In the pursuit of developing a sustainable classroom solution for their XCITE Center for Teaching and Learning, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) embarked on a journey to create an innovative space to test cutting-edge pedagogy and technology, with the goal of improving teaching and learning across different learning environments.
To achieve this, UC Riverside adopted ThinkHub visual collaboration software, creating a ‘Classroom of the Future’ that enhances the overall student learning experience and caters to the needs of professors as they seek new ways to engage students and help them overcome barriers to learning.
It all started with Bahram Mobasher, Professor of Physics at UC Riverside, and a grant from NASA. Professor Mobasher's vision for sustainable education led to a quest to create a classroom experience that would empower and inspire generations of learners. He recognized that the next step in education was data visualization – a powerful tool that could enhance scientific understanding and spark interest in complex subject matters.
UC Riverside shared this vision and, together with the help of Integrated Media Technologies, set out to build the Classroom of the Future – a learning space that would redefine the traditional classroom experience.
The search for a powerful, interactive visualization tool that matched UC Riverside's vision led them to ThinkHub. With its visual display and collaboration features, ThinkHub provided the ideal solution and aligned perfectly with the University's educational goals:
- Enable hands-on learning for students
- Foster collaboration between peer networks
- Facilitate exploration of complex subjects
"We chose ThinkHub because we were looking for a visual display with a collaboration element – and that’s what ThinkHub provided." - Israel Fletes, Senior Director, Academic Innovations UC Riverside
ThinkHub's implementation at UC Riverside’s XCITE Center creates an immersive and inclusive learning environment, resonating with students across disciplines. Students appreciate the hands-on learning opportunities, collaborative problem-solving, and peer interaction that the technology facilitates.
"I think ThinkHub definitely makes learning easier for me, especially because I'm a hands-on learner. With traditional classrooms, you don't have too many hands-on activities going on; however, with ThinkHub, we have a lot of writing activities and we're able to write out our own solutions and problems – and communicate with others." - Jason, First Year Biochemistry Student UC Riverside
For Assistant Professor Josh Hartman, ThinkHub is now an indispensable tool in the Chemistry department's efforts to engage students and break down barriers to learning. This technology allows him, and other teachers, to seamlessly integrate various instructional styles – catering to each student's unique needs and learning preferences.
"With technology like this, it allows you to more seamlessly integrate applications and further the students' understanding and interest in the subject matter – and the students really, thoroughly enjoy it." - Josh Hartman, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Chemistry Department UC Riverside
The vast capabilities of the 27-foot interactive Planar video wall opened up new horizons for data display and exploration. Powered by ThinkHub, this video wall has the ability to accommodate multiple users and content of all sizes – facilitating real-time annotation and unlimited data sharing, adding to the richness of the learning experience.
"Something that truly surprised me was the fact that we can have multiple people up here at the same time – all annotating at the same time. They can work together as a group, be able to learn from each other, collaborate, contribute to drawings – this is an endless platform." - Israel Fletes, Senior Director, Academic Innovations UC Riverside
Learn more about how UC Riverside’s XCITE Center is utilizing ThinkHub to create an immersive and dynamic active learning environment for students and teachers alike.