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September 8, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Students anonymously bitch about professors!

It made Time magazine’s 2007 50 Best Websites list. It has its own spinoff series on MTV’s US college network, mtvU. It has been both criticised and praised by students and university professors alike. It is

The RateMyProfessors (RMP) website has been in existence since 1999 and has seen 6.8 million students from across the US and Britain rate more than one million professors from 6,000 schools.

The purpose of RMP, says the website, is to help students plan their class schedules and rate current and past professors on attributes such as “helpfulness” and “clarity.” Students can also rate their professors on more superficial attributes such as “hotness.”

A study of the ratings on RMP was conducted by James Felton, a professor of finance at Central Michigan University in the US. It was reported that his research found “the hotter and easier professors are, the more likely they’ll get rated as a good teacher.”

Some professors rated on the site have complained about “bullying and derogatory comments from anonymous students.”

Felton’s research found that the ratings were, at their worst, “not much removed from graffiti on the walls of restrooms.”

Professors Strike Back, on mtvU, gives professors a chance to rebut some of the feedback they have received on the RMP website. Professor Natalie Jeremijenko from New York University responded on Professors Strike Back to one student’s desire “to be her slave.” Jeremijenko politely turned down the offer.

No New Zealand lecturers or tutors appear to be rated on the site as yet.


About the Author ()

Editor for 2010, politics nerd, panda fan and three-time award-winning student journalist.

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