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Ten Years of Rating Professors

We all want to know what we’re getting into when we sign up for a class. Lucky for us, we have a place to go to find this information: RateMyProfessors.com. Though considered useful to some, the site has received mixed reviews from students and professors alike.

RateMyProfessors, created by mtvU (MTV’s network for college students), is turning ten years old. Since its inception, millions of comments and suggestions have be posted on the site from schools from all over the world including the US, Canada, England, Scotland and Wales.

Shane Twaddell, a senior at The University of Tampa, said he rarely uses the site because he knows the professors in his major fairly well. “Students are not the be-all end-all when it comes to proper criticism,” he said. Twaddell said he does find the site helpful but takes the students’ biases into account.

Joanna Merhi, a junior, uses the site more frequently because she doesn’t want to end up with a bad professor. She did not get to use the site before signing up for classes this semester, though she did look up the professors she ended up with. “[It] made me a little bit more comfortable when I went to class that first day,” Merhi said.

In the “Professors Strike Back” series, professors can now respond to the students comments. But as UT professor Dr. Teresa Bobbitt said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and it is impossible to please all the people all the time.” She would not respond to any of the comments posted about her on the website.

Dr. Gary Luter, director of the Honors Program, said that he does not read students comments. While Dr. Richard Mathews, director of UT Press, and Dr. Tyler Martinolich, program director of Sunscreen Film Festival, had never heard of the site.

RateMyProfessors.com is coming out with new features. Students will be able to give a general rating for the campus, facilities and just about everything about their school.

“I might use [it]. It could be some help to future students,” freshman Janelle Sanchez said.

Mariana Herrera Mosli, a junior, said she would not use the new features. “I would much rather bring any concerns up with the school directly,” Mosli said.

There is a RateMyProfessors.com application coming to the iPhone, as well. Students can also access the site on Facebook, as well as from the mtvU page.

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