University of Calgary

Conference draws international delegation

UToday HomeMay 14, 2012

Speakers from around the world shared information, expertise and experience with an equally diverse audience last week at the sixth Canadian Learning Commons Conference, held on campus for the first time.

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘New Media, New Fluencies and Life Skills Development: Preparing Learners for the 21st Century,’ was clearly reflected in the plenary sessions —‘Re-Learning the Commons: From Conceptual Overview to Case Study’ and ‘Common Ground, Divergent Ecosystems: Mediating New Learning in the 21st Century.’

Numerous rapidly evolving technologies supporting, and even influencing, contemporary teaching and research featured prominently in a packed program of workshops, presentations and roundtable discussions focusing on themes of peer mentoring, student engagement, student staffing, facility planning, the evolution of learning commons services, active learning spaces and virtual learning commons.

Conference coordinator Darlene Warren (associate vice provost, learning services – libraries and cultural resources) is delighted by the interest and enthusiasm of its participants.

“We are thrilled to have attracted such a diverse and informed delegation to the Canadian Learning Commons Conference,” says Warren. “The overwhelmingly positive comments we received from delegates reminded us just how fortunate we are to have the state-of-the-art facilities and technologies we enjoy in our own learning commons and throughout the Taylor Family Digital Library.”

Students in any contemporary learning commons are more than users of the services, facilities and technologies provided: they become active participants in the planning process and collaborators in the delivery of present and future services, providing peer mentoring in the use of technologies, academic skills development and library research help. Such cooperation is exemplified in the collaboration between Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) and Information Technologies, where students have been employed as staff members since the university’s first information commons opened in 1999.

All sessions were held at the MacEwan Conference and Event Centre, with information available at