Trottier Physics 3060/3070/3080


3630 University St.


40 students

Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Academic Challenge

  • Layout: Students can work individually (or in teams) at large, X-shaped tables with ample work surfaces for conducting physics experiments, as well as for placing notebooks, laptops, and textbooks.
  • Furniture: Adjustable-height stools for optimal comfort.
  • Technologies: Access to infrastructure: power for student laptops, networked printing. Access to resources: LMS, internet. Multiple sources (Sympodium, document camera) and screens for simultaneous display of different learning materials.
  • Lighting/colour: Appropriate overhead and natural lighting for individual work during or outside of laboratory session.

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: A layout with 5 large, X-shaped tables permit students to move easily from small group to larger group portions of a laboratory 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 table layout permits collaborative approaches to coursework, and improved communication (both verbally and line-of-sight). The standing-height tables with stools support student movement as experiments are set up, conducted and observed. Built-in support structures above the table allow experiments to take advantage of vertical dimensions of the classroom space.
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces include multiple blackboards.
  • Acoustics: Sound zones by table support multiple simultaneous conversations among students.
  • Lighting/colour: Windows bring in natural light. 

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Instructor’s podium is located towards the centre of the room and is not overly large, 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. Standardized room controls permit instructors to become familiar with a system for managing the technology used in multiple classrooms.
  • Teaching labs 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


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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