Macdonald Stewart 2-028/029


21111 Lakeshore Rd.


48 students in one room, or 24 students in each of two smaller rooms


Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Work surfaces for notebooks, laptops, and textbooks: large, shared tables
  • Furniture: Comfortable furniture: adjustable, ergonomically approved chairs
  • Technologies: Access to infrastructure: power for student laptops, student desktop computers, networked printing. Access to resources: LMS, internet (via desktops or student laptops)
  • Acoustics: Appropriate acoustic treatment helps to avoid distraction
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate overhead and natural lighting for individual work; classroom benefits from large windows.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: Promote face-to-face communication: oblong tables encourage students to communicate with one another in groups of up to 8. Individuals can move about easily, and sight lines are unobstructed.
  • Furniture: Flexible seating (chairs on wheels)
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces (writable walls throughout the room to collaboratively brainstorm and share ideas; screen-sharing is also available).
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations at student tables.

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Easy access to all students: Instructor podium is small and central; due to open layout the instructor can circulate from table to table. 
  • Furniture: Small podium does not interfere with sightlines, movement and interaction. Mobile chairs support different teaching strategies (e.g., group work in various sizes, student presentations, etc.)
  • Technologies: Dual-source projection and multiple classroom technology sources (Smartboard, document camera, instructor computer) and multiple screens permit simultaneous display of different learning materials. 
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations.   
  • Lighting/colour: Different lighting patterns to support multiple types of teaching tasks.

Campus Environment

  • University standards applied, including natural light and sustainable building practices. A retractable wall accommodates flexible class sizes.
  • Designed for all populations using the space, with natural light, plenty of room to circulate between tables, standardized room controls to facilitate use of multiple classrooms.

High-Impact Practices

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


IT Instructions;

Photographs before renovation

Photographs before renovation

Further information about Active Learning Classrooms at McGill


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