I just did a google search of myself and now I am freaking out that RateMyProfessor.com is the second hit. I had read my reviews a while ago (they are several years old) and while they aren't horrible, they used words that would certainly not help my chances like "boring". YIKES!! Now I'm worried that the institutions I applied to will be googling me and seeing these same ratings. The course I was rated on was a giant lecture course, and it's very difficult NOT to be a bit boring when you have to lecture for an hour twice a week. Is there anyone out there on a sc who could speak to this?
Date: 11 Jan 2011 19:25
Number of posts: 14
RSS: New posts
Not on a SC…but why don't you load up on some favorable reviews to wash out the bad ones? Seriously, I know faculty who make theirs up!
You should consider yourself lucky. At least students wrote about you so that means they care. I tought many classes and don't even have an entry in the website.
I think most (if not all) SCs know that websites like rate my professor are for kids by kids, and as such really aren't representative of that professor's abilities (or lack there of). As far as faculty that do their own… egos require stroking I guess, and if no one else will stroke it, they can do it themselves ;)
Seriously, don't worry about it in the least anymore than you worry about hot or not or rate my rack. I've seen people hired that were "boring" "messy" "hawt" and "disorganized". I'd like to think even the hawt comment didn't help ;)
We don't every look at RMP for candidates. We do look carefully at official course evaluations.
Sadly I know of a SC member who brought printed copies of Rate My Professor pages to the SC meeting. The SC member also happened to be a Dean. This is at a 'Best College to Work For' and 'recognized for teaching excellence' SLAC.
I looked at the ratings of professors at the Universtity of Pennsylvania Law School. For an Ivy League institution, they were horrible. Make a copy. You can at least claim that you're in good company.
I wouldn't worry about RMP…unless you have a LOT of entries on there and for some reason you don't have regular course evals (or your course evals agree with what was said on RMP.) In my experience, for a course that had 50 or 100 students, you might get 2-3 RMP entries. So any SC that weighs those opinions at alllet alone as much as the actual course evalsis a really bad committee!
Also, what kinds of positions are you applying for? If it's R1 positions no one will care…even if you sent in horrible official evals, they would not sink you (though I would recommend sending nothing in that case.) If you're applying for teaching-oriented schools (could be R2s or LACs), do you like teaching and are you usually good at it? Have you improved since the "boring" days, taken specific steps, responded to feedback? In phone and campus interviews I have had so far, schools asked what steps I've taken to improve my teaching and respond to feedback. If you have a narrative along these lines, that's better than just having perfect evals the whole time!
As for the UPenn Law comment — law schools are like psych depts at R1s…they hire based on research so it doesn't matter that the teaching is bad. Law professor candidates rarely have teaching experience, especially legal teaching.
sorry about the strikeout in comment above… I didn't realize that using dashes would cause this.
The stirke out thing happens to me on here all the time. Annoying, and I so love using an M dash when I type that I completely forget when I get on here that hitting two dashes will strike things out!
When I ask students to complete official course evaluations, I also encourage them to put comments on rate my professor so that other students know whether or not to take the class, and include the link to my page. And, of course, in case search committees ever decide to look, they'll see tons of (generally positive) comments.