Do current LRC and ICT services meet the needs of our students? Annual survey – the LRC needs to provide more access to computing facilities Computing facilities are not synonymous with the provision of additional hardware – wireless networking The LRC staff need to allow students to work in groups and allow the reconfiguration of furniture The environment is bland/institutional the monotonous nightmare of magnolia walls We want more support both online and face to face
Our changing curricular offer EPQ and other AS expansion will have ramifications on the study support that we provide.
Changing classroom practice – an example of the way forward? Nick De Souza’s history group worked over four weeks in the ICT suite with the research support from myself and with hospitable access to a range of digital and analogue resources. This was a package that incorporated clear learning outcomes for the group, a mix of staff support and designated support via Moodle (reading lists, referencing tools) EPQ – library integrated into the course through lectures on research skills, a designated research course on Moodle and reference support provided to students Moodle uptake/ intergration into the learning experience at WMSF
21 st century learning agenda Constructivist pedagogy Vygotsky et al. Does the traditional learning place (classroom) work in a post-industrial society?
Defining the Learning Commons A learning commons represents a fruitful convergence of a range of students services to catalyse learning and achievement including; pervasive access to technology, traditional library resources and facilities, real and virtual learning spaces that are democratic and reconfigurable to meet student learning needs, a closer integration of library, ICT and teaching staff teams to provide a mores seamless support for students. As a commons it is the property of the learning community - its establishment entails allowing greater autonomy for students and a more trusting attitude from staff. See my glog of what a learning commons may involve here here
Some caveats... “There is evidence from the research that ICT can help pupils to learn and teachers to teach more effectively. However, there is not a simple message in such evidence that ICT will make a difference simply by being used”. (Higgins, 2003). “One thing is certain the implementation of a learning commons will have minimal impact on student learning if it is not part of a university wide movement towards learner-orientated and learner centred education”. (Keating, 2005). Are our students ready for more autonomous models of learning? Does the curriculum encourage more social models of learning, or a spoon feeding approach so that schools get better league table results? Timescale – the summer holidays are almost upon us!
Where to next in our planning? What do staff want? What do students want? What implications will learning commons have for LRC ICT staff – roles, training and deployment? Designing places/spaces, planning, choosing furniture– although much has already been done via BSF.