Unlike some other Canadian schools, UBCO does not release the results of professor evaluations.

Images from www.ratemyprofessors.com
Images from www.ratemyprofessors.com

Every semester, UBC sends out an automated email asking students to fill out reviews for their professors. These emails continue until either the window for submitting the reviews has passed, or until the students fill out all of their evaluations. While UBC continually asks students for this information, the results of these evaluations are never released to students.

As this information is never released, students must turn to alternative sources in order to determine whether or not they want to take a class with a specific professor. Nick Huertas, a fourth year Arts student, states that he normally goes “to unofficial website sources in order to determine whether the professor will be good or not.” Huertas chooses his courses based 50% on what is required from his degree, and 50% on what he knows about the professor. Huertas states that he often ends up on Rate My Professor, but takes into account the bias of the ratings. Huertas says that when he reads Rate My Professor, he knows the students leaving reviews represent both extreme ends of the spectrum, both positive and negative.

Malik Sy, a fourth year Science student, also regularly refers to Rate My Professor. Sy states that Rate My Professor helps him in choosing, and if the professor has a bad rating it will factor into his decision to take the course.

Images from www.ratemyprofessors.com
Images from www.ratemyprofessors.com

Some universities, like Western, have a system for rating professors and classes outside of Rate My Professor. According to their website, student are able to access past survey results when they are deciding what courses to take. Instead of offering the written portion of the survey, Western has students rank the courses that they have taken on a number system, and these numbers then become available for students to access when making course choices. Each course that a professor has taught has its own ranking. Not only does this system seem more effective for making course choices, but it also eliminates the verbal attacks that can occur on websites like Rate My Professor.

While there are likely flaws with a purely numerical system for measuring satisfaction in classes, it does provide a valid alternative to an incredibly biased website. UBC should offer some alternative form of evaluating professors which will be released to students in order to inform their decisions for what classes they would like to take.