Instructor Resources

Hello DISE Instructors! We have created this page to help provide all the information you need to successfully teach a course in our Department.





Guidelines, policies and dates

Important Dates and Deadlines

The following is an abridged list of important dates and deadlines for the upcoming academic year.

Exams begin, see for the complete exam schedule.

Fall Term 2016 (September 2 - December 5)
Friday, September 2 ** Fall 2016 classes begin
Monday, September 5 Holiday- Labour Day (University closed)
Tuesday, September 20 Course change (add/drop) deadline for the Fall term
Tuesday, September 27 Deadline for course or university withdrawal (grade of W) WITH fee refund
Monday, October 10 Holiday - Thanksgiving (University closed)
Tuesday, November 1 Deadline for course or university withdrawal (grade of W) with NO fee refund
Monday, December 5 Classes end for Fall term
Wednesday, December 7 Exams begin, see for the complete exam schedule.
Tuesday, December 20 Exams end
Friday, December 23, 2016 - Monday, January 2, 2017 Holiday break (University closed)
*EDEE 353 and EDEE 355 start on August 29. For start dates of each course, please use the Minerva Dynamic Schedule - Class Schedule Search.
**Monday September 5 and Monday October 10 are holidays; there are no lectures held these days. Monday make-up lectures will be held at the start of the term, on Friday, September 2, 2016.
Winter Term 2017 (January 4 - April 11)
Wednesday, January 4 Winter 2017 classes begin
Tuesday, January 17 Course Change (add/drop) deadline for Winter term
Thursday, January 26 Deadline for course or university withdrawal (grade of W) WITH fee refund
Tuesday, March 7 Deadline for course or university withdrawal (grade of W) with NO fee refund
Monday, February 27 - Friday, March 3

Study break - Student Teaching is not interrupted for Education Students

Tuesday, April 11 Classes end for Winter term
Thursday, April 13 Exams begin, see for the complete exam schedule.
Friday, April 14 Holiday - Good Friday (University closed)
Monday, April 17 Holiday - Easter Monday (University closed)
Friday, April 28 Exams end
**February 27 - March 3 is Study Break;  there are no lectures held on these days.
NOTE: Intensive courses follow a compressed schedule.

Grade Submission Information

University Student Assessment Policy

The University Student Assessment Policy is created to protect students from excessive workloads, and the ensure that all students are treated equally. For a collection of all policies about Student Assessments please see the Student Assessment Policy.

DISE Assessment and Attendance Guidelines "NEW"

Student's Rights and Responsibilities: The Handbook

clipart - handbook of student rights and responsibilitiesMcGill University course lecturers are expected to know about their Students' Rights and Responsibilities in order to ensure that reciprocal respect and a positive learning environment are fostered.

Please pay particular attention to policies specified in the Handbook, especially those policies which relate to teaching and learning.

Please refer to the The Virtual Handbook on Student Rights and Responsibilities for information.

Faculty of Education's Instructor Website

The Faculty of Education's instructor website can be found here.

This website contains useful information for instructors about the rules and regulations surrounding teaching in the Faculty of Education at McGill University.

For any additional information about teaching in DISE, please feel free to contact DISE's Program Administrator, diane [dot] rabey [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Diane Rabey).



clipart - course outlines


Course outlines

Resources for Creating Your Course Outline

The course outline serves as a contract between the instructor and their students. Considering this, there are many important components that an instructor must include as well as those they should consider including in their outline. DISE advises all instructors to carefully review McGill's Teaching and Learning Service's (TLS) website to consult the many online resources available to prepare for teaching a course in the Department and at McGill. The TLS Course Outline: Brief Guide [.pdf] is a useful overview to building a course outline. 

Required Statements

For the complete list of required McGill Policy Statements, see the Teaching and Learning Services website.

Required statements for B.Ed. and MATL course outlines

Instructors of B.Ed. and MATL courses are required to address relevant MEESR Professional Competencies in their courses.

Course outlines must:

  1. Indicate the selected professional competencies (and their appropriate features) that are being developed in the course
  2. Explain how these professional competencies (and their appropriate features) will be developed during the course (content, approach, methodology etc.)
  3. Make clear how evidence of development of the selected competencies will be gathered (learning outcomes/assignments, assessment tools etc.)

Click here to view the 12 Professional Competences, extracted from a MEESR teacher training document. Refer to the full document here: Professional Competencies Document.

DISE required statements for all graduate and undergraduate course outlines

  • *NEW* Safe Space Statement: We are committed to nurturing a space where students, teaching assistants, lecturers, and professors can all engage in the exchange of ideas and dialogue, without fear of being made to feel unwelcome or unsafe on account of biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race/ethnicity, religion, linguistic and cultural background, age, physical or mental ability, or any other aspect integral to one's personhood. We therefore recognize our responsibility, both individual and collective, to strive to establish and maintain an environment wherein all interactions are based on empathy and mutual respect for the person, acknowledging differences of perspectives, free from judgment, censure, and/or stigma.

  • *NEW* Classroom Etiquette Statement: In keeping with the professional culture of teaching and learning, the Faculty of Education community believes that our teaching and learning spaces should model such professional environments. As a community, we are committed to creating authentic opportunities where understanding of teaching and learning is co-constructed between instructors and students. In order for us to create these learning environments, we are expected to demonstrate awareness of, respect for and commitment to the behaviours and actions of professionals. As members of the Faculty of Education community, we are expected to be accountable to ourselves and others and to be engaged, collegial and accessible. By doing so, we are more fully able to share together in the types of critical dialogue, creative thinking and reflective practice expected of professionals. 

  • The Language Assessment policy is a required statement in Course Outlines. However, given our mandate to develop Professional Competency #2 (To communicate clearly in the language of instruction, both orally and in writing, using correct grammar, in various contexts related to teaching.)– all B.Ed. and MATL courses (except for PIF courses) can fall under exception (ii), below. DISE policy is that this exception can be applied at each individual instructor’s discretion – and can be applied at the course or assignment level. The manner in which the exception applies much be clearly stated in the course outline. E.g. “Given the development and assessment of Professional Competency #2, all assignments for this course must be completed in English.”

    Language of Assessment:

    Students shall be permitted to use either English or French in completing any form of Assessment other than

    (i) In-class oral presentations; and

    (ii) Assessments in Courses in which acquiring proficiency in a language is one of the objectives, where the Assessments shall be in the language of the Course.

Required Links

Course Outline Examples

Below are two examples of course outlines which include the MELS Professional Competencies required statements. These downloadable .pdf files are provided to help in the process while revising course outlines.

Submitting Your Outline For Review

Please note that all course lecturers are required to send an electronic version of their course outline to DISE's Program Administrator, diane [dot] rabey [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Diane Rabey), in order for a review of the content to be done by a Program Director and the Chair. Instructors must submit their outline via email no later than one month prior to the start of classes of any given term in order to ensure adequate time for both a review and potential amendments.



clipart - teaching

Teaching a DISE course

Ordering Textbooks/Course Packs

Course materials can include textbooks, course packs, and/or links to online articles on myCourses.


McGill Bookstore, 3420 McTavish St., 514-398-8354
Orders should be placed before the following deadlines:
Fall Term: July 1, 2013
Winter Term: October 14, 2013

Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 McGill College Ave., 514-845-5811

The Word Bookstore, 469 Milton St., 514-845-5640

Desk copies of textbooks can normally be obtained by contacting the publisher.

Course Packs:

McGill Bookstore Coursepacks, 514-398-2500
Orders should be placed before the following deadlines:
Fall Term: July 1, 2013
Winter Term: October 14, 2013

If you need any assistance, contact DISE's Program Administrator, diane [dot] rabey [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Diane Rabey).

myCourses Learning Management System

What is myCourses?

myCourses is McGill's learning management system used by most courses as a supplement to classroom-based instruction. The McGill Library website provides a vast array of additional access points to teaching and learning content and research materials, including over 50,000 e-journal titles and 2 million e-books. Links directly to instructor defined readings can be easily included in myCourses as the primary source for student reading materials. Liaison librarians in each branch library can provide further assistance.

Please visit the appropriate page for an overview of The myCourses Learning Management System.

myCourses course sections are automatically created for all courses offered at McGill. Students automatically have access to the courses in which they are formally enrolled.

Some key features to myCourses are:

  • Persistent direct links to library and other resources
  • Detailed selective release of contact and course components
  • Discussions include categories for discussions and gradable discussions
  • Pop-up announcements from instructors
  • Multiple options for assignments and assessments (e.g. group/individual, gradable/non-gradable, public/private and resubmission)

Getting Started for Instructors

Click on the following link for a guide on accessing the myCourses for the first time. For more information and self-serve training materials please visit the myCourses website (sign in with McGill email and password required).

Additionally, DISE encourages instructors to contact the Educational Technology Consultants from McGill's own Content and Collaboration Solutions (CCS) to set up an initial appointment to discuss the many options available for developing a dynamic and interactive myCourses interface for their courses. They have consistently been extremely helpful.

Quebec Education Program (QEP)
(K/Elementary & Secondary, TESL, English and French versions)

All professors teaching in teacher education programs (B.Ed. and MATL) should be aware of the following documents:

Professional e-Portfolios

Professional Competencies

MATL Capstone Research Project Guidelines

Recommended Guidelines for Returning Assignments/Tests to Students

We encourage instructors to return assignments/tests during class hours, however, in cases where assignments are submitted after the end of classes, the following options are strongly recommended:

  1. You may ask students to submit self-addressed, stamped envelopes with their assignments such that they can be mailed out at the end of term.
  2. You may set specific office hours for the submission and return of assignments.

Plagiarism and Text-Matching Software

Any suspicion of plagiarism or cheating is to be reported along with corroborating evidence. Information on how to handle allegations of plagiarism or cheating is found in the Faculty of Education's Instructor Guidelines.

Please consult McGill's Academic Integrity website to review various strategies that instructors can implement to reduce these occurrences.

The use of text matching software at McGill is regulated by a Senate policy, which can be consulted here. Please note that McGill University has ended its licensing agreement with Turnitin and the service is no longer available within myCourses. Please visit the appropriate page for more information about text-matching software at McGill.

Mercury Online Course Evaluations

The deadlines for students to complete online course evaluations through Minerva can be found on the Mercury Course Evaluations website. It is crucial for students to know these dates if we want them to submit an evaluation. Please remind students of these deadlines.

How easy is it for students to complete their evaluations?

It only takes 5-10 minutes for students to fill out their course evaluations and is a great way for their voices to be heard and to impact positive change in the program.

To access their course evaluation(s), students simply need to log into their Minerva account where a pop-up window will appear prompting students to fill out their evaluations.

If no pop-up window appears, they can access the course evaluations by :

  • Selecting Student Menu
  • Clicking on Mercury Online Course Evaluation Menu
  • Then on Submit your course evaluations

Increasing response rates from students

As an instructor, there are a number of things you can do to help increase students' response rates for course evaluations. Making a note of the evaluation dates in the course outline, allowing students to bring in their laptops and fill them out during class time, and sending emails to students and posting on myCourses reminding them to do so are great starting points.

Of course, there is no better way of getting students to take a few minutes of their day to evaluate a course than to simply talk to them about the importance of doing so and how they can actually cause real positive change in the program for both current and future students.

Another tip to encourage participation in course evaluations

As an instructor, you may now grant or deny permission to allow students access to the results of all their course evaluations. This has been found to help increase response rates. If permission is granted, the numerical results will be posted on MINERVA, restricted to members of the McGill community. Written comments are always treated as confidential and are never disseminated.

If you would like to grant students that permission, simply complete the online form through Mercury using the following steps:

  1. Log in to Minerva by visiting
  2. Select Faculty Menu
  3. Scroll down and click on Mercury Online Course Evaluation Menu
  4. Click on Results - for the Instructor
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Grant/Deny to Disseminate Course Evaluation Results
  6. Follow the instructions carefully before making your decision.

Please visit the Teaching and Learning Services website to see the policy on Course Evaluations.

For more ideas/information on course evaluations and promoting responses, please take a look at the Strategies to Increase Response Rates [.pdf] document. Many of the main points have been summarized above already, but there are even more creative ideas on how to encourage participation included in the document.

Focus on Teaching e-bulletin

The Focus on Teaching e-bulletin, from Teaching & Learning Services, is designed to inform all instructors of upcoming events, available resources, and classroom innovations to enhance teaching at McGill.

This concise resource, which has had a very positive reception since its launch, strives to address instructors’ interests and needs by aggregating featured pedagogical and technological offerings at McGill. It includes links to timely information about workshops on course design, using clickers in the classroom, creating and managing exams, creating safer, more inclusive environments for learning, as well as instructors’ reflections on their teaching, library resources for your classroom, and more. I encourage you to draw your colleagues’ attention to this publication, which is sent to all instructors at McGill around the 1st and 15th of each month.

Past Focus on Teaching e-bulletins are available for consultation here. Any questions or suggestions about this e-bulletin may be addressed to teaching [dot] tls [at] mcgill [dot] ca.



clipart - rexources


Resources and facilities

What does my classroom look like?

The Classroom Audiovisual Instructions tool is accessible from the myMcGill portal. This tool allows you to choose a building and a specific classroom in order to view images images of the room and layout of AV equipment, a listing of each piece of equipment present, operating instructions, and video demonstrations.

Instructors are encouraged to consult this tool and make sure they know how to set up their equipment before the term begins.

To access the tool: IT Knowledge Base Article

  1. Log into myMcGill using your McGill Username and McGill Password.
  2. Click on the IT Tool tab.
  3. Under Quick Links to IT Sites, select Classroom Audiovisual Instructions.
  4. Select a building and a room.

Need equipment installed?
For more information on equipping classrooms with technology for teaching, contact the support [dot] ist [at] mcgill [dot] ca (ICS Service Desk).

Education Library Resources for Research and Teaching

Your liaison librarian:

  • Is your contact for all library and research services. Please visit this page for Education library staff and contact information.
  • Provides customized information and research skills training for your students designed to meet the learning outcomes of your courses. The goal is to facilitate students’ development of skills needed to understand and develop effective search strategies, critically evaluate information, and locate appropriate materials for assignments and learning. 
  • Provides one-on-one research consultations for students and researchers at all levels.
  • Assists you in locating materials to support your teaching, and will assist you in creating links from your course reading lists into our online holdings. 
  • Creates subject guides highlighting key databases and other resources related to your courses.

Liaison Librarians: Your Partners for Learning, Teaching & Research (brochure) [.pdf]

Visit the Library's Support for Teaching and Support for Research pages for more information on:

  • Obtaining materials
  • Course reserves
  • Publishing research
  • Securing authorship rights
  • Digital repository
  • Citation analysis

uPrint System for Copying, Printing

uPrint, in short, is a campus-wide copy and printing service that allows you to print from your computer to the "uPrint cloud" and then you can go to any uPrint machine on campus, swipe your McGill ID card on the designated area on the machine and start printing.

Should you require printing or copying services for a course that you are teaching, please contact DISE's Program Administrator, diane [dot] rabey [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Diane Rabey). Please note that it will take a few hours for a new account to be registered in the system, so it is important to request this well in advance.

For instructions on how to set up a laptop to access uPrint printer options, please read the IT Knowledgebase article under the 'How to request access' section.

Shared Office Space for Sessional Instructors

DISE currently offers its course lecturers shared office spaces. At the beginning of each semester instructors will be contacted by email with more information about their assigned office. Should you require access to the space sooner, please contact diane [dot] rabey [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Diane Rabey) directly to make arrangements.

Digital and Media Resources



MCLIU - McGill Course Lecturers & Instructors Union

Lecturers and Instructors are now unionized with MCLIU - McGill Course Lecturers & Instructors Union.