McIntyre Medical Building 206/208/210



3655 Promenade Sir William Osler


80 x 3 classrooms

Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Large table work surfaces for notebooks, laptops, textbooks, etc.               
  • Furniture: Comfortable furniture: adjustable, ergonomically approved chairs.
  • Technologies: Access to infrastructure (e.g., networked printing, power for student laptops)
  • Acoustics: Designed to avoid distraction from outside and inside sources.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate lighting for individual work. Intentional use of colour to promote focus.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: Promote face-to-face communication (small to medium-sized student groups around oblong tables). Individuals can move about easily, and sightlines are unobstructed.
  • Furniture: Flexible seating, such as movable, adjustable-height chairs on wheels.
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces for student use (e.g. writable walls)
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations. Appropriate amplification is available (student table and ceiling microphones)
  • Lighting/colour: Different lighting patterns support different activities.

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Easy access to all students: Instructor podium is situated towards the center of the room and instructor can circulate easily from table to table without encountering obstructions.
  • Furniture: Podium doesn't interfere with sightlines, movement or interaction, yet is large enough to support instructional materials. Flexible furniture supports different teaching strategies (adjustable-height chairs with wheels).
  • Technologies: Multiple sources and screens (e.g., instructor computer, document camera) for simultaneous display of different learning materials. Ability to control classroom technologies away from the podium (e.g. remote mouse).
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations. Appropriate amplification available (wired audio amplification via podium, table and ceiling microphones)
  • Lighting/colour: Different lighting patterns support multiple types of teaching tasks.

Campus Environment

  • University standards applied: Classroom and IT standards, recognized sustainability practices, regulated building operations (e.g. temperature and ventilation).
  • Design classrooms to integrate with surrounding space: three adjacent ALCs are virtually identitcal in layout, while standardized room controls further facilitate use of thes classrooms. Further, convenient informal spaces nearby permit students and professors to continue discussions before and after class.
  • Active Learning Classrooms are part of a vision for 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

photo credit: Owen Egan, McGill University


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.

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