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Flexible spaces for flexible learners Professor Jane Core Director of Library and Learning Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Flexible spaces for flexible learners Professor Jane Core Director of Library and Learning Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Flexible spaces for flexible learners Professor Jane Core Director of Library and Learning Services

2 Outline The challenge –Space and design limitations –Demands on the service –Student expectations –Teaching and learning trends Designs for learning What did the students think?

3 Space and design limitations City Campus Library Building opened 1978 with limited investment in buildings or infrastructure since –40 workstations in 2001 – wiring, ventilation and networking limited –Designed for an individual/didactic approach to learning –Facilities clearly unable to meet user demands for newer learning approaches - need for hybrid learning environment Library basement –café style for 12 years –well used to full at all times – clearly the preferred mix –no-one understood why this dark hot cave was so popular! Open access IT centres designed on the IT barn principle Danger of using ratios of IT to student in the belief that IT and access to it is a discrete need – it was clearly more complex

4 Demands on the service Students preferred to queue for library IT –even when capacity was there in an open access IT centre Satisfaction surveys highlighted demand for library based –lowest satisfaction score in an otherwise excellent rating of service of over 90% for several years running Library activity growing year on year alongside online –the myth that online will mean the end libraries! Demands for opening hours to be increased –controlled access systems enabled self service opening Wireless laptop loan pilot and subsequent service gave us very good information on the feasibility of wireless services and helped overcome short term infrastructure problems


6 Student expectations Choice in space and type of IT access –Short term and long term use of IT differing requirement –IT with simultaneous access to print materials sought –IT and information support clearly used Flexibility –Opening hours under pressure in spite of enhancements Christmas service levels deemed inadequate demand –Group or independent study at different times silent / noisy space requirements at different times –Eating and drinking – we all do it at our desks! Support – security – social activity…… Informal and social learning expectations

7 Teaching and learning trends Growth areas at Northumbria –Use of Blackboard – links to use of digital library resources –Groupwork and collaboration –Group assessment/presentations –Diverse student population with evidence of different support needs – some of which were quite intensive –Peer supported learning is evident Trends apparent through Learning and Teaching Strategy and in enhancement activity across the university

8 Designs for learning Nine floors – –Over half a million volumes of stock and massive logistics Choice and flexibility needed for students –Fixed IT, wireless, nomads Environment –Phone zones / no phone zones –Quiet/silent/group areas – research hubs –Printing centralised to one floor –Modernising the décor and furnishings Addressing the need to eat and drink!

9 Northumbria Library Learning Cafe

10 Northumbria Library IT suite

11 Sunday IT concurrency: before library IT suite

12 Sunday IT concurrency: after library IT suite

13 Weekday IT concurrency: before library IT suite

14 Weekday IT concurrency: after library IT suite

15 What did the students think? The learning café arrangements suit me much better now… I bring my own laptop.. Before I didnt feel comfortable because you could not eat and drink at the machines.. Now I can stay longer and get on with it.. –Final year student I think it is pretty good the way they have staggered IT through the building and I do use the mix of areas – there is even a silent area which I used a lot when revising.. –Final year student 'fantastic;'s so much brighter, spacious and not stuffy. Excellent! –Student commenting on Floor 1 IT suite The Learning Cafe is 'ideal for working on group presentations...the new sofas are perfect for everyone in our group to meet up and sort out our projects - saves trying to fit around a couple of tables in the old Basement! –2 nd year student As students we used to struggle to find areas where we could work in groups. Now the basement caters for the needs of all students at all times so students can work independently or in groups as their work dictates –From Ryan Bird, architectural student, who designed the layout

16 What next? A new concept in learning space throughout the building Wireless laptop, fixed and casual IT at optimum mix Phased development from learning café to IT suite to develop lessons learned Frequent survey and feedback from students on their experiences of using the facility Learners beat a path to our door!

17 Technology used Wireless laptops –CISCO wireless LAN solution engine® centrally configured to manage wireless access points Static workstations –Neoware Capio One thin clients on desks Nomad casual access points –Capio thin clients on tall workstations Research hubs –Desktop PCs in screened private study areas Storage –Network space, USB pens available for purchase/loan at Learning Café shop

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