Website helps students with choosing teachers

Since her freshman year, Mijan Jones hasn’t gone a semester without seeking the help of the popular student website,

The now 20-year-old health care management student form Ft. Lauderdale said she found out about the website through upperclassmen at Florida A&M University.

“They would tell me to make sure I looked at the available teachers to see who would work the best with me in order to come out with the best grade from the class,” Jones said.

Jones and other FAMU students look to as a guide for deciding what professors would be best for their academic performance. The website allows students to see ratings their peers give to professors based on easiness, clarity, helpfulness, and interest.

RMP was founded in May 1999 by John Swapceinski, a software engineer from Menlo Park, Calif. In January 2007 it was sold to MTVu.

672 professors have been rated on the website.

Although the website gives awareness to students, some say that it can be considered taking the easy way out and some disagree.

“The information that students are learning will always be the same, however, it is delivered differently,” said Jasmine Montford, 21, a senior health science pre-physical therapy major from Jacksonville. “Some students are better with different teaching styles which is where the site becomes helpful.”

Ira Bates, an accounting professor at the university said that the website seems to be pretty accurate.

“I don’t think students are motivated to be dishonest in anyway,” he said.

He scored a 3.9 for helpfulness; a 3.4 for clarity and a 2.2 for easiness and an overall score of 3.6.

41 students rated Bates and most of the students on the site gave him good ratings for helpfulness and clarity, however, they rated him weakly on easiness.

“A lot of students don’t understand how much time is required of them,” Bates said.

He also said that students don’t like to put the time in on the front end, this in turn, may be one of the reasons they consider the class difficult.

Some students aren’t given the chance to decide what professor they will have.

Montford said she once signed up for a teacher who didn’t have a good review at all. The teacher was the only one available.

“He really wasn’t a bad teacher at all but some of the comments on the website were in fact true about him.”

Some can be considered good, bad, fair, and inaccurate. With all f the judgments to professors, few students realize that the website has a section where the professors can respond to the evaluations.

“I’ve never responded back,” said Bates.

Bates said that it is important for the other professors to be aware of the student evaluations. With that being said, Bates explained how the student is the regulator of his/her academic performance.

“Transitioning into college academics relates to doing something on your own,” said Bates.