Category Archives: Spotlight

Find Full-text Faster in UpToDate

UTD

UpToDate now has icons (pictured above) to get you to UVM’s journals even faster.

Look for the “Find It @ UVM” or PubMed icon. If UVM has access to the article, when you click on the icon, you will see the full text immediately. If UVM does not have access to the journal, you will be given the option to request the article through Interlibrary Loan. And don’t hesitate to use ILL: often a pdf of the article will be emailed directly to you in less than 72 hours.

Isn’t All Learning “Active Learning?”

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If you do anything related to education, you have probably heard of the term “active learning.” People write books and articles about it. They give presentations extolling its benefits. If you search for active learning in Google, you’ll get over 265,000 results. It seems like active learning is everywhere, but what does it really mean?

When people talk about active learning, they are usually referring to a style of teaching where students are encouraged to engage with the material they are studying in some manner. Students usually do this through reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting in some way with course content. For example, a teacher might have students work on a case study to see how they would apply concepts they have read about. There are several other active learning strategies that can be used in addition to case studies such as discussion groups, role-playing, and journal writing. Ultimately, the goal is to move away from a scenario where the teacher spends the whole class lecturing, while students passively sit and listen.

The new Larner Classroom at Dana Medical Library is being built to accommodate 120 students at small tables optimizing the team-based or active learning philosophy. The space will feature flexible furniture to support a variety of learning configurations, multiple projection screens, an advanced video and sound system, and active acoustics to accommodate both small and large groups.

Incorporating active learning into a class takes planning and time, but the results are usually worth it. Studies have shown that students in active learning classes learn and retain more information, participate more in class, and do better overall in terms of grades. Teachers usually report that they benefit from active learning too. After all, what more could a teacher ask for then to have a class full of engaged and successful students?

What is a Learning Commons?

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A Learning Commons (sometimes called an Information Commons or Digital Commons) is an educational space that incorporates multiple information technologies, online or distance learning, tutoring, collaboration, content creation, collections and resources, meetings, and reading or study. Academic libraries began developing learning commons, and the learning commons concept, in the early 1990s. Since then, many university libraries have transformed themselves by including technology-rich classrooms, creating vibrant and flexible collaborative spaces, and offering additional tools and services to meet the wide variety of patron educational needs.

As the intellectual and educational center of our community, the Dana Medical Library supports the education, research, and clinical practice of University of Vermont students, faculty and staff. In order better to meet the needs of our patrons, the Dana Library is adopting a Learning Commons model of library service. The Learning Commons will offer a media-rich, content rich, and learner-driven environment, with assistance from professionals at various points along the educational continuum. We look forward to engaging our patrons in this exciting transformation over the next several months.

For more information about a learning commons, read 7 Things You Should Know Aboutâ„¢ the Modern Learning Commons by Educause Learning Initiative.

Medical Library to Host Classroom for Team Learning

artist's view of the Larner classroom from the end closest to the HSRF, showing students working at the tables.
Construction of a new classroom to support active team-based learning at the Dana Medical Library will begin in early June 2014. The classroom, to be named in honor of Dr. Robert Larner, will be located in the front south side of the Library. Prior to the classroom construction study tables currently located in the front of the Library will be relocated to the rear. To create space for the tables some bound journal volumes will move to adjacent Fletcher Allen storage space on May 19. These volumes will be available on request.

Outer walls will be built around the classroom construction site in early June and the new Larner Classroom will be built over the summer. The opening of the Classroom is scheduled for the fall semester. Medical students in the Foundations level (first and second years) will be the first learners using the classroom. The classroom will accommodate 120 students at small tables optimizing the team-based or active learning philosophy. The space will feature flexible furniture to support a variety of learning configurations, multiple projection screens, an advanced video and sound system, and active acoustics to accommodate both small and large groups.

The development of the Larner Classroom is a first step in the Library’s pursuit of the Learning Commons approach to offering a content and technology enriched and learner-driven environment. The Dana Medical Library supports the education, research, and clinical practice of students, faculty and staff in medicine, nursing, and the health sciences. Librarians are working with faculty, staff, and students from the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences to further develop the enhanced space and services.

These projects will result in disturbance and displacement for students, faculty, and staff. There will be an impact on study space between May 19 and early June. There will be noise and disruption at times. We will advise Library visitors of alternative study spaces if the need arises. All Library services including electronic and print book and journal access, interlibrary loan, reference and consultation services will be available during our regular summer hours.

We appreciate your patience during the construction period and look forward to the new classroom and reconfigured study space for the fall semester.

Contact Marianne Burke (marianne.burke@uvm.edu), Director, or Donna O’Malley (donna.omalley@uvm.edu) Project Coordinator, Dana Medical Library