Each year, thousands of students blindly register for classes led by TRU faculty members that they know nothing about.
Is this professor a jerk? Do a lot of people fail this instructor’s course? Are they funny? How much homework should I expect in this class? All valid questions.
But that’s not all that prospective and current students want to know about the faculty member they’re signing up for.
Luckily, the informative website RateMyProfessor.com—formerly known as TearcherRatings.com—was established 20 years ago by Californian John Swapceinski. It gave students around the world a chance to learn tidbits of information about their professors before the first day of class.
Hiding under anonymity, current and former students can sign up for free to Swapceinski’s site and look up any professor at any institution in North America or the United Kingdom. Once they find the professor’s name, they can rate the professor, rate the level of difficulty, recommend or don’t recommend taking the professor again, notify if this class was taken for credit or not and whether attendance and textbooks were mandatory. You can also highlight up to three tags that might explain the professor a little better. Some common themes are, “Hilarious, tough grader, beware of pop quizzes,” to name a few. Lastly, if so inclined, the inspired students can give a written explanation—up to 350 characters—for a more specific rating.
The final product averages out all the scores, highlights the most clicked on tags and displays them on top each professor’s page, whether they like it or not.
Like most forms of social media these days, the Internet can be a cesspool of negativity that inaccurately reflects the real world.
But not everyone has evil inside them.
In many cases, there are raving reviews. Students often remember their favourite teachers and professors years after graduation and have taken the time to let the world know about how great certain faculty members are.
Somewhere between the burning pile of hate and fluffy “I loved his/her class,” reviews, there was (appropriate) comedy gold.
Comments about faculty members’ wardrobe, daily routines, recycled jokes, odd quirks and complaining about quizzes and homework made for the best material.
Inspired by the incomparable Jimmy Kimmel and his Mean Tweets segment from his late-night show, here is TRU’s version.
There have been other Canadian and American schools to go down the same path in the past, but not many.
There were two attributes that make TRU to standout from the rest: the personality and diversity of our faculty members, and having a beautiful campus.
Thank you to everyone for taking time out of their busy exam schedule to collaborate with other colleagues and departments on this project while having the ability to not take themselves too seriously.