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The Learning Commons at AUC: an exercise in collaboration. Shahira el Sawy Dean, Libraries and Learning Technologies Aziza Ellozy Director, Center for Learning and Teaching. The context: AUC’s new campus. The context: AUC’s new campus. What is a Learning Commons?.

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the learning commons at auc an exercise in collaboration

The Learning Commons at AUC:an exercise in collaboration

Shahira el Sawy

Dean, Libraries and Learning Technologies

Aziza Ellozy

Director, Center for Learning and Teaching

what is a learning commons
What is a Learning Commons?

“the intersection of content,technology, and services

in a physical facility to support student learning”

(J. Lippincott, 2006)

slide5

The Learning Commons

Fostering collaborative

work and social interaction

why a learning commons
Why a Learning Commons?

In today’s academic environment

“….students need assistance from individuals

with a broad range of expertise…”

(J. Lippincott, 2006)

slide8

Academic

Computing

Classroom

Technologies

& Media

Services

Writing Center

The Main

Library

The Learning Commons

at AUC

a broad range of expertise

Rare

Books &

Special

Collections

Library

Center for

Learning and

Teaching

libraries and learning technologies llt

Rare

Books &

Special

Collections

Library

The Main

Library

Center for

Learning and

Teaching

Classroom

Technologies

& Media

Services

Academic

Computing

Libraries and Learning Technologies (LLT)

LLT Dean

the learning commons

The Learning Commons

Birth and evolution of an idea

history
History

1998: Visit to Leavey Teaching Library, USC.

Student Navigation Assistants

Computer Consultants

Research Librarians

1999: Visit of Library Consultants

Recommend Integration of Library and IT

2000: New LLT Structure

LLT Dean

Rare

Books &

Special

Collections

Library

The Main

Library

Center for

Learning and

Teaching

Classroom

Technologies

& Media

Services

Academic

Computing

history1
History
  • 2002: New Campus Plans & Design
    • Dedicated Space for the “Commons”
    • Library Consultants
  • 2004: NITLE-PKAL Workshop on New Learning Spaces, Vassar College (suggested by Susan Perry)
    • Six member team: 3 LLT Faculty Members, 1 School Faculty Member, 1 New campus architect, 1 FF&E Consultant
    • Upon return, team recommends establishment of a Task Force

Team

members

process task force
Process : Task Force
  • 2005: Provost’s Taskforce on Learning Spaces is formed

16 member team, from three Schools and LLT, Dr Ellozy Chair

  • Five subcommittees for:
    • Formal Learning Spaces (i.e. classrooms, lecture halls)
    • Offices & Department Spaces
    • Library & “Information” Commons
    • Informal Spaces (i.e. lounges, dining areas, gardens…)
    • Specialized Learning Spaces (i.e. Visualization Lab, Distance Learning)
  • (2005-07) Multiple meetings with: Provost, New Campus Development Office, Registrar, others
  • Taskforce work still going strong
process last year
Process – last year
  • 2006: Plans to streamline and integrate services
    • More collaboration between LLT unitsneeded
  • February 2007:Susan Perry’s Consultancy Visit
    • Recommends collaboration for “Learning” Commons
    • Suggests using Learning Commons as a stepping stone for LLT Integration
  • March 2007: Learning Commons Taskforce created

Six subcommittees with appropriate LLT key players

      • Hardware/Software – Service & Delivery
      • Library as Space/Place
      • Technical Support
      • Training
      • Research Assistance
      • Management/Leadership/Budget
process
Process
  • April/ May 2007: Collaboration happens !!
  • First phase report is being prepared
slide16

Main issues/obstacles encountered ?

  • Collaboration between units difficult to achieve
  • “Silo” culture prevailed

The Main

Library

Center for

Learning and

Teaching

Rare

Books &

Special

Collections

Library

Academic

Computing

Classroom

Technologies

& Media

Services

slide17

Main issues/obstacles encountered ?

2. Integrated skills of an instructional/educational

technologist are difficult to find in local market. On the job training

3. Continuous professional development of staff

important issue to address and needs

constant attention

4. BUDGET…!!!

past successes
Past successes
  • Integrated Libraries and Learning Technologies Structure
  • Allowed integration of functions and services
  • Open lines of communication established (regular meetings of committees and advisory group)
past successes1
Past Successes

Joint Projects

Planning, retrofitting and assessing prototype classrooms for new campus

Training and disseminating learning technologies across campus

Jointly developing and designing hybrid course

Collaborating on graduate students’ professional development workshops

CTMS

CLT

CLT

CTMS

Main

Library

ACS

ACS

CLT

Main

Library

CLT

present successes
Present Successes

New budget for Learning Commons has been approved

Learning Commons Task Force has created an unprecedented spirit of collaboration among ALL units

next step
Next step?
  • Closer look at functionalities of all units
  • Continue collaborating to further streamline, upgrade and expand services
  • Anticipate and prepare for special training needs of faculty and students for the first six months at the new campus
  • Prepare for the daunting task of the move to the New campus September 2008
optimistic about the future
Optimistic about the future

New Libraries and Learning Technologies Building

slide23

Questions?

Thank You !

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