Texas State professors Sherry Ross, Gerald Farr and Craig Hanks are all from different departments, but they all share one thing in common. All three are among the five top-rated professors at Texas State according to.
The website allows students to rate professors from one to five stars and submit written reviews discussing the pros and cons of a professor’s lecture style, exams and homework load.
Byron Augustin, who retired in August 2010, and Timothy Mottet, who left Texas State in 2007, were also featured on myEdu’s list of the five top-rated professors at Texas State.
Kathryn Walker, myEdu.com media coordinator, said data revealing the top five professors was collected from over a five-year time period, which explains why two professors who no longer teach at Texas State are included on the list.
Walker said Texas State’s top-rated professors each received a rating of 4.5 stars.
“They all come from different departments, and we don’t want to say that one professor is better than the other, so we just refer to the top five as all sharing an equal rating,” Walker said.
Walker said myEdu.com has been active at Texas State for 10 years of its overall 15-year existence, and has received more than 10,000 reviews from Texas State alone.
Ross, senior lecturer in the accounting department, said faculty view rating websites as a popularity contest.
“If you can be rated high when your class average is a high D, then students basically understand that if they are not making the grade it’s their fault, it’s not because they weren’t given the opportunity,” Ross said.
Ross, an accounting faculty member for nine years, said teaching is something she did not plan to do, and is surprised she is a top-rated professor because of the difficulty of the course she instructs.
She said students value her teaching as a result of her patience and availability.
“Professors are required a specific amount of office hours, and I probably provide five times of the required amount,” Ross said.
Courtney Parmer, marketing sophomore, said she had Intro to Accounting with Ross last fall. Parmer said the class was difficult, but she passed the course because Ross offered extra avenues to aide comprehension.
Ross said she emphasizes the importance of ethical standards to her students.
“I am going to try to be the most ethical person I can be in my private life, in my business life and in the classroom. If you are almost to that letter grade, and you maximized your efforts I will help you on the next letter grade. But I also make it clear that if you haven’t come to class or done the homework, I will not help, even if you are one-tenth of a point away,” Ross said.
Farr, assistant professor in the biology department, also teaches an introductory course students consider challenging.
Nathan McDaniel, political science sophomore, said he loved Farr’s class because he was funny and translated material into layman’s terms making content easier for students to digest.
Farr, who has taught at Texas State for the past 41 years, said he does odd things to get the students to laugh in order to understand the information.
“I am a very visual person, so anything I am talking about, I always do my best to show students through either animation or other optics,” Farr said. “Students were birthed in a time of visuals; they’d rather watch than read.”
McDaniel said Farr’s lecture technique helped him score high on tests because he could associate the answers to questions as a result of exposure to animations.
Farr said he wants to help his students not just pass the class, but inspire them to become life-long learners.
Hanks also shares Farr’s philosophy.
Hanks was awarded the Texas State Honors Professor of the year, the Presidential Award for Excellence and named Distinguished Professor of Humanities.
Hanks, a philosophy professor who has spent nine of his 24 years of teaching at Texas State, said he hopes students gain something from his class that can be used in their daily lives.
One myEdu.com a reviewer wrote, “If you enjoy professors who try to relate to you on a personal level with the material they're teaching, then you'll love Professor Hanks. He's very down to earth, and explains Philosophy very well.”