By Stayci Lewis – Cougar News Contributor
Spring semester is coming to a close and summer registration has started and College of the Canyons students are trying to find out the best professor they can get for the classes they need. Many COC students use the Rate My Professors website to evaluate and compare the campuses’ instructors.
COC students don’t believe everything Rate My Professor says, but they still believe it’s accurate enough to help them make a good decision in choosing a professor just right for them.
Several students say the website isn’t exactly accurate, but it’s not inaccurate either. They say it’s good enough to help them pick a good professor.
Students say that classmates who might have been angry or upset with a teacher because of their final grade might post their opinion on ratemyprofessors.com. This, they say, is what makes the website inaccurate. However, they believe that most of the positive feedback is true.
Some professors at COC say that they don’t look at ratemyprofessors.com, because they prefer to have an unbiased approach when beginning a new class. One COC psychology professor said that she doesn’t look at the website because she believes students post negative comments based off of a rare, extreme experience. Therefore, they information that is given is incorrect.
Floyd Moos, Assistant Superintendent and Vice President of Instruction at COC, said that he finds just one problem with students using Rate My Professors and that is, the accuracy. He says, nobody knows if the student who is rating a professor actually attended that professor’s class.
Moos relates Rate My Professors and the way it works to a person going to a restaurant. Most people don’t go to a restaurant and ask to praise the manager when everything runs smoothly, but if there were a problem they would complain to the manager. The same applies to Rate My Professors, students rarely say anything if the professor was good, but if they had a problem, that’s when they complain. It’s the whole idea of “why praise them, they’re doing their job,” Moos said.
Rate My Professors may not be the most accurate evaluation of COC professors, but there is an evaluation process that all COC instructors have to go through. The evaluation process for full-time faculty is every eight semesters and for part-time faculty every 4 semesters after the first.
Moos says the process includes two evaluations. The first is when faculty and administration go to a professor’s classroom to observe. From that observation, they will evaluate the professor. The second is a survey given in the classroom where students can offer their analysis.
“I believe most students are honest,” Moos said. He believes that if a student isn’t honest the effect would be minimized. Moos also said he bases his opinion on how he remembers it was for him as a student. He remembers being honest about his instructors and therefore believes that most students are honest about their opinions.
Moos also mentioned the student ratings and opinions are taken into account by COC. He also said, when he was a student, picking a professor wasn’t really his biggest problem. Classes chosen were simply based on whether it fit into his schedule and he assumes that would be the bigger problem with students even now.
Moos said that the most beneficial way for students to know about their professors is to ask friends or other students who have taken the instructor’s class.