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Interpretation of Results

The following documents (Interpreting End-of-Course Evaluation Results and Course Evaluations: Information for Students) were prepared with three goals in mind:

  1. increase the utility of course evaluation results;
  2. increase confidence in the value of the results; and
  3. reduce instructor anxiety connected to the course evaluation process.

The documents below will help instructors, teaching assistants, academic administrators and students to both contribute to and benefit from the opportunities for extensive feedback that the Mercury system provides.  The documents are informed by extensive research, both at McGill and elsewhere, and refer where appropriate to specific policies and practices at McGill.

Guidelines and Recommendations for Interpreting Results

This document [.pdf] provides guidelines and recommendations for interpreting both numerical data and written comments from course evaluations in reasonable and productive ways. It is intended to be used by instructors, teaching assistants and academic unit heads (Chairs, Directors and Deans).

Sample Tables for Reporting of Results

Sample tables [.xlsx], taken from Interpreting End-of-Course Evaluation Results, is intended for instructors to use to help them report on a specific course or course over time. Download this file and enter the data in the appropriate cells. Please note that there are multiple sheets (tabs) in this Excel document.

Comments Analysis Worksheet

The Worksheet [.docx], taken from Interpreting End-of-Course Evaluation Results, is intended for instructors and teaching assistants to use to help make sense of student comments.


A list of definitions for terms of Mercury course evaluation results.

Student Guidelines on Course Evaluations

This document answers common student questions about course evaluations and provides guidelines for making feedback as useful as possible.

IDEA Education - Linking Questions to Teaching and Learning

An extremely useful series of articles written by respected experts in teaching and learning in higher education, specifically linking questionnaire items to relevant aspects of teaching and learning.

For more information on how to interpret course evaluation results, please consult with a member of Teaching and Learning Services.