Monday, January 16, 2006

Inside Higher Ed :: Rate Your Students

Inside Higher Ed :: Rate Your Students: "For some professors who have had to cringe at scathing personal attacks posted by students on, a new blog — Rate Your Students — is providing a bit of catharsis., launched in 1999, has come to be the bane of some professors’ semesters. The public site allows students to anonymously rate instructors on categories like clarity, helpfulness, ease and even some qualities that arguably aren’t critical to learning, such as hotness.

“We love our jobs,” said “The Professor,” an associate professor at a small college in the South who started Rate Your Students anonymously in November. “But we are reacting to something we see as unfair,” he said in an interview. The Professor makes sure that neither people who submit a post to the blog nor the students they rail against are identifiable.

Several students pointed out that, ostensibly,, which lists over 700,000 professors, has a function: to provide information for students trying to choose courses, whereas Rate Your Students does not. The Professor, however, sees utility. “When we have the occasional moment of frustration,” he said, “to vent — that makes me a better teacher.” Judging from the posts, plenty of professors need a cyber ear to bend. The Professor said he was getting in the vicinity of 100 hits a day at first, but since a mention in a recent Village Voice article, that number has been around 3,000. The Professor said he can’t get through all the rants that are being submitted anymore, but he still hopes to get the cream of the crop on the site."

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