Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rating professors

So, someone I work for who just graduated her undergraduate degree was telling me about various websites that I must know about. One such site is the:

site. So, I was looking through it and the opinions posted for various professors I was considering taking. People in Brooklyn College (ahem, I don't go to Queens College) seem to think every professor is crazy and such a horrible unfair grader. I saw a comment that the professors should realize that the students have lives outside of class.

One of the things I noticed in Brooklyn College is that many of the students don't come to class. I was thinking, "what kind of grades do these students have?" When the accounting midterm grades were Emailed to the whole class (with your grade listed by social's last four), I had my answer. The lowest grade was a 35 (with a 14 point curve-that's 21 percent!) Most of the grades were in the 50's, 60's and 70's. There were a small handful in the 80's. Only three of us in the class made it into the 90's. However, considering the 14 point curve, only one earned in the 80's. The rest of us in the nineties earned in the high 70's.

I don't know what these kids are expecting. This is college. This is not high school. I saw comments on this ratemyprofessor that people expected to barter a higher grade from their professors at the end of the term. Seriously? The chutzpah! Some seemed to think they should be given a higher grade for regular attendance. As one of the commmenters said, "this is college, not high school. Grow up!" Actually, my high school was pretty hard. We even had to write 8 to 10 page papers. It's funny that these criticisms of the "harsh" professors are written in the worst English.


  1. I'm TAing now and I've had somewhat similar experiences. There are kids who don't show up and then are shocked, shocked, that they got bad grades.

    However, I don't think that ratemyprofessors is a representative sample. My impression is that the people who spend time commenting there are on average not as academic as the general students.

  2. Interesting enough, I also went to look at what people said about professors at the first college I attended. The comments were much more positive even though the school is much tougher. I think that the problem with Brooklyn College is that the requirements to get in are too low for how hard the work is. When you have kids coming in from NYC public schools with who knows what kind of education they are going to expect it to be easy. Also, none of my professors have said, "for those of you who are freshmen, you're in college, now. You have to choose: sink or swim."

    Anyhow, I think it has more to do with the school than with RATEMYPROFESSOR. Especially because I hear from students in person things about them expecting easy A's and stuff. Another thing is that many people said that professors gave them higher grades than they deserved. Also, there's a lot of curves at this school. I'm glad but that doesn't play in a hard private college, even most other public colleges.

  3. Usually during the first year of College/University for any student the intensity and work load is the deciding factor.

    Many professors can determine who will survive first year and who won't.

    You can choose as you said to "sink or swim". Academia is not for everyone. Information is not "spoon fed" to students.

    At times you can have subjects with amazing professors who stimulate and challenge the minds of those whom they teach. Isn't that why many people go to University?

    Well one would hope so.