McGill Innovative Learning Environments (MILE)


MILE represents a comprehensive re-imaging of how we teach, learn and manage information that takes full advantage of the extraordinary opportunities available to us. Through the MILE initiative, McGill can systematically move toward an over-arching plan for leveraging technological advances for course and program delivery, for managing information resources and for reaching global constituencies.

MILE is built on a foundation of four inter-related pillars:

State-of-the-art communications technologies enhanced through innovative partnerships

  • McGill will develop supportive environments that exploit a multitude of new tools, from technology-enhanced classrooms to online course systems and Massive Online Open Courses (McGillX MOOCs), from mobile technologies (laptops, tablets, smart phones) to social media and the blogosphere.
  • McGill will incorporate emerging technologies to enhance creative inquiry: open-content databases and online collaboration tools, new learning management systems and online reference materials. 
  • McGill will enhance its ability to support a growing array of platforms that will require ample storage capacity, either in house or in the cloud. McGill’s partnership with edX will enable the production and delivery of McGillX MOOCS to a potentially world-wide audience beginning in January 2014.
  • As members of the edX consortium, McGill will gather the quantity of data necessary to understand what features of these new and emerging tools work best, what aspects are most appealing to students and how these preferences interact with available technologies.

Developing and implementing cutting edge, evidence-based pedagogical methods

  • McGill has created a highly connected and information-rich technological environment that lends itself to innovative and evidence-based pedagogy. Our teaching and learning practices recognize and reward teaching that places learners at the centre of their experience.
  • MILE acknowledges that for today’s “born-digital” students, virtual interactions are as central to their social world as face-to-face communications. These students learn differently than previous generations and have different expectations about engaging and productive learning environments.
  • McGill Faculty have discovered that the integration of online discussion tools into their courses bring welcome benefits seldom available in a traditional classroom and their efforts to incorporate ICTs will be encouraged and supported.

Building new physical spaces for teaching and learning

  • MILE aims to recreate McGill’s classrooms and central campus spaces into technology-enhanced spaces for deep learning—wired innovative learning laboratories in which research would improve learning and inform current pedagogy in real time.
  • MILE emphasizes evidence-based pedagogy that will help us to identify where to place the emphasis. McGill is developing new and renovated integrated learning spaces into the array of support that we provide to help professors teach better and students learn more deeply. Our teaching and learning practices and spaces recognize and value teaching that places learners at the centre of their experience. 

Creating digital libraries and transforming our existing library space

  • McGill has a broad vision to bring its teaching and learning spaces into the future, and the library plays an important role in that vision. McGill’s library exemplifies the mission of all great libraries—to preserve and make accessible the recorded knowledge of humankind.
  • McGill will position one of the finest research libraries in the world where effective technological advances support our unique physical collections.
  • Our libraries will not be only repositories of physical materials, but rather dynamic, open and interactive spaces where digital technologies support teaching and learning across the University.
  • McGill’s library will be repositioned for the digital age, creating a cutting-edge facility which integrates the latest technological advances focused on the needs of students. 

For more information on active learning classrooms, visit McGill's Teaching and Learning Services website.