Managing Rate My Professors

The moment for Rate My Professors (and similar crowd source student evaluation of teaching platforms) may well have come and gone.  But in case it has not, and someone is interested in making sure that their site does not suffer from adverse selection, here is the strategy I have used to solve that problem.

The goal is to ensure that some good students rate you.  You really don’t care if poor students rate you.  Among other things, then tend to make weak arguments, misspell things, and, well, you get the picture.  The problem arises if your RMP site is dominated by ratings from poor (often disgruntled) students.  What to do?

I suspect that you are asked to write letters of recommendation for students.  Students who ask for letters are, on average, stronger students who tended to enjoy your course.  That’s precisely the type of student you would like to leave you a rating.  Now, before you get all fired up, no, I am not proposing (nor have I employed) a quid pro quo.  That would be unethical.  This is what I do.

Once I have sent my letters of recommendation for a given student I send her an email letting her know that I have sent the letters, wishing her luck, and asking her to keep my posted about the outcome.  I have been doing this since circa 1996 when students started using email (i.e., well before RMP had been born).  Once RMP came on the scene I added the following to the bottom of those messages.

I have a favor I would like to ask: if you would not find it too burdensome, would you visit my Rate My Professors site <http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=109742&sid=1237> and leave me a rating?

I have gotten fairly lazy about it during the past few years as there are enough ratings up there that it is pretty tough to move the needle.  Depending upon how many letters you are asked to write, I would guess that three to four years of management should be sufficient to ensure that your RMP ratings are balanced.

@WilHMoo

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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One Response to Managing Rate My Professors

  1. Pingback: Who Cares about RMP, and Why Would I? | Will Opines

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