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Faculty: welcome to the DSC

The Dig­ital Schol­ar­ship Com­mons, which opened ear­lier this semester at Snell Library, serves as a “one-​​stop-​​shop” for fac­ulty and doc­toral stu­dents to access a range of high-​​level ser­vices for dig­ital schol­ar­ship, teaching, and research.

At the multi-​​dimensional resource center, fac­ulty and doc­toral stu­dents can con­sult with library per­sonnel and experts in tech­nology and learning sci­ence to dis­cover and share best prac­tices for teaching and learning and for using the latest tech­nology, hard­ware, and soft­ware to enhance their research projects and instruc­tion. It also serves as a col­lab­o­ra­tive space where they can meet with other fac­ulty mem­bers across dis­ci­plines, and hold work­shops and meet­ings with students.

The DSC, located on the library’s second floor, is directly con­nected to sev­eral key campus resources: the library’s Digital Schol­ar­ship Group, a research group respon­sible for devel­oping and supporting cutting-​​edge infra­struc­ture for digital schol­ar­ship; Aca­d­emic Tech­nology Ser­vices, a unit of Infor­ma­tion Tech­nology Ser­vices that con­sults, sup­ports, and helps fac­ulty iden­tify and implement tech­no­log­ical solu­tions for their teaching and research activ­i­ties and goals; and the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, which takes a multi-​​faceted, research-​​based approach to help fac­ulty and admin­is­tra­tors pro­vide the North­eastern com­mu­nity with opportunities for lasting learning.

Fac­ulty tours of the space began this month.

“The Dig­ital Schol­ar­ship Com­mons was cre­ated to syn­the­size the resources and services all these groups provide,” said Julia Flan­ders, head of the Dig­ital Schol­ar­ship Group and a Professor of the Practice in the Department of English.

For instance, a fac­ulty member may come with ques­tions about using GIS map­ping soft­ware or dig­ital pub­lishing tools. That person could take advan­tage the Dig­ital Schol­ar­ship Group office hours and also meet with a learning sci­en­tist at the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research to dis­cuss ways in which this tech­nology could be used as a learning oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents both in and out of the classroom.

“The DSC offers our fac­ulty and stu­dents incred­ible oppor­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tive schol­ar­ship and research. This is the first time there has been a space like this on campus, ” said Stephanie Trowbridge, asso­ciate director for Aca­d­emic Technology Services.

“The fac­ulty will make this into what­ever they need it for,” added Cigdem Talgar, director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research. “It’s a great oppor­tu­nity to problem solve and get to the root of what­ever tech­nology, research, and teaching chal­lenges they’re facing, and it’s also a meeting space that allows for intel­lec­tual, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary discourse.”

The DSC is cur­rently open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., though extended hours are coming soon. Users must swipe their Husky card to enter.

The space fea­tures a variety of work­spaces and tech­nology ser­vices. At one end, there is a com­puter lab for small groups to meet and work; at the other, two inter­ac­tive work­spaces allow mul­tiple users to plug in their lap­tops and take turns accessing a high-​​definition screen. The space also fea­tures sleek com­puter bars, a con­fer­ence table, and sev­eral cozy spaces with col­orful couches and chairs for small-​​group meetings.

The DSC’s com­ple­tion con­cludes the final phase of the Dig­ital Media Com­mons’ expan­sion. Over the past two years, Snell Library in gen­eral and the Dig­ital Media Com­mons in par­tic­ular have under­gone a sig­nif­i­cant transformation to pro­vide greater access to edu­ca­tional tech­nology, enhance study space, and create inno­v­a­tive opportunities for teaching and learning. The ren­o­va­tions include adding col­lab­o­ra­tive work­rooms, audio and video recording stu­dios, new furniture, 3-​​D printing, revamped com­puter labs, and other tech­nology resources.

The DMC is a media lab and dig­ital cre­ativity center where stu­dents and fac­ulty can uti­lize a range of technologies, including new ani­ma­tion, audio and visual editing, and game design software.

– By Greg St. Martin

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