[Skip to Content]

Transforming Student Learning Spaces in Cline Library

Phase III: Learning Studio

Cynthia Childrey, Dean and University Librarian
Jill Koelling, Library Project Manager, Assistant Dean, Cline Library
Carolyn Carr, Project Manager, NAU Facility Services
Kevin Ketchner, Academic Programs Librarian and University College Faculty Fellow
Jeff Hillock, Library Technology Lead, Support Systems Analyst Sr., Cline Library
Laura Taylor, Project Assessment Lead, Assistant Dean, Cline Library

May 10, 2013
Initial Proposal submitted October 2010

Transforming Learning Spaces in Cline Library

Phase III: Learning Studio (2,500 square feet)

Goal: Create a model 60-90 seat active-learning classroom that doubles as a collaborative study space open to students outside of scheduled class times.


  • Create a student-centered, active learning, technology-enriched, high-engagement classroom. 
  • Increase faculty options for designing, using and evaluating a learning environment in a highly flexible space.
  • Incorporate universal design furnishings and concepts into a collaborative student space.
  • Expand and deepen faculty collaboration with college librarians.
  • Increase integration of the library’s digital content into courses.
  • Provide a learning environment with technology support provided by library staff.

Utilize Design Components from Learning Studios and SCALE-UP Classroom Models

When you enter a Learning Studio or SCALE-UP1 classroom, the first thing you may notice is that there is no "front" to the room. Instead, the main focus of the room is the student space and the technology available to individuals or groups throughout it. The classroom is geared toward student engagement, and faculty move about the classroom, interacting with students individually and in groups using technology at each location.

This classroom model provides a venue for evolving courses taught by faculty working on the leading edge of student learning that leverages technology. Students can participate in group work and present their findings to the entire class, or build content in class and then "report out" using displays around the room.

With one touch, a faculty member can select a student's or group's work on a display map and share it with the class. At the Phoenix Biomedical Campus this approach has been highly effective and highly rated by students, according to PBC's Dr. Howard Silverman.2

two person icons connecting in both directionsCollaborate with Faculty to Support Student Success

The Cline Library is partnering with faculty to design, develop, and implement a classroom that will ensure student success in this high-tech space. We identified approximately 30 faculty who are interested in teaching in our classroom or had teaching and/or technology expertise to offer. Through face-to face meetings, surveys, emails, and conversation, collaborative plans for the classroom are taking shape. A core group of this larger group of faculty will become the first to use this classroom. Potential courses are as varied as History, Film, Humanities, Chemistry, Music, Business, Engineering, Education, and Health.

Library staff will provide assistance to faculty teaching in the classroom, from training on the technology and the room to leveraging other library services. When a class session in the Learning Studio ends, a student in the class can easily step into library group study rooms, multimedia studios and other library spaces. The student can also easily connect with library staff members who can help with activities specific to the class held in the library's classroom – or any classroom on campus or online.

power switch iconIntegrate Technology that Becomes the "New Normal"

A successful technology classroom breaks down the barriers to success by creating a simple, elegant interface that provides the tools that students and faculty need, with an underlying infrastructure that can be changed and expanded upon in the future. As NAU Professor Astrid Klocke puts it, "build for the potential" [in the technology].

The proposed technology-rich classroom experience provides one-touch access over LCD panels at each group space; options allow either the faculty member or student group to control the access. Within seconds information can pass from the faculty screen to each panel in the room or from a student group project to every screen. Computing options include Mac or PC laptops or tablets, and the ability to connect a user's personal device. Microphones and speakers will be complemented by sound absorption materials to enable the best possible acoustics.

North Carolina State University's Hunt Library is a model for technological innovation in academic libraries. Design components including high-definition display, experiential learning spaces, and flexible collaborative group environments will influence some of the technology design for the Learning Studio.

pie chartAssess Student Learning, Faculty Pedagogy and More in the Learning Studio

Assessing the space and its use is a crucial component in ensuring the classroom is meeting the needs of faculty, students and the library. Did it facilitate transformation in an instructor's teaching or a student's learning? Case studies of classroom experiences and informal surveys of students and faculty will allow the library to further improve the classroom environment, the technology and library support of the space.

calculator, pencil and legal padBudget – Phase III Learning Studio

For information on the Learning Studio budget, please contact the Office of the Dean at Cline Library.

Cline Library
Northern Arizona University
Office of the Dean
PO Box 6022
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6022

  1. SCALE-UP stands for "Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies." Learn more at http://scaleup.ncsu.edu/FAQs.html.
  2. Silverman, Howard MD MS.
    "Reflections on Learning to Use Learning Studios," April 14, 2013, University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix.