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Dear Professors,

As a college educator, I understand the high student demand for classes and it has continually frustrated me to have my classes fill in a day and then have so many students drop the first week -- leaving prepared, engaged students left without classes.  This is my attempt to share an idea that , I think, would improve this problem and also increase students' level of preparedness on day one of a class.

Outside of college, students are now engaged in a participatory society that provides them with peer reviews, videos, and other resources about services before they jump in and make a purchase or use a service.  Yelp provides reviews of restaurants and "real" pictures of food served in restaurants taken by "real" customers.  TripAdvisor does the same for hotels.  Amazon and other major retail sites offer reviews of products that reveal feedback about a product's quality that may persuade or dissuade an individual from making a purchase.  However, in college classes, students typically are required to register for a class and wait until the first day to get to know their professor and learn about the course expectations and requirements.

We know our students want more. shares more than 10,000,000 student opinions about professors.  So, why don't you help fill in this gap by creating and sharing a website that includes an introductory video, a letter to your students, your syllabi, your course expectations?  If students had open access to this content, imagine how much more prepared they'd be upon registering for your class.  When I shared this idea on my blog, one student left the following comment, "This is a great idea. ... I would much prefer to hear what the teacher has to say about the class than trying to make a decision based on comments on a professor rating site because that's the only place I can find information."

Not all professors, however, have the resources or ability to create their own website.  Google Sites makes it easy and puts website creation into the palm of anyone who is wiling to create a free Google account (required).

Explore the links on the left to learn how you can utilize the Professor Website template I developed to create your own, unique site.  Then work with your institution to identify a method for sharing the link to your site with your students before they register (for example, in the class schedule and on your college/department website).

After you start seeing results and getting feedback from your students, please visit my blog and share a comment!


Michelle Pacansky-Brock



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