Students give good marks to professors that return the favour
A recently published study by University of Ottawa Professor Tracy Vaillancourt points out what many university students already know: students often rate professors according to how well they did in that professor’s course.
University students have been reading and creating reviews on professors for years on sites such as ratemyprofessors.com. The site, which measures a professor’s overall quality, helpfulness, clarity, easiness, and hotness, has been a point of reference for students during the class selection process, and a tool to share comments and advice with students. However, the fact that many students use it as a way in which to vent frustration is the basis of Vaillancourt’s argument.
“Results of her new study published in the journal Aggressive Behavior confirm Vaillancourt’s initial hypothesis. The results are unequivocal—students who were given a poor grade aggressed against the professor through poor teaching evaluations. In fact, students who received poor grades were 10 to 19 times more likely to make negative comments than those who received high grades,” said a University of Ottawa press release, as found on Macleans.ca.
Vaillancourt is a psychology professor and the Canada Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention.
Vaillancourt herself has nothing to complain about regarding her personal professor ratings. She has received an overall quality score of 4/5 on ratemyprofessors.com and the honour of a red chilli pepper signifying hotness.
—With files from Macleans