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UW launches improved library technology space

The University of Wisconsin is kicking off technological updates to campus libraries in a grand opening ceremony today as part of an effort to optimize student learning.

College Library and Wendt Commons, the engineering library, will both undergo the learning-focused remodel known as the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning Center.

With a new assortment of high-technology spaces, John Booske, a UW professor of electrical and computer engineering who fronted the initiative, said WisCEL will create an entirely new meaning for a place where he said students already spend most of their time: the library.

He added the program will include new rooms and areas for small group discussions, peer advising centers and tutoring classrooms.

“WisCEL’s overriding principle is ideally to have success for all students in learning course material,” Booske said. “To make it happen, we need to concentrate and recognize that students are individuals and start at different points. We ideally want to individualize the learning style of every student.”
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Booske also compared WisCEL to athletics, in that a teaching assistant in a WisCEL classroom can walk around like a coach, setting up plans according to each individual student in the room like a coach coordinates according to each player on the field.

College Library Director Carrie Kruse also said the program is designed to fit every student’s needs.

“Students coming in to take classes can interact with the space in a different way than they would with a traditional classroom,” Kruse said. “Other students can experience different styles of learning with the spaces versus the traditional study rooms.”

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