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Preparation of Questionnaires

Each Faculty will determine whether a Faculty-wide questionnaire will be used for the different course types, e.g., lectures and labs.

  1. If yes, the Dean or delegate should submit the default questionnaire(s) to the mercury [dot] info [at] mcgill [dot] ca (TLS Mercury system administrator) with a message to that effect.
  2. If an individual academic unit may create its own questionnaire(s), then each Mercury Liaison should send the defaults to the mercury [dot] info [at] mcgill [dot] ca (TLS Mercury system administrator); the default questionnaire cannot be edited by the Mercury Liaison or the instructor.
  3. If in subsequent years, the unit (department, School or Faculty) wishes to revise the default questionnaire, the Mercury Liaison should contact the mercury [dot] info [at] mcgill [dot] ca (TLS Mercury system administrator).

The course evaluation questionnaire shall consist of three (3) parts and must include a space for students to provide written comments.

a. Required: Four (4) core questions.

b. Optional: Not to exceed 21 questions: the Academic Unit may include up to 18 questions and the instructor(s) may include up to 3 questions. Academic Units are encouraged to select questions from the recommended pool of questions following the best practices as identified on the course evaluation web site.

c. Required, if the course has teaching assistants: Core questions 3 and 4 referring to teaching assistants rather than instructor. Up to 3 questions related to teaching assistants. Part c. may be included with parts a. and b. on the same questionnaire or it may be on a separate questionnaire.

In addition, each questionnaire must include the statement about the purpose, uses, utility, and mode of accessibility at the top of every course evaluation questionnaire.


Statement about the purpose, uses, utility, and mode of accessibility

"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."

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« 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.  »

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.

Additional questions (up to 21 questions)

Up to 21 additional questions may be included; the Academic Unit may include up to 18 questions and the instructor(s) may include up to 3 questions. Academic Units are encouraged to select questions from the recommended pool of questions. This list provides questions that address aspects of the instructor and course that have an impact on student learning, as well as providing useful information for improvement.

A common scale should be used for all questions from 1 = “Strongly disagree” to 5 = “Strongly agree” with 3 = Neutral.

A “Not Applicable” (N/A) option should be included where appropriate. 

Multiple instructor courses: If the course has more than 1 instructor, there should between 1 and 3 questions for each instructor.

Teaching assistants: If the course has teaching assistants, core questions 3 and 4 referring to teaching assistants rather than instructor are required and up to 3 questions related to teaching assistants.

Instructor-selected questions: A maximum of three (3) questions may be added by individual instructors as long as the total number of questions does not exceed 25. Instructors should send the additional questions to their Mercury Department Liaison to be added to the appropriate course evaluation questionnaire.

Note: neither instructors nor academic units can modify or delete questions from the default course evaluation questionnaires once it has been entered into the mercury system. If in subsequent years, the unit wishes to revise the default questionnaire, the Mercury Department Liaison should contact the mercury [dot] info [at] mcgill [dot] ca (TLS Mercury system administrator).

Written comments

Students should have at least one opportunity to provide written comments. However, any question may include a Comments 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.


Default course evaluation questionnaires can be created in more than one language if the academic unit provides a translated version(s) to the mercury [dot] info [at] mcgill [dot] ca (TLS 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.