Syed A. Rizvi




This paper investigates the relationship between the student evaluations of the instructors at the RateMyProfessors.com (RMP) website and the average grades awarded by those instructors. As of Spring 2012, the RMP site included evaluations of 538 full-and part-time instructors at the College of Staten Island (CSI). We selected the evaluations of the 419 instructors who taught at CSI for at least two semesters from Fall 2009 to Spring 2011 and had at least ten evaluations. This research indicates that there is a strong correlation between RMP’s overall evaluation and easiness scores. However, the perceived easiness of an instructor/course does not always result in higher grades for students. Furthermore, we found that the instructors who received high overall evaluation and easiness scores (4.0 to 5.0) at the RMP site do not necessarily award high grades. This is a very important finding as it disputes the argument that instructors receive high evaluations because they are easy or award high grades. On the other hand, instructors of the courses that are perceived to be difficult (RMP easiness score of 3.0 or less) are likely to be tough graders. However, instructors who received moderate overall evaluation and easiness scores (between 3.0 and 4.0) the RMP site had a high correlation between these scores and average grade awarded by those instructors. Finally, our research shows that the instructors in non-STEM disciplines award higher grades than the instructors in STEM disciplines. Non-STEM instructors also received higher overall evaluations than their STEM counterparts and non-STEM courses were perceived easier by the students than STEM courses. Accessed 3,007 times on https://pareonline.net from October 12, 2015 to December 31, 2019. For downloads from January 1, 2020 forward, please click on the PlumX Metrics link to the right.