Ratemyprofessor.Com

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Professor Robert Samuels
WRIT 109 SS
13 July 2012
Ratemyprofessor.com
With the advance of the World Wide Web and information technology, certain internet websites have gained mass popularity among college students. These websites such as ratemyprofessor.com, ratemyteacher.com, and ProfessorPerformance.com allow students to review and rate professors on an open board where students can freely view past criticisms to decide upon future classes. Not only do these professor reviews help the students prepare for class, but more importantly they give insight on the quality of a professor’s teaching and the contemporary student’s attitudes towards modern college academia. In this paper, the author will be analyzing several comments posted on Ratemyprofessor.com regarding an upper-division Accounting class, Econ 136C, taught by Professor Coby Harmon. Furthermore, the paper will rely on the concepts introduced by Dr. Kenneth J. Gergen and Jeremy Rifkin work, respectively “The Self in the Age of Information” and “A Post Modern Age,” in order to carefully dissect the attitudes of contemporary students and figure the psychology and social pressures that dictates their review.

Before an accurate evaluation can be made, it is noteworthy to consider the particular nature of accounting lessons in comparison to other Liberal Arts. First of all, accounting is a subject of study that is heavily rules-based; meaning, students are tested on their knowledge of an already set accounting principle. In other words, since accounting entitles a sense of public obligation to be consistent and truthful to the doctrines there is often only one correct answer and any deviance from this is deemed wrong. This holds especially true in the profession of accounting, for a deviation in procedure can be infinitely costly and highly fraudulent. Consequently accounting as a subject requires a modern culture of education, in which there is less space for individual opinion or much discussion in classes. This aspect of accounting classes will never change, so long as an accountant’s value is dictated by his or her loyalty to the SEC regulated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. With this in mind, the paper will examine several peer reviews to analyze the quality of instruction and the outlooks of the present student.

Before the analysis of quality of instructions, it is important to briefly discuss Professor Harmon’s characteristics as a teacher and by doing so, show the tendency for student reviews to be conflicting, especially when regarding opinions on characteristics. Professor Harmon, unlike most accounting professors, is relatively casual in lecture, engages in student conversations and is regarded as humorous and even witty. The professor’s friendly characteristic is acutely apparent on a review on ratemyprofessor.com, “He is a funny, goofy dude and a genuine nice guy.” Despite the seemingly positive attribute, some students in the same class view the same features of Professor Harmon as agitating; “…his blah attitude makes the class frustrating, and he overall just doesn’t seem interest in what’s going on.” In such ways, reviewers tend to identify more exclusively with polar opposite opinions than moderate ones. What is remarkable is that there are students who prefer a partial Pre-modern adaptation of teaching, and on the other hand, there are students who advocate a more modern teaching style. Gergen illustrates this tendency of opposing culture in contemporary society, “Thus, in the realm of identity politics, multiple groups are pitted not only against what is left of the ‘mainstream,’ but against each other as well” (15). As technology has made it possible for individuals to internalize more than one culture identity, alternate culture identities also become apparent. These identities are widely diverse, and because of this, they tend to conflict with each other. Through constant influences from different culture identities, one can...
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