Hyperstruction Studio

Pedagogical Approaches


Enhanced Teaching and Learning

The Hyperstruction Studio allows instructors to explore a variety of pedagogies via the utilization of adaptable, flexible furniture and various technologies designed to facilitate collaboration and interaction.

These innovative approaches will engage students and allow them to acquire knowledge and skills beyond their particular academic discipline, leading ultimately to improved student success. These transferable skills / core competencies might include enhanced collaboration, communications, writing, and problem solving abilities. Example of pedagogies the Studio facilitate include the following:

Active/Participative Learning

Student success is enhanced by creating environments allowing students to "learn by doing." Technology enables students (and collaborative groups) to engage in simulations, case studies, problem solving exercises, etc. Innovative uses of furniture and other physical appointments allow instructors to rely less on lecture, listening, note-taking, etc. and explore classroom activities promoting student inquiry, discovery, and community-based learning.

I used the Hypertruction Studio in spring of 2010 for a graduate course in Developmental Biology with 15 students. This is not an ordinary classroom! The tables and chairs move around and there are whiteboards on all the walls. By moving around from one wall to another, even the students who thought they were at the back of the room found themselves in the front when I moved around. The multiple boards also made it very easy to have small group discussions to work problems. The students appreciated the flexible setup and the table space during lectures and for exams, and found the interactive environment to be a positive part of the course. The room has features I did not get to use but which gave me ideas for the future. There are several PCs, so it is possible to show two completely different Powerpoint presentations, one on each of the two large screens. I could imagine having a discussion about a research paper, then having a video conference with one of the authors. And how about having students work with computers on group assignments? There are many possibilities, and for professors wishing to take their classes into a more interactive learning environment, I highly recommend trying the room.

Morris F. Maduro
Associate Professor of Biology
Spring 2010

...Thank you so much for an incredible classroom. At a very minimum I did not spend a single class period chained to a computer executing dry instructions. The students controlled all of the media, and I was able to interact with the students and the media rather than just the computers. For the first time out of over ten TA assignments I felt as if the students were actively involved in the class and cared about the material, and that is coming from someone with high TA evaluations to begin with. Hyperstruction is an awesome classroom and I feel lucky to have had my sections there this quarter.

Kevin Huntley, Sociology

Peer to Peer Learning

Peer to peer instructional approaches allow students within a given group to act as both teachers and learners. "These environments [facilitated by cyber infrastructure and flexible classrooms] allow a group of students to take collective responsibility for identifying their own learning needs and planning how these might be addressed. This is a vital learning-how-to-learn skill as well as providing practice for the kinds of interaction needed in employment. Learning to cooperate with others to reach mutual goals seems a necessary prerequisite for operating in a complex society" and for achieving undergraduate success (Boud, Cohen, Sampson).

The Hyperstruction Studio led me to explore a ‘workshop’ teaching model. The course in question is a History seminar focused on the production of individual research papers. In past iterations of this course, students had two types of interaction: with the professor in class discussion; and with the professor in individual meetings. In general, when not engaged directly with their professor, those students were not actively involved in the class. When the class moved to the Hyperstruction Studio, this dynamic changed. Students interact actively during every moment of the course, with each other and with the professor. The moveable desks, and above all access to individual laptop computers for every student, allow students to shift the scale of their work seamlessly between group assignments, individual assignments, and individual or group consultations with the professor. They receive feedback on their work from a group of their peers and from the professor in real time. One of the unexpected outcomes of this arrangement is that students overhear other students’ feedback. When I explain to one student how to search for sources more efficiently, or what my expectations are for an effective research problem, others tune in and glean that information. They learn how to give feedback to each other by listening in. Likewise they watch each other work and learn by emulation.

Dana Simmons
Assistant Professor of History
Spring 2010

Collaboration (Team-based Learning)

Collaborative learning implies a broad range of practices emphasizing faculty design, guidance, and management of the instructional process, but with the incorporation of peer to peer and active/participative learning (learn by doing) opportunities. The use of case studies is an example of this approach.

The Studio allows UCR faculty to examine and determine the efficacy of these various collaborative learning approaches.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Multimedia & Classroom Technologies
B221 Sproul Hall

Tel: (951) 827-3041
Fax: (951) 827-7282
E-mail: israel@ucr.edu