By John Wunker/reporter
Academia review sites prove influential for students seeking guidance on professor selection.
With ratings playing a major part in everyday life, the use of the website RateMyProfessors.com has created a database of reviews tailored for college students around the world.
Former TCC student Deborah Lawson emphasized the importance of the site as professor ratings played a significant role in her choices for the last nine years.
“RateMyProfessors has been a major influence on who I picked. It helped me set up my semesters ahead of time and get the most out of each of my classes,” Lawson said. “I wasn’t going to waste my time and money on a professor who had poor reviews.”
Pursuing a doctorate in pharmacology, Lawson said that the site does become less informative the farther you progress in school.
“When you get to upper-level classes, it becomes less helpful because of other students complaining purely about the difficulty of the course and not about the fact that they were poor students,” Lawson said.
Such ratings are based on level of difficulty and overall quality and place both schools and professors on a scale of one through five. With the current average of all TCC professors at 3.85, user reviews have leaned positively.
South student Korbin Bohannon said that he was happy that sites like these exist.
“I don’t make decisions on professors without referencing first,” he said.
Bohannon said the rating is more than just a number when it comes to whether the rating is fair to harder professors.
“It’s not a bad thing. You have to search through the reviews and understand what the complaints are,” Bohannon said. “If you don’t want students to avoid you, don’t be a terrible professor.”
NW student Landon Moninger said RateMyProfessors plays a positive impact on the student body.
“It allows students to go reflect on the class by allowing them to say what they want about the class and allows other students to see the types of professors that are at that school,” Moninger said.
Furthermore, Moninger compared professor ratings to those seen in everyday products one buys at the store.
“When you go and shop, you’re not going to buy something with a one-star review. The same applies for a professor,” he said. “You don’t want a professor that is going to make that class harder on you.”
However, he also mentioned that in his experience some classes did not reflect the correct rating.
“In some instances, the professor had a medium-to-high rating and to me, didn’t live up to it,” Moninger said.