Besides asking friends for class recommendations for Spring Term, I decided to take a look at the infamous ratemyprofessors.com website. Although I’d heard of it, I never bothered to look it up. I noticed that a lot of my classmates were choosing their classes solely based on this site, so I finally decided to see what this online craze was about.
Ratemyprofessors.com contains the professor’s name and an overall quality rating determined by the average of their helpfulness, clarity, and the easiness of the class. Students are also able to add comments and determine a professor’s “hotness” by clicking on a red chili pepper. A professor for the College of Liberal Arts and Studies at PSU had a lot of controversial comments on his page, such as, “He’s a bit moody, made a big example of a girl for being sleepy one day but good naturedly teased a boy for the same thing on another day. Class is a bit dull and not very well structured.” This site has literally given students the opportunity to become the Roger Ebert of online professor ratings.
Although some students find it helpful, I can’t get over the infestation of bashing rants from students who probably didn’t pass the class. This inevitably alters student’s decisions and forms predisposed expectations. As for the red chili peppers… if students are basing their course decisions on the professor’s looks, they should seriously reconsider why they’re attending college. Overall, I don’t see myself using this website and choosing classes based on biased judgments.