Adam Finkelstein

Associate Director, Learning Environments, Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University. Focused on our physical and digital learning environments and the appropriate and effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
Faculty Today Students Today

Routes of Writing

I teach academic writing, and I regularly hear students say that they find writing academic papers to be a tough and lonely task. What they often don’t realize is that writing well-thought-out academic papers is challenging for most people, including seasoned academics. To encourage my students to persist with the challenge, this quotation from Samuel Johnson is posted to the myCourses Home Page of my academic writing course:“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” Read more –>


Sept. 13 workshop for faculty: Bringing research into the undergraduate classroom

As an instructor of undergraduate courses, have you wondered how to get students to ask better questions or to understand that knowledge is not black and white? In this interactive workshop, you will meet the Inquiry Network, a group of McGill professors who have been tackling questions like this and have created a framework for enhancing students’ understanding of the relationship between research and course content. Read more –>


Aug. 28 workshop for faculty: Writing effective reference letters for student fellowships

Professors are often asked by students to write reference letters for funding opportunities. This interactive session is designed to help you answer questions such as: Are you obliged to write a reference letter if asked by a student and how might you respond if you are not supportive? How much lead time should you expect in order to write a reference letter? What information should be provided by the student? Read more –>

Universities Today

Librarians in the Classroom

University students and faculty may not think of librarians as teachers, but increasingly the role of librarians is shifting from reference and book providers to active educators.[1] In the past, instruction in the library, often referred to as bibliographic instruction, served to orient students and other users to the organization of materials within the library’s collection. Now, the library is refocusing from a collection-centered model to a user-centered model, where instruction is tailored to the needs of the user… Read more –>

Faculty Today

How can I teach in an Active Learning Classroom at McGill?

Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) are spaces that are specifically designed to “signal” a mode of learning focused on collaboration and interaction. ALCs offer many features, both furniture that encourages collaboration (e.g. round tables for group work, movable chairs for facilitating work in pairs or small groups) and numerous technological features (e.g., digital writing, screen sharing facilities, SMARTBoards) to provide a supportive and engaging learning environment. If you are an instructor that is interested in doing a great deal of active learning in your course, then these spaces were designed for you. If you are interested in teaching in one of these new spaces, read on!