|Group Study Room FAQ|
Group Study Rooms in the Harrington Learning Center
QCC Faculty FAQ
The group study rooms in the Harrington Learning Center (HLC) are available for use by students and faculty of Quinsigamond Community College. The student response has been amazing. During the 2008 academic year 12,944 people used these rooms. As we begin a new semester, we thought you might appreciate a reminder about how this service works.
Why are group study rooms so important on a community college campus?
Especially in the areas of Business, Human Services, and Health Care, much QCC curriculum focuses on collaborative learning. Employers tell us that the skills needed in entry level employees are reading, writing, critical thinking, and the ability to work in teams. Students learn to work in teams by cooperating in the preparation of group reports, presentations, and projects. In addition, students in all disciplines often form study groups spontaneously around preparation for quizzes and exams.
Who can use an HLC group study room?
Any current QCC student or faculty member may check out a group study room key from the Information Desk. (Student IDs are held until the key is returned.) These rooms are not available for use by the general public.
What kinds of activities take place in a group study room?
These spaces are devoted to academic group study. Appropriate use includes: small group collaborative learning projects, tutoring sessions, exam study groups, small group viewing of course related videos, etc. Two of the rooms have assistive technology and are designated for the exclusive use of our disabled students.
How have QCC faculty used the rooms?
Faculty members have reserved several rooms side-by-side and divided their students into groups. When they use several rooms at once, they move from group to group or they let the students work on their own. The five group study rooms on the 3rd floor have ready access to library resources and are perfect for this type of activity. In addition, some adjunct faculty members administer make-up tests in the rooms and others do single-session small group tutoring for students who are struggling.
How many people can use a group study room?
At the time the HLC was designed, libraries all over the country were beginning to renovate spaces to create group study areas. Our architects understood the changing needs of a modern learning center. We have rooms of different sizes to accommodate different sized groups. We have four rooms that accommodate two people, five that hold four people, and one that holds eight. Disabled students use assistive technology in two additional rooms.
How are group study rooms equipped?
There is a white board, a table, and several chairs in every room. Some of the rooms have TV/VCRs and any room can have this equipment if requested. One room has an adjustable table. Markers and erasers for the white boards are available at the HLC Information Desk.
How long can a group study room be used?
The rooms may be used for two hours at a time. If no one is waiting for a study room, the registration can be renewed for one more two-hour session.
How do I sign up for a group study room?
Group study rooms can be “booked” in person at the Information Desk in HLC or by phone at x.7492. You will be asked to identify yourself and fill out a data card when you arrive to pick up a key. When you have your group assembled, you will be given the key to a room. Rooms are assigned based on the number of people in your group and the availability of the rooms.
Can group study rooms be reserved in advance?
Yes, groups of two or more people may reserve group study rooms up to one week in advance. If the group does not appear, we hold the room for ten minutes before reassigning it. Group study rooms can be “booked” in person at the Information Desk in HLC or by phone at x.7492.
Are there any general rules about the use of the rooms?
HLC policies on food, drink, cell phones, electronic devices, rowdy behavior, and unattended children apply to all group study rooms. Rooms may not be used for game playing. Windows may not be covered. Rooms must be left in the condition found, trash in appropriate containers, etc. When students ask why they can’t have food in the group study rooms, we ask them to look at the carpet in the HLC first floor “Living Room” where food is allowed. “Okay, I get it!” is what they say afterward.
Why do I have to fill out a registration card for every time I use a group study room?
We compile data from the cards because we want to be able to report the amount of appropriate use these group study rooms receive. On a campus tight for space, we are often asked to allow the use of these spaces for other activities. Those uses would defeat the purpose for which these spaces were designed.
Why are group study rooms kept locked?
The rooms are kept locked to ensure that they are empty and available for use when needed.
When I visit the HLC it doesn’t seem like all the rooms are in use.
All the rooms aren’t in use every minute, just as many QCC classrooms are empty at 3:00 p.m. The use builds as the semester progresses, peaking from midterms through final exams.
Room 222 has eight computers and a big TV. What goes on in there?
This room is used many hours of the day to support the Disability Services Homework Center, a “bridge” program which helps disabled students make the transition from Disability Services tutoring to the tutoring in the other three HLC tutoring centers. Disabled students used the Homework Center 2,412 times in AY06. Room 222 can also be scheduled for group video viewing or tutoring center overflow when the Homework Center is not using the space.
We hope this FAQ has been helpful. For more information on group study rooms, or to reserve a room, call Linda Malone at campus extension 4242.
George I. Alden Library, Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston St., Worcester, MA 01606 (508) 854-4366
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Updated August 14, 2008