Equity and Course Evaluations

McGill is committed to upholding the principles of academic freedom, integrity, responsibility, equity and inclusiveness. These values apply to all members of the community: faculty, staff, and students. We have a number of initiatives related to equity and course evaluations.

Protocol for addressing hateful or discriminatory comments based on equity grounds

Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) and the Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity have developed a protocol for addressing comments in Mercury end-of-course evaluations that are determined to be hateful or discriminatory on the basis of attributes such as gender, sexual or gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability.

Any instructor or Teaching Assistant who receives a comment in a course evaluation that appears to demonstrate the above characteristics may request that the student’s response in its entirety (numerical responses and comments) be removed from Mercury. Any request to delete a submission, which shall be treated in confidence, should be directed to the angela.campbell [at] mcgill.ca (Associate Provost (Equity & Academic Policies) (APEAP)). The SSMU Equity Commissioner, who will not know the identity of the instructor or Teaching Assistant, and the APEAP will assess the comment to determine whether it merits deletion of the entire response. If deletion is appropriate, the student’s response in its entirety (numerical responses and comments) will be deleted from the evaluation for the course in question.

TLS will maintain a secure archive of deleted submissions. Instructors and Teaching Assistants may request a copy of any records deleted from their own course evaluations resulting from the application of this equity protocol. Requests for deleted records should be addressed to mercury.info [at] mcgill.ca.

This protocol is not intended to silence students or minimize the value of student feedback, which is crucial to curricular and pedagogical development at the University. Students do have real concerns about their instructors and courses; however, it is imperative that these concerns be expressed in a constructive and respectful manner. Guidelines on providing constructive feedback are available here.

Report on gender equity in Mercury course evaluations

To determine the extent of gender bias in official end-of-course evaluations, TLS and the Office of Analysis, Planning, and Budget (APB) analyzed McGill’s course evaluation data.

Access the report here.

Additional resources

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.