Teachers get graded

Michael Olpin helps a co-worker flip upside down to stretch his spine and release some tension that builds up during the day.

On RateMyProfessors.com, an online forum, students can give anonymous candid opinions and grades (1-5) for teachers they have recently had.  This includes the professors and teachers of Weber State University.

Many students find RateMyProfessors.com to be a useful tool when choosing classes during registration. The website defines RateMyProfessors.com as “built for college students, by college students. Choosing the best courses and professors is a rite of passage for every student, and connecting with peers on the site has become a key way for millions of students to navigate this process. The site does what students have been doing forever — checking in with each other — their friends, their brothers, their sisters, their classmates — to figure out who’s a great professor and who’s one you might want to avoid.”

Each professor is given rankings in three categories — easiness, clarity, and helpfulness — which are then averaged for an overall rating. As a bonus for fun, students can give their professors a chili pepper to indicate hotness.

Now for the results.

The top-rated professor with the most ratings of an overall score of 5.0 is Michael Olpin, professor of health promotion with the Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance. Comments on the site include “best teacher ever,” “he is like a motivational speaker” and “his class changed my life.”

With a chuckle, Olpin said he was surprised by his high marks. Olpin started teaching when he was a master’s student at Brigham Young University, leading him down a career path he never expected to adopt.

“Growing up, I never thought I would go to college, let alone be teaching it,” Olpin said. And now he finds teaching to be “the most enjoyable thing.”

Olpin teaches mind-body wellness, stress management and methods in health management. He manages the stress lab and teaches stress management in the community as well.

The male professor with the largest amount of chili peppers is Kraig Chugg from the health science department. With an overall rating of 4.6, Chugg was described as “very helpful” and an “incredible teacher” who “makes things clear.” His appearance is mentioned in the comments more than a few times.

The hottest-rated female professor is Christy Call from the English department. Call’s students praise her for being “open-minded,” “caring” and “an inspiring teacher.” Her overall rating is 4.8.

RateMyProfessors.com rates schools in the U.S., Canada and Britain. Even though BYU occupies the top-rated university spot, WSU ranks at a respectable 3.5 overall and 3.8 in student happiness. Some of the complaints about the WSU campus on the site are “Ogden smells like dog food,” “steep uphill campus” and “not a lot of parking.”

Many students on the site said they love the location and the appearance of the WSU campus and extol the teachers for being personable and helpful.

One student commented, “If you don’t want a school where the professor knows your name,  (WSU) isn’t for you.”