Macdonald Engineering 279 and 280

Macdonal Engineering 279-280 before renovations. 

Macdonald Engineering 279-280 after renovations. 

Macdonald Engineering 279-280 after renovations. 

Detail of the back of the classroom. 

Whiteboards at the front of the classroom. 

Detail of writable surfaces. 

Detail of the writable surfaces. 


815 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC


84 students per room

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Work surfaces for notebooks, laptops, and textbooks.
  • Furniture: Comfortable chairs on wheels permit students to work individually or in groups.
  • Technologies: Access to resources: LMS, internet (via student laptops).
  • Acoustics: Acoustic design to avoid distraction from outside and inside sources.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate lighting for individual work. “The Blueprint”, the Faculty of Engineering’s code of ethics, is displayed prominently on the back wall, to give students a sense of place.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: Flexible layout permits students to move easily from small group (groups of 2-4 students) to larger group activities.
  • Furniture: Chairs on wheels permit students to easily turn to discuss and work with those next to or behind them. Lightweight chairs and flip-top tables allow for easy reconfiguration of the classroom to support a variety of collaborative learning approaches.
  • Technologies: Glass writable boards wrap the room, providing ample shared workspace for student brainstorming, work on projects, and presenting.
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations among students.
  • Lighting/colour: Large frosted windowpanes bring in diffuse light.

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Instructor is not limited to the “front of the room” and instead has access to all students due to easily mobile furniture.
  • Furniture: The podium provides ample space for all instructional materials, and has a height adjustment for accessibility and convenience. Mobile furniture supports different teaching strategies.
  • Technologies: Classroom technologies (data projector, document camera) permit display of different learning materials.
  • Acoustics: Sound zones ensure that not only are students able to hear the instructor, but that the instructor is also able to hear the students.  
  • Lighting/colour: The combination of black-backed and white-backed glass writable walls provides contrast within the room.

Campus Environment

  • University standards have been applied. IT is consistent with teaching and learning needs, and durable furniture contributes to sustainability efforts.
  • Designed for all populations using the space: well-lit via natural and supplemental lighting; coat-hooks provided for outerwear. Standardized room controls permit instructors to become familiar with a system for managing the technology used in multiple classrooms.
  • Classrooms that incorporate elements of active and collaborative learning are part of a vision for a variety of flexible campus learning spaces.

High-Impact Practices (HIPs)

  • Both physical and virtual affordances help maximize HIPs for student learning within and beyond this classroom.

IT Instructions (rm. 279) (rm. 280)


McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous people whose footsteps have marked this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

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