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 contact erin.mcdonagh [at] (subject: TLSWG%20) (Erin McDonagh), Teaching and Learning Planner.


Reporting to the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), the Working Group is composed of the following representatives:

Chair: Director, Teaching and Learning Services or delegate

Secretary: Teaching and Learning Services

  • Manager, Master and Campus Planning, Campus Planning & Development Office or delegate
  • Academic Associate, Teaching and Learning Services
  • 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

Nancy St-Pierre Secretary: Program Administrator, Teaching and Learning Services
Diane Koen


Anna Walsh

Acting Registrar, Enrolment Services

Anna Bendix

Manager, Master & Campus Planning, Campus Planning and Development Office

Ryan Ortiz

Director, ICS Customer Services

Brian Arsenault

Enterprise Destop Solutions Manager, ICS Customer Services

John Crane

Project Manager, IT Project Manager

Laura Winer

Director, Teaching and Learning Services

Leslie Chalmers

Manager, Class Scheduling Services, Enrolment Services

Emily Tam








Faculty (academic and alternate or technical) representatives:

Benoit Côté
Kevin Wade

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Gillian Lane-Mercier
Savy Marino

Faculty of Arts

Jean-Paul Remillieux

School of Continuing Studies

Jeffrey Myers

Faculty of Dentistry

Dennis Jensen
Vanessa Bridgman

Faculty of Education

Richard Chromik
Leela Baldeo   

Faculty of Engineering

Brian Peebles

Faculty of Law

Thomas Dotzel
Mark Michaud

Desautels Faculty of Management

Alvin Shrier
Luis Siles
Danielle Dubois

Faculty of Medicine

Lloyd Whitesell
Peter Wightman

Schulich School of Music

David Harpp
Marilena Cafaro

Faculty of Science


Lorraine Mercier

Director, Design Services, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services
Maxime Gagnon Senior Campus Planner, Campus Planning & Development Office
Gift Tshuma

Director, Office for Students With Disabilities  

Francois Miller

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

Dina Mikhail

Project Manager, Teaching and Learning Projects, Facilities Management & Ancillary Services

Erin McDonagh

Teaching and Learning Planner, Teaching and Learning Services

Sandrine Hoindo-Donkpegan

Administration and Finance Officer, Teaching and Learning Services


  1. Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 1:00 – 2:30pm | location: Education 211
  2. Friday, October 19, 2018 | 10:00 – 11:30am | location: Adams 211
  3. Monday, November 12, 2018 | 1:00 – 2:30pm | location: Arts W-20
  4. Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 10:30 – 12:00pm | location: tbd

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 September 12, 2008.


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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