Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rare RYS Post About the Differences Between Them and RateMyProfessor.

The tip about has led me to discover some of the old RYS posts that Cal culled as he was burning that site to the ground. This one happens to come from 10 years ago today, and was sent to that earlier site by a curious reader who wanted to educate the moderators.


June 15th, 2006

This world can be such a cruel place. But that gives no reason to overlook all the good things in life.

Some professors talk of present-day students as spoiled brats who want everything handed to them on a silver plate. Sure, I guess that applies to certain students. There’s the girl in my Philosophy class who walks out midway through a lecture to talk on her cellphone. Then there’s the guy in Social Sciences class who, after having mysteriously disappeared for the entire semester, comes on the last day to ask why he’s failing. Professors can talk all they want about their lazy and unmotivated students.Students can also talk of apathetic professors. The ones who don’t answer their emails. The ones who don’t return assignments within a reasonable time frame. The ones who come to class and mumble into the podium. The ones who copy textbook sentences and use it as “lecture notes.”

But I would much rather talk about the professors who make it all worthwhile. The professors who are ALWAYS available during office hours to answer questions. The professors who care whether we understand the material, whether we receive the maximum education possible in that certain subject. These professors TEACH us. They inspire us. Their lessons will be remembered for a lifetime. Their names will be etched into our memories.

And most of us who’ve had such professors are grateful enough to go onto RateMyProfessors and speak of our experiences.Why don’t more professors come to your blog to talk about all the “good” students they’ve had? People call your site as a rebuttal to RMP. I will not criticize RMP, although I can admit that I disagree with some of their policies (including the use of chilli peppers to rate a professor’s hotness or lack thereof). But I will also say that RMP is NOT a careless site that PURPOSELY lets students bypass with inappropriate ratings. RMP’s moderators work hard to ensure the best of quality for students all over North America. Bluntly put, some professors just can’t teach their way out of a paper bag. Shouldn’t we have the right to avoid certain classes if they don’t suit our needs? The needs of poor-starving-students-who-are-up-to-their-necks-in-debt-because-they-have-to-pay-high-tuition-and-text-fees?

RMP will last because it’s MEANT to be a site that offers CONSTRUCTIVE student evaluation of professors—it’s well-intentioned. You may love “most” of your students… but a site that’s designed as a venting machine for disgruntled “academics”, no matter how ingenious, cannot… 'should' not last.


  1. After reading this flashback, my first thought is that how things are intended, and what they become, are quite often not the same. This can be particularly true in "crowd-sourced" projects like RMP or CM, because crowds typically regress towards the mean or even the lowest common denominator. I hypothesize that tendency to regress towards the lowest common denominator increases with anonymity, i.e., increases inversely to accountability. RMP is anonymous and its contributors both unvetted and unaccountable.

    CM is (mostly) pseudonomous, accountable to ourselves and to each other. I don't think it's stretching it to state bluntly that the mean contributor to CM is significantly greater than that of RMP, and that what CM has been and has become are of greater real utility than RMP.

  2. This is all well and good but we don't care about what you'd rather talk about. I don't go a a baseball fan forum and say that I'd like to talk about football.

    RMP wasn't meant to offer constructive criticism. It was meant for students to vent and help each other pick the easiest professors for next semester's classes. Both them and us will continue because there's always some students who want the easy way out and their professors will always want to complain about them.

  3. What Ben said.