As an educator in the age of social media and the internet, it’s more important than ever to maintain a positive reputation. Why? Because not only does your online image directly influence how you are perceived, but a bad review left online can have a negative impact on your students’ success.
With sites like RateMyProfessor, students can easily leave reviews of their professors that are visible to the entire world. And while some of these reviews may be fair and accurate, others may be unfair or even outright lies.
So, how can you protect your reputation as an educator in the face of these student review sites?
To present a more comprehensive picture of what the review process entails, let’s take a moment to orient ourselves to the original purpose of student feedback and how it has evolved…
What the Student Review Process Serves to Educators
The provision of student feedback, historically in the form of course surveys, has long been established as standard classroom practice. While the original intent was to assist the educator in designing a better program, it has now been convoluted by a largely unregulated process and a fundamental need for teachers to remain relevant and credible to survive.
As a necessary adaptation, teachers must take online reviews from students seriously to avoid risking their career!
At Reputation Rhino, we specialize in building, protecting, repairing, and restoring your professional online reputation. Without compromise, we uphold the original intent of the student review process; however, we have little tolerance for how unnecessary, unfounded, and harmful remarks left by students can skew your online image and impact your livelihood.
Our skilled team of online image experts are committed to helping teachers, professors and online educators preserve the option to share their valuable knowledge with those who need it most.
The bottom line is that we all have a bottom line to cover, and we must do all we can to secure our future in whatever career path we choose by protecting our online reputation.
What are Students Looking for Online?
When students are looking for a course or program, they often turn to online reviews to see what other students have to say about their experience. If your program has positive reviews, that can attract new students and help you fill seats in your courses, but if your program has negative reviews, that can deter students from enrolling.
Your reputation can also impact the quality of your students. If you have a good reputation, you’re likely to attract high-quality students who are motivated to learn and succeed. But if you have a bad reputation, you’re likely to attract lower-quality students who may not be as committed to their studies.
Furthermore, your online reputation can influence the amount of funding you receive from donors and grant-makers in the higher education space. If you’re known for producing high-quality graduates who go on to be successful in their careers, you’re more likely to receive funding than if you’re known for having low graduation rates or producing graduates who don’t find jobs after graduation.
Should Students Hold Your Reputational Power?
We believe that the best student-teacher relationships are built upon mutual respect and collaboration. Ideally, these are consistently in balance; however, we know that the student-to-teacher ratio in most teaching forums does not afford for that level of trust to be solidified in every interaction.
But let’s be frank, students come with expectations. And when those learning or outcome-based objectives are not met…you’re on the hook.
In today’s world, students can vent their frustrations to the public with the click of a mouse on any review platform or exchange forum, and rarely does anyone stop to question whether or not their expectations were realistic or what personal factors may have contributed to their dissatisfaction.
This is why performing an online reputation audit can be of immense benefit to catalyze the necessary restructuring of your online reputation and balance out any power differentials that may exist.
Preserving Your Online Reputation
Monitor Your Online Presence
The first step is to simply be aware of what’s being said about you online. Consider this a rudimentary measure of self-auditing. Set up Google Alerts for your name and your school’s name so that you’ll be notified anytime someone mentions you or your school online. This will help you stay on top of any negative reviews or inaccurate information that might be spread.
Encourage Fair and Accurate Reviews
Educators should be encouraging feedback regularly and further soliciting reviews from students who have expressed positive experiences with you. These positive reviews will help offset any negative ones.
If you do see a negative review, reach out to the student who wrote it and try to resolve the issue offline. If the issue is amended, it should be reflected visibly in response to the original review. It is perfectly acceptable to request that the student update their review. This speaks volumes about your personal and professional policies on fairness and often results in more positive reviews.
Be Professional at All Times
Of course, the best way to protect your reputation is to simply always act professionally. Be respectful of your student’s time and attention, and be available to help them outside of class if they need it. By being a great educator, you’ll naturally discourage students from leaving negative reviews and encourage them to leave positive ones instead.
How can online reputation management services help you?
If you discover a potential black stain on your name, it is best to partner with a professional.
Online Reputation Management works to change your image in your favor, highlight your strengths and the benefits of your products and services, and emphasizes your business’s remarkable achievements.
At Reputation Rhino, the leader in online reputation management, we make it a priority to build and improve upon your online image by targeting any students who are thriving as a result of your interaction.
We use advanced technology to identify and promote engagement with the students who are most likely to rate you highly so that their voices may too be heard and hold resonance with those seeking your services.
We further promote ongoing and relevant engagement through our proven content enhancement strategies. Our experts in content marketing at Reputation Rhino partner with educators to understand and captivate the minds of their intended audience, establish trust, and cultivate lasting relationships that are of service to all parties.
Employing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is an advanced means of targeting those who will thrive in your program. Reputation Rhino’s team of online visibility experts boast a consistently impressive performance on Google search rankings and review sites by directing traffic towards and highlighting our clients’ most positive attributes.
With all of this available at Reputation Rhino, why risk your reputation or your future by leaving it all in the hands of your students?
If you’re ready to position yourself as the trusted expert and authority in your field, trust the experts and authorities in online reputation management to assist you.
Book your free strategy session with Reputation Rhino today!