Rate My Professors, a third-party website that reviews teachers and universities in the United States, guides some BYU-Idaho professors to improve their teaching. But others don’t find it helpful.
Students have the ability to give a review on teachers and institutions they’ve taken classes from. According to Rate My Professor, it has over 19 million reviews from over 7,500 universities.
Naturally, teachers have differing opinions on how effective and reliable the website really is.
“It’s not super accurate,” said Michelle Rognon, a communication professor. “I definitely look at my student evaluations a lot more.”
Rognon didn’t personally use the website while she was a student, but feels it’s very similar to product reviews. Some reviews are either very positive or negative.
While it can be very polarized, some professors use it as much as they can to better their classes.
Laurene Jackson, a communication professor, is one of those professors who checks her own page once a semester to see how she is doing as a professor. A smile stretched across her face as she explained how much she loves to teach.
Jackson discovered this resource when she was a student at BYU-I and continues to use it to see her own ratings so she can improve.
She can remember sitting in class and hearing her classmates talk about Rate My Professors.
“Kids talk, ya know?” said Jackson.
She began to use it to look up professors before signing up for classes just as many of her fellow students did. Now as a professor, she explained how weird it was to switch from rating professors to be being rated herself.
“I remember so well the first day I ever taught college because I graduated in July and I taught my first college class in January,” Jackson said.
She asks her students each semester for feedback and she checks everywhere she can to know how to improve.
Her process is reading student evaluations from the school, then checking Rate My Professors to see if the two correlate. She also reviews if there is anything students are willing to say there that they didn’t want to in her evaluations.
“It is more important to be a good teacher to me than anything,” Jackson said. “I love teaching and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do it.
Jackson has improved not only her teaching but also her understanding of students and what they need from her.