How would an instructor or a department react if they knew students choose courses and sections based on RateMyProfessors ratings?
This research examines what criteria students give priority to when evaluating the performance of language teachers on the online platform RateMyProfessors (RMP) and what factors are determinant in students’ engagement. More specifically, this study explores the review practices of students and students’ perceptions in rating effective teaching practices in order to develop a reflective process upon which a language program can act to innovate. While our focus is on French language, there are broader pedagogical implications for other disciplines and for post-secondary institutions as a whole as it discusses students’ evaluation of teaching, an area where their input is critically needed.
The data analysis showed that because the learning experience is perceived as being transactional in nature, students’ criteria on teaching effectiveness tend to give priority to predictability, likeability and caring and how they impact learning, engagement and motivation. The alleged inadmissibility of public and uncontrolled evaluations no longer allows instructors to ignore these “hidden transcripts” (Scott, 1990), voices and opinions on teaching performance. Because the choice of a course, from students’ perspective, relies on the ratings of RMP, how this practice can impact enrolments and, to some extent, the success or the failure of a program?
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