Using Rate My Professor when scheduling classes

The fall semester is winding down and winter is right around the corner. Although students choose their classes well before the school year begins, many things could change. There could be a sudden realization that the program they are in is simply not for them, or that a six-hour gap between classes just isn’t a good time.

When crunched for time to switch and trying to decide between two professors who offer a class, don’t fret, that’s when “Rate My Professor” comes in handy. states that “It is built for college students, by college students and is the largest online destination for professor ratings.”

Students can rate on helpfulness, clarity and easiness (as well as hotness, for students who would rather have eye candy than a helpful class).

Oakland University is one of 7,000 schools rated and carries an overall professor rating of 3.6 out of 5.0.

Rumor has it that many professors will fake ratings to boost themselves, but many rely on the end of the term evaluations instead.

“Our department has an internal evaluation system and I have read the students’ comments on those before,” said Anna Spagnuolo, professor of mathematics at Oakland University. “I take our departmental evaluations seriously.”

The charm of Oakland is that small class sizes allows for a close professor-to-student relationship and many times, professors get direct comments from students saying thanks.

“Former students will sometimes email me very nice messages and also sometimes mention that I have good ratings on that particular website,” Spagnuolo said.

“I pretty much know how my students feel about my teaching style by their performance in class,” said Elizabeth Anderson, lecturer of Spanish at Oakland University.

For students, it is a good way to see which professors put a lot of effort into teaching and student success, rather than a professor who has to teach but has greater responsibility to their research.

Every student learns differently and a student’s bad grade is usually their own fault, Rate My Professor seems to be a good source of opinions.

“Sometimes it’s a little off, but most of the time it’s really helpful knowing how the professor teaches,” sophomore Rachel Taft said.

In a hectic world that’s always changing, the ability to take a peek into a rating of a professor can be one less thing to worry about for the new semester.

“If I have a way to change around my schedule and not get the bad professors, I will,” Taft said. “The one time I got a below 3.0 professor, I almost failed the class.”