RateMyProfessors.com is proud to present our 2012-2013 annual Top Lists ranking the nation’s top professors and universities, based entirely on students’ input. Loyola University’s Penny Livermore, a classics professor, leads the list of top university professors, followed by Devon Hanahan, a Spanish professor at College of Charleston and Kenneth Anderson, a music professor at the University of California San Diego.
Topping the nation’s list of universities are Duke University, Vanderbilt University, Pennsylvania State University and Stanford University. Whereas the 2011-2012 top universities list was dominated by smaller universities and private schools, this year’s list is populated by many large institutions and state schools. The rankings for best schools were determined by analyzing both professor ratings and campus ratings. Different from typical college rankings, this list is generated entirely from the input of the students themselves – providing an authentic overview of daily life at each respective school.
As many students continue to pursue moderately-priced alternatives to traditional four-year universities, RateMyProfessors.com once again published a list of highest-rated junior and community colleges. Santa Barbara City College clinched the top spot, with Pulaski Technical College and MiraCosta College following close behind. This year’s top junior and community college professor is Allen Pinnix, a history professor from the Forsyth Technical Community College and last year’s top junior college professor, Sam Blank of Borough of Manhattan Community College, finished sixth this year.
RateMyProfessors.com is also releasing the second annual “Fun Lists,” five graphics providing a fresh twist on our student-generated site data.
RateMyProfessors.com Top Lists Ranking Methodology
RateMyProfessors.com is the Internet’s largest destination for collegiate professor ratings with more than 8,000 schools, 1,800,000 professors and 15,000,000 ratings. The site uses a five-point Likert scale as well as a binary scoring system for students to rate professors. Below is a summary of the overall methodology used to compile the 2012-2013 rankings:
Professors are ranked according to the following methodology: Each individual professor rating is first standardized and, subsequently, the standardized scores for the past three years are weighted, putting more weight on recent years and less weight on ratings from the past (15 percent for 2011, 25 percent for 2012, 60 percent for 2013). Using the weighted score, professors are ranked from high to low. Only professors with 30 ratings or more are included to provide statistical significance.
In an attempt to break ties, professors with a greater number of ratings are ranked higher; the rationale is that a larger amount of information typically results in an estimate closer to the true parameter. Nevertheless, ties (i.e. professors with the same score and the same number of ratings) may still occur. In that case, if two professors are tied for the same place – say 5th – then the next available rank is 7th.
It should also be noted that school size does not affect the outcome of the lists nor does it give professors from larger schools an advantage over their corollaries from smaller schools. RateMyProfessors.com performed a regression analysis on school size vs. number of ratings and found no noteworthy correlation.
More information on how this methodology was applied to each category is available here. Data analysis is conducted with the help of Wolfgang Jank who is the Anderson Professor of Global Management in the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences at the University of South Florida.