This book explores the emerging trends and patterns in online student evaluations of teaching and how online reviews have transformed the teacher-student relationship as developments in technology have altered consumer behaviors. While consumers at large rely more and more on web-based platforms to purchase commercial products and services, they also make highly personal decisions regarding the choice of service providers in health care, higher education, and other industries. The chapters assess the challenges that web-based platforms such as RateMyProfessors.com pose for service providers in higher education and other industries, and the role of these online consumer review sites in driving consumer expectations. In framing her argument, the author considers the validity of online rating systems and the credibility and trustworthiness of online consumer reviewers. She also evaluates cultural trends that play a role in perpetuating systems of inequality such as racism, sexism, and ageism in online consumer reviews.
Pamela Leong is Associate Professor of Sociology at Salem State University, USA.
1. Introduction2. Technology, Social Media, and Consumer Expectations3. Body Politics in Cyberspace: When the Physical Body of the Subject Under Review Matters in Online Evaluations4. Manifestations of Sex and Gender on Web-Based Platforms5. Discrimination Based on Nationality, Race, and Ethnicity on Web-Based Platforms6. Student Evaluations Gone Wild: Rants and the Mixed Bag of Nuts7. Manifestations of "the Ideal" in Cyberspace8. Culture, Anonymity, and Consumer Expectations: The Challenges of Modern Rating Systems in the Age of Social Media