Letter: Student Ratings


We’re approaching that time again. The end of the semester means many things: exams, all-night studying, moving apartments and the beginning of summer plans. But there is something else that it includes: student ratings.

Throughout my years at BYU, I have observed how students often only take student ratings seriously when they desire to passionately express how bad a teacher is or how unfairly they were treated. On many occasions, I’ve heard students say something like, “I can’t wait for the end of the semester so I can rip that teacher on student ratings.”

I’m not saying there aren’t professors at BYU who need improvement. Of course there are. I’ve had my fair share. I encourage students to continue to be candidly honest about professors who are less than, well, professional. But let’s use criticism to be constructive, not, merely vent frustrations. Students ratings are for helping professors be better in the classroom. And they are also perhaps an outlet for students who legitimately feel that they have been mistreated and seek understanding. I am convinced, however, that they are not an outlet for students seeking revenge.
May I also suggest that we be just as eager to point out the good as we are the bad. There are some of the finest professors in America at BYU, and they deserve some positive feedback in student ratings. Even less than stellar professors have good aspects to their teaching, so maybe we ought to point those out too.

College professors (and really all teachers) have a tough job. So without sugar-coating their weaknesses, let’s help them out and tell them how good of a job they are doing. Our world is already negative and dark enough without you harboring rage over a C- on a test. Give people some credit for their hard work and quality teaching.

Katherine Wilkinson

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