Does anyone use Rate My Professors?

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Comp_Geek_573
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12 Dec 2012, 2:14 am

The quality of the reviews varies greatly from school to school...

I once took a class with a professor with a low RMP score (although all the ratings were from lower-level classes than what I took) and I thought he was just fine. The workload was a bit heavy, but expectations were clear at least.

And then I once took a class with a professor with a very high score (again, none of the ratings were for the course I was taking...) ouch! From mind tricks to make the students think they're doing worse than they really are to a wacky grading scale (that I suspect he doesn't intend to follow from day 1) total lack of notes posted online (if you're not an excellent note-taker attending - and staying awake in - every single class, you're history), this guy ended up scaring me into withdrawing after I got a D on the midterm test, having no idea what I was supposed to study out of the textbook (which was the only thing I had to go by with less-than-stellar notes, and included lots of stuff not covered in lecture.) The worst part is, I have to face him again next semester, but at least this time I know what I'm in for... plus I'll know exactly what grade I need in that class to graduate with honors.


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littlelily613
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12 Dec 2012, 2:15 am

Yep, I absolutely use, and I add to it. Just because they have a low rating doesn't mean I won't take their class though. I took a Stats class with a professor that had a rating of 1-something, and I did just fine in it.


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ProbablyNotNormal
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12 Dec 2012, 2:22 am

I search it thoroughly before I register for classes. This was my first semester in college (so my first time using RMP) and all of the professors I chose I ended up enjoying.



eric76
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12 Dec 2012, 5:20 am

It can be a major mistake to take a prof based on someone else's recommendations. Just ask my cousin.

My cousin (one of them anyway) went to the same place I did. When he was getting ready to take his second calculus course, he asked me who was the best prof for the course.

That is where there was a completely miscommunication. His idea of the best prof was "who was the easiest" while my idea of the best prof was "who will really teach you the material best". Naturally, my idea of the best prof was anything but who would result in a high grade with very little studying.

Anyway, my cousin took my choice, a certain highly regarded mathematician (to other mathematicians, anyway) and proceed to flunk the course big time. Not only that, he apparently convinced several friends of his to take the course from the same prof because it would be an easy A and they flunked as well because they didn't put out any effort at all.

I doubt that he will ever forgive me for that.



thewhitrbbit
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12 Dec 2012, 9:38 am

It is a tool, so like any other tool it has a use, and can be misused.

The thing you have to remember is that people are FAR more likely to b***h about a bad professor than rate a good professor.

Also, you don't know the circumstances of the student. Maybe he was a lazy s**t who never went to class, maybe he expected everything on a silver platter.



ianorlin
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12 Dec 2012, 1:44 pm

I actually don't use these kinds of reveiws but tend to do better when people complain about the professor.



MathGirl
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14 Dec 2012, 10:48 am

Yeah, I check Rate My Professor, and I've noticed that sometimes the reviews are contradictory to what I actually experience. This semester, I had a course where I was getting really frustrated because it was difficult to communicate with the TAs, they were inconsistent with putting up notes, and when I tried to clarify expectations, the answers were often contradictory. Also, there was a lot of work, overwhelming for me because a) I'm a slow reader and b) I have lots of other things on my plate, including other courses. But the ratings on Rate My Professor were outstanding and no one ever mentioned having these problems. Then again, maybe the previous times this class was taught, students did not experience these things. Too bad I can no longer evaluate the courses after the last day of class... I was too busy finishing up all of my work.


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Curiotical
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17 Dec 2012, 7:16 pm

I often check RateMyTeachers, and I used to add to it regularly, but because they've merged with Facebook, I can no longer contribute as I don't have or want an account.


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04 Jan 2013, 2:02 am

I use and contribute to RMP regularly. I always check a professor's ratings and reviews on that site before I sign up for their class. I also make sure to rate my professors at the end of each semester. I'd rather get an idea in my head about a particular professor than just blindly choose one. I honestly don't know what I'd do without that site.


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alex
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04 Jan 2013, 2:04 am

I did when I was in school. I always checked all the possible professors before choosing which period to take any specific class.


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rabbittss
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04 Jan 2013, 4:32 am

I've found it's not a reliable indicator to be honest, it's mostly a bunch of lazy people moaning because they didn't get an A even though they never showed up or did their work.

some of the "Worst" teachers listed on the site are simply the ones who don't coddle or tolerate slackers and actually expect you to gasp.. do your homework.



ianorlin
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04 Jan 2013, 10:51 am

I find I sometimes do a lot better when everyone else is complaining how hard the teacher is. I like proffesssor that give homework as it makes me more careful when practicing.



stands2reason
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04 Jan 2013, 3:23 pm

I've looked at before. I tried mentally filtering comments based on what seemed constructive, but really it's not that useful. Now that I'm nearing the end of my undergraduate study, I have a whole new [dis] appreciation for other students and their opinions.

Any class is "hard" if you can't cram the night before and pass. That is, you have to understand a significant amount of material to pass (as opposed to memorize). Especially anything math-based. Anyone will think the professor is "bad" if they fail the class, and most students deserve to fail upper level class because they aren't learning the material, or they forgot or never learned prereq material.



AnotherLevel88
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05 Jan 2013, 9:13 am

I started using it this past semester. So far looking at my grades I have absolutely 0 regrets.



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05 Jan 2013, 9:07 pm

I don't really trust the ones that have few reviews, because you might not learn in the same way as those two or three people rating. But it can give you an idea. Often what I do is email the professor with a question about the course. I can usually tell from his or her reply if it's something I want to take and if the professor is the kind of person I can learn from.

But the higher up in your education you get, the more you might want to look into taking courses from professors who look at things completely differently than you do. It can force you to grow as a professional. Your GPA may suffer, but you may come out with more actual knowledge.



Jean_Descole
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06 Jan 2013, 3:16 am

I've tried to use it, but I've ultimately found it to take it with a grain of salt. If the professor is more politically-oriented (esp. at my school) and/or if he's an easy A GREATLY influences his score. I've ultimately found it better just to ask for classmate's opinions on various professors--there's only one time I had a bad suggestion, but even then, the person I asked communicated accurate information.

A few things I found helpful when using RMP:

- Pay close attention to that easiness rating. Most professors in the 2.5ish to 3.9ish range are simply professors who won't tolerate slackers.
- Give more credence to people who've taken their upper division classes. Students at that point are more interested in learning the material than passing with an A.
- If a students describe a professor as interesting en masse, avoid him. He's probably a cynic whose nonsense went over the students heads, but the students were smart enough to regurgitate it to get their A, and thus describe his lectures as interesting because apparently their pretty little quiz shows demonstrate they got the material. Really, a professor described as interesting is one of the biggest red flags out there.