EDITORIAL: Internet rankings allow for honesty
(Comtex Business Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)HUNTINGTON, W.Va., Apr 13, 2006 (The Parthenon, U-WIRE via COMTEX) --For the next few nights at 12:01 a.m., the myMU server will clog with students logging on to register for classes for the fall semester.
But in the hours preceding that mad rush to the online registrar, students will jam another site, www.ratemyprofessor.com.
This site is one set up to allow students to exchange information about professors and courses. The professors are organized alphabetically, so searching the records is made easy.
Students can select professors based on the views of those who have had that instructor in prior semesters.
This site acts as an in-the-know friend who has had every instructor and is generally an unbiased opinion - only this friend is representative of the views of thousands of people.
And while some of the ratings are more harsh that others, the system lets students know about their future instructors.
Professors, too, use the site. Some professors truly care about how they are perceived by students. By looking at the site, professors can get more honest feedback than what is offered in the university-provided student evaluations.
We applaud the professors who care about their students enough to seek out their opinions, even if it is through a Web site.
By checking the site, professors can examine how they can better reach their students. This insight could make for a more valuable learning experience for future students.
Learning patterns change. With this generation of graphically-inclined students, professors need to know how to best reach their audience.
Students are paying for a service, and this service should be worth their money.
And while many professors may discredit the site because of the hurtful comments about them, there is valuable information contained in the pages. This critique could give the faculty an opportunity to better educate their students.
And a free and honest evaluation about their job is something everyone needs.
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