How the “Rate my Professors” site shapes my education and professors’ careers

As a screenwriting student at York University, I have many mandatory classes and many classes that are not. In the space of non-mandatory courses, I have ones with some guidelines (E.G., it must be social science) and some without any – those are free electives. I choose between many subjects and topics in almost half of my courses.

Let me clarify that more: I need 6 credits from social science. I can choose from Criminology, Anthropology, Social Science, Sociology, Economy, Geography, Psychology, and Politics. I can select one of 20 or more courses in those subjects, which is more than 150! And there are so many great courses at York University.

Choosing courses is hard

My biggest problem is often which one to choose. I have a massive spreadsheet with a list of courses I want: “Exploring Gender in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics,” “Game History, Genre, and New Directions,” “Disasters and History: How Humans and Nature make Disasters,” “Studies in Genre: The Science Fiction Film,” “The Biology of Story…”

And I use York’s list to explore more. It is a fun and enjoyable process, which can be hard sometimes as I want to explore many great topics. However, I need to be picky and shape my education and skills to benefit me today and tomorrow. I am doing comprehensive research about specific courses and a professor. And to do that, I use Rate my Professors.

Rate my Professor helps me choose courses

Unfortunately, I gave up many courses because of reviews. I don’t have a problem with “tough grader,”heavy courseload,” or similar tags, but if you have 223 reviews, and 106 gave you 1/5, 57 2/5, then it is you, not them. And I am not taking only those into consideration. I read all the comments, believing I could recognize realistic ones that come with good arguments.

There was one class I wanted to take – I picked it up at the end of my 1st year as an option for 2nd year. However, after I read the comments on Rate my professor – how a professor sees female students as meat which he can groom – I gave up. I decided to skip more than 10 courses after reading the comments/reviews there, and I found that a lot.

Thanks to Rate my Professor, I also found some great courses – it helped me choose. And I also did have some great ones with poorly graded professors. So, Rate my Professor should be examined carefully, but for sure, it impacts professors, their courses, number of people who wants to attend. It does seem especially important after this article on Vox, “The incredible shrinking future of the college,” which suggests that for some Universities, hard times are coming because of the “enrollment cliff.”