The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Don’t trust Rate My Professors 

Olivia Corabi
Olivia’s illi for the rate my professor column

As classes ramp up at UVM, this is when students typically form their first impressions of their professors, but their judgment might already be clouded.

Much of past students’ feelings culminate on Rate My Professors, a website designed for students to share their feelings about previous professors. 

Negative reviews plague the site, giving students a false idea of what a professor is actually like and starting new students off with a poor outlook. Don’t trust Rate My Professors.

People are more likely to share negative experiences with others rather than positive ones. Ninety-five percent of people reported wanting to share a review if they had a bad interaction, while only 87% said they would share a positive one, according to an April 2013 study by Zendesk Software company.  

One reason this may be is that negative experiences create a more emotional response and force our brains to process the memory more thoroughly, according to a Feb. 2 article by Rize Reviews

Negative experiences will stick with us longer, prompting people to reflect more on their negative experiences and write poor reviews after the fact, according to the Rize article. 

Rate My Professors disconnects professors from potential students and gives a skewed view of how they actually conduct themselves. When reading these reviews, students forget that these professors are people with their own feelings and experiences. 

Many professors work really hard on their classes and are trying to share their passion for a topic to which they’ve devoted much of their lives.

These negative reviews shape everything: how students will walk into class, their attitude in class and how they interact with their professor.   

I certainly wouldn’t recommend looking at these reviews. Sometimes, the worst rated professor might teach the most insightful class, give you a golden research opportunity or be a strong mentor throughout college.  

While scrolling through reviews, you’ll see people writing about how they didn’t like the subject, thought they were assigned too much work or wanted an “easy A.” These types of reviews don’t tell anything about the professor and reveal a lot about the reviewer.  

Sometimes people dislike aspects of classes that are outside the professor’s control. We need to make sure that we are giving every class and professor a fair chance and are forming our own opinions in class.   

Get off Rate My Professors and just go to class. 

More to Discover