2 answers

What is an easy way out find out if a college professor isn't good at their job before taking their class?

Asked Northville, New York

In the past, I have had poor experiences with signing up for professors that have no passion or little expertise in the topic that they choose. It feels like a gamble, honestly. I am aware of sites that have student reviews on professors, but only two of mine in my entire college are on any of these sites due to how obscure my institution is. Any advice?

#professor #college #education

2 answers

Jay’s Answer


Great question, Cierra!

I wasn't always very engaged when I was in college. Many times, I took a class only to find out a TA was teaching the class that wasn't very good or that the professor just gave a boring lecture out of the textbook. And, unfortunately, this will happen A LOT.

The bright side is that there are tools to help like: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ You can pick your school and your professor. It's been around for about a decade so there's a good change your college will be on there.

Although it doesn't sound like your professors may be there...

The best thing you can do is network with students who are 1 - 2 grades above you. You can do this by joining organizations or attending events your school has. When you have a solid network, you can ask those people who just took the class about the professor and hear first hand about their experience. It'll also help you be more engaged at school because you'll be able to learn from their mistakes.

Jay recommends the following next steps:

  • Use http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/
  • Try to network with 3-5 upperclassmen in your major. Ask them about which classes to take, which professors are good.
  • If you're disengaged by the class, try asking a question. When you ask a question during class it does two things. 1) It interrupts the pattern of your boring professor and forces them to change their pattern. 2) You become instantly more engaged because you're interested in the answer.

Lillian’s Answer


Our university has a Facebook page for all undergraduates and oftentimes people will post a question about a professor and other students who have taken that professor will tell them their experience. If your school doesn't have something like this, I would recommend joining a student organization so you can get to know more upperclassmen and find out more through them.

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