Every learning institution should have one

The other day I was able to visit the brand new Augustine House Library and Student Service Centre facility at Canterbury Christ Church University:

http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/projects/augustine-house/index.asp

It’s iconic. It’s awesome. It cost around £35 million. It’s more like a designer shopping mall or a multinational business design centre than the tumble-down educational buildings we’ve become used to. All this creates a highly professional atmosphere in which students can create their own meeting or learning spaces and places, use whiteboards and laser printers, and easily access a strategically placed networked desktop PC or borrow one of the two hundred on-site laptops. There are motorised sliding bookcases, a fully automated check-out and book return system, and fines can even be settled on-line. There is a stunning cafe with terrace views out of the centre of Canterbury. This is clearly a facility owned by the students – tutors are not allowed to book private rooms, though students sometimes do so for them – and they use it in a highly responsible manner.

Despite the on-demand access to the internet and multimedia though, sadly most students seemed to be occupied with preparing traditional individual essays or PowerPoint presentations of assignments, doubtless to be assessed more with the last century in mind.

These photos were taken from the Augustine House set on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/heywayne/sets/72157622488906510/

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