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Unique Aspects

Learning Commons, Global Commons, and Student Commons

Learning Commons

Osaka University set up the first Learning Commons in Japan in the Main Library on the Toyonaka campus and in the Science and Engineering Library on the Suita campus in the spring of 2009. In the spring of 2012, the Learning Commons was set up in the International Studies Library on the Minoh campus as well.
Learning Commons are library spaces where active discussion is possible. The commons are furnished with tables and chairs so students can enjoy discussions in groups. Whiteboards are also available for use. Moreover, in addition to students' own laptops, students also have access to computers and printers installed in the commons.
The Learning Commons are situated in libraries where a variety of information has been collected so students can use the abundant reference materials when working together. Of course, these libraries house more than books and magazines. They are also home to cyber-electronic materials such as e-journals.
The Main Library has one of the in-house networked 105-inch video screens known as O+PUS. In order to support students-led activities, teaching assistants and professional library staff are stationed at each commons and are available for consultation.
In these ways, Learning Commons are places where students can discuss, seek knowledge, and work together. Learning Commons realize and support an educational flow shifting from one-way instruction from teachers to student active learning.

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Global Commons

In autumn 2012, a Global Commons was set up in the Main Library on the Toyonaka campus in order to strengthen and develop the functions of the Learning Commons. A Global Commons is a space for facilitating the acquisition of language and culture. The Global Commons helps students to acquire transcultural communicability, one of the university's educational objectives, and realize multiple ways of learning.
In order to achieve its goals, the Global Commons is furnished with more tables and chairs than the Learning Commons so that it can be used for a variety of learning purposes. Additionally, it has facilities for promoting active learning such as whiteboards on the walls and pillars, facilities for presentations and discussions, and electronic blackboards. By touching the screen in the World News Viewing Section near the entrance, users can view newspapers around the world.
Foreign language classes are sometimes held in the Global Commons, where international students serve as teaching assistants. The Global Commons can also be used as spaces for events initiated by students such as presentations and discussions in English.
Also, a portion near the east entrance has been transformed into the East Lounge and is furnished with beverage vending machines so that users can take a break and relax. Furthermore, in order to provide 24-hour library services, security systems were developed that made it possible for the library to stay open around the clock during the exam season in early 2013.
Thus, the Global Commons adds to the education environment at the university by focusing on transcultural communicability and student-led learning opportunities for learning on and off of the campus. At the same time, the Global Commons promotes learning in other languages and of other cultures in order to provide support to international and Japanese student exchange.

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Student Commons

Located relatively near the Learning Commons on the Toyonaka campus, the Student Commons has areas for students to work in. The Student Commons was set up on the first and second floors of the Education and Research Building in the Institute for Higher Education Research and Practice in November 2009.
The Student Commons has areas for active learning such as presentations and extracurricular activities as well as spaces for facilitating exchange among students, both Japanese and international, faculty, and staff members.
The Student Commons has an open space for the café Cartier. A wireless LAN is available throughout it and an Information Technology Support Center is located on the 2nd floor. Unlike the Learning Commons in the libraries, students may eat in the Student Commons. O+PUS is also installed in it, providing a variety of visual information on the university.
On the first floor of the Student Commons is an open-style Seminar Room. By removing partitions and using the outer garden, the Seminar Room can be used for open-style classes or other events requiring a large screen and projector. The entire wall of the Matching-style Seminar Room on the 2nd floor is a whiteboard. The Student Commons is also furnished with tables and chairs so students can enjoy discussions in groups. An additional seminar room can be obtained through by moving partitions into place.
Finally, on upper floors of the Student Commons are various facilities for general education such as the Institute for Higher Education Research and Practice, the Center for the Study of Communication-Design (CSCD), the Global Collaboration Center (GLOCOL), the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Education, and the Center for International Education and Exchange (CIEE).

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