McConnell Engineering 10


3480 University St.


24 students

Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Students can work individually (or in teams) at large, shared tables with ample work surfaces for notebooks, laptops, and textbooks.
  • Furniture: Adjustable height computer monitors and adjustable-height chairs for optimal comfort.
  • Technologies: Access to infrastructure: desktop computers (1:1 student-computer ratio) and power for student laptops, networked printing with printer in room. Access to resources: LMS, internet, software.
  • Acoustics: Design includes acoustic panels to avoid distraction.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate overhead and natural lighting for individual work during or outside of class time.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: Oblong, wing-shaped table layout permits students to move easily from small group to larger group aspects of an assignment, as students at each table can work together as a group of 8, or in smaller groups of 2 or 4. Students are able to easily circulate in the classroom.
  • Furniture: The oblong tables permit collaborative approaches to coursework, and improved communication (both verbally and line-of-sight), especially compared to the former long rows of computer workstations.
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces include writable whiteboards, and students can also share their computer screens due to large monitors, or project a computer screen’s image on the whiteboard surface nearest their table).
  • Acoustics: Sound zones by table support multiple simultaneous student conversations.
  • Lighting/colour: Tall windows bring in natural light. 

Experiences with Faculty

  •  Layout: Instructor’s podium is integrated into one of the student tables to reduce hierarchy. The instructor has access to all students due to a layout that permits ample passing space, and clear sightlines.
  • Furniture: Tables are easily accessible and have sufficient space surrounding them for the instructor to check in with a given group.
  • Technologies: Multiple projecting surfaces around the classroom 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: Lighting patterns provide a bright, pleasant environment and support multiple types of teaching tasks.

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 room controls and equipment that meets the needs of the students and instructors. Coat-hooks are provided for outerwear.
  • Students have access to this learning space outside of class time to work collaboratively or individually on assignments that use the specialized software installed on the computers.
  • Classrooms that incorporate elements of active and collaborative learning are part of a vision for campus learning spaces of many different sizes.

High-Impact Practices (HIPs)

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


IT instructions

Photograph before renovation


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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