Choosing Classes for the Year? First See How Your Profs Rank

If there's one thing that can make waking up for class each morning a drag, it's the professor.  Some are so boring they require two to-go cups of coffee on hand before attending lectures.  Others relish calling on students at random resulting in back problems related to slumping down in your tiny plastic seat in an attempt to disappear for an entire semester.  Then, there are the professors that shine and inspire, the ones that deliver interesting but challenging lectures demanding your attention even after a late night study session...or Thursday night bar crawl.  But, how do you know which profs will perform and which to avoid at all costs?

Most nurse practitioner programs offer little variation in their coursework.  They provide a set list of required courses, often to be taken in a specific order.  Although you won't likely have a lot of say in your nurse practitioner program curriculum, you will likely be able to choose between a few elective courses.  Or, some classes may be offered by multiple professors allowing you to select who teaches you a certain course.  Even if you don't have a say in your class list this year and have heard rumors about the trials and tribulation you should expect under certain notorious teachers, it's good to have a heads-up on what you're about to endure.

Thankfully for students, websites ranking professors are cropping up across the internet.  The most renowned of these sites is RateMyProfessors.com.  This educational gem allows students dish about their academic guides.  Current and former students post comments regarding their experiences with different teachers offering advice to future students about to embark on their courses.  

Professors are ranked on 5 qualities, overall quality, helpfulness, clarity, easiness and, well, hotness.  While the first four categories are graded on a one to five scale, evaluating hotness is optional and indicated by a red pepper...spicy.    Detailed comments from former students are the most helpful and often give insight into testing and grading policies. 

Today, I checked out some of my former nursing program faculty members to see if their ratings seemed accurate.  I began by looking up one of my least favorite teachers.  Recently, a student wrote that this particular prof "put a damper on my semester".  An accurate assessment.  I wish I would have been given adequate warning.  I could have prepared for class by bringing my laptop planning to get in some extra Facebook time.  Had I known my former pathophysiology teacher "gets all his questions from lecture notes" on the front end, I wouldn't have spent so much time reading from the textbook.  Instead, I could have kept up with the millionth season of Lost (so popular when I was in nursing school).  

Of course, these online ratings should be taken with a grain of salt as they are often written by disgruntled students, but they can offer valuable insight into your coming school year.  And, don't feel bad for your professors- they can take it.  Faculty get a chance to rebut their reviews on the Professors Fight Back segment of the site. 

Do you plan to choose your classes this year based on online ratings?

 

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