Teaching and Learning Commons brings together resources for student achievement

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Photo by Jide Dotun

In an event held on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m, Wilfrid Laurier University unveiled the Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) on the second floor of the newly renovated Frank C. Peters Building, their newest amalgamation of student success services and support teams.

This new collaborative space will offer students easier and more accessible assistance, and combines the Accessible Learning, Math and Statistics Support, Online Learning, Student Teaching Development, Study Skills and Learning Strategy Support, Transition Services and Writing Support services into one condensed area.

In a press release sent by Claire Bruner-Prime, communications and public affairs officer at Laurier, the TLC was described as “a modern, collaborative space for faculty, staff, and students … a renovated, centralized environment for these communities to access a wide variety of teaching and learning resources and personalized support.”

The event offered students and faculty alike the opportunity to find out more about these supports and services.

It also gave them a chance to engage in an interactive component with each department, allowing them to showcase presentations regarding the individual merits of their branches.

There were also remarks from Kathryn Carter, associate vice-president of teaching and learning, who commented on the significance of the space and its established intent.

“I wanted to say thank you to facilities and asset management … for the amazing job you’re seeing here today and the remarkable transformation they’ve created,” Carter said.

“It’s a great chance for us to be able to really come together as departments who have always worked under the same portfolio,” said Allie Downing, communications coordinator: teaching and learning at WLU.

“This is a new space that houses all of the Waterloo units for a whole number of areas of expertise that come under the banner of teaching and learning.”

She took the chance to reflect upon the promise of the space by reflecting on the role of teaching and learning units across the country.

“[They] have been at the vanguard of some huge changes in post-secondary education in the last three decades,” Carter said.

“Certainly our language has changed over the years and the scope of our activities have really changed … and how we might best support and showcase student success and engagement in all those activities.”

“Now, more than ever, educators need to imagine a community of support around us, because teaching is happening in situations that are increasingly complex — like the culture around us,” she said.

Carter also took the opportunity to recognize the privilege that she is an active recipient of, through a land acknowledgement, giving thanks to those who came before.

“[One] that says I’ve benefitted from those who were stewards of the land, for thousands of years before … I wanted to acknowledge the difficult work of those who came before me, to teach all of us about the things that came before us, so that we could all aspire to a broader perspective and understanding about our lands,” Carter said.

The Teaching and Learning Commons now offers more of a centralized environment for student and faculty support. Though they have always worked under the same mandate, there is now a more consolidated space for them to exist in.

“It’s a great chance for us to be able to really come together as departments who have always worked under the same portfolio,” said Allie Downing, communications coordinator: teaching and learning at WLU.

“[But now] we get to collaborate more with one another, we get to see students studying and working in these environments — and we can all get a better sense of what each other does.”

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