Grading the Graders

My parents sent me an article about rating professors.If your interested I am Here . Only a couple people have rated me at this time. We’ll see how I last. What does this mean? You have to look at both the website rating system and the people rating the professors. According to the Chicago tribune, the creator of the website ‘got the inspiration for his site when “I had a professor who was particularly dastardly.”‘ With a beginning like that, how much credence can you put on a fair and accurate judgement of a Professor’s work?

Other parts of the article mention how this reflects a view of students as consumers. These sites reflect the modern view that people paying for a service or product should be catered to. That is very true for buying a toaster, it has to perform it’s function, but should that same standard hold for teachers? At my last teaching jobs one of the administrators said we (the University) “were in the business of purveying knowledge for a fee.” It doesn’t seem like that what college should be about. But is that where we are heading?

It comes down to why people go to college. Is it preparing for a job? Gaining knowledge(for a fee)? I like to think that the students are learning about who they are and what they want to be. Where I ended up ater my college career(undergrad and grad) was not where I expected, but I realized what made me happy and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Admittedly now I have tons of student loans to pay off, but I see it as worth it overall.

What were your favorite parts of college(that were class related)? Mine invloved great teachers and those eureka moments when I finally caught on.

3 thoughts on “Grading the Graders”

  1. Hi, Owen –

    I know your brother Jon and found you thru his blog. :) I think you can definitely rate your professor, and I have had particularly dastardly professors as well. Some of which were just on power trips, others I hated, but they were good at their jobs. I would have loved to been able to rate them in public for other people to avoid. (the ones on power trips, anyway; the others just needed to come with warning signs) My favorite parts of class-related college were professors who were fired up about what they were teaching and knew how to make even dry subjects interesting. The ones who actually put effort into their lectures and were available to their students because they wanted their students to not only learn, but love learning and to do well. And okay, sure, I still remember the day in chem when I realized why sharks can’t live in fresh water and that yes, hot water does freeze faster than cold. But it was the good teachers that I remember and am glad for the experience of.


  2. I think ultimately, rating the professor is probably not a bad thing. It probably shows the collective experience well, which may be quite accurate. Which may be different than my stance in the orginal post, but oh well minds change. I guess I really dislike the rating the easiness of the professor’s grading , or the sites that list the grading history of the professor(usually available at public uiniversities where the those records are more available). Choosing classes based on possible grades is just wrong, but probably quite common. Perhaps grading should be eliminated from college classes?

  3. Hmm…I admit to having taken both semesters of AmHist from Professor Kerr for the guaranteed B. But let’s face it: if you haven’t learned enough American History by college, how much more are you really gonna pick up freshman year? I had a ton of other stuff, so yes, I went for the easy B. And any other course I didn’t really need for my major (read: that I was forced to take), yes, if possible, I would have opted for the professor who handed out A’s like candy over one I had to work for. But most professors probably don’t do that, and does it really hurt if it’s a course you don’t really need, anyway? I mean, I get the well-rounded education thing, but seriously, if you are going to make me sit thru women’s studies, then you bet your butt I’m going for the easiest A available. I do think grading is a must, though. I just think maybe the curve ought to be standardized. Gentlemen’s C’s need to be abolished entirely, as do professors who make it their goal in life to “weed out” students in a particular major. I think the university’s deans need to take a serious look at how the professors in their schools/departments grade and set standards. That’s the only way to be fair and ensure that all students get the education they deserve and that future employers get the employees they think they’re getting. I don’t really want my doctor to be the guy who took the easiest courses available.


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