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Rate Your Professors

As a university student, I have had more than 30 different instructors, each with his or her own very unique teaching style. In order to be successful in my classes, I have had to adapt my way of learning to my instructors’ way of teaching.

Having the ability to adapt well to different environments is a great skill to have, but sometimes it can be time consuming and difficult. For example, I had a wonderful Spanish instructor for three straight terms, then had to change instructors due to scheduling conflicts. She made every effort to suit each student’s learning style–visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc. She made power point presentations for each lecture and made them available to students, she incorporated music and video into the curriculum and did other small things that really suited the individual needs of her students.

My new Spanish instructor, though he is smart and enthusiastic, does not make the same efforts that my previous instructor did. It has been difficult for me to adapt to this new learning environment, and I feel like I haven’t learned as much under his instruction as I have in the previous terms.

In a university environment it is nearly impossible to cherry-pick your instructors. There are some classes that enable this; however, more often than not you are stuck with what you are given. That can be a great thing, or a not-so-great thing.

In the instances where you have some discretion, it would be nice to be able to be able to find information about the instructor, his or her teaching style, and student reviews.

RateMyProfessors.com is a site that offers this service, but many times there is not enough information, or the information provided is unreliable. Most of the student ratings on this site are either written by students who adored their instructor, or are written by students who detested their instructor.

Essentially, this blog entry is a plea to students to rate your professors so that future students can get a better idea of a future instructors teaching style. Remember, you are paying a lot of money to receive instruction from these people. It is up to you to make sure you get as much bang for your buck as you can. Do the research, participate in RateMyProfessors.com and fill out surveys at the end of each term giving as much feedback about each instructor as possible.

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  1. February 7, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I completely agree with the concept of “rating” your professor to benefit our fellow students. To be able to post publicly what type of teaching style and strategies that a particular professor uses is so important if you want to get the most out of your education. What’s the point of being in a learning environment where you are not gaining any sense of knowledge? Too many students waste the privlege of an education because they end up in a class where the teaching method of the professor does not match the student’s learning method. And there’s nothing worse than being “taught” by a professor who isn’t enthusiastic or passionate. Teaching is a profession that not just passes on knowledge but one that inspires individuals! I think it’s a big reason why a lot of students just “float through” school and don’t feel passionate about what they are studying (of course, there is also a fair share of students who just don’t put in effort, but that’s a different story). “Rate my Professor” is a great resource so long as you know how to rely on the right comments 🙂

  2. katiestansberry
    February 10, 2010 at 5:16 am

    As an instructor I can confirm that many of my colleagues are less than enthusiastic about RateMyProfessor. I actually think the problem with the site is that not enough students use it. I’d love to see more comments added so that students would have a range of views to check out before taking a class.

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