Student Involvement for Student Success: Student Staff in the Learning Commons

Julie Mitchell, Nathalie Soini

Abstract

How do you effectively train and assess student staff in a learning commons environment? How do you foster a student-led approach while maintaining accurate and high-level service? How do you create an environment where student staff are engaged and motivated to succeed? Peer-to-peer service models are fundamental to many learning commons environments and contribute to student success. Many student-delivered services in learning commons compliment programs traditionally offered exclusively by professional staff such as librarians, IT professionals, learning specialists or student affairs personnel. In such service models, students are the front line contact and the need for knowledgeable assistance and accurate referrals remains paramount. This article presents the findings of a study that investigated how training and assessment is approached with student staff in a learning commons environment. Learning commons coordinators and supervisors from across North American shared how they train students (methods and content), approach ongoing professional development of student staff, and how they monitor or assess the overall quality and accuracy of their student service models. The survey results and tangible examples offer insights and strategies for fostering an engaged student team, driven to deliver a high level of service.

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Copyright © 2014 Julie Mitchell and Nathalie Soini, Attribution-NonCommercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) CC BY-NC


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