A study by Nicole Kay Peterson at Iowa State University challenges the idea that students was a lively learning commons for group activities. "Role of the university library as a student learning commons: Implications to the interior spaces within" (2013), suggests students want the attributes of a traditional university library, with quiet individual study spaces, but with power points to charge their gadgets.
The study gives a useful way to think about developing student spaces and has examples of new room layouts and furniture. However, the study concentrated on residential university undergraduates and the findings may not apply to students who live off campus. On-campus students presumably have other places they can meet with fellow students. Part-time and postgraduate students may have more need for group meeting places, as they may not see fellow students outside class and also may feel more need (and be better equipped) to work in groups. Also the study asked students what they wanted, which may not necessarily be the same as what students need.