Picking Apart Pick-A-Prof

Andrea L. Foster, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Mar 04, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The author of this article asks whether the popular professor ranking service, Pick-A-Prof, helps students find good professors "or just easy A's." It seems to me that this is the wrong question to ask. If what motivates students in their selection of courses (and hence, the allocation of the bulk of their learning time) is "easy A's" then the system - not the student, who is just playing the ropes - is deeply flawed. If an "easy A" grants a student more prospects for success in the future than genuine (and sometimes hard) learning, then we need to rethink how we assess and value learning. Of course this article raises none of these issues, preferring instead to stay in the comfortable old online versus offline rut.
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