The Kate Edgar Information Commons - a student-centred learning environment and catalyst for integrated learning support and e-Literacy development

Mountifield, H (2004) The Kate Edgar Information Commons - a student-centred learning environment and catalyst for integrated learning support and e-Literacy development. JeLit 1(2).

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Abstract

At the University of Auckland the University Library has been a strong voice in lobbying for a more coherent and integrated approach to developing computer and information literacy skills across the university. Several plans and reports such as the Academic plan, draft IT and Information Literacy policy, graduate attributes and recommendations from the Student Life Commission and Curriculum Commission highlighted the need for collaboration between stakeholders to put plans into action. Progress in implementing recommendations and developing initiatives had been slow until the opening of the Kate Edger Information Commons at the end of April 2003. The Kate Edger Information Commons very quickly became the heart of the City Campus and a catalyst for change and collaboration. The Information Commons, the University of Auckland’s leading edge student-centred learning facility, provides a collaborative interdisciplinary environment where over 500 full-productivity workstations, electronic classrooms, and an additional 500+ flexible study and social spaces have been combined with proactive, integrated learning support and e-Literacy skills development. It provides the infrastructure for the functional integration of the information and the technology services, information literacy, learning support and language skills development offered by the University Library, IT Directorate, Student Learning Centre and English Language Self-Access Centre, consequently creating an enhanced learning environment that reflects the transformations in higher education. The development of IT and information literacy (e-Literacy skills) is a key focus for the Information Commons and opportunities for skills development are integrated into all aspects of service delivery. The paper will look at new partnerships and new service models and initiatives that have arisen from the various collaborations, together with a growing integrated approach to e-Literacy development.