By Nino Minniti
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Students across the Camden County College campus as well as many other campuses have used ratemyprofessors.com to help them decide which professor is right for them.
With every new semester, students use this website as a guideline to decipher whom they should or should not choose for their classes for the upcoming semester. Although it can be a helpful source for students to use to choose a professor, is it also harming a student’s learning experience?
With every new rating that goes up, students can see the exact way a professor teaches and if their class is easy or not. They may flock to the professors who grade easily or overall have an “easy” class. The influence the website has may stop people from taking a more difficult class and challenging themselves in favor of just settling for an easy grade without learning.
The website categorizes professors by most rated, highest rated, least difficult and in alphabetical order. Nowhere on the website does it allow students to categorize a professor by most difficult, which makes it even easier for students to access the easiest classes. This may cause a student to select courses that may not give them a greater learning experience. Although this may be the case, it is easier than ever for students to share their thoughts and experiences with others.
“The website has impacted my choice of classes in a positive way, because whatever classes I picked were because of the ratings of the professor on the website,” Camden County College student Yash Patel states. Although it is positive for Patel, he goes on to state, “Depending on the student, it can hinder their learning experience or could even make it worse.”
Some students feel differently about the situation. “I don’t think it (the website) has an effect on your learning experience,” says Camden County College student Samantha Maronski, although she still uses the website to guide her to pick her professors. “If the professor has a poor rating and negative comments about the way they teach, I won’t choose to take their class. If they have a good rating, I am more likely to choose their class.”
How do the ratings work? According to ratemyprofessors.com, the ratings are broken down into different categories. The first is overall quality, which “reflects how well a professor teaches the course material and how helpful they are inside and outside the classroom.” Other categories include level of difficulty, would take again, textbook use and a few others.
Although anyone can sign up and rate a professor, the website reviews the comments. The terms and conditions of use state that any comments deemed inappropriate, vulgar or defamatory will be taken down to keep ratings fair.
According to the website, more than 4 million college students in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom use the website to help them choose a professor.
At Camden County College alone, more than 900 professors have been rated by students.