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Online Course Evaluation System (Mercury)

The Mercury online course evaluation system is the official system for end-of-term course evaluations for undergraduate and graduate courses at McGill.

The system allows:

  1. Students to complete course evaluations online for each course in which they are registered.
  2. All student responses (numerical and written comments) to be anonymous as student responses are not linked to their ID numbers. However, the system ensures that students can evaluate only courses in which they are registered and may complete only one evaluation per course.
  3. Secure online access to course evaluation results (both numerical and written comments) for instructors and authorized individuals. Access is 24/7 for a minimum of five years and available from archives after that.
  4. Secure online access to the numerical course evaluation results to McGill students, instructors and authorized administrators if the instructor does not object to access and an adequate response rate is achieved.

Why move to an online system?

The paper-based method for conducting end-of-term student evaluations of courses, including preparation of questionnaires, data collection, analysis and communication of results to professors was time consuming and labor-intensive. Mercury provides several important advantages, most notably:

  • Providing students the opportunity to reflect on their responses rather than give on-the-spot answers in a time-pressured class environment.
  • Providing students who miss the class when the evaluations are completed the opportunity to express their views.
  • Spreading out the evaluation process over three to six weeks near the end of term, allowing students the opportunity to complete the evaluations at personally convenient times and avoiding the “evaluation overload” phenomenon that can result when students are asked to evaluate five courses in one week.
  • Eliminating the need to retype student comments to preserve anonymity.
  • Easily allowing for customization of the course evaluation form to reflect the characteristics of different courses.
  • Improved turn-around time for results
  • Eliminating the paper required for data collection, analysis and communication of results; conservative estimates indicate that Mercury eliminates the need for approximately 480,000 sheets of paper (96 boxes) annually

CAUBO 2011 Quality and Productivity Awards - National Third Prize

We are pleased to announce that McGill's university-wide online course evaluation has won the 2011 Quality and Productivity Awards - National Third Prize awarded from the Canadian Association of Business Officers (CAUBO). Click here to see the full article.

(left to right) Laura Winer, Tommy Chan, Pierre-André Vungoc, Effi Kaoukis and Rittu Sehgal | Photo by Owen Egan