Illustration by Anjali Wadhwa, ‘23.

RateMyClasses, a recent Business Incubator startup led by five students has had a wide-range of feedback from students and teachers.

Officially launched on February 13 of this year, RateMyClasses. However, this version of the product is only the Incubator group’s minimal viable product.

Junior Mya Chhadia, one of the members of the group and co-founder of RateMyClasses, first pitched the idea to her group after she found herself repeatedly giving underclassmen advice about certain classes.

“On top of just general advice, there’s also a ton of classes people just don’t know about. Rate My Professors and other rating systems already exist in college and in higher levels of education, but now high schools are starting to have a broader range of like niche electives as well, so we want students to have a way to see if they’d be interested in these classes,” Chhadia said.

So far, results have been overwhelmingly positive for RateMyClasses from the students. In a survey conducted by the team, they found that 74% of students agree that it helps them choose classes to take.

“Students definitely saw the potential for it to help them with their course-selection process. And especially students in younger grades showed more interest in it. I’m hopeful about that, because yes, it would make their life more efficient, but also hopefully they can choose engaging classes for them to thrive,” Chhadia said.

However, from the teacher’s perspective, RateMyClasses has had a mixed range of emotions. While some teachers love the product and its accessibility for students, some teachers find the anonymity of student reviews unreliable and ineffective.

“We sent out this form for teachers to get their feedback because we do want to make it a beneficial experience for everyone. One teacher, though, said that they ‘Wouldn’t recommend this site to their students,’ because students should listen to just that teacher’s advice, not any crowd-sourced anonymous reviews. The teacher said it was ‘all just a rumor mill,’” Chhadia said.

However, Chhadia and her team feel that the anonymity to the reviews is what allows for students to feel honest in their reviews.

“We really just wanted to provide a platform for high school students to share their experiences. We want a community of transparency and open communication. But, getting feedback from people is a big part of our lives. On Amazon, for example, everyone checks reviews before they buy something and leave reviews themselves. So like, why should that be different for students?” Chhadia said.

According to the team, RateMyClasses requests students to put in their learning type for other students and share their advice for how to be successful in the class.

“The only way for this to be successful is for reviews to accumulate over time. A pattern will come up, but we have to be willing to give it time,” Chhadia said. “The point isn’t to dissuade students from taking a class because it’s hard or challenging. The point is to offer them student-perspectives on how to be successful in a particular class.”

Additionally, in a recent meeting with the school’s department heads, one of the primary concerns that arose was teacher’s names written in the reviews.

“We definitely want to protect teachers’ privacy, so we fixed that. We now monitor the reviews before they’re published. We check them to make sure no teachers are named and no inappropriate language or content is referenced. If it mentions a teacher’s name or it’s inappropriate, we don’t publish it,” Chhadia said.

Despite the mixed reviews between students and teachers, the team is working hard to make the product a better experience for everyone.

“It’s a good thing, if anything, that we’re facing adversity,” Chhadia said. “The point of Business Incubator is to learn about running a business and knowing what people want, which is what we’re learning. Adversity is how we grow.”