Reconsidering a digital learning commons in a distance teaching and learning environment

Brenda Van Wyk, Irvine Kadzenga


This case study reports on observations and outcomes after the first phase of a digital learning commons implementation project at a private higher education institution and offers solutions to improve this information service. The paper asks whether the learning commons framework by Faber (2012) used during the first phase of the project is sufficient for the implementation of a successful digital learning commons; what is required to equip and skill librarians and information specialists to interact meaningfully and to support teaching and learning sufficiently on technological, informational and academic levels; and whether the digital librarian and information specialists in the digital learning commons could benefit from further insights informed by pedagogic, andragogic and heutagogic frameworks to address issues such as digital resistance. The methodology used for this paper includes a literature review on recent research on digital learning commons, the exploration of teaching and learning frameworks, as well as reporting on the digital learning commons project. With a better understanding of teaching and learning frameworks, information services could be planned, aligned and integrated with active learning objectives. Key success factors for a learning commons supporting learners in an online environment were identified.


Learning Commons; Digital resistance; Distance learning library services.

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