Questionnaires

This page contains information on the structure of Mercury questionnaires (including required and optional components) as well as guidelines for designing questionnaires.

View your unit's current questionnaire here.

Structure of Mercury Questionnaires

Course evaluation questionnaires use the following structure.

1. Required: Statement about the purposes, uses, utility, and mode of accessibility

The following statements appear before students begin completing a course evaluation questionnaire.

English

"Subject to certain limitations, end-of-course evaluation results are to be accessible to the McGill community. A statistical summary of responses will be used:

a. to help instructors improve future offerings of courses;
b. to inform students about courses and instructors;
c. as a component of the teaching dossier; and
d. to help administrators and faculty committees in their decision-making processes.

Any written comments will be used to provide useful information (e.g., suggested improvements) to the instructor and Head of the academic unit but will not be available to the McGill community.

Course evaluations are completely anonymous.

Results are not available to an instructor until the final grades for the course have been submitted and approved.”

French

« Sous réserve de certaines restrictions, les résultats des évaluations de cours doivent être mis à la disposition de la communauté de l’Université McGill. Un résumé statistique des réponses sera utilisé :

a. pour aider les enseignant(e)s à améliorer la prestation future des cours;
b. pour informer les étudiant(e)s au sujet des cours et des enseignant(e)s;
c. comme une composante du dossier d’enseignement des professeurs; et
d. pour aider les administrateurs ainsi que les comités facultaires dans leurs processus décisionnels.

Les commentaires écrits serviront à présenter des renseignements utiles (p. ex. améliorations proposées) à  l’enseignant(e) et au directeur/directrice du département, mais ne seront pas mis à la disposition de la communauté de l’Université McGill.

Les évaluations de cours sont entièrement anonymes.

Les résultats sont remis à un(e) enseignant(e)   seulement après que les notes finales du cours ont été présentées et approuvées. »

2. Required: Four Core Questions

The following four questions must be included in all questionnaires, in this order.

  1. Overall, this is an excellent course.

  2. Overall, I learned a great deal from this course.

  3. Overall, this instructor is an excellent teacher.

  4. Overall, I learned a great deal from this instructor.

When applicable, the Academic Unit may replace the word “instructor” by another appropriate term, such as “teacher” or “lab coordinator."

This part must include a space for students to provide written comments.

3. Optional: Faculty-Wide Questions

Faculties may choose to have Faculty-wide questions that appear on all course evaluations in the Faculty.

  • Maximum number of questions: 18. 

  • The Dean or delegate should submit the default questionnaire(s) to the mercury.info [at] mcgill.ca (Mercury System Administrator) with a message to that effect. 

  • If in subsequent years, the Faculty wishes to revise the default questionnaire, the Dean or delegate should submit the changes to the mercury.info [at] mcgill.ca (Mercury System Administrator).

  • Neither instructors nor units within the Faculty can modify or delete these questions.

  • This part must include a space for students to provide written comments.

NOTE: If the total number of questions on the Faculty-wide questionnaire (including the 4 core questions) is less than 22, departments or Schools within the Faculty may choose to add additional questions, up to a maximum of 22.

View information on designing questionnaires (recommended questions, comments, templates, language)

4. Optional: Department- or School-Wide Questions

Departments or Schools may add additional questions, provided the number of Faculty-wide questions is less than 18.

  • Maximum number of questions: 18 minus the total number of Faculty-wide questions. 

  • The Mercury Liaison should send the unit questions to the mercury.info [at] mcgill.ca (Mercury System Administrator) and copy the unit head.  

  • If in subsequent years, the department or School wishes to revise the unit questions, the Mercury Liaison should submit the changes to the mercury.info [at] mcgill.ca (Mercury System Administrator) and copy the unit head.

  • Instructors cannot modify or delete these questions.

  • This part must include a space for students to provide written comments.

View information on designing questionnaires (recommended questions, comments, templates, language)

5. Required: Teaching Assistant Questions

Core questions 3 and 4 referring to Teaching Assistants rather than the instructor. Up to 3 questions related to Teaching Assistants.

  • Overall, this Teaching Assistant is an excellent teacher. (Core question 3)

  • Overall, I learned a great deal from this Teaching Assistant. (Core question 4) 

NOTE: Questions related to Teaching Assistants do not count against the maximum of 25 questions. This part must include a space for students to provide written comments.

6. Optional: Instructor-Added Questions

Instructors may add up to three (3) questions to their course evaluations. Instructors should use this form to submit their questions to the unit's Mercury Liaison, who will add the additional questions to the appropriate course evaluation questionnaire. 

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Designing Questionnaires

When constructing questions for your unit’s questionnaire, keep in mind that students do not have access to the comments. Therefore, a question such as “The evaluation methods used in this course were appropriate” is difficult to interpret because without student comments, it is not possible to discern whether the evaluation methods were too easy or too difficult. View student guidelines for interpreting numerical results.

Course evaluation questionnaires: Gathering feedback you can act on

This document offers information to academic units and instructors on questionnaire development and includes a bank of recommended questions.

Comment Boxes

  • Students should have at least one opportunity to provide written comments.
  • Any question may include a comment box.
  • Comments often provide useful information for improving courses and teaching as well as helping in the interpretation of results.
  • All comments are confidential to the instructor and the head of the academic unit.
  • Instructors may use intact sets of comments in their Teaching Portfolios.

Language

  • Default course evaluation questionnaires can be created in more than one language if the academic unit provides a translated version(s) to the Mercury System Administrator.
  • Students would then be able to select the language of the course evaluation questionnaire.

 

For more information on how to design questionnaires, please consult with a member of Teaching and Learning Services.

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.