Professor rating site finally drops creepy "hotness" rating


Sure, that is exactly what it sounds like I was saying if you only read the first half of my post.


Seriously, I had a super attractive math professor the last time I went back to college. He also showed up to office hours drunk, and frequently canceled class at the last minute because he was hungover (we assume, based on the drunk office hours).

Dude was hot as hell, and a shitty instructor.


Thinking back on every teacher that I can remember having, only a tiny handful were what would be considered “conventionally attractive,” regardless to gender.

Of that handful, most still don’t stand out in my memory as good or bad educators, because what they looked like wasn’t relevant to my needs at the time (ie, getting a decent grade.)

I had a couple of utterly horrible teachers that I do recall - I had the drunken teacher when I was a freshman in high school; his breath and coffee cup always reeked of liquor, and he wasn’t physically appealing at all.

And by the time I got to undergrad student feedback was still done manually via end-of-semester surveys, and class selections/recommendations happened by word of mouth.

Never once did I ask “Is the prof hot?


Excellent. I’ll add that to my to do list at my own institution. BTW If people aren’t swayed by the studies, try some sarcasm. My favourite paper on the subject: “How to Improve Your Teaching Evaluations without Improving Your Teaching” (

It’s paywalled, so I’ll summarize:

  1. Be male.
  2. Start and end your class on time.
  3. Grade leniently
  4. Administer the student evaluations yourself
  5. Administer them before any tests
  6. Instruct students on what evaluations are for
  7. Invoke the halo effect (e.g. begin the evaluation with a question all students will strongly agree with)
  8. Teach smaller classes
  9. Teach only higher level courses
  10. Do not allow non-majors to take your courses
  11. Do not teach required courses
  12. Use lots of gimmicks in your classes (eg movie clips)
  13. Entertain your students
  14. Fulfill your students’ expectations (e.g. make sure the course is as easy as its reputed to be)
  15. Avoid teaching female students (they tend to be more honest in their evaluations)
  16. Adopt the same values, attitudes and beliefs as your students
  17. Teach what they want, in the way they want it
  18. Teach only successful students
  19. Make sure all teachers are evaluated even those who don’t want it (ie bring down the average rating)
  20. Check your evaluations and remove erroneous data


Oh, even then you still get the haters. The straight zeros down the line. I usually just look to at that “speaks clearly” item. I get that it can be a legitimate issue with faculty who are not native speakers, but if I see that as a low mark, I think I can safely assume that the student was vengeful, stupid, or both.

I can explain it to, but I can’t understand it for you.


For sure. But I still hold that there is value in listening to the perspective of students, so long as what they are being asked is actually something they are in a position to assess. How you read the responses, and how much weight one gives these assessments, are another matter of course. Written comments are almost always more useful than number crunches in my book.


God, did he have tenure or was on the TT?


This one! I like to be engaging and try to connect what I’m teaching to their lives, but it’s not entertainment, it’s education.

I’ll also say, that this is my first semester getting to teach an upper division course, and it’s night and day, I have to say.

That’s a great and pretty true list, though. Thanks for the summary.

  1. Bring cookies.
Availability of cookies during an academic course session affects evaluation of teaching

We performed a randomised controlled trial in the setting of a curricular emergency medicine course. Participants were 118 third‐year medical students. Participants were randomly allocated into 20 groups, 10 of which had free access to 500 g of chocolate cookies during an emergency medicine course session (cookie group) and 10 of which did not (control group). All groups were taught by the same teachers. Educational content and course material were the same for both groups. After the course, all students were asked to complete a 38‐question evaluation form.

A total of 112 students completed the evaluation form. The cookie group evaluated teachers significantly better than the control group (113.4 ± 4.9 versus 109.2 ± 7.3; p = 0.001, effect size 0.68). Course material was considered better (10.1 ± 2.3 versus 8.4 ± 2.8; p = 0.001, effect size 0.66) and summation scores evaluating the course overall were significantly higher (224.5 ± 12.5 versus 217.2 ± 16.1; p = 0.008, effect size 0.51) in the cookie group.


Hundred percent agree with that. I always look at what they bothered to actually write. And do ask for constructive criticism. (with the warning that they are not evaluating the material or how the subject was, but, rather my efficacy as an instructor.


I don’t even know if that’s a thing at community colleges. But this college also had an infamous unnamed professor who was banging his students on the regular. So I’m not surprised they didn’t notice the drunk guy


Yeah, although like the rest of academia, they are relying more and more on short term lectures and adjuncts, at least in the humanities.

Fucking WHYYYYYY!!! Even if I weren’t married, I wouldn’t look at my students and think - DATING MATERIAL! Why do people want to do this?


I was actually a couple years older than Drunk Hot Math Guy, so if I were single and had poor taste in men…

But I was a student who’d gone back to college in her late 30’s, not a 19-year-old ogling a 35-year-old.

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