"He's a smart guy, almost as smart as he thinks he is..." Review on ratemyprofessors.com
The ratemyprofessor.com website comes in for a lot of criticism. Some allege that the reviews are bogus. Others argue that it provides no useful information for students, just laurels for hot, easy teachers. Another common criticism is that too few students post for the site to give useful information. Moreover, those who do post tend to be exceptionally happy or excessively disgruntled.
While these criticisms have merit, official teaching evaluations are also flawed. Official evaluations are likewise drawn from a selective sub-sample of students: those who drop, withdraw or simply don't bother to attend lecture often do not complete the evaluation form. Professors who grade generously score higher on official evaluations, too.
Ratemyprofessors.com has one big advantage over official evaluations: it is publicly accessible. Students use it because, often, there is no alternative source of information. Yet how reliable are the reviews on ratemyprofessors?