I like to talk a lot about doing your research before committing to an on-line distance education program. There are hundreds of choices, and it’s such a huge commitment of money and time that doing the leg work before hand is of utmost importance. You’re already here at distancelearning.org which is a good start. Use this site’s resources to narrow down your search, and find the school and degree program that works best for you.
Once you’ve done that, there are some other things you can do. One of them is to do research on the professor and instructors at the schools you are looking at.
In recent years “rate the professor” sites and blogs have proliferated, as the modern age version of student-teacher evaluations. Of course it bears mentioning that with the internet there is no filter, and anyone can post anything they like, true or false, real or exaggerated. Chances are that if a student flunks a class they will blame the professor and give him or her a negative review.
That said, there are a lot of review sites out there, with hundreds of thousands of reviews of tens of thousands of instructors, lecturers, and professors.
Rate My Professors is one of the largest sites on the subject. It claims it is bar none the largest, “RateMyProfessors.com is the largest online destination for professor ratings. With 7,500 schools and over 14 million entirely student-generated comments and ratings, RateMyProfessors.com is the highest trafficked free site for quickly researching and rating 1.7 million professors from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.”
A quick browse of the site backs up the site’s claims – the depth of the site is impressive, with hundreds of school listed for every state. It is free of charge to use, updated constantly, and has a good cross-section of comments and reviews, all of which are eligible to be commented on or debated. The site even has a “Professors Strike Back” page for the educators to air their side of the story, and defend themselves when they desire to do so.
Professor Performance is a smaller, leaner, sleeker site which is much more interested in verifiable reviews. The site claims to have safeguards to keep everyone honest, “We understand that some professors may have concerns about being graded themselves, and have therefore put in place certain safeguards. The system grants higher influence to verified students, thereby reducing the impact from disgruntled students rating multiple times to bring down the GPA of his/her target professor. Students, hey, don’t feel left out either! You too can flag a rating as suspicious if you believe it may have come from the professor.”
Rate My Teacher is similar in design, but much much larger since it covers all teachers, from every grade level. Over fifteen million ratings have been posted, for school and teachers, and it’s an excellent resource for feedback on non-college teachers.