Putting the Learning in the Commons

Here to help

Last Friday I visited the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons in Manchester. It was a visit that was well overdue, and I certainly didn’t regret making some time for it. The building is of course lovely, with generous spaces finished to…

What use is referencing to undergraduates?

Reference

None. There, I’ve said it. Someone needed to. There is a lot of value in teaching students how to research a problem, construct an argument and credit and reference their sources. It is arguably the most valuable thing we can…

Collaborative computing labs: everybody wins!

Geometry of a paired PC workspace

As part of some design work for some of our computing labs, I’ve been looking at some modelling of space layout and utilisation. My goal was to find some simple geometrical modules that could be used to ‘build’ a space,…

How can libraries support 21st century learning?

Here to help

The internet is ending information scarcity. In teaching this has accelerated the transformation of the role of the teacher from the custodian of transferable knowledge to that of a coach, a facilitator. Of course none of these models are new. Social constructivism had…

Music, the last taboo in the library?

Free earbuds

I visited 2 fabulous libraries in Delft today, the TU library and the DOK public library. In both I noticed music playing (the selection in DOK being particularly provoking with tunes by the Prodigy and other more ‘upbeat’ music). It…

Flexible learning spaces?

Flexibility

Flexibility is an often misused word. In general when someone tells you they want their learning or teaching space to be ‘flexible’ it either means they have absolutely no idea what they want, or they simply can’t prioritise. But flexibility…

Information Commons on Google Streetview

The University of Sheffield Information Commons

Less then 2 weeks after we had a former student in the Information Commons to take the pictures, it is now accessible on the ground and first floors in Google Streetview. Edward Miller, a University of Sheffield graduate, has set…

Integrating library and IT services

Integration

While universities are often very fragmented and decentralised across professional and departmental disciplines, student support needs are not. Many universities have attempted to find a way to deal with this. Some have integrated their library and IT services, often discovering…

New Engineering Building

NEB

The University of Sheffield is designing an £81M state-of-the-art learning and teaching facility. The New Engineering Building will incorporate a large number of specialist engineering facilities and teaching spaces, but will also have around 1000 spaces of learning spaces of…