Transforming the Livingston Learning Center
Our long-awaited renovations to the Livingston Learning Center will soon be underway. The renovations will be completed by September 2015, in time to welcome first-year students and welcome back returning students with an exciting, innovative new space for studying, working in groups, and meeting with tutors and instructors. This new flexible, student-driven space will have writeable surfaces, reconfigurable furniture, a study lounge and quiet area. Retractable whiteboard walls will enable our collaborative rooms to accommodate groups of varying sizes, from three rooms that sit eighteen per room to one large space that accommodates fifty-four.
View the flythrough video provided by Clarke Caton Hintz, the architectural firm designing our new center, to see how the space will be designed. (You will note that there are walls between each collaborative room that appear to be transparent and tinted red; these represent the retractable whiteboard walls, but are shown here as transparent to demonstrate the size of the rooms when partitioned into three smaller spaces or opened as one large room.)
We envision the Learning Centers as places for promoting a culture of learning within the Rutgers community. We want our centers filled with students, faculty and staff from all fields, working in collaborative and creative ways as they grow as a community of learners. The transformation of this center is one of many steps Undergraduate Academic Affairs is taking to support the New Brunswick Strategic Plan in transforming the student experience by bringnig together faculty, staff, students, technology, and learning-centered spaces across campuses. We welcome students and faculty to reserve collaborative rooms and equipment for workshops, meetings, review sessions and group projects, and we encourage University staff to use the rooms for student events such as workshops and trainings.
The Learning Center team has invested significant time, effort and research into designing a space that is aligned with our guiding principles, which promote best practices in academic support and respond to the needs of Rutgers students. Here are some of the highlights of the Livingston Learning Center, located adjacent to the staircase in the Tillett Hall lobby:
- Spaces and equipment that can be reserved by faculty, staff, or students
- Collaborative rooms for study groups, workshops, and group projects;
- A quiet study room that can be reconfigured as a conference room;
- A one-on-one meeting room;
- Software and equipment for technology-enhanced instruction;
- An open tutoring floor;
- A study lounge with whiteboard walls; and
- Moveable furniture to accommodate groups of varying sizes.
The Livingston Learning Center renovation project has been a truly collaborative effort and we are excited to share this carefully designed space with the Rutgers community beginning in September 2015. We could not have accomplished all of this without the generous and eager help of our colleagues, both within and outside of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, to whom we are very grateful. We hope to continue working with our university colleagues to create an innovative learning center on each New Brunswick campus.
Digital Classroom Services (DCS) has participated in each stage of our technology planning and design. They have provided options that incorporate intuitive technology that can accommodate users of varying degrees of technical knowledge and provided insight on the latest technologies that engage students in a collaborative learning environment. The Office of Information Technology has supported our design and suggested the best ways to integrate the new technologies.
The Office of Disability Services has advised us on the principles of universal design, creating a center that moves beyond accessibility to inclusion. The Office of Scheduling and Space Management, as well as Student Access and Educational Equity, have helped us identify how the space can best meet the needs of students. We have also worked very closely with University Facilities, which is overseeing the project and has provided expert guidance and coordination for every step of the design and construction process.
For more information about the design process or details regarding the renovation, please contact Stacey Blackwell. For more information about reserving a room for events beginning Fall 2015, please contact Samantha Feaser, the center’s Administrative Coordinator.
We look forward to seeing you at the new Livingston Learning Center in September!