Ratings do not always add up

When choosing new classes for next semester, some students turn to the website ratemyprofessors.com.

Ratemyprofessors.com allows students to enter the names of certain professors, the classes they teach, and find out what other students think of them.

Students are also able to see a professor’s rating, which is out of a score of a possible five points, on the website.

“If I don’t know any of the professors teaching, then it’s a good tool to use,” Vicki Paisley, a junior journalism major said.

She added that she does not fully trust the website.

“Most students on it are lazy, so they whine about the teachers,” Paisley said.

Kevin Stanley, a sophomore biology major, goes on the website usually a week or two before he can register for classes.

He agreed with Paisley, saying that some lazy students use ratemyprofessors.com as a way to get easy professors.

“It really just depends on the people that take the classes and what they decide to post on it,” Stanley said.

Eastern’s section of ratemyprofessors.com has an average professor rating of 3.19 out of five with a total of 995 professors listed.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has 2445 professors listed and currently has an average professor rating of 3.22.

“If the person posting had a bad experience, then they will probably speak negatively of the professor,” Zach Moritz, a sophomore recreation administration major, said.

Moritz, like Paisley, has not posted anything on the website.

“I want to use it when choosing my classes for next semester,” Allison Newton, a freshman pre-pharmacy major, said.

Scott Meiners, a botany professor, has heard about the website.

He has even looked himself up before.

“If you look at one rating of a certain professor, you may not get an accurate take,” Meiners said. “However, if you look at all of the ratings as a whole, you have a better chance of getting an accurate description of the professor.”

Meiner knew of one student who posted something about him on the website while Meiner was giving a lecture. He believes the website is not the most reliable, but does not discourage students from using it.

“The website seems very similar to a teacher evaluation,” Meiner said.

Mary Maddox, an English professor, has taught in Eastern’s English department since 1979, but said if certain comments were made about her teaching style than she would consider changing it.

“I’d rather not know what people put about me,” Maddox said.

Erin Riedl can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].