Ribbon Cut for UMO’s New Centralized Learning Commons at Moye Library

Ribbon Cut for UMO’s New Centralized Learning Commons at Moye Library

MOUNT OLIVE- The University of Mount Olive (UMO) is always looking for new ways to make the student experience the best that it can be. The latest initiative is an innovative Learning Commons that features collaborative spaces for studying, technology usage, as well as individual and communal learning. The University held the ribbon cutting for the new space on Thursday.

The Learning Commons is located on the ground floor of Moye Library. Library Director Pam Wood said, “By providing a collaborative learning environment that facilitates student interaction with other students, faculty, staff, and technology, the Learning Commons will refocus the library as the heart of learning on campus.”

Encompassing 5,000 square feet, the Learning Commons will house the following learning resources: the Academic Resource Center, Writing Center, First-Year Experience, Traditional Academic Advising, Dean of Learning Commons, and the Library’s Reference Staff.  There will be ample soft-seating spaces for students to study and socialize, along with two collaboration rooms for group study and projects.

“We created a one-stop location for all student learning services. In a single visit, a student can shift between being a solitary library service user, to a member of a project team, to a member of a study group,” said UMO President Dr. David Poole. “It is a complete transformation of the first floor of Moye Library.”

According to Poole, the Learning Commons has been designed to encourage collaborative learning in line with today’s technology and the learning style of a new, highly connected generation of students. The area has been shaped into a balanced mixture of student service centers and quiet study spaces. The layout, which embodies an open concept idea, divides the new study spaces, offices, and supplemental and meeting classrooms by glass to promote individual study, as well as group interaction. Floor mounted, flexible power distribution systems allow for easy access for connecting and recharging laptops and other electronic devises. Big screen television screens fitted with Zoom capabilities will enable distance discussions and collaborations. A network printer will serve the needs of students and staff.

“Planning for the new space was a team effort,” said Dean of the Learning Commons Dr. Delight Yokley. “There were certain aspects, such as interactive group work, that we wanted to promote in several spots throughout the Learning Commons. We were also inspired to make the space as student-and-tech friendly as possible since people learn in different ways. We want to cater to all learning styles.”

Yokley is most excited about the academic boosts and interactions that the repurposed space will give students. “This area will not only allow for students to transition freely from one service to another, but it will also propel them to be the best that they can be when learning,” she said. “Students are encouraged to study and work harder when they see the action of positive learning, and the Learning Commons will definitely embody this aspect of learning.”

The new Learning Commons will highlight the resources that are freely available to all UMO students. “I hope when students walk into the Learning Commons they know that it was created especially for their needs so that they can thrive in and out of the classroom,” Yokley said.

The Learning Commons at Moye Library is made possible, in part, by a $2.76 million commitment from the US Department of Education’s Title III program under the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). The SIP grant program helps eligible institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has education service centers in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and online. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.

The University of Mount Olive held a ribbon cutting for its new, innovative Learning Commons that features collaborative spaces for studying, technology usage, as well as individual and communal learning.

The University of Mount Olive ‘s new Learning Commons is located on the ground floor of Moye Library.

The Ribbon cutting for UMO’s new Learning Commons was attended by students, faculty, staff, and UMO Board members.

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