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August 01, 2005

Comments

Stephanie

I agree, this stuff is not real useful information. Out of curiosity, I just looked you up on ratemyprofessors.com and all I learned is that you are really hot. A few of your students did comment on what a great instructor you are but it seemed like an awful lot of swooning (not that that's bad or anything ...) :-)

Hugo

And while flattering, it ends up telling prospective students (and outsiders) very little that is actually useful. And for all I know, my mother and my sisters are the ones filling out the surveys on ratemyprofessors!

NancyP

I find student ratings and comments to be pretty useless. Half want me to do X and stop doing Y, the other half want me to keep doing Y and don't want me to do X. I rely on test results and on comments by fellow instructors who might sit in.

Hugo

Agreed. I often tell my students my favorite story about this:

My first semester teaching, I got a bunch of student evaluations in my ancient history class. I've kept them. Most were laudatory, but one student wrote:

"As a Christian, Prof. Schwyzer's obvious hostility to faith really bothers me. He seems to really be unfair to Christians, and to try to attack people who believe."

FROM THE SAME CLASS:

"It's obvious that Hugo is pushing his religious beliefs on the whole class. His fundamentalism comes through, especially in his lectures on Christianity. I wish he'd at least do a better job of hiding it."

Those two students heard the same lectures. I asked my division dean what to do, and she said, "Hugo, as long as you're pissing off both sides, you're doing your job." Though I'd rather not "piss off" anyone, I suppose she had a point, and it's something I keep in mind around evals.

djw

Those are great. I was once an "obvious blatant socialist" and "intolerant of those who disagree with American ideals." If only they could both be right...

Miriam (B)

I'm really mean, and, like, way too demanding and stuff.

As for the reliability of the site: when last I looked at it (and that was about a year ago), some students were using it to attack the outgoing student body president--who, obviously, was not a professor. Oi.

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