Hot and Easy in Florida: The Case of Economics Professors
University of North Florida - Department of Accounting and Finance
Cheryl J. Frohlich
University of North Florida - Accounting and Finance
July 12, 2005
The objective of this study is threefold. First, we seek to investigate whether overall quality ratings recorded by students on RateMyProfessors.com (henceforth RMP) are positively related to the perceived easiness and hotness RMP ratings for 173 economics professors at public universities in Florida. Second, the overall quality ratings on RMP are investigated to determine whether they are positively correlated with the overall in-class instructor ratings for a subset of public Florida universities. Third, this subset of overall in-class instructor ratings is examined to determine whether the ratings are significantly related to the easiness and hotness ratings recorded on RMP.
For a sample of 173 overall quality ratings on RMP, our results indicate that students who utilize RMP reward easy and hot economics professors with a higher rating. On average, for every additional 10 percent of total ratings that indicate a professor is hot, that professor's RMP overall quality rating increases by approximately 0.125 points on a 1 to 5 scale. Similarly, for every additional point of perceived easiness on a 1 to 5 scale, the RMP overall quality rating increases by about 0.50 points. Moreover, the correlation coefficient between the RMP overall quality ratings and the overall in-class ratings for a subsample of 60 economics professors at five public universities in Florida is only 0.47. However, when regressing the overall in-class instructor ratings on easiness and hotness ratings from RMP, easiness is significant, but hotness is not. Interestingly, when the overall in-class instructor ratings are regressed on perceived easiness, helpfulness, and clarity ratings from RMP, only helpfulness is significant. The findings reported here support the view documented previously in the literature that students reward professors based on a criterion that arguably increases teaching productivity - helpfulness outside the classroom.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
JEL Classification: A2working papers series
Date posted: August 16, 2005
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