It gives me much pleasure to update our readers on some recent developments in the Chi Wah Learning Commons.
The Learning Commons has been well received by students and staff alike since its opening on 17 September 2012. During peak hours between 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on a busy day, there are as many as 1,000 students inside the Learning Commons. We are delighted to see that the Learning Commons has become a major campus hub for student-centered learning activities. In respond to the high utilization, the opening hours of the first floor have been extended by three hours at night to close at 11:00 pm on weekdays since the beginning of the second semester; and will be further extended to 22 hours daily between 1 May to 27 May for students to prepare for their examination, leaving two hours from 6:00 am to 8:00 am each day for cleaning.
In the last few months, we have added some study carrels on the first floor of the Learning Commons, indoor plants and interior lightings on both floors; and an aquarium on the second floor. Moreover, new furnitures have also been added to the Student Advisory Services zone. The video wall on the second floor has been designated as a “News wall” with four channels, one on each quarter. You may choose to watch any channel and listen to it using your own mobile device. The News wall is expected to be fully operational in May.
Study carrels, indoor plants and interior lightings in the Chi Wah Learning Commons
Aquarium and new glass wall in the Chi Wah Learning Commons
You may notice that new glass walls with doors have been erected at certain locations in the Learning Commons. The new glass walls on the first floor (Figure 1) allow us the flexibility to open up part of the floor overnight to match the demand. Glass walls on the second floor (Figure 2) define the perimeter of the Student Advisory Services zone and, at the same time, enable us to turn the space behind it into an enclosed area for holding events, such as seminars and exhibitions. Presentation and AV facilities are being added to the two rooms inside this “Event zone”. We have also equipped the zone with a high-end video conferencing system. Details on booking of the event zone and the video conferencing system will be announced in due course. Moreover, access gates are also being installed at all entrances to the Learning Commons. The work is expected to complete by the end of May.
Figure 1: First floor layout plan showing locations of the new glass walls (click the picture to zoom in)
Figure 2: Second floor layout plan showing locations of the new glass walls (click the picture to zoom in)
Last but not least, I am pleased to introduce Mrs. Toni Kelly who joined the University on 8 April 2013 as Associate Director (Learning Environment). Prior to joining us, Toni was Head of Learning Space at the University of Birmingham in UK. In her current role, Toni leads the Learning Environment Services team; and among her other responsibilities, she oversees the operation and development of the Learning Commons.
Director of ITS