It used to just be that at the end of each semester, students would receive an evaluation form to rate their professors and the course in general.Â However, these days, not only do students continue to fill those out, but they also rate their instructors throughout the semester or years on websites like MySpace, Facebook, and so on.Â The difference between the standard school evaluations and those on these websites is that the school evaluations are given directly to the instructor, and never seen by other students.Â With public, online evaluations or ratings being conducted, students “evaluations” serve a purpose beyond just giving feedback and criticism to the instructor; they now serve to “warn” other students, and give students an outlet beyond their immediate friends with whom to share their likes and dislikes.Â And in all this, the instructors just sit back and let the criticism flow, while they themselves might be wishing that they too could bitch about some of their annoying students.Â Now, instructors have an outlet to voice their frustrations and/or praises.
Rate Your Students is a blog where college instructors are given the opportunity to evaluate their students, publicly.Â I am sure that for years they have been complaining about us to their co-workers, family, and friends, so it should come as no surprise that *gasp* some of the stuff that some of us do just really gets on their nerves.
What I find interesting about the site is that professors from all around the country and the world share many of the same gripes, despite the differences in location, culture, and so on.Â Students in New Zealand, are apparently just as lazy as students in the good ol’ US of A.Â Some of the letters written by instructors are scary – I can believe some of the stuff their students do! And the exuses, oh my, some of them are just downright hilarious, and others are just so lame I can’t believe someone would actually even try to pass it off.Â But all in all, it is a very enlightening blog to visit, and at times it is good for a good laugh.
And while some students might take Rate Your Students as a “Professors Strike Back” type of counterattack or something, I do not.Â If we can criticize them, they by all means, they should be free to criticize us.Â And who knows, in all of this we might just learn something from eachother.