Update on Learning Environment Services

  1. Chi Wah Learning Commons
  2. Coffee Corner
  3. Student Advisory Services Zone
  4. Exhibition and Events area
  5. Central Classrooms
  6. PC Classrooms
  7. The Oval
  8. KK Leung Building
  9. Senate Room
  10. Upgrades to the Classrooms

This has been a very busy year for the team combining the recruitment and training of new staff with the opening of the Centennial Campus and the development and delivery of support services to the new and unique Chi Wah Learning Commons and the Central Classrooms.

Despite all this activity, the team has been involved in work to further improve and enhance the facilities both on the Centennial Campus and Main campus:-

 

1. Chi Wah Learning Commons

A major change to the Learning Commons is the installation of automated access gates.  Access to the Learning Commons is currently restricted to University staff and students, and the gates will help us to better manage and monitor both the users and visitors to the facility and the demand, helping us to plan for future needs.  The gates will come into operation in mid-September 2013 when all new staff and students have been issued with their university cards.

There have been a number of improvements within the Learning Commons and in response to student feedback, a number of water fountains have been installed on both floors.  A new “Mac Bar” has been created on the first floor by the service counter comprising of 5 x 27” iMac computers.  General support will be provided as usual by the LES team and other support and training events will be developed throughout the academic year. Close to the Mac Bar a networked A3 scanner with Auto Document Feeder has been installed.

The large video wall on second floor is now set up as News walls to receive programmes from CNN, BBC, Phoenix Television and TVB news.  Users can access audio to these channels by using the podcast services, and details of which can be found next to the video walls.

A new guide to the Learning Commons for staff, students and visitors has been published and will be distributed to students via their welcome packs, copies are also available from all of the Learning Commons service counter.  This guide, together with the new signage recently installed by the Estates Office, should assist users and visitors in discovering all the useful services and facilities in the Learning Commons.
 

2. Coffee Corner

A new coffee bar operated by the Knockbox Coffee Company has opened at the top of the main staircase on the first floor of the Learning Commons.  An area around the coffee bar has been designated for users to eat and drink, but users must remember that food and drink (excepting water) is not permitted in most of the Learning Commons areas.
 

3. Student Advisory Services Zone

This new facility opened last year has been extremely popular, and as a result of feedback from AAO, CAES, CEDARS and the Libraries, further improvements are being made to support the Advisory Services whilst making the space more attractive to students as a quiet study area.

Large LCD screens have been installed at the entrances to the facility to advertise to the various activities arranged throughout the year.  This will include information about clinics, workshops and drop in services, and times when the facility is available for private study.  The CAES DVD/CD loan collection will be relocated here to make it more accessible to students who will be able to play the DVD’s/CD’s on PCs in the zone or in the wider Learning Commons.
 

4. Exhibition and Events area

Adjacent to the Student Advisory Services Zone is an area that has recently been developed to create a small Exhibition and Events area.  The space includes two fully equipped Seminar/Workshop spaces with a breakout space that can be used for a number of activities to support the particular event.  There is a service desk in this area that can be used to provide support to events held in this space.  Further information can be obtained from the LES Team by sending email to ithelp@hku.hk.
 

5. Central Classrooms

Throughout the year, work has been ongoing to further improve and enhance classrooms on the Centennial Campus.  This has now resulted in the installation of the new Panopto Lecture Capture facility in all classrooms here.  Our team is providing introduction and training sessions on the use of Panopto which can be found at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/training.

The LES team has revised the classroom equipment user instructions and replaced the A4 folder with an A3 “Quick Guide” located on every lectern.  The guide gives clear visual instructions on how to use all the classroom equipment.  These guides are further supported by a series of short video clips providing more information and detailed “step by step” instruction. The video clips are located at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/tl/les.
 

6. PC Classrooms

As a result of the upcoming closure of the Run Run Shaw Building PC laboratories and the refurbishment of the Old Library 1/F, 2 classrooms have been converted to create new classrooms that can be used for traditional teaching, teaching with PCs or as student open access drop in facilities when the rooms are not in use for teaching.  These 2 classrooms are located in CPD-3.41 on the Centennial Campus and KB110 on Main Campus.
 

7. The Oval

The Oval, located in the Knowles Building has a range of lecture rooms, classrooms and open access study facilities.  As a result of the creation of the new computer cluster/classroom with PCs, from September 2013, LES will have on site support located in the Oval during core hours.
 

8. KK Leung Building

Work has commenced to create a suite of lecture theatres and breakout/study areas on the first and second floors of the KK Leung Building. LES has been working closely with Estates Office to specify the requirements for the classrooms and the study areas.  These spaces will be completed by Christmas 2013.
 

9. Senate Room

A full upgrade of the equipment in Senate room is currently planned with a view to completion in October 2013.
 

10. Upgrades to the Classrooms

A full upgrade of computer images for all PC Laboratories, central classrooms, lecture theaters and innovative classrooms on both Main Campus and Centennial Campus has been undertaken during this summer.

Until such times as Panopto can be “rolled out” to the Main Campus classrooms, the LES team has set up a new facility in all classrooms and lecture theatres which will allow teachers to record audio from both the microphone and the PC by using a DV or MP3 recorder.  Details of how to do this can be found at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/tl/les.

 

Mrs. Toni Kelly
Associate Director (Learning Environment)
Learning Environment Services Team
Email: tkelly@hku.hk
Phone: 3917 8728