Teaching and Learning Spaces

Principles and Standards for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces

Recent Learning Spaces Improvements

Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group

University Teaching Labs Working Group

Active Learning Classrooms

Since 2005, there has been increased focus on the design of teaching and learning spaces that better support students’ active engagement in their own learning. A key result has been the creation of the Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group (TLSWG) by the Provost in 2006. Intended to create a vision for teaching and learning space development aligned with University directions, the working group establishes teaching and learning space principles and standards, identifies teaching and learning space needs, sets priorities and recommends funding for improvements to teaching and learning spaces at McGill. As of 2011, the University Teaching Labs Working Group (UTLWG) has also begun funding improvements to teaching laboratory spaces across campus.

These working groups have recommended funding for nearly $20M of renovations and IT improvements to classrooms and teaching laboratories across campus since 2006. These projects have included multiple new Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) designed for active and collaborative learning. The ALCs were highlighted in the September 2013 publication of a book by the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalization that highlights innovative international campus spaces (see pp. 120-123, PDF pp. 62-63). The ALCs and the design principles that informed these rooms (and all other learning space renovations) have been included in the UK Higher Education Learning Space Toolkit (2016).

Continued learning space renovations support the increasing development and application of Active Learning practices:


  • Recently renovated: Adams 211; Chancellor Day Hall 101 and 102; Education 129; Macdonald Engineering 279 and 280.
  • Recent IT and/or equipment improvements: McIntyre 522; McIntyre 504; Stewart S 1/4; Stewart S 1/3.
  • Upcoming and in-progress renovations: Arts 145/150; Centennial Centre 150; Strathcona Music C204.

Teaching Labs

  • Recently renovated: Anthropology Lab - Peterson Hall; Undergraduate Physics lab – Trottier 3060/70/80; Kinesiology & Physical Education teaching lab – Currie Gym 304; Urban Planning Studio - Macdonald Harrington 412; Geography Teaching Lab - Burnside 608.
  • Recent IT and/or equipment improvements: Engineering Circuit Analysis Lab – Trottier 5120; Anatomy Dissection Lab - SADB 2/49; orchestra rehearsal space - Pollack Hall.
  • Upcoming and in-progress renovations: Educational Psychology Counselling Labs - Education basement; Education Multi-literacies Lab - Education 113A; Organic Chemistry undergraduate lab.

Further details and photos of a number of these improved learning spaces are available here!

Learn more about the research behind teaching and learning spaces by accessing the resources here.

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.