Collaborative Learning Lab Created

by Allyssa Barlow

In an effort to enhance the student classroom experience, a key priority in the Second Integrated Plan, members of the library community have been working with various university units to design a Collaborative Learning Lab. The Collaborative Learning Lab is an innovative learning and teaching environment that provides students with a unique educational experience. The space design includes elements of other high-performance, technology-enhanced teaching spaces on campus.  

The technology, equipment and flexible furniture in this teaching space is designed to accommodate multiple learning and teaching styles including lecture, collaboration, discussion and group work.   In particular, the technology enhancements helps the library in its efforts to develop a distributed and e-learning approach for library instruction through the use of technology for audio and video capture that can be streamed and incorporated into new and various instruction models.  

Additionally, in order to maximize the use of the collaborative space and not lose too many student seats, the room is designed to be as open and flexible as possible so that students can use the space for group work when it is not being used for teaching purposes.  

“Developing the Collaborative Learning Lab has allowed librarian faculty and the Learning Commons partners to explore, experiment and be innovative with new technology that enhances the teaching and learning experience for students,” comments Vicki Williamson, library dean.  “Creating such a space in the library was essential to provide opportunities for librarians to consider new approaches for delivering active and engaging library instruction.  The innovative approach of a space that allows library faculty, staff, students, and university partners to have access to the same technology and flexible learning space has been a unique experience for library, and one worth investing in.”