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7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons

Monday, April 11, 2011

Abstract

The learning commons, sometimes called an “information commons,” has evolved from a combination library and computer lab into a full-service learning, research, and project space. As a place where students can meet, talk, study, and use “borrowed” equipment, the learning commons brings together the functions of libraries, labs, lounges, and seminar areas in a single community gathering place. The cost of a learning commons can be an obstacle, but for institutions that invest in a sophisticated learning commons, the new and expanded partnerships across disciplines facilitate and promote greater levels of collaboration. The commons invites students to devise their own approaches to their work and to transfer what they learn in one course to the work they do for another.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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