8 thoughts on “Rate your lecturer

  1. Great idea. Hopefully it gains enough participation to give a spread of views rather than just a place to slam the teachers we dislike. Though any measurement that makes Academics more focused on the quality of their teaching is welcome.

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  2. We should have a rate my student one too, and lecturers could say what they really think about some of their students (we’ve already been warned not too mention such things even on private sites).
    .
    Apart from the unrepresentative nature of these sites, the real problem is that students don’t differentiate between learning and liking well, so it will simply give everyone yet another excuse to make their courses as easy and as stupid as possible, so everyone will be happy until someone needs to get a job.
    .
    The other interesting thing will be to see the legal consequences of all this all — One of the lecturers where I work was slandered online a few years back and the person who did it was identified, and it caused quite a few dramas.

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  3. It’s a good idea I think. Sure there are obvious ethical implications that go with it but provided the comments are moderated (as the website states they are) then the comments should be kept constructive and therefore actually helpful.

    Also, I agree with Joseph. A hotness score would make it more interesting! (If a little less credible)

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  4. These sites exist because universities haven’t created their own internal equivalents that students can access, and that students don’t believe that their university administered feedback forms make any difference for them since they are usually administered at the end of a subject rather than near the start or continuously.

    At the University of Melbourne, the only information a student has when considering their subject selection is contained in the handbook, with only a brief description of the subject. The handbook does *not* show the subject guide, or the grade distribution, or any summary statistics of the lecturer’s student feedback for that subject.

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  5. I wonder if it’s possible to use surveys of university graduates, combined with records of what courses graduates have taken, to discern the effects that difficult and possibly unpopular courses have on graduate outcomes. In my field (sociology) I’m thinking of quantitative research methods courses. It’s probably not possible, but this kind of information could provide a useful supplement to the feedback on courses provided by students.

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  6. James – Trying to isolate the effects of particular units would be pretty difficult, though there is census data by major field of study. Unfortunately there is very little research on graduates that has access to their subjects and grades.

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