New Chancellor Day Hall classroom

Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group (TLSWG)

The TLSWG strives to enhance teaching and learning at McGill by developing and implementing a vision for teaching and learning spaces that is aligned with University strategic directions.



The TLSWG’s mandate is to:

  1. Develop and maintain research-based Principles for designing teaching and learning spaces.
  2. Apply principles and standards to try to ensure that the design of teaching and learning spaces is consistent with the Working Group’s vision.
  3. Identify teaching and learning space needs at the University: set priorities for the creation of new spaces; set priorities for renovating existing spaces.
  4. Recommend priorities for funding the creation, upgrade and maintenance of teaching and learning spaces and the equipment within them, based on established criteria and procedures. Whenever possible, drawing on partner funding should be considered.

For further information about this project, please tls [at] (subject: Query%20about%20Teaching%20and%20Learning%20Spaces) (contact us).


Reporting to the Associate Provost (Teaching and Academic Programs), the Working Group is composed of the following representatives:

Chair: Associate Director, Learning Environments, Teaching and Learning Services or delegate

Secretary: Teaching and Learning Planner

  • Manager, Campus Planning & Development Office or delegate
  • Dean, Libraries or delegate
  • Director, Enrolment Services or delegate
  • Associate Vice-Principal (University Services) or delegate
  • Chief Information Officer or delegate
  • Director, Network and Communication Services or delegate
  • Faculty representatives:
    • Faculty of Arts
    • Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
    • School of Continuing Studies
    • Faculty of Dentistry
    • Faculty of Education
    • Faculty of Engineering
    • Faculty of Law
    • Desautels Faculty of Management
    • Faculty of Medicine
    • Schulich School of Music
    • Faculty of Science
  • A technical representative from each Faculty (optional)
  • SSMU representatives (2 students)
  • PGSS representative (1 student)
  • Resources:
    • Representatives of relevant IT units involved in teaching and learning spaces as delegated by the CIO
    • Director, Building Operations, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
    • Director, Design Services, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
    • Delegate, Project Management, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
    • Sustainability Manager, McGill Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
    • Director, Office for Students with Disabilities or delegate
    • Project Manager, Teaching and Learning Projects, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
    • Teaching and Learning Planner, Teaching and Learning Services
    • Administration and Finance Officer, Teaching and Learning Services


Adam Finkelstein

Chair: Associate Director, Learning Environments



Ryan Ortiz

Director, ICS Customer Services

Brian Arsenault

Enterprise Desktop Solutions Manager, ICS Customer Services

Martin Rochefort

Manager, Telecom Infrastructure and Systems, Network and Communications Services

Laura Winer

Director, Teaching and Learning Services

Nermein Gamal

Manager, Class Scheduling Services, Enrolment Services

Maya Alik SSMU

Faculty (academic and alternate or technical) representatives:

Alice Cherestes
Kevin Wade

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Michael Fronda

Faculty of Arts

Kenyon Gannon
Mandana Bassiri

School of Continuing Studies

Suzanna Kafadar de Rodriguez

Faculty of Dentistry

Caroline Paquette
Vanessa Bridgman

Faculty of Education

Michael Kokkolaras
Sahar el Saidi 

Faculty of Engineering

Vanessa Batik

Faculty of Law

Mark Michaud
Michelle Forsythe

Desautels Faculty of Management

Alvin Shrier
Geneviève Côté

Faculty of Medicine

Jon Wild
Peter Wightman

Schulich School of Music

Jean-Marc Gauthier
Marilena Cafaro

Faculty of Science


Emmanuelle Lapointe

Associate Director, Design Services, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
Johanne Guay
Wendy Rivera
Associate Director, Project Management, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
Project Manager, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services

Access Services Advisor, Office for Students With Disabilities  

François Miller

Sustainability Manager, McGill Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services

Devyn Nicholson Portfolio Manager, Classroom Audiovisual Services, Network and Communications Services

Erin McDonagh

Teaching and Learning Planner, Teaching and Learning Services

Sandrine Hoindo-Donkpegan
Sydnee Goodrich

Administration and Finance Officer, Teaching and Learning Services


2023/24 meetings to be announced soon. 

Criteria for prioritizing and funding

The criteria for prioritizing and funding requests for renovation and IT upgrades and installation include the following data points:

  1. Faculty priority:

    • Faculties indicate first and second priorities for major renovation requests, and may additionally submit several minor renovation requests.
    • Faculty priorities are respected when prioritizing projects.
  2. Impact on students and their learning:

    • The extent to which requests address five Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces:[1]
      1. Academic challenge
      2. Learning with peers
      3. Experiences with faculty
      4. Campus environment
      5. High-Impact Practices
  3. Room use:

    • Determines total student hours of use per week and the percentage of room capacity used.
    • Consideration is given to rooms that are heavily used and that serve multiple faculties.
  4. Site visit priorities:

    • Classroom projects recommended for funding are visited and ranked based upon criteria developed by the working group, including the message they communicate about teaching and learning, the level of urgency, and other concerns.
  5. Strategic budget management:

    • Requests exceed the funding available; prioritizing strives for an annual balance between larger ($100,000+) and smaller projects
    • Allow economies through bulk purchasing
    • Avoid partial renovations
    • Spread funding across faculties
    • Include projects with high impact for cost
    • Manage expectations within budget limitations

All projects that receive funding must become centrally scheduled and adhere to the Provost’s Policy on Open Access, where applicable:

“When the University puts funds into any computer lab, the lab will conform to general log in practices of the university (e.g., any student can access email or Library). Rooms can be booked for specific pedagogical purposes, such as instruction, or special projects. They cannot be restricted to specific groups at specific times.”

– Provost Anthony Masi, Jan 11, 2008

These principles are available at, and are freely adapted from: Benchmarks of effective educational practice. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Retrieved June 20, 2023.

McGill University is on land which has served and continues to serve as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. Teaching and Learning Services acknowledges and thanks the diverse Indigenous peoples whose footsteps mark this territory on which peoples of the world now gather. This land acknowledgement is shared as a starting point to provide context for further learning and action.

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