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Oviatt Spotlight: Learning Commons Technology

Two Students Using the Whiteboard Wall in the Learning Commons

The recently opened Learning Commons is home to a wide range of technology-based support services. And while many of these services were available in the Library’s former layout, they were not always readily apparent or easily accessible. The new, welcoming, open concept design of the Oviatt’s first floor has changed all of that.

The Information Technology (IT) help desk previously was located on the garden level of the Oviatt. Students already on the Library’s first floor had to exit the building, go down stairs, and re-enter the lower level to get to the help desk.  The Collabortory, the largest open computer lab on campus, was located on the third floor of the Oviatt.  Students had to be directed up elevators, stairs or escalators if they wanted to borrow a laptop. Now, the IT help desk and Learning Commons Technology are prominently positioned neighbors in the bustling heart of the Library on the building’s main level.

Two students using the shared media table at the oviatt library learning commons

The move of these two service points to a more high profile address has certainly resulted in an increased traffic flow. Student Computing Supervisor Joe Parham says, “We have had a 300% increase in laptop and device lending over the same period last year since moving to the Learning Commons.” Learning Commons Technology currently has more than 100 computers and tablets that are available for both 4-hour and 7-day loan periods. Learning Commons Technology also provides software support for most of the software installed on Library computers, as well as help with wireless and standard printing and photocopying. Parham adds, “The Learning Commons Technology team member do everything they can to help find answers to software-related problems.” A full list of items available for checkout, as well as information about additional resources and services can be found on the Learning Commons page of the Library website.

Campus IT helping a student in the Oviatt Library Learning Commons

Adjacent to Learning Commons Technology, the IT help desk offers students assistance with questions and issues related to the MyNorthridge Portal, the wireless network, user ID and passwords, email, laptop and mobile device security, access to software and hardware discounts, as well as support for the myCSUNtablet Initiative and myCSUNbox. Additional resources for faculty include referral services to technology training, video production and lecture capture, and instructional design support. For more information about all of these services and more please visit the Information Technology website, or stop by the IT help desk in the Learning Commons.

Students using the computer stations in the Oviatt Library Learning Commons

There is no doubt that the relationship between technology and curriculum will continue to grow. For students and educators this expansion will mean the incorporation of an ever-increasing number of apps, programs, devices, and databases. In this environment the need to have skilled technical support available to students and faculty clearly will grow as well. Fortunately for CSUN, the proximity of the IT help desk and Learning Commons Technology has created a comprehensive, easily accessible, and centrally located technological partnership in the heart of our community.