What is Ratemyprofessor.com?

*This is for students that have the benefit of changing their schedule as need be. As a fellow NOVA student I completely understand why simply changing a class would cause a world of havoc for some.

Everyone has their favorite professor and others love to hate others. But this is not high school where you can just post anything you want about a teacher. This is an adult learning facility even if it’s a community college, it is accredited by the nation and its faculty should be given only structural criticism not immature comments. Take for example the infamous website “ratemyprofessor.com”, it is an online rating system used to describe professors from all over the country. These ratings are created based on the following criteria: Easiness, Clarity, Timeliness, Textbook Usage, etc. Followed by some personal comments about said professor. Now here’s an example of a positive formal appraisal:
**Note: these ratings are completely fictional and none are on the website. They are only mimicking the voice of the commenter.

“When I had this professor for SOC 201, he expected his students to come prepared with readings and to ready ourselves for our upcoming project. Unfortunately I had some problems with my group so I emailed him a complaint and he helped me by placing me in a more productive group. I learned a lot from this professor and he made sociology fun. Plus at the end of the semester he gave us free pizza. Highly recommend”

This commentary is formal in both voice and grammar, the expectations are clearly spelled out and an example was given of how this professor is helpful.

Now here’s an example of a informal positive review:
“OMG this professor is soooo freaking awesum!! :D triple thumbs up! so easy and the class was fun lol, the tests wernt as baaaad and my group project was cool! I totes want ot take this prof for 202! GAH i cant wait!”

While the energy of the voice is passionate enough, the delivery could sound less middle school and more educated adult. This is not the proper place for emoticons, excessive use of exclamation points and incorrect grammar.

A negative formal example may present as such:

“This professor provided very little information about the content on the tests, the assignment was to just read the book and submit online discussion board threads. It was completely un-engaging and no matter how many times I emailed him with questions, he wouldn’t get back to me in time before the test. I wouldn’t recommend this professor unless you are really good at self study.”

This provides evidence of why this teacher was not the most preferred and notice how again example were used of certain aspects as to why this professor got a lower rating.

Here is an example of a negative informal rating:

“WTH? grrr this class is so stupid. lecture has me snoring, the teacher is a joke, if i had to take this course w/ this prof I would drop out lol. He probs just against me cuz im black”

Again here we have not only informal and useless information but there is an accusation in place where it should not be.

Rule: You can say anything you want about anyone/anything just as long as you say it the right way.

I’ve used ratemyprofessor.com ever since I was in high school and it definitely made my experience at NOVA a lot better. However, I caution those who take a professor that is not on the list to not feel unsettled because it could be a great experience. Take everything you read with a grain of salt and use your best judgement. Remember only you know yourself best, so assess your educational needs and base your findings off of that.

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