"Learning Commons, also known as scholars' commons, information commons or digital commons, are learning spaces, similar to libraries and classrooms that share space for information technology, remote or online education, tutoring, collaboration, content creation, meetings and reading or study.” (Wikipedia, 2017)
THEi Learning Commons & Digital Innovation (LCDI)
THEi Learning Commons & Digital Innovation (LCDI, renamed on 21 September 2020) is set up to provide students and staff with library learning resources, IT support facilities and education support services for learning and teaching. It aims to provide quality services to promote student learning and staff applied research through both physical and virtual learning resources.
THEi Learning Commons (1/F., CW Campus)
The LC at THEi (Chai Wan Campus), which is in service in January 2018, houses collections that are unique to the requirements of the Institute's programmes. In addition, students have access to the entire library collection of the VTC Library, consisting of 542,576 print volumes, 33,507 non-print items, 321,330 e-book titles, 62,538 e-/printed journals and 90+ electronic databases (as of March 2021).
To provide a convenient, versatile and IT-enhanced atmosphere that facilitates communication, collaboration and creation, THEi's LC offers circulation and reference services, intercampus and interlibrary loan services, MacBook Pro / MacBook Air / Slim PC notebook computers and iPad / Tablet one-day loan services. In addition, students of THEi have access to all 17 LRCs in the IVE, ICI/CCI and HKDI campuses located all over Hong Kong and can use the facilities at their disposal.
With a total area of more than 1500 m2, THEi's Learning Commons (Chai Wan) provides a range of facilities, including an individual learning area equipped with all-in-one PCs and iMacs, small group discussion cart seats, a large group discussion area, three group study room equipped with 32" TV (cart seat) and 65" wireless interactive visual display (group discussion room) where students could interact in close-up mode. They can project the view of their devices, such as notebook computers and cell phones, on a wide-screen through a wireless presentation to encourage interactive learning. In addition, LC also offers an electronic classroom fitted with state-of-the-art software packages, 80" wireless collaborative visual display, 3D printing, large-scale printing plotter and integrated scan/print/photocopying facilities. New projects to expand the use of Learning Commons learning space to provide students with rich learning experience have been introduced from time to time, including One-Button Lab, MakerSpace, VR/AR Learning Corner.
Technology-Enhanced Learning and Staff Professional Development
In addition to the facilities and services offered, LCDI provides programs on "Technology-Enhanced Learning & Professional Development" and "Library Literacy & Academic Writing Programmes." Orientation sessions on Library and Educational Support are conducted for new students at the beginning of each academic year and during the academic year. The induction provides students with all the fundamental skills and important knowledge they need to become successful users of the library. Students are made aware of the library rules, the library Website and the library catalogue. E-Databases workshops that incorporate search methods for the use of data are conducted during the academic year. For students in each semester, the workshop on "Citing References and Avoiding Plagiarism" is held. In this workshop, students learn about the idea of plagiarism, the proper way to cite sources, and learn how to use Turnitin in Moodle as an anti-plagiarism method.
LCDI oversees the operation of many educational support systems and platforms, including Moodle and Canvas learning management systems, Turnitin anti-plagiarism platform, and the Moodle Analytics Reporting Tool. Learning Management Systems, Moodle and Canvas, enable teaching staff to upload teaching materials and students to apply assignments, as well as promote e-learning with a view to enhancing the standard of learning and teaching, better meeting the needs of students and learning styles, and improving accessibility and time flexibility to improve learning engagement during the phase. LCDI manages the Leganto Reading List in Moodle that links students from module references to the library system and its collections in real-time. LC maintains a multimedia archive portal that allows staff and students to upload video clips to share their presentations and form a learning community. LCDI offers learning support services databases, including images repositories and trend insight reports WGSN and music production archive BMG Music for student projects, and so on.
LCDI also provides the Institute's IT infrastructure, including networking facilities and equipment, Wi-Fi connectivity, AV and IT facilities in all classrooms and lecture theatres, MyPortal, Class Attendance System, etc. Students have access to the Internet on campus.
LCDI runs five computer labs at the Chai Wan campus; one computer lab and one study space at the Tsing Yi campus. One computer lab at each campus is open 24 hours a day. Students can enter the computer lab and use workstation-grade machines with a range of program-specific software applications.