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"Build It And They Will Come"- Facilitating Digital Dexterity and Employability Across Cohorts

Ms Andrea Philips,
Ms Deborah Jones

University of Melbourne


The incorporation of a Scholarly Services-led “Digital Learning Commons” as part of an ambitious University student precinct redevelopment offered an exciting opportunity to reimagine the support, space and services for the next generation of scholars. The vision is to seamlessly integrate and expand the traditional library space footprint into a vibrant contemporary and technology rich space with improved learning, innovation and study space for students. This presentation will outline our research- informed approach for defining and co-designing an environment and integrated service model that inspires the next generation learner, maximises the equity of access to services and tools to develop digital ready and savvy graduates and is flexible and adaptable to technology changes.

The Digital Learning Commons space will provide the critical infrastructure and support for students |to develop digital literacy skills that they need to participate in a digital economy and become skilled consumers of information. The spaces and services within it are the result of close collaboration between Scholarly Services and a range of partners in the University and are aligned with the University’s Scholarly and Digital Literacy Framework. The voice of the student has been central to the design and service model. The space will be a destination or “central hub” for students across the campus providing exposure and instruction in the application of a suite of technologies. Students will be able to collaborate, connect and create content with support from “digital ambassadors”, bringing together deep expertise and cutting-edge technology to support learning and innovation. Experiences and space will be active not passive, and tools and technology will be part of the fabric of design, maximising flexibility and allowing agility to responding the changing needs of the cohorts and technological changes. The facilities and services will be distinguished by ease of use, equity of access and quality of content incorporating the latest technological developments to meet the changing needs of the student cohort.