Ever wished you could grade your professor on how well he teaches?
A new college website, www.MyProfessorSucks.com, lets students from all over the U.S. and Canada evaluate and grade their professors online.
“The site’s purpose has always remained the same: to provide students with a resource to make informed choices about which professors you should avoid and which ones you’d be a fool to miss,” said site founder Kasey Kerber.
Kerber, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska, began the site last year when he took a course with a “terrible professor with an incomprehensible textbook.”
According to Kerber, he wished he would have been warned about the class, so he created MyProfessorSucks.com to prevent others from going through the same experience.
Schools are organized by state and size. There are three categories of sizes: “Big Daddy,” “Medium’s More My Style” and “Hey, Size Doesn’t Matter!” (UM is medium).
Besides teacher evaluations, the site offers a page of humorous posts such as “She, like a shag carpet, should never have left the 70s.”
The site also has an on-staff columnist who writes a humorous Q & A. Example: Q – “I’m in the marching band, am I a total geek?” A – “Since geek implies high intelligence, I’d classify you as a ‘dork.'”
According to the site’s founder, he also posts a more serious column on college life, and students can send humorous e-cards, take a weekly survey and read the “Quote of the Moment,” which at press time was: “If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?”
Once the school has been selected, students can type in the name of the professor for whom they’d like to read evaluations. If the teacher’s name isn’t there, the professor can instantly be graded in terms of “ease of class,” “coolness,” and “worth of class.”
Currently, more than 3,000 colleges and universities are included on the site, and over 200,000 students have visited it.
Despite its negative name, some of the evaluations are good. “The A+ Club” section of the site features all teachers who scored a B+ or better.
“We grade on a curve,” the site claims.
As of press time, five UM professors had been evaluated, two of which received A averages.
But how reliable are the opinions of our peers?
“I take teacher evaluations very seriously,” sophomore Adria Francani said. “It’s important to see what other people thought of [the professors] I’ll be spending a semester with.”
However, many of the evaluations are negative, with no comments provided.
“Students need to vent, and this website is a non-destructive way of venting,” said English professor Gina Maranto, who was given an A on her evaluation. “A lot of professors don’t like being evaluated, but who is our primary target? Our students. So that’s who we should listen to for feedback.”
Some are skeptical of the site.
“If an evaluation is very different than all the others, I read over it carefully, then decide whether it is legit, or just a student venting,” Tim Brent, teaching assistant, said. “Mostly though, I look for repeated comments.”
“I don’t even know if those students took my class or not,” physics professor James Nearing said. Nearing scored poorly on his overall average.
The educator’s page of the website addresses Nearing’s concerns.
“We do not advocate administrative action based on evaluations, nor do we advocate professors to find critical students and challenge them,” the site claims.
All students must agree not to post libelous, defamatory, or profane material on the site.
According to many students, despite the fact that evaluations may be biased and not necessarily helpful, the site is amusing.
According to students and administrators, UM offers student evaluations of professors on the EASY system but does not include student comments or feedback.
Kerber is aiming for the site to be one of the top five most popular sites for college students.
“We can be a great academic resource, entertainment destination and place for financial information,” Kerber said. “Those three things are pretty important to college students: school, fun and money. Dating’s also up there, but hey – we can only do so much.”