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Learning Commons

About the Learning  Commons

The Learning Commons at Peabody Library is an electronic classroom where Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff can learn together in a comfortable, collaborative, hands-on environment equipped with appropriate technologies. The purpose of the Learning Commons is to:

  • foster critical thinking
  • teach effective information mining from the most relevant resources
  • integrate, process, and analyze new information and ideas
  • provide support for increasing individual information competencies
  • bring technology, teaching, and information professionals together in order to enhance student learning.

The Learning Commons is located in Room 304 of Peabody Library. The room is open to Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff except when reserved for classroom use.

The Commons opened in 2005 and was the first information commons in the state of Tennessee. It is funded by Peabody College of Education and Human Development and the James M. Cox, Jr. Foundation. Peabody Library and the Peabody Technology Support Center collaborate to provide this service and facility.

Hardware and Software in the Learning Commons

  • Eighteen iMac workstations that run both Windows 7 and Mac OSX
  • An A/V presentation system that supports instruction
  • A black and white, single-sided printer

The iMacs run Windows 7 by default, but can be rebooted in order to switch to Mac OSX. All computers have CD/DVD burners. In addition to Office 2007 and Web browsers, the computers have software for statistics, image and video editing, website development, and disability access among others. See a complete list of the software on the workstations here.

Using the Learning Commons as a Classroom

Vanderbilt faculty and staff may reserve the Learning Commons for classes with a minimum of six students. In cases of conflict, priority will be given to Peabody faculty and staff.

To reserve the room:

  • Fill out this form (giving notice of at least 24 business hours).
  • A Peabody Library staff member will be in contact to complete the reservation.

To use software that is not already on the computers (see a list of current software):

Contact Michael Gaines by e-mail and provide the following information:

  • Software you wish to have installed
  • Date by which you need it installed
  • Number of computers on which the software is to be installed
  • License information for the software.

NOTE: A valid license is required for each machine on which software is to be installed. Software MUST be made available for installation at least 7 business days before the class.

A/V Equipment available at instructor's console:

  • Video projector with audio system and ceiling-mounted screen
  • iMac instructor workstation (Duel-boot system, same as students use)
  • Video input for instructor's laptop
  • VHS deck
  • DVD player
  • Document camera
  • Auxiliary video connections (for cameras, etc.)