November 10, 2012
Student Online Anonymity: The Uselessness of RateMyProfs
If you are a professor, you probably know the several online sites where students provide feedback about you anonymously, and how if you want to get really grumpy, you go look at the students whining about how much they have to actually do work. I find it particularly insulting to find students there who think having a strong personality is insulting, suggesting they think about material differently is offensive, and who for some reason think I don’t care if they pass or fail.
I hate students who fail. BUt I can assure you, you have to work really hard to fail one of my classes.
Complaining about professors using videos in class is just hilarious.
BUt what really gets me grumpy is looking at how students rate some of the other folks I work with. Professor I know for a fact could not care less about their students get these wonderful ratings and comments. There is a colleague I would dearly love to smack for some of the downright racist and otherwise bigoted things s/he says about students, and s/he has a rating of “5”. Scantron appears to be highly popular among students.
Part of the problem is, of course, anonymity. Students who don’t like you are more likely to comment, for one. But to see professors who are know are inaccurate, irresponsible, and simply burned out and don’t care get high marked, when I’m busting my butt over here to make sure my students actually learn something new and grow as scholars, I get trashed.
And I mean, TRASHED.
It is a disservice to students trying to select classes… unless they don’t care about actually learning.
I have taught 13 years now. I have had almost 3000 students come through the classes I have taught in that time. The largest pool of comments I have on these sites is about two dozen.
Although I feel for the students who might be using these sites as a guide for selecting classes, noting that not ALL the comments are negative… I think I’ll call that a win.