Professors' internet ratings look spot-on

June 15, 2007

Academics have railed against the perceived inaccuracies of websites where students rate their tutors, but research shows the sites may be right after all. A University of Maine study found that the scores of 426 of its academics on RateMyProfessors.com had significant similarities with the feedback received in student evaluations of tutors carried out by the university.

Ted Coladarci, professor of education psychology, and Irv Kornfield, professor of marine science, found the overlap between official student evaluations and online ratings was greatest for those who were popular on the website and weaker for those who did not score so highly. The researchers recommended that colleges put their evaluations online so that students could read official material and that they encourage more students to post ratings on RateMyProfessors.com to provide a wider sample of views.

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