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Website Ratings of Teachers

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While looking for contact details for an American academic I came across this website. Called Rate the Professor it allows students to discover the teaching ratings of members of staff of schools and universities they are considering attending. Teachers are rated in three categories: Easiness, Helpfulness and Clarity. All categories are based on a 5 point rating system. As the website owners point out, they have no way of verifying if the ratings have been done by people with first-hand knowledge of their teaching abilities. The academic I was looking for performed badly in these ratings (his lectures were considered to be too difficult). Apparently, teachers in the America are concerned that their employers will use this as evidence of their teaching abilities. Several academics have warned that websites like this are responsible for grade inflation and making assessment of students meaningless.


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