With COVID-19 limiting peer interaction, students are becoming increasingly reliant on other forms of communication. This includes using RateMyProfessors to size up prospective professors and instructors.
Freshman exercise science major Olivia Miller, from Quincy, Illinois, said she has been using RateMyProfessors, a website where students leave reviews on their college professors, as a means to get to know her professors.
“I trust it because, especially right now with COVID and everything, there’s not an easier way to meet my professors, so I’ve been using RateMyProfessors to see what classes I want to sign up for for next semester,” Miller said.
Sophomore medical biochemistry and business finance major Kelly Bunselmeyer, from Ava, Illinois, said she uses RateMyProfessors because she trusts her peers to give better judgments on professors than professors could give of themselves.
“I know that I’ve looked at RateMyProfessors for every teacher that I’m taking, and I definitely base my teachers off that,” Bunselmeyer said. “Mostly just because it’s other students, like, teachers are always just going to talk the highest of themselves. I like to also talk to other teachers about the teachers I want to take, because they always have the inside source.”
Sophomore Biological Science major Adi Hernandez-Nesbitt from Geneseo, Illinois, said while she doesn’t use it as much as her peers, she does use it sometimes, but believes it can’t be used in all circumstances.
“Overall, I like RateMyProfessors. I don’t use it as much as other students,” Hernandez-Nesbitt said. “Mostly just because a lot of my major courses, there’s only one class that’s available, but for some of my gen eds I do like to use it just to kind of see which teachers are the best.”
However, Hernandez-Nesbitt said whether she will trust the review depends on how the comment is written.
“I like to get good grades, so to know that someone else is putting in effort doing what I would do, to know how they did is pretty nice,” Hernandez-Nesbitt said. “It depends on how sophisticated a comment sounds or how reliable a comment sounds.”
Bunselmeyer said if the professor has a score of two or above, she will look at the comments to see if they will be a good match for her learning style.
“If it’s a score better than two or above, I’m just like, ‘okay, I’ll look at the comments,’ and then most people who do give them a bad score, they’re like, ‘the exams were so hard, it was based off this,’ but everyone’s different in the way that they learn,” Bunselmeyer said. “For the most part you can always find some comments that are like ‘well, this is how the exams work; this is how the tests work; they do assign homework; it’s hard.’”
Miller said she also likes to use RateMyProfessors as a way to know a professor’s teaching style.
“I like to see how they teach, like if they go through the lectures well, or they just throw up some PowerPoints and expect you to take notes,” Miller said. “Some people make comments about ‘everything they say is going to be on the test’ or ‘he throws in other aspects that you didn’t teach in class.’ I know that there’s some people who just go on to write bad reviews, but I try to look at all of them and take them all into consideration. I look more at the comments because people go more in depth as to why they wrote the rating.”
For more information, visit RateMyProfessors.