USMMA Worst Professors in the U.S.????????

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by VRSCDX, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. VRSCDX

    VRSCDX Member

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    Our mid was telling us about this. I don't think it passes objective scrutiny, since it is based on nothing objective at all. It is based solely on student input on the RATEMYPROFESSOR website. I think this website is like a popularity contest, and I think the profs with the highest evaluations are the easier ones that might be considered A and B factories. Nonetheless, it makes me wonder why are USMA and USAFA academy Profs held in such high esteem by their students whereas USMMA and USCGA professors are held in such low disregard? I think the students are getting a good education for sure, and I think that maybe USMMA mids don't like their professors, because the subjects are very hard and the standards are very high. At least I hope so. But, in any case, I wonder what the new Admiral would think about this and if it may or may not be addressed. It is surprising that USMMA students dislike their profs so much. I was pretty shocked to read this. THOUGHTS ANYBODY?????? This might make for a nice discussion on the forum, but would love to read input from an insider who might have insight into the greater meaning of this over the outsiders who post opinions without facts on this site. But I'd even be interested in reading those as well. Heck the survey was subjective, why not our discussion about it contain some subjectiveness as well. LINK BELOW!

    Happy New Year Everybody!

    http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-m...n/25-colleges-with-the-worst-professors/3771/
     
  2. VRSCDX

    VRSCDX Member

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    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SelectTeacher.jsp?sid=1052

    I took a few minutes to look at the rate my prof site (link above). I think there is a trend. The higher the easiness factor, the higher the prof rating. So I can't stand the title of the article being "Worst" professors. I think we have, perhaps, some of the most world renown experts in their fields teaching our mids. And, since they are not easy, they aren't getting good reviews. This hardly makes them the worst profs in America. But still, with a poor showing on this list, I'd still think the faculty would be concerned a bit.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I can't imagine many of the good students with decent grades are wasting time on Rate My Prof.

    I liked my professors....I don't know of anyone who thought differently in my class. I thought classes were hard, and good grades not easy to receive, but I had tons of respect for the teachers.
     
  4. Roy_Mustang

    Roy_Mustang USCGA Cadet 2014

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    For my part, I don't know of anyone who actually uses RateMyProf... my guess is that most of the people who do use it are on there because they have an axe to grind with someone. Although this is from the USCGA side, it probably applies to the USMMA side as well.
     
  5. trackandfield08

    trackandfield08 USCGA 2014

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    Agree with LITS and Roy, I personally did not have an issue with any of my professors last semester. I guess the popularity of the teacher goes down if they are hard to get an A from, many SA students are not used to having to work really hard for a good grade and are surprised when the grade is not easily earned. I would not worry about this website, like Roy said, it is probably just cadets and midshipmen with an axe to grind.
     
  6. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    I think the best way to gauge the quality of an education is to see how well students handle tackling real problems. Year in and year out firsties are noted as being the best performers for various companies/organizations during internships and produce quality capstone projects on difficult real world problems during the school year. I worked at the NSA this summer and the first week I was there I was continually told how big of shoes I had to fill to match the work that previous CGA cadets had done. On top of that I don't think that there are many professors outside of the SA's who will hold study sessions until 2200 the night before a test.

    It's really something only someone who has gone to an SA can understand, but usually during the middle of 3/c to the end of 2/c year cadets/mids tend to get really cynical about being at the Academy. It comes about because the excitement of being at the place starts to wear off and the end seems so far away. In the end most cadets/mids get over it and realize all of the good things that the Academy has given them, but I would assume a lot of the negative reviews come from that group of cadets/mids.
     
  7. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Just to be clear, my bias about this is that I'm currently a prof (not at an SA).

    There are several problems with RMP.

    1. Posters are self-selected. Unlike course evaluations where we get the range of opinions - lukewarm to strong - you never see lukewarm opinions on RMP. Because posters are self-selected, they have a bias one way or another.

    2. Self-selected groups (for just about any question) are not representative of the large group.

    3. RMP is anonymous. Anonymity in online communities (as opposed to pseudonymous online communities like this one) leads to a lack of accountability and language/behavior that would never be acceptable or tolerable if it occurred in a group of people.

    4. There is no fact-checking built in.

    5. Opinions are almost always about how much the writer (dis)liked the course and/or the professor. I have yet to read any decent number of comments about how much a student learned or did not learn. Frankly, I don't care whether students like or don't like me, the fact that the class is required, that it's at 9 am or 2 pm and that doesn't really work in your schedule, that spelling and showing your work count on my exams, or my shoe choice. I care whether you learn what I know you need to learn in order to move on to the next course or to succeed as a graduate.

    At my U, my course evals are actually online so that students considering my courses can read responses that previous students wrote. However, most of those questions are about what students learned and what helped them learn. I've also noticed that I can use those comments to make expectations in my subsequent classes even more clear, and in a few cases, to adjust my expectations better to suit my students' learning. RMP is a vent machine or for entertainment. It is not a useful tool either to professors or students.
     
  8. baxted

    baxted Member

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    RateMyProfessor from the other side

    First, full disclosure: There are some 10+ years of reviews of me on RateMyProfessor.com. Some are nice, some, not so much! Sadly, all but a couple of them give you no idea about my teaching style or philosophy. That said, you can take the following as you see fit.

    Some trends (and please note, there are exceptions):

    1. Freshman are tougher graders than seniors. Freshman tend to rate a course and its instructor by how well they did and how well they like the material (this is very much the high school model). Older students are often more focused on the prize and have a bigger picture of their education.

    2. Science based degrees tend to get rated harder than liberal arts degrees. This topic causes fights (said the mechanical engineer who married the politics major) but I think it is somewhat safe to say engineering students seem to enjoy their suffering (or at least be vocal about it).

    3. What shows up on sites like RateMyProfessor doesn't line up very well with the data collected by the schools. I only have about 70 reviews on RateMyProfessor but the school collected almost 200 surveys per semester from my students. I found the school data to be far more useful.

    Bottom line, as many others have said, don't worry about sites like RateMyProfessor. They may measure something but in over 10 years, I don't see what that is!
     
  9. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Well when you have professors like the Captain of the Exxon Valdez....:yllol:

    In all seriousness, though, I think LITS, track, roy, and BR are right. The classes at USCGA aren't easy, but the professors are willing to work with you late at night. Something that I don't think you see at State U. Coming from a 4/c perspective, I think it's because of how much the bar has been raised from high school, where many got A's without too much effort.
     
  10. 2012kpmam

    2012kpmam Member

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    Having followed another site for high school, Rate My Teacher.com and having had 2 children go through our HS, I found the survey to be extremely accurate. Yes, there were an occasional out of place comment, but overall the students I found were basically fair.

    As far as the SA go, there are no published student evaluations at the SA where my DS attends. And since DS cannot pick professors, RMP is not as useful as it is at institutions where students can pick a professor. That being said, if everyone at our SA did go to RMP and publish comments, the objection that the survey sample was not complete enough would not hold water.

    But one comment my DS has said over and over has been that several teachers know their material (no one is disputing that), but that their ability to teach is sometimes very poor. There are no courses required of professors as to how to communicate the material and with tenure, several teachers have a "I get paid whether you learn it or not" attitude. Yes, they are experts, but often their teaching skills and how they conduct their classes varies greatly. For example, a teacher who gives weekly quizzes, frequent tests and projects (read gives himself/herself a lot of work) has a better handle regarding the student's understanding of the material. But often a student will only see 1 or 2 tests and the final and it might be then too late to pull up the grade or get some help. And the argument that they are now adults and in college is not fair when you are doing a semester's worth of work in a trimester. So personally, I would like to see more effort put into seeing how a teacher can teach, besides how hard/easy they are. My experience reading Rate My Professor for other schools has been that the hardest professors but the best "teachers" get the overall best ratings.
     
  11. theycallmeFerrari

    theycallmeFerrari New Member

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  12. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    In all seriousness maybe you should take the advice Rep. Don Young gave the Coast Guard during the OPA 90 Debate. "Don't play around with bottoms until you know what you're talking about."
     
  13. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    After checking that I was actually on a USMMA thread and not a USCGA thread ;), I can say that KP offers a wide range in the quality of its professors from Excellent to downright Atrocious.

    In my experience, the worst professors were also often what I would have termed the smartest. Clearly highly intelligent individuals who were extremely knowledgeable in their subject matter, but could not teach themselves out of a paper bag. I recall one classmate who had been through Navy nuclear power school struggling to a C in one class. My guess is that in large part comes down to the highly technical nature of the institution. Most professors are chosen partly because of knowledge acruued in a prior career as a sailing mariner and their having achieved upward mobility in that profession.

    My 2 best professors were in History (Szaluta) and Statics and Dynamics (Paquette). In both cases I learned not only to pass the tests, but an appreciation for the material and a desire to learn more which continues to this day. I even use their catch-phrases with my kids, referring to them as "tiger champs" and their schoolwork as "great stuff" or "gold medal stuff". The funny thing is neither were particularly easy for me. I had to take both of Paquette's classes twice and started out struggling in Szaluta's History II class because of a poor History I prof. I ended up not only doing well in History II but also took two of Szalutas electives.
     
  14. Roy_Mustang

    Roy_Mustang USCGA Cadet 2014

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    In all seriousness let's keep the KP-CGA rivalry to other places. It's not like we don't snipe back and forth enough as it is.
     
  15. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    In all seriousness are you even allowed on the internet?!?!
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I believe you mean CGA-KP rivalry.
     
  17. Roy_Mustang

    Roy_Mustang USCGA Cadet 2014

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    Yep. Because I'm not going to sink to your level while I do so.


    LITS: It's a rather one-sided rivalry :thumb:
     
  18. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    [​IMG]

    And you guys always keep it classy
     
  19. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    "You're a Tiger!!!!" Haha!

    I also wouldn't take too much stock in what is written on that website for USMMA. Yes, there are likely a few "correct" ratings, including low ones; however, there is no way to really cull those from those ratings that are just out of "frustration."

    The other reason to not worry about it so much is that it doesn't matter for KP, because you can't choose your professors anyway. The school is going to base their info on the end of course evaluations.

    I'll add on to KPEngineer's favorite teachers by saying mine was CAPT Hard. If you asked all the deckies out there you'd probably find that a lot "hated" him and thought he was terrible. If you sit in on the class what you find is a teacher who doesn't lower his standards and requires you to actually learn the material. I always thought True/False tests were easy until I saw his in NavLaw. By demanding the best out of his students he gets a very high pass rate on the USCG License exams which is what the school needs.
     
  20. Roy_Mustang

    Roy_Mustang USCGA Cadet 2014

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    Because you guys were so much classier when you were here. Of Course. That's why you called a Commissioned Officer gay to his face...

    I came to this thread solely to try to back up KP's professors. Considering the childish reaction though, I think I'll leave.
     

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