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The new learning environment: impact on staff and students

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Conference: LIBER 2010, Aarhus (Denmark) …

Conference: LIBER 2010, Aarhus (Denmark)
By: Ellen Simons

The presentation focuses on the changes in education and their implication for the university library. The impact of Avans' strategic educational vision on the design and lay-out of the buildings and especially Xplora, the Learning-centre of Avans, will be described.

The three locations of the Avans Learning-centre (opened in 2006 and 2007) comprise a total of 2,000 student workplaces. The traditional library has changed into a multimedia learning-centre and now resides under the Avans Learning and Innovation Centre.

New buildings and a new organizational structure demand new working-arrangements with faculty staff. The transformation from library to Learning Centre and especially the consequences for library staff will be focused upon. All staff was offered a comprehensive training program. In addition, information specialists were trained to improve their acquaintance with educational knowledge. The benefits derived from the cooperation by library staff working with colleagues from other disciplines (e.g. educational consultants , e-learning consultants, multimedia staff etc.) within the Avans Learning and Innovation Centre will be described. The results of relevant student surveys will also be described. To wrap up, I will draw some conclusions based on 4 years working in new buildings, new educational models, new organization, new working arrangement, etc.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. The New Learning Environment: impact on staff and students Ellen Simons Learning and Innovation Center Avans University of Applied Sciences 39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 1 R
  • 2. Learning and Innovation CenterAvans University of Applied Sciences• 3 locations• 24.000 students• 60 bachelor programs• 7 master programs• 19 schools• 1 Learning and Innovation Center• 4 support units• 2.000 staff 39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 2
  • 3. Learning and Innovation Center Traditional education39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 4. Learning and Innovation Center Modern education39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 5. Learning and Innovation CenterThe influence of the learningenvironment“We know that space can have a significant impacton teaching and learning. Exactly how we bringtogether space, technology, and pedagogy willcontinue to evolve.”Diane G. Oblinger, Space as a change agent, in Learning Spaces,Educause, 2006“Spaces are themselves agents forchange. Changed spaces will changepractice.”JISC, Designing Spaces for Effective Learning: Aguide to 21st century learning space design, 2006 39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 5
  • 6. Learning and Innovation CenterConsequences for Library• Adequate resources• Library Staff takes part in educational process• Library must change into a rich learning environment39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 7. Learning and Innovation CenterVision on learning and teachingis leading• Connecting people:student – teacher – professional field• Recognising diversity• Creating knowledge• Establishing a dynamiclearning environmentphysical and virtual39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 7
  • 8. Learning and Innovation CenterFrom library to The New Learning Environment39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 8
  • 9. Learning and Innovation Center39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 10
  • 10. Learning and Innovation CenterPositioning of the Learning Centre• Just a facility or a key element in the institution’s vision on teaching and learning?39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 11. Learning and Innovation CenterFacility or Strategic instrument? “A learning space should be able to motivate learners andpromote learning as an activity, support collaborative as well as formal practice, provide a personalised and inclusiveenvironment, and be flexible in the face of changing needs.” JISC39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 12
  • 12. Learning and Innovation CenterKey element in strategic vision: “What is important is that designs of physical spaces are linked to the institution’s strategic vision for teaching and learning, and that this is articulated in every detail of the design and shared with all stakeholders, including learners.” JISC39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 13
  • 13. Learning and Innovation CenterPositioning of Xplora in AvansUniversityXplora as part ofLearning and Innovation Centre:•Provides an integrated learningenvironment (physical and virtual)•Advisory role towards schools on thesubject of educational programs39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 14. Learning and Innovation CenterOrganizational consequences• Position: from side-line to center• Role information specialist comparable to educational officer• Library merged into Learning and Innovation Centre39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 15. Learning and Innovation CenterPartner to education• Strong contacts with school faculty• Working-relations between Learning Centre and schools must be built and maintained• a new function : Information Specialist 39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 16. Learning and Innovation CenterThe New Way• Contact persons for each school• A pro-active approach• Subject-teams• Cooperation with educational officers• User research and feedback groups39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 17. Learning and Innovation CenterInformation specialist• Advise schools• Build and maintain relevant networks• Collection profiles and collection evaluations• Presentation and promotion Xplora• Instructions39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 18. Learning and Innovation CenterConsequences for Xplora Staff• Relationship to student changes• Relationship to teacher changes• Different competences• Special Staff training programme39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 19. Learning and Innovation CenterLearning Centre Staff 2005-2009• New job descriptions set up with team members (2005)• Reorganization (July/October 2005)• Board approves of staff formation plan 2005-2008 (September 2005) New job descriptions Increase of staff in 2006/2007 of 18 fte’s (35 fte’s  53 fte’s) (opening Xplora’s in 2006 and 2007)• Training program for all staff (November 2005-today)39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 20. Learning and Innovation CenterNear Future 2010-2012• Further improving Xplora’s buildings• Expansion Xplora Den Bosch• New “Technical” Xplora in Breda• KPI and Activity Based Costing39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 21. Learning and Innovation CenterConclusions (1):Student surveys 2008-2010: 8.000 responses• For group work and pc-applications• High occupancy rate• Attractive and inviting environment• High level of services• High demand of teacher presence• More PCs and more outlets• more workspaces for quiet study39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 22. Learning and Innovation CenterConclusion (2): Library mergedinto Learning and InnovationCentreMutual benefit:• “Library staff” have more appreciation for educational processes• Educational officers have more understanding of the relationship between information and knowledge39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 23. Learning and Innovation CenterConclusion (3): General• Xplora is widely known even outside the professional field• Xplora is a highly successful concept (1,4 million visitors in 2009)• Staff involvement and training important• Continuous improvement• More objective information about our own organisation39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010
  • 24. Learning and Innovation Center39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010 25
  • 25. Learning and Innovation CenterFurther Information:• Ellen Simons• E-mail: pmg.simons@avans.nl• Video Xplora “ Discover it yourself:http://www.surfmedia.nl/app/video/QV1wz15xVfVrqwzfstEEcDN T/play?format_id=6pyORf6BDHfvNVuLSXWGI4Cj&mode=url39th LIBER Annual Conference June 29 2010

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