Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Choose professors wisely

The ratings range from ‘very nice and approachable’ at best to ‘boring, uninspiring’ or even ‘degrading to women, especially blondes.’ Though some students write off the website RateMyProfessors.com for being too biased to be useful, it is certainly a useful tool for learning about some professors. Students should simply use the website as one of many tools in their arsenal for choosing the right courses. They should just make sure not to mistake the ratings for fact.

As popularity of the faculty rating site spread throughout most major universities and colleges in the United States, the specter of determining a professor’s teaching quality with a few simple keystrokes became a reality. With more than 2,000 BU professors listed on the site, students should have no problem conferring with their peers about their lecturers.

But even as the stampede to pick the best classes for university registration begins to die down this week, students will undoubtedly rely upon the site for professor recommendations. Even though the ratings and evaluations are written online, students must remember that what they read is as unreliable as what they hear, and the reviewers online might also be those who rant in person.

But students should never base their ultimate course decisions upon the recommendations of a website. As varied as professors come at BU, the biggest difference in quality and relevance to each student will depend on the content of the course itself. Choosing one elective over another simply because it promises a lecturer who grades easier is an unwise approach to what is, after all, an incredibly expensive education. Students should sit down and contemplate the kind of education they want to get out of their BU experience, instead of relying on the rants and raves of others on a website.

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