Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Who Else Does This?

I get mysterious scrawlings on the board from time to time, but I also find that when the proffie before me leaves the classroom computer logged in on his/her account, that's a great time to visit the site that shall not be named and give myself a great review or chili pepper.

Makes my day.


  1. I don't at present, but now you've given me ideas. My only fear is that a student would walk in and catch me at it.

  2. Come to think of it, this would also be a good use for left-behind/confiscated internet-capable devices.

  3. Maybe while they're on RMP improving the reliability of their own ratings, CMers could also fix this guy's lack of first-hand experience with being rated by the "experts" who typically post on RMP:

    I'm a real teacher, and I love Rate My Professor

    Savor the stank:

    Although I have no idea how my students would have commented ... if I’d had a page on Rate My Professor (which I don’t), the basic lesson remains the same: For those entrusted with carrying the torch of education to future generations, there is no substitute for student feedback.

    As an article in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education put it, “students who post ratings may be regarded as experts who have had significant experience with the professors” and can thus help the best ones earn tenure and promotions.

    1. Is that one of those Onion-type websites?

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the guy:
      a. was an assistant TA
      b. is no longer teaching
      c. has never been rated on RMP
      d. can't write - or think - it seems, for toffee

    3. More from that article:

      Professors teach those who study at their colleges and universities how to separate sound reasoning and information from nonsense (which is particularly useful given the avalanche of bullshit available online today) ...

      Exactly. For instance, we'd expect a "real teacher" not only not to parrot uncritically a statement such as "students [are] experts", but also to be critical of a website that accepts input from unverified sources. You know, to separate the signal from the bullshit.

      In response to EC1, if that's a multiple choice test, it's likely E. all of the above, but I'm willing to cut him some slack on the writing/thinking because of his youth.

      Ben, unfortunately, it is not satire. It is apparently his first article for that site. A later one references an article on another site that gives his bio as "a Ph.D. student in history at Lehigh University as well as a political columnist. His editorials have been published in 'The Morning Call,' 'The Express-Times,' 'The Newark Star-Ledger,' 'The Baltimore Sun,' and various college newspapers and blogs."

  4. What's surprising to me is that, given the notorious flaw in that site (anyone can post anything) credible student comment sites (with ID verification) have not yet arisen. For example, student government associations could easily set up campus-specific comment sites, where only verified students in a course would post (anonymously), within (say) a four-week period after the final grades were posted, and including the commenter's final grade on the course. In fact the SGAs might even be able to secure a higher response rate than that of the online official student evals. themselves, and edit/delete useless or disrespectful comments.

    1. I understand that some universities have done just that. I don't know how they deal with students who dropped or withdrew, whether they can also rate/comment.

      I'm not sure if the grade is included, but I do know that were I a student, it would definitely affect my trust in the anonymous reviewer's opinion. There could be FERPA issues; for small enough classes it might be pretty easy to figure out the reviewer's identity. But there are ways to minimize even that.