Friday, October 29

A friend asked me if I had checked my and a colleague's rating on lately. If you have never been there, it is a website where students can rate their professors in a public venue so that other students can decide whether to take a class with the rated individual. Whether I think this is the way students should choose their classes is not relevant to this entry but you can guess what I think.

Clearly a couple (or more) of my students have been up to no good. Individuals give numerical ratings to a few different categories and things are summarized at the top of each professor's page. For example, my summary looks like this (I assume it is ok for me to reproduce this material from

# Ratings: 22
Average Easiness: 3.2
Average Helpfulness: 4.4
Average Clarity: 4.8
Hotness Total: 4
Overall Quality: 4.6

Ratings are based on a maximum score of 5.0

It is the "hotness" that cracked me up. This score is not an average but a count of "chili peppers". If you are "hot" a student can submit their review of you with a "chili pepper" symbol. I don't know where 2 of mine came from, but two are CLEARLY from students who were messing with me and a colleague. I say that, because my colleague's ratings include a couple of reviews that mirror mine but that then say something like "He is hot, but not nearly has hot as Professor [dj]". It is a running joke between me and the students in my classes that the new young gun in my department is pissing me off because students keep talking about how hot he is...

Registration is coming up for the spring, and I will have WAY more students who want entry into one of my classes than I will have space. I want to start so professors can decide who to let in off the waitlists to their classes.

Students will be rated on the following:

More interested in learning than grades.

Is curious.

Doesn't call your house after 9pm with a personal crisis that you can't help with.

Comes to class on time.

Comes to class prepared.

Knocks before coming into your office.

Thinks critically about the material.

Makes comments in class that add to learning experience.

I would not use chili peppers...