Professor Tracy Vaillancourt has made a shocking discovery. She and her collegues have a long-standing theory that negative comments and evaluations on ratemyprofessors.com, and other sites stem from students that get shitty grades. Tracy needed to substantiate this radical theory, so she did some hard research and discovered that students who get crappy grades are ten to 19 times more likely to leave bad comments about an instructor.
Tracy tested out her controversial hypothesis by giving hundreds of college freshmen 20 minutes to write a short essay on a random topic. Random grades were given to the essays, regardless of whether they were good or not, along with positive and negative comments. The kids were then asked to rate the instructor who graded them, and the results are in: if you give as kid a bad grade, they’ll blame the teacher.
What can Tracy and other teachers do? It’s not ethical to reward bad work with good grades, hoping for a positive review, but these teachers do want the online praise. Tracy says, “People Google me from high school and find my page and think I’m terrible at what I do.”
We agree with Tracy, when it comes to the sanctity of education, the opinion of high school classmates you haven’t seen in ten years is what counts, not learning.