Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
August 2009 Issue
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Hi-tech learning environment

The student learning environment at the University of Adelaide is being transformed with a multi-million investment in new hi-tech facilities and spaces for students.

New facilities for students will meet the need for increased learning and social interaction, and incorporate the latest digital technologies for online learning, learning management and wireless networking.

At the heart of this development will be the Hughes Plaza Learning Hub to be built in the centre of the North Terrace Campus, linking the Barr Smith Library and student support services. This will be a large 'community centre' with hi-tech learning facilities, student information centres, retail food outlets and social areas for informal and formal events.

One of the leading thinkers in educational space planning, Dr Kenn Fisher, has been engaged to bring the best ideas from educational institutions around the world to Adelaide.

Infrastructure, Property and Technology Director Virginia Deegan said: "The University of Adelaide prides itself on offering a high-quality, distinctive learning experience to our students. We want to ensure our facilities are meeting the needs of the most up-to-date learning and teaching strategies, and meeting new demands from having a growing number of students.

"New approaches to learning are creating new requirements for 'common spaces' for increased team study and discussion spaces, for cross-disciplinary meeting areas and places where students can interact with the community, their teachers, researchers and each other."

"Libraries, for instance, are no longer the strictly silent individual study places we've traditionally seen. The success of our new lounge and collaborative study area in the Barr Smith is a perfect example.

"And, as learning and research becomes increasingly a blend of face-to-face and online activity, we need to facilitate this with easy access to the latest digital technologies."

The Hughes Plaza Learning Hub will be under construction next year with completion of Stage 1 scheduled for 2011.

The new Barr Smith Library Lounge offers students a relaxed area for group study and informal learning.

A number of satellite student hubs are also being developed. The Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences hub will be completed in mid 2010.

The learning hub for business, economics and education students on the corner of North Terrace and Pulteney Street has just been completed. This offers students a local area to meet, socialise and study with wireless networks, computers, group work areas, the latest AV equipment plus a central student service and information desk.

Other new facilities planned include new science laboratories for Earth and Environmental Sciences, hi-tech upgrades of lecture theatres in the Napier Building and student computer suites, upgrading the Scott Theatre as a large lecture and performance facility, enhancing teaching facilities in the Medical School and establishing another student hub for Humanities and Social Sciences students.

Students will also directly benefit from other major projects under construction in the University's $400 million capital works program, including the Veterinary Science facilities at Roseworthy and the new Maths, Computer Science and Engineering building.

Story by Robyn Mills

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The new Barr Smith Library Lounge offers students a relaxed area for group study and informal learning
Photo by Randy Larcombe

The new Barr Smith Library Lounge offers students a relaxed area for group study and informal learning
Photo by Randy Larcombe

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