Making the grade: Using online ratings to your advantage
At the end of each semester, colleges and universities survey students, asking for feedback on the course and instructor. Likewise, many K-12 and preschool schools conduct annual parent surveys to gauge satisfaction with the school and identify opportunities for improvement.
Traditionally, this data was used internally. Now the game is changing as online rating systems are bringing pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, college and university ratings into the public sphere. In this e-newsletter, we’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks to help you use these online ratings sites to your advantage:
If you find an error, you can report it. Sites like GreatSchools.net or SchoolMatters.com use information gleaned from reports that schools file with state and federal agencies. If you find a mistake, follow official policies to request a change. Sites like ProfessorPerformance.com collect ratings from students. However, they have policies that allow users to red-flag and challenge false, misleading or libelous evaluations.
One note: When adding reviews, honesty is key. While it might be tempting for faculty or staff to pose as a parent or student and submit online reviews, the potential downsides are great. Fake reviews threaten your credibility and can be very damaging when discovered.
Make it your own
You may also consider adding the ability for students and/or parents to add comments to your site, so they don’t go looking elsewhere for this type of information. If you do, consider asking for names or e-mail addresses, so you can respond to negative comments. Promote this section of your website by including the link on portfolios filled with back-to-school paperwork for preK-12 families, or key lites for college students.
Ratings and rankings are commonly used tools, especially in today’s online world. While you can’t control the outcome of every ranking, you may be able to contribute to the rating sites and help families see the full picture of what you have to offer!
Submit your review