As students schedule classes for the spring semester, the campus is buzzing with those wondering what classes to take and with whom. Looking for more opinions, some may even go as far as logging on to the ever popular RateMyProfessors.com.
RateMyProfessors.com is a review site founded in May 1999. The website allows college and university students and even anonymous people to assign ratings to professors of American, Canadian and British institutions. The site contains more than ten million ratings, for about one million professors.
The main criticism of RMP is that there is little reason to think that the ratings accurately reflect the quality of the professors rated. RMP itself admits that the ratings are “not really” statistically valid.
Bloomsburg University has a total of 610 professors on the website. The top five highest professors were found using the ‘total ratings’ and ‘overall quality’ options. Here you can find the top five highest rated professors on campus, anoymous comments and a comment from the professor themselves.
Anonymous Comment: “Cultural Anthropology with Aleto was a very interesting class. He gave assignments where you had to read articles about different cultures, and they were all interesting. There was no textbook. We also watched a lot of video clips. You need to go to class in order to get the notes, since there is no text, and take notes on the videos. Very fun.”
Professor Comment: Not Available
2. Eileen Astor-Stetson – Psychology
Anonymous Comment: “General Psychology was a lot of information for a one semester course. She makes it fun and keeps you interested. You need to workbook in order to do assignments. I used the book sparingly. Make sure you take down all her notes. And you have to study for the test, or else you will not do well. You need to go to class in order to get the notes.”
Professor Comment: Not Available
3. Peter Bohling – Economics
Anonymous Comment: “Extremely nice guy, funny, and helps you a lot over the course of the class. Class is actually fun, and he goes out of his way to make sure you understand it. While the material is somewhat hard, he makes sure you understand it so you can get an A if you do some work and pay attention. One of the best teachers in Bloom, hands down.”
Professor Comment: “As far as that website is concerned, it is a very bad website in my opinion. It allows people to put comments and rating in even if a person is not in the class. Also, I think people use it only when they are either pleased with a class or upset with a class so the ratings are not representative of the class or the instructor.”
4. Cynthia Surmacz – Biology
Anonymous Comment: “Having her for A&P1 and A&P2 she was extremely helpful! Even though the class was difficult, including the tests, she made the class fun and easy to learn new concepts. She was ALWAYS available and was willing to help! She takes attendance randomly and puts it towards your grade so you need to go. Make sure you take it with her and no one else!”
Professor Comment : Not Available
5. Kurt Smith – Philosophy
Anonymous Comment: “This guy is funny. I did not want to miss class in fear of missing him say something funny. Good teacher has a story to explain everything… Grades somewhat tough but its easy to get a B or better.”
Professor Comment: “I believe that it’s a good idea for students have a forum (consisting of just students) to vent their frustrations and it’s not a bad idea for there to be some resource they can tap to see what their fellow students think of professors. But, if the only students who are evaluating professors are those who take themselves to either really love or hate the professors being evaluated, then the resource isn’t going to be all that informative. That, I’m afraid, is really what we have with Ratemyprofessor.com. The voice of the LARGE majority of students (in the emotional-middle) simply isn’t being heard.”
* Honorable mention: Alan Baker – Music
Anonymous Comment: “From a music-illiterate person’s perspective: SO MUCH FUN. The atmosphere is great and I feel as though my lack of skills does not matter anymore and I could possibly be learning something…”
Professor Comment: “I know of the website but I, intentionally, stay away from it. I have colleagues and friends (even a wife) who look at the site with some regularity, but I don’t. My reasoning is that I don’t really know what kind of sample one is getting of their entire class, nor does one really know what criteria is being used to make the evaluation. Perhaps I’m rated the way I am because my class is considered “easy.” If so, that’s not particularly flattering. Do the disgruntled “weigh in” on their professors more than the complimentary? I know I am more likely to “go the extra mile” to complain about something than I am to “praise” something. Not a great self-realization, but we’re all busy and I suspect lots of others behave in much the same way.”
All photos courtesy of Google Image Search