Comments about ‘BYU professor sits atop national rankings’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 11 2008 10:34 a.m. MST

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A subject that lends itself to memorable lessons is the mark of a good teacher?
Am I missing something here? The subject one teaches is the mark of a good teacher? I don't think so.
I took other religion classes at BYU that required a lot of deep thought and hard work. Those classes were deeper, more meaningful, and more difficult than Bott's class.
I took Bott's D&C class one semester when I had a tough schedule and I needed a super easy religion class so I could focus on the other classes.
I'd taken his Missionary Prep class and knew he was an easy teacher.
With all the quality, yet demanding, religion professors at BYU, I took the quality easy one. I'm still a little bit ashamed of that decision.
I'm glad so many seem to get so much from his class. I'm doubtful, however, if students should really be receiving credits for so little work. And I think we should be careful before we equate the most popular professor with the best professor--I think those are very different things.

BYU Student

I haven't actually taken any classes from Brother Bott but I would like to argue that not all classes need to be difficult to be fulfilling. Although I would say that my favorite classes are ones that stretch me academically, a schedule full of those classes would take all fun away from the challenge. A bit of balance is good. I try and format my schedule with some more rigorous classes and some classes that are more "fluffy" so that I can do well in all of them. That said - I think it's great that Brother Bott is doing so well, and unfortunate that so many people would be quick to judge his success as cheap because of the nature of the class. All topics of study have worth, no matter their stigma for difficulty or ease.


If he wasn't as great as this article said, would he be the top ranked teacher? Obviously his students like him.


Can teaching Missionary Prep really be considered a university course? Do these students actually get credit for that? HA!


My only regret is that I waited until my senior year to take a class from Randy Bott. He is an incredible human being. Words can't do him justice, but spend five minutes with the man and you will feel the greatness that radiates from his very countenance.


Brother Bott is a great teacher not only because his lessons are memorable but because they are life changing. The things he teaches and in the ways he teaches them change the very nature of many of his students. This is because at the center of his teachings is an immense testimony of and love for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have had Brother Bott for D&C and never has any study of the scripture been more real and applicable to my life than it has after having been taught by Randy Bott.


Susan Easton Black is arguably the WORST professor at BYU, not the best. Her class was by far one of the most dry and tortuous experiences of my life. And I will never get over how much she can't get over herself. If I heard one more time how many words she personally wrote and published about Joseph Smith...


I wish that more teachers would catch on to the fact that memorizing for a test is not learning. Life is open book and is way challenging. If a professor is really interested in a student learning he will accomodate that learning by not stressing the student out so much that it deletes his memory of the class material within a short time of cramming for the final. Yay for Brother Bott for allowing and promoting his students to succeed in the class and after!!

Joel Wright

I really enjoyed my class at BYU from Susan Easton Black. She loves her material (Church History) and her enthusiasm is very contagious. I never worked harder in a religion class at BYU, and yet I still didn't earn a top grade. She is superb. Take a class from her if you can.


I had the opportunity to take one class from Brother Bott and sit in on another. He has amazing insights and students are dumbfounded by his subject knowledge. It is no wonder to me that this professor is top-ranked. Congratulations to Brother Bott and Brigham Young University for this great honor.


WHy does BYU always make the nes for everything? their are other Universitys that should make the news rather that BYU, I have heard him speak before at Education Week, But why is that?


"Congrats Bro. Bott | 7:10 a.m. Dec. 11, 2008
Brother Bott really is awesome! I took 2 classes from him at BYU, and learned so many things, that I actually use in my every day like, unlike most of what I learned in college!"

How funny!!! How TRUE!

RE: timj

Agree about Dr. Wood -- phenomenal (his wife is also an outstanding humanities teacher...they were 2 of the best 5 I had at BYU). I enjoyed Brother Bott a lot, especially as it was right before my LDS mission, but I don't think I'd put him in my personal top 5 best teachers...maybe most likeable, but not best.

My bad

re: Timj | 12:21 p.m

Misplaced antecedent, my bad.

"10 years later I still remember his teachings" to me is the mark of a good teacher.


Brother Bott is great. Loved taking his miss. prep class a few years ago.


I would have voted him tops too if I had the chance. He was my bishop and my teacher while I was at BYU and I found his lectures and personal advice to be life changing in all the best ways. Congrats!

Shu Ying poon

Yeah! Brother Bott is the best. I was a transfer student from BYU-Hawaii who thought about transfer back because I couldn't apply for my major. However, after I took the first class from Brother Bott, I changed my mind and decided to stay.

He is AWESOME! I love him:]


I <3 brother bott!!! seriously, his class changed my life. how many teachers can do that?

Current Student

I have Bro. Bott right now. While several have made good points about religion classes not being as rigorous, I don't believe that is the reason Bro. Bott is ranked as highly as he is. I will agree that it is easy to get an A in his class, but I don't think that's a reflects negatively on his teaching abilities at all because in order to earn an A, you must go to class, you must pay attention, you must complete the reading assignments, and you must do the tests. I've been through 5 semesters at BYU, and never have I learned more in a class than I learned from Bro. Bott this semester.

He is an inspiring man, someone his students want to be like and enjoy learning from. I found it easy to get an A because I ENJOYED going to class everyday, I took as many notes as I could because he made me want to learn, and I contemplated his lessons often because of the power and truth behind them. If making his students feel like I do does not make him a legitimate candidate for the "best teacher", I don't know what would.


I am a junior at BYU right now. I have taken a large variety of classes, from Political Science, Biology, to Acting and Music. I have put my all into every class and, as a result, procured very good grades. However, grades don't really matter unless the material stays with you. People say that the harder you work the more the material is ingrained in your brain. I disagree. The class that I had to work the least for (mission prep/religion 130) I remember the most material for. I remember more from President Bott's class than from any other class I have taken at BYU combined. I have been able to successfully apply the material in my life because it was actually relevant to it. So those people who think that students have to half kill in order to retain anything has either never taught, or is not a good teacher.

Congratulations President Bott, you deserve this award and much much more.

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