Wirth Music Building A-412


527 Sherbrooke Street West



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 on wheels permit students to work individually or in groups
  • Technologies: Access to infrastructure: power for student laptops, networked printing, desktop computers monitors available. Access to resources (LMS, internet, video-editing software)
  • Acoustics: Acoustically treated wall panels and wood panelling to prevent distraction
  • Lighting / colour: Appropriate lighting for individual work. Splashes of colour subtly brighten up the classroom

Learning with Peers

  • Layout: Promote face-to-face communication: round table encourage students to communicate with one another in groups of up to 6. Individuals can move about easily, and sight lines are unobstructed
  • Furniture: Flexible seating (chairs on wheels)
  • Technologies: Shared workspaces (writable walls, screen-sharing at tables)
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations at student tables
  • Lighting / colour: Different lighting patterns support different activities

Experiences with Faculty

  • Layout: Easy access to all students: Instructor is in middle of room and can circulate easily from table to table
  • Furniture: Adjustable-height podium doesn't interfere with sight lines, movement and interaction, and has ample surface space for instructional materials. Mobile chairs support different teaching strategies (e.g., group work in various sizes, student presentations, etc.)
  • Technologies: Projection, multiple classroom technology sources (document camera, DVD player, projector, etc.), and multiple screens (table monitors / main classroom screens) permit simultaneous display of different learning materials. Instructor can control classroom technologies away from the podium via wireless mouse
  • Acoustics: Sound zones support multiple simultaneous conversations
  • Lighting / colour: Different lighting patterns support multiple types of teaching tasks

Campus Environment

  • University standards applied, including improvements to lighting and sustainable building practices
  • Designed to meet the needs of all populations using the space, with ergonomically tested, adjustable height chairs, and a room control interface similar to others around campus to facilitate use of multiple classrooms
  • Active Learning Classrooms are part of a vision for campus learning spaces

High-Impact Practices (HIP)

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


IT Instructions


Photograph 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.

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