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Working Together: Brock University’s New Matheson Learning Commons

Working Together: Brock University’s New Matheson Learning Commons. Kevin Manuel, Liaison Librarian, Brock University. Today’s presentation. About me The Matheson Learning Commons Online Survey Focus Groups Preliminary findings Upcoming analysis Publications. The Researcher. About Kevin

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Working Together: Brock University’s New Matheson Learning Commons

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  1. Working Together: Brock University’s New Matheson Learning Commons Kevin Manuel, Liaison Librarian, Brock University

  2. Today’s presentation • About me • The Matheson Learning Commons • Online Survey • Focus Groups • Preliminary findings • Upcoming analysis • Publications

  3. The Researcher • About Kevin • BA Anthropology, MA Sociology, MLIS • Co-op at University of Waterloo • MLIS Independent study – focus groups • Liaison Librarian at Brock University • CLA Library Research and Development award

  4. Before Renovations – June 2007

  5. After Renovations – Sept 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brock_library

  6. Places to study…

  7. Lots of computers…

  8. Group work…

  9. Partnerships…

  10. Services…

  11. Take a break…

  12. The survey… • Ethics approval • Online survey for one month • Library homepage • For students • 16 questions • Recruit sample population • 138 responses

  13. Survey Results • A) UndergraduateB) GraduateC) No reply • A) MaleB) FemaleC) No reply

  14. Survey Results • A) Applied Health SciencesB) BusinessC) EducationD) HumanitiesE) Math and ScienceF) Social SciencesG) Other • A) LectureB) ReadingC) Audio-VisualD) DemonstrationE) Discussion groupF) Practice by doingG) Sharing knowledgeH) Other

  15. Survey Results • A) Individually with noiseB) Individually with quietC) In a group with quietD) In a group with noiseE) Other • A) StudyingB) MeetingsC) Services (research, writing, career)D) SocializingE) Coffee breaksF) Email, Facebook, etc.G) Other

  16. Survey Results • A) Lounge area by coffee barB) PC workstationsC) Mac workstationsD) Seats by windowsE) Quiet area at backF) Group study roomsG) Computer labs • A) Groups assigned by instructorB) Informal study groupsC) NoneD) Other

  17. Focus Groups • Ethics approval • $20 book store gift certificate incentive • Refreshments • Circle discussion • Moderator • Note taker • Whiteboard

  18. Focus Group • 49 signed up • 21 attended • 4 sessions at different days and times • 45 minute discussions • Icebreakers • Informal discussion

  19. Focus Group themes • What are the perceptions of students when comparing the previous library space to the new Learning Commons design? • How are students using the combined resources provided in the Learning Commons? • How are students actually using the space in the Learning Commons for collaborative work? • Does the new environment promote learning, encourage engagement and contribute to student success?

  20. Focus Group findings • ‘Old library’ • Not welcoming • Not enough group study • Needed more computers • Services crowded • “the old Library was from the dinosaur age!”

  21. What students liked about the LC • Open concept • Better lighting • Very Organized • Various seating arrangements • Comfort of sofa areas • Group study rooms • Starbucks • More access to reserves • More computers • More computer plugs • More space for laptops • “Laptop Wall” (note – meaning the wall along the window with all the plugs) • Informal learning environment

  22. Patterns of Use • Studying • Individual • Group • Combinations • “I like to study alone first and then use study rooms, couches or tables near the café afterwards” • Social • “Nice to unwind here after studying” • “It helps being with friends to work on an assignment” • “I’m here from 7am-7pm” • Computers “it’s more social use like Facebook”

  23. Design of the Learning Commons • More inviting space • “Nice and modern looking – gorgeous!” • Improve acoustics • “It is nice to have options and use different types of spaces” • “Less rigid, more informal, along with the coffee bar these things make the library a fun place to learn” • “Some students spend all their breaks/time here - its’ better than going home - they can get more work done now”

  24. Design… • Lighting • Better lighting so students feel less sleepy • “I like seeing outside rather than being in the tower (library), it’s like a box” • “It’s not straining on the eyes. Helps keep me alert”

  25. Design • Open layout • Easy to find people I’m meeting with • Like being able to cut through rather than walk outside • Better air quality with more breathing room

  26. Furnishings • Soft furnishings for more relaxed study • ‘Pods’ for group work • Window seats for using laptops • Quiet study area • Booths by Starbucks • Need for tables

  27. Group Study Rooms • Some Students use rooms on a weekly basis (1-5 times/week) • “I have to come here twenty times a semester for presentation work” • Convenient place for everyone to meet

  28. Use of Group Study Rooms • Study individually and/or collaboratively • Practice seminar presentations • Midterm/final preparation • To record a video project • Business group projects (one student often has five meetings/week) • White boards are good for studying • Computers/LCD screen

  29. Computers • “Rows and rows of computers. It’s easier to find one between classes, like the standing use only computers. Students really, really like this because of the quick turnover.” • Macs are used – often there is no wait for the Macs • Use computers for email/research

  30. Laptops • “Before, it was hard to find computer plugs but now they are everywhere. This makes it easier to be more productive because your notes are on your laptop” • Use laptops in the study rooms and the social area by Starbucks • Use of laptops on loan from circulation

  31. Services • “Nice to have all the services in one place, especially having the photocopiers and reserves close together” • Self-checkout is good for keeping the line at the desk moving • Enjoy having reserves and circ. in the same place • Like the Help Desk dual monitors

  32. Partnerships • “It is beneficial to have all services together in one place” • Career Services used for a mock interview • Career Services – “I have a friend that uses it all the time”

  33. Starbucks • It makes it like Chapters • Makes the space more inviting and social • “nice during exam time…don’t need to pack up and go somewhere else” • “good idea for studying later, if I can afford it”

  34. Technology • Touch screen – don’t have to bother library staff • Like the print station - don’t get the noise from it because it is boxed in • Having the two banks of copiers makes copying so easy in the LC

  35. Possible Improvements • More sofas and chairs • More tables for studying • Open earlier/later • Improve line for circulation/reserves • Easier photocopying • More group rooms • Easier access to group rooms • Longer booking time for group rooms • More computers • More plug outlets

  36. Collaborative Work • Can work with your group quietly and then talk • “Everyone can meet in the study rooms, everyone knows where it is” • Can work with your group quietly and then talk • Convenience

  37. Promoting Learning • Provides options for learning: individual study, quiet, group study, it provides options for different types of study • Enjoy the academic setting – it’s not just social • It does contribute to students’ success overall • “It’s nice to know this building is for learning”

  38. Highlights • “I’d rather come here to study because it is bright and modern, and everything I need is nearby” • “It encompasses everything a university should have – I wish the rest of the library was like this” • “I live here” • “Don’t know what I did without it” • “There is more opportunity to do work” • “The pros outweigh the cons, I’m really happy that Brock decided to do this”

  39. Analysis… • Examine the literature • Compare findings • Analyze • Publications

  40. Matheson Learning Commons Thanks for attending! kmanuel@brocku.ca

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