of university-level instructors across the nation that  website users rate individually on a one to five scale—one being the lowest and five being the highest. Regardless of the software talent of Mr. Sawpceinski, there’s no way he could sit in on every professor in the country’s class and devout the necessary time to produce sound reviews. He made the foundation of the popular website based on those who use it.

 

Reviews by past students are written on the website based on their personal experience. This is in hopes of helping a student who may have the same professor in the future. This system is arguably a very good one, given the fact that the information comes from someone who has personal experience with the course. This is better than any other review, because students act like other students and can speak in relatable terms, which helps in making a decision. 

 

“Who doesn’t use it?” remarks veterinarian major Tierney Jackson. “If there’s a math teacher, that’s hard, or better yet, if there’s an English teacher that makes you write daily or weekly papers, regardless of that start time, I’m not going to want to enroll in her class.”

 

Jackson’s comment is insightful; initially, one is looking to see whether or not a professor is worth it, good enough. Jackson shows how you can also utilize the reviews and comments to understand  professors teaching styles. This dynamic certainly is tough to get across in a syllabus or overview given by the university. It’s even harder to cultivate the authenticity that spurs from a student who has seen how professors operate first hand.

 

Katie Griner, a hospitality restaurant and tourism major states, “I mostly pay attention to the tags people put in reviews.”  Griner brings up a valuable tool the website holds. She looks out for phrases like “caring, fantastic lecturers, clear grading criteria, gives good feedback, builds an excellent mold for a soon to be a teacher.” The tags are an essential aspect of the website. They offer  a quick and simple tool to use to gain meaningful and undoubtedly helpful information.

 

Talking with more students a bigger picture comes into fruition. “I know for a fact they do, I’ve had them complain to me about them,” Sociology major Domminick Rosse expresses. While ratemyprofessor is an excellent tool for vexed students, it can also be a handy tool for professors. Rosse lets us know that professors do actually read their reviews. Having access to raw feedback from students can help a professor sharpen some aspects of their work

 

Griner says, “He also told us he has a few of his favorite bad reviews hung up in his fridge, so yes, I think professors read them,” speaking about one of her professors. Professors can utilize this tool like the one mentioned for daily motivation and reminder to be better in some areas of their work.

 

RMP seems like a fantastic tool for both students and professors. Beyond that, the device itself works and has real results. Students rely on it as well as some professors, which should stand alone to show the value of the software. Plus, “one professor told my class that their RMP reviews are read to them when they have to go over their official student evaluations at the end of each semester” remarks Griner. RMP has made such a positive mark in the academic community that universities are adding it to their arsenal to aid in producing the best professors they can for their students.

 

If you have a horrible professor that makes you lose faith in the hiring department at UNO, leave a review on RMP. If you have a professor that inspires you to do so much good you find yourself with a 4.0, leave a review on RMP, and if you find a professor that is the definition of average, leave a review on RMP, because any insight from real students truly benefits students, professors, and the University as a whole. 

 

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