The Hege Academic Commons – envisioned in 2014 as part of the Hege Library Strategic Plan – has begun to materialize with new enrichment spaces such as the Teaching, Learning and Research Collaboratory and ITS [email protected] Formerly known as the Hege Library, the Hege Academic Commons has been the epicenter of student collaboration, peer tutoring and innovation here at Guilford.
The Hege Academic Commons presents the ITS [email protected] (coming later this spring), which is a service point for students and faculty. This new addition allows students to visit the Hege Academic Commons for a centralized learning and technology hub.
The Hege Academic Commons completed renovations and upgrades to the Collaboratory last fall, with the addition of four interactive mobile panel units and smaller classroom spaces, including the IDEA Incubator. For the past five years, the Collaboratory has enabled faculty to engage students in creative and collaborative lessons.
The Collaboratory is also home to the Learning Glass Development Studio, which allows teachers to record and teach asynchronous lessons using state-of-the-art multimedia technology. Teachers can use this studio’s light board to record forward-facing videos and develop interactive, explanatory lessons for their students.
Ben Marlin, associate professor and chair of the math department here at Guilford, said Hege provides centralized access to new technology, including monitors and recording rooms.
Marlin finds collaborative hubs useful for small classes where students can share their ideas on monitors and “convey ideas and share work quickly.”
Suzanne Bartels, director of Hege Academic Commons and Learning Technologies, explained the objectives of the commons.
“At Hege, we want to centralize academic services and support. It’s about student success,” Bartels said.
Jordyn Jackson, a sophomore majoring in biology and health sciences here at Guilford, agreed that Hege is more than your typical library.
“I really don’t think Hege is just a library. There’s so much more out there to help you look your best than just shelves of books,” Jackson said.
Bartels said these new additions to the Hege Academic Commons mark the start of a series of projects to develop Hege into a collaborative space that inspires students to foster their innovative spirit.
“Our next big project is to enhance the Commons Ground with a space for creation, collaboration and creation,” Bartels explained.
The makerspace is designed to support a variety of offerings.
“We will offer a recording studio, an immersive experiences lab to explore virtual reality, and an ideation lab to support the development of digital projects,” explained Bartels. “We really want to support collaboration, creation and innovation.”
Another upcoming project at Hege is the reimagining of the Presidential Portrait Gallery, which is adjacent to Carnegie Hall. The new gallery will house interactive technology, including mounted panels, that will showcase the research and creative endeavors students are involved in here at Guilford. Bartels hopes this addition to Academic Commons will encourage and inspire current and potential Guilfordians to enhance their educational journey through collaborative research and digital projects.
With students like Jackson spending more than 10 hours of their week at Hege, it’s vital that the space encourages a safe and collaborative environment. This is exactly what Hege Academic Commons does – using unique seating and monitoring panels to enhance student learning experiences.
“…The Commons is the place to be when you’re trying to get the job done,” Jackson said.
The Hege Academic Commons also recently introduced the Honors Program and Research Center on the Commons Ground, which is now open 24/7 to the Guilford community. Hege also partners with Global and Off-Campus Initiatives (GOCI), Guided Discovery, Learning and Writing Center, and Accessibility Resource Center to provide student enrichment and tutoring programs. , ultimately reflecting Hege’s role as a cornerstone of the collaboration here at Guilford.