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Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs)

Teaching and Learning Experiences in Active Learning Classrooms at McGill: Highlights

This video highlights how four McGill instructors in different disciplines have used the features of the ALC to engage students and promote active and collaborative learning.

You may also wish to view the ALC Highlights video in HD. Please see our Documentary Videos for a more in-depth look at the courses profiled below.

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Project background - What are Active Learning Classrooms?

Active Learning Classrooms are spaces that are designed to support teaching and learning in an atmosphere conducive to engaging students actively in their own learning. McGill’s Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group (TLSWG) has developed Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces that are based upon the benchmarks of good educational practice identified in the National Survey of Student Engagement.

Four of the principles of effective design derived from the NSSE benchmarks – Student-faculty interaction, Active and collaborative learning, Enriching educational experiences and Supportive campus environment – are explicitly addressed by the design of the active learning classroom. By promoting not only whole-class, but also group and one-to-one interactions, students work in a collaborative, supportive and enriched environment that engages them with the learning materials and each other to support permit the types of interaction that supports foster effective learning.

The implementation of Active Learning Classrooms at McGill was based upon research on best practices in learning environments and facilities design and extensive input from the McGill community. These rooms draw from the SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) principles and classrooms at over 40 universities across North America, in addition to site visits to locations that have already implemented similar classrooms.

Reports

Report on Active Learning Classrooms for 2010-2011 [.pdf]

Resources

Active Learning Classrooms Resources

Articles

The Globe and Mail: University students fare better with interactive learning, study finds