At the end of a semester, usually in exchange for extra credit, many students will review their class experiences in surveys that either get sent back to the teacher or to the department. Unfortunately, no one really knows how effective these surveys are or whether they lead to departmental changes.
Because these reviews typically only lead to minimal changes, a few students take their voices to RateMyProfessor.com, a website for college students to rate their teachers on factors like class difficulty and overall quality.
The site is structured like a Yelp for teachers. At the top of every teacher’s page it displays the average scores a teacher was given through the student reviews. Besides the level of difficulty and overall quality, students write in the grade and credit they received, whether they would take the class again and some tags to sum up their class experience.
Just like Yelp, RateMyProfessor can be equally unreliable. The people who use these rating forums tend to be more, oh, I don’t know, radical? Sadly, many moderates do not often put in the time to rate restaurants, classes and teachers.
The result of this semi-democracy are reviews that are usually too high or too low, leaving many people in a Goldilocks—like situation.