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Mercury upgrade: New features for instructors and students

Over the past year, I’ve been working on the Mercury course evaluation system upgrade project. We had a successful soft launch of the upgraded system for the summer course evaluations and are currently gearing up for the fall term evaluations. Now seems like a good time to share information about some of the new features that facilitate the course evaluation process. This blog post highlights new features that will be of interest to instructors and students.

For instructors

Mercury through myCourses

Previously, instructors did not have access to Mercury from myCourses. Now, instructors have access to course evaluation response rates and reports from the bottom of the myCourses homepage.

Question submission

Instructors can now submit their questions directly through the course evaluation system. Instructors receive an email three weeks before the evaluation start date with a direct link to add questions. In the previous system, instructors used an online webform that was outside of Mercury. A benefit of this change is that instructors will be able to preview the questionnaire before and after adding their questions.

Response rate monitor

Instructors and academic unit heads now have access to monitor that provides real-time updates on response rates for their courses. The response rate monitor provides an aggregate summary as well as information on a per course basis. Previously, response rates were only available on a per course basis.

For students

Mobile friendly access

Students can now submit course evaluations on a mobile device (cell phone or tablet). The previous system on Minerva was not mobile friendly, so it was difficult for students to both access and complete their evaluations. This new way of accessing Mercury will likely make it easier for students to complete their evaluations on the go. We hope that this will improve student participation rates.

 

Mercury through myCourses

Previously, access to submitting Mercury course evaluations from myCourses required an additional authentication. Now, without an additional log in, students can submit their course evaluations directly from the bottom of the myCourses homepage. Once students log in, they’ll also see current response rates for the courses they’re enrolled in.

Unsubmitting

It sometimes happens that students make a mistake when submitting their evaluations. For example, students accidentally select “strongly disagree” for all the questions when they actually love the course and wanted to select “strongly agree.” In other cases, students have a change of heart after submitting their feedback and want to retract what they wrote originally.

In the previous system, students could request that their response be deleted; however, they were unable to resubmit their evaluation. Now, students can make an email request to mercury.info@mcgill.ca with their name and the course code (e.g., ABCD 200); provided the evaluation is still open, their evaluation can be “unsubmitted,” and they can revise their feedback.

Coming soon

We anticipate a successful launch for the fall semester courses and look forward to new functionality to come, such as enhanced reporting for instructors.

If you have any questions about course evaluation processes or policy, please contact mercury.info@mcgill.ca.

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