What is you estimation of the quality of the reviews on ratemyprofessor?
Your question was not directed at me, but I'd like to weigh in here, too.
The reviews typically come from students who either really liked the course or who hated the course and did not do well. There are rarely reviews in the middle.
Students with a grudge are usually easy to spot - by the language they use, and by the ridiculous complaints. I had a student complain that I only spend three hours helping them with their weekly homework.
Not everything a student thinks happened did actually happen. For example, on my end of year evals, I get complaints that I work more examples in one section than in another - which is nonsense; the sections cover identical content. Or that tests are completely unlike the homework (all homework problems are former test questions)
I would pay attention to the mix. I would take negative comments seriously if there is a consistent pattern and if they are specific. If most students complain that the prof is unprepared or gives tests over material that was not covered, I'd take note. But I would disregard any comments like "this instructor sucks".
It is important to realize that the percentage of students who leave reviews is extremely small. I have taught well over 4,000 students, but have around 40 reviews - so about 1%. It does not constitute a representative or statistically significant sample. Going by patterns of comments is your best option.
Edited by regentrude, 18 August 2017 - 06:45 AM.