Macdonald-Harrington 412


815 Sherbrooke Street West


24 students

Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Students can work individually or in groups at large drafting tables.
  • Furniture: Comfortable, adjustable stools on wheels permit students to work individually or in groups.
  • Technologies: Access to resources: Learning Management System, internet (via student laptops).
  • Acoustics: Acoustic design mitigates distraction from outside and inside sources.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate natural and overhead lighting supports individual work during or outside of design laboratory sessions.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: A flexible layout permits students to collaborate with one another and configure the space in multiple ways, moving easily from small group to larger group activities.
  • Furniture: Comfortable chairs on wheels permit students to turn to discuss and work with those next to or behind them, and allow for reconfiguration of the classroom to support a variety of collaborative learning approaches.
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces include multiple blackboards.
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations among students.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate natural and overhead lighting gives ample light for group work; green chairs bring an energizing accent colour to this space.

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Instructor is not limited to the “front of the room” and instead has access to all students due to mobile furniture.
  • Furniture: The podium provides ample space for all instructional materials, and has a height adjustment for accessibility and convenience. Mobile furniture for students supports different teaching strategies.
  • Technologies: A data projector permits 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: Brightly coloured chairs help to provide a welcoming ambiance in 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, with a standardized room control panel that simplifies instructors’ use of equipment in classrooms across campus. Integrated storage under each tablet chair allows students to store personal belongings within easy reach.
  • 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

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


IT instructions


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.

Back to top