TLSS - Teaching and Learning Support Service

Active Learning Centre

A State-of-the-Art Facility

The University of Ottawa is about to break ground on another major construction project that will build a state-of-the-art $83M facility to be known as The Active Learning Centre, a place that will be entirely dedicated to student services. The new building will be attached to Lamoureux Hall and will house 26 classrooms, four of which will be Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) used for active, and collaborative learning.

Given its prime location at the crossroads of several campus pathways, The Learning Centre is destined to become a favourite meeting place for students.

Active Learning Classrooms

ALCs are flexible learning spaces specifically designed to facilitate and promote student-centred interactions, on site and across global communities, via videoconferencing technologies.

  • With a capacity of 117 seats, two rooms allow for multiple groups of different sizes to collaborate with one another. It emphasizes a mix of instructor and student-led learning.
  • The 72-seat room is designed for team-based learning and problem solving as supported by an individual screen and independent computers to allow teams the possibility of fully benefiting from the collaborative use of computer assisted content creation.
  • At 56 spaces, this room is equipped with moveable chairs featuring tablet arms which allow for different group configurations and for immediate flexibility in any form of classroom interaction. Writable walls, fostering kinetic learning, allow for students to easily engage in brainstorming and concept mapping activities.


Aline Germain-Rutherford, associate vice-president

Learner-centred education enhanced by tech­nology-rich learning environments increase learn­ing gains and the quality of students' learning experience; The new active learning classrooms (ALCs) of the [NAME of the CENTRE] will be places for students and professors to experience innovative ways of teaching and learning.

The TLSS Training Centre strategically located near the ALCs will offer training and support to instructors as they explore and implement new pedagogies and modes of learning with digital technologies. TLSS’s experts in university teaching and educational technology will work with faculty who express the desire to use the ALCs to ensure that they are used to their optimum pedagogical potential.

Leslie Weir, University Librarian

The new Library spaces will focus on active learn­ing experiences that occur beyond the classroom, with dynamic and technology-rich environments where students can learn and create together.

Our new study spaces will supportstudents in a wide range of digital media projects, providing digital design studios and interactive screens al-lowing for immersive, large-scale displays.

Frequently Ask Question (FAQ)

What Is an Active Learning Classroom (ALC)?
ALC is the term often used to describe the student-centred, technology-rich learning environments at the University of Ottawa. uOttawa ALCs feature large round tables with places for specific number of students depending on the classroom size. Each table supports laptops, with switching technology that connects them to fixed flat-panel displays projection system, and microphones. There is a mobile or centred teaching station which allows the instructor to select and display table-specific information. Multiple white boards or glass-surface marker boards are distributed around the perimeter of the classrooms.
Can professors learn more about how to use the active learning classrooms?
How will professors be able to register their courses in the active learning classrooms?
What will be the business hours of the food-court?

Percentage of the building space dedicated to the following purposes:

Traditional Classrooms36%
Active Learning and Case Base Learning Classrooms24%
Study Space28%
Food Court12%

Active Learning Hub - Scroll over on the red dots to learn more...

Features of the Active Learning Hub

A building made with new generation of students in mind

Touch Screen Display

Get rid of your keyboard and mouse and experience in various rooms the ease of using touch-screen

8K Video Walls

It's the future of high-quality screens, it could trick the human eye into believing you're watching real life.

VR Headsets

Experience virtual reality and discover a brand new world and possibilities that only this technology can permit.

Gaming Room

A friendly and relaxing environment to socialize and compete with your peers between or after class.

Video Conferencing

Need to connect face to face with a colleague on the other side or the planet? We have all it takes to help you to do it!

Multimedia Studio

Come and shoot and edit the video clips you need for your next course presentation in our fully equipped studios!

3D Scanning/Printing

Create high accuracy models, functional prototypes, art or any project where form and functionality is important.

New Food Services

Affordable and open 24/7 the food-court offers the same level of service that the one located at Morisset Hall.
Details regarding spaces, rooms, classrooms...

4 Technology enhanced Active learning as follows

  • 2 x 117 seats (13 tables - fix center, mobile sides @ 9 seats / table) + prof.
  • 72 seats (8 tables - fix center, mobile sides @ 9 seats/table)  + prof.
  • 54 seats + prof – (chairs on wheels, with arm tablets and underneath storage shelf)

Ground floor

350 seats amphitheater Fix table + 2 ranges per tier / stackable chairs ) + prof.

Second floor

350 seats amphitheater Fix table + 2 ranges per tier / stackable chairs+ prof.

Third floor

  • Traditional classroom 67 seats + prof (mobile tables (flip-top?) stackable chairs) + prof.
  • Traditional classroom 63 seats + prof.   NOTE: 1/room wheelchair capacity.
  • Traditional classroom 65 seats + prof.  NOTE: 1/room wheelchair capacity.
  • 8 CBL 16 seats Break-out / seminar rooms + prof (2 fix tables with power and LCD screens).

Fourth floor

  • Traditional classroom 51 seats + prof (mobile tables (flip-top?)+ stackable chairs + Arts storage + counter + sink) + prof;  NOTE: 1/room wheelchair capacity.
  • Traditional classroom 54 seats (mobile tables (flip-top?)+ stackable chairs + Arts storage + counter + sink) + prof;   NOTE: 1/room wheelchair capacity.
  • Traditional classroom 47 seats (mobile tables (flip-top?)+ stackable chairs + Arts storage + counter + sink) + prof;  NOTE: 1/room wheelchair capacity.
  • 12 CBL * 16 seats Break-out / seminar rooms + prof (2 fix tables power and screens):

Location of the Active Hub

History of ALCs at University of Ottawa

TLSS first built a prototype of an active classroom. This allowed us to research and observe active learning teaching strategies displayed by several professors and educational consultants who used the room; the pilot project confirmed the validity of the concept so we designed classrooms in the new building with this in mind.

Resources and Research Related to ALC.


These resources range from handbooks on facilitating group work, to writing-to-learn activities, to video capsules on addressing active learning challenges and student resistance.


  1. Active/cooperative learning web sites - links, papers and other resources on active/cooperative learning:
  2. Active learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject - This book offers an introduction to active learning by sharing many strategy how-to's, from fishbowls to learning contracts to poster sessions to guided note-taking. It effectively compiles advice in "top 10" lists that respond to many of the questions instructors may have as they begin incorporating these strategies in their courses. McGill Library:
  3. Collaborative learning techniques - This handbook provides detailed recommendations and rationales related to facilitating group work at the university level. Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., and Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons. McGill Library:
  4. Cooperative Learning in Technical Courses - R. Felder and R. Brent.
  5. Creating involvement in the classroom - LaSere Erickson, B., Peters, C. B.,  & Weltner Strommer, D. (2006). Addresses the varied instructional purposes of approaches such as small-group discussions (from review to warm-up to promoting understanding and applying ideas in new contexts, for example), writing-to-learn activities, case studies and role playing, and how they can occur even in large first-year classes.In Teaching First-Year College Students (pp. 103-118). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  6. Scenes from a classroom: Making active learning work - This website provides a number of video capsules that illustrate issues that may occur when implementing active learning, including student complaints, the time-consuming nature of the activities, group work issues and more. It addresses each concern, with suggestions for how to approach these issues in the classroom and ensure that students understand why active learning is being used. University of Minnesota, 2008.
  7. Student engagement techniques - A detailed compendium of different strategies for engaging students in a variety of university-level courses. Barkley, E. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. Hoboken, New Jersey: Jossey-Bass.
  8. Student-Centered Instruction - "Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction"; Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent.
  9. Team Learning - “Turning student groups into effective teams”; Oakley, B., Felder, R., Brent, R., Elhajj, I. (2004). New Forums Press.
  10. Active Learning in Higher Education [e-journal] - available through the McGill Library:
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