OU grads create rating app to discreetly trash-talk professors

College students have a unique way of helping one another. They develop a communal sense because they know that semester survival thrives in packs. One of the better tools in a student’s arsenal is a professor ranking system. This filters which teachers are worth the time and which ones aren’t. Normally, websites like ratemyprofessor.com facilitated this need; however, universities caught on and created “anonymous evaluation surveys.”

These teacher surveys are about as effective as writing a strongly worded email your congressperson.

Even then, ratemyprofessor.com is being monitored by teachers. So where are students to go to give honest, unfiltered feedback?

Via OU Daily:

RateMyProfessors is out, STEV @ OU is in.

STEV, which stands for Student-Teacher Evaluation Visualizations, is a new app created by three OU graduates that allows students to visualize data from course and instructor evaluations. With STEV, students are able to search for a specific course and instructor and compare the results of past instructor evaluations in color-coded charts and graphs.

Sam Jett, a 2019 mechanical engineering graduate, built the app alongside two other 2019 OU graduate students: Zach Schuermann, a computer engineering and mechanical engineering graduate, and Joseph Lovoi, a finance, entrepreneurship and venture management graduate. 

“To be completely honest, we felt that some of the professors inside of our department were not good professors, and yet they teach the same course year in and year out,” Jett said. 

I think this app is brilliant. That said, STEV sounds like an Austrian club bouncer. Then again, you couldn’t call this app “Trash-Talker Anonymous.”

It’s not like professors aren’t privy to what their students think about them. Despite these evaluations, most professors don’t change how they teach. Those evaluations are just there so that your inner-Karen can speak to the manager.

Here’s more:

Cross said some professors offer extra credit to students for completing the evaluations, which could potentially make the reviews biased or “higher than they should be realistically.”

“Students should have access to the written components of the evaluation program,” Cross said. “Professors should be further discouraged from offering extra credit for filling them out. I wonder if OU can experiment with making course and instructor evaluations a mandatory course component in order to improve the experience of everyone.”

Essentially, STEV wants to do what RateMyProfessors started as.

RateMyProfessors started as a good idea but has slowly formed into an extension of the university’s reach. The website became an emotional parody of its former self. For example, it used to use chili peppers for the longest time to rank professors attractiveness. It wasn’t until last year that the website dropped this feature because it was objectifying educators.

Personally, I believe STEV could work so long as the professors aren’t part of the process. Perhaps this could filter out those who are detrimental drones in the collegiate system and give teachers willing to teach a chance.