Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Web site helps students grade professors

A hottie with a body. Speaks French, English, German, Russian and Japanese. An astounding scholar who is interested in philosophy and psychodynamic psychology. Helpful, easy to talk and listen to and very, very easy on the eyes. 

Sound like a personal ad? It isn’t. It’s an evaluation of a DU professor. An Internet site,, allows students to anonymously share their opinions of professors with a mass audience. 

“I think that the site is harmless enough,” says Languages and Literatures Associate Professor Luc Beaudoin, one of more than 400 DU professors who have been rated on the site. “It doesn’t purport to be scientific and it puts online what students say about their professors in conversation.”

DU has its own evaluation system for professors. At the end of each quarter, students are asked to fill out evaluations on each of their professors’ performance. More than 25 formal evaluation forms are used throughout the University, but they’re all designed to elicit specific feedback on courses and instructors using a six-point scale.

“Whereas I get no information about my teaching on, I get a lot of helpful information from the course evaluations,” Beaudoin says., online since 1999, has quickly become popular for students to log on to informally grade their professors in four areas: easiness, helpfulness, clarity and “hotness.” Users also can record their interest in the materials taught. Besides rating professors, students use the site to help them choose classes. 

“I used it solely to look up information on a professor who I had heard some negative things about,” says sophomore English student Nathan Howells. “I took a look at his previous ratings, and discovered that although some of my friends did not like the professor, he had gotten consistently good ratings. I decided to take his class anyway, and am glad that I did.” is free to all users. It currently has approximately nine million annual users and has collected 5.6 million ratings on 764,000 professors from U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities.

Comments are closed.