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New Learning Commons program offers online support for students and faculty

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Alondra Campos
News Editor

Students, staff and faculty can get technical assistance, class materials, online equipment and other resources to facilitate the remote semester through the University’s Learning Commons.

The Academic Success Center, Wilson Library, Law Library and Center for Teaching and Learning came together over the summer to create an online platform that provides both students and faculty support and resources to have a successful remote fall semester.

The ULV Learning Commons focuses on assisting issues both students and faculty may be experiencing in order to maintain the best learning environment possible.

“There is a fantastic support team here for students and faculty so that nobody is struggling on their own,” dean of libraries and learning Vinaya Tripuraneni said. “We encourage everyone to please reach out and we will do our best to help you.”

A centralized schedule of all four departments’ upcoming events is available online at library.laverne.edu.

Students are able to request e-tutoring appointments where they will receive feedback on their work via email through the Academic Success Center website, as well as virtual tutoring appointments through Zoom or WebEx, at laverne.edu/asc.

“With remote learning we are trying to be available as possible to students,” ASC director Savannah Garcia said. “The tutoring limit is three hours per subject per week.”

There is also a student resource portal offered by the ASC where students can ask questions, sign up for tutoring appointments and keep track of upcoming workshops 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Similarly, faculty members also have a faculty resource portal where they can receive support and ask questions at laverne.edu/technology/la-verne-portal-for-stafffaculty.

In addition, ASC consultants are attending some classes in order to support students in smaller group sessions and will be available for scheduled appointments outside of those classes in order to answer any questions students may have about the course. As of now, the ASC center is supporting 15 courses, ranging from math to foreign language, and with many more to come.

“ASC consultants are assigned based on their strengths, majors, or if they know the faculty member teaching it or have already mastered the course,” Garcia said. “We also have a faculty request form on the faculty resource portal where they could request a specific student consultant for their course.”

The Wilson Library and Law Library also continue to provide students and faculty with technology material and support through these unprecedented times.

“We realize there exist equity issues as far as technology is concerned and we are making as much available as we can to our students,” Tripuraneni said.

Other than books and literary material, the Wilson Library is offering hot spots, laptops, webcams, headsets, and tablets and stylus for both students and faculty. These resources can be checked out through the library’s website and obtained by mail or pick-up from Campus Security on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Additionally, students can receive tech support from the library’s academic tech service desk, available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week.

Both the Wilson Library and Law Library offer librarian assistance through scheduled appointments for students or faculty who have questions or need help checking out material.

Legal research assistance is uniquely available through the Law Library and any resource can be picked up through their curbside pick-up service at law.laverne.edu/library/reference-services.

The Law Library’s reference librarian is also providing library instruction sessions for individual classes in the University’s College of Law, according to an email from law library manager Jennifer Argueta.

As for the Center for Teaching and Learning, the department communicated with faculty since early April to discuss different ways in which faculty could continue to create a sense of community even through online platforms.

CTL director Jeremy Schneider said student learning is at the core of all the training workshops and practices faculty went through during the summer and is hopeful to see these strategies take place in the virtual classrooms.

“No one will see the countless hours faculty put into these workshops in order for students to feel comfortable and supported in their online classrooms,” Schneider said. “As CTL director, I have talked to many other schools and seen the rapid shifts students have to go through from in person to online classes. At ULV we want to make that experience easier.”

The workshops for faculty members began in early April and continued through August as the CTL led workshops series about agile teaching, inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment for students. The department has partnered with student life representatives in order for faculty to see their students as humans and place consideration on the different situations many students find themselves in, said Schneider.

“We are having a fall workshop series to address specific needs that faculty may have throughout the semester and several different groups that faculty can join,” Schneider said.

Upcoming events for each department can be found on their centralized calendar on the University of La Verne website at laverne.libcal.com/hours.

Alondra Campos can be reached at alondra.campos@laverne.edu.

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