Harvard Business School is known for drilling students through more traditional case-based classrooms. In such a classroom, a professor stands at the front of a room, and students sit in a modified lecture-style environment — think intimate auditorium with rows of long, U-shaped tables.
But in 2008, the school began to rethink its coursework. It wanted more learning to center around teamwork and collaboration — mimicking how work is now done in the real world.
Its answer: hives.
Under this model, and like others in the corporate learning space, the front and back of the room are jettisoned; the room itself is also shaped as a circle.
The biggest difference is all the furniture in the room — desks, chairs, whiteboards — is on wheels, making the room entirely adaptable for any conceived configuration, said Gabe Handel, managing director of the school’s dean’s office, who spoke with Chief Learning Officer in September 2012 about the hives design.
Aside from changing the experience for students, hives have altered expectations for the instructor, said Felix Oberholzer-Gee, professor of business administration and senior associate dean for international development at the school.
“In a hive model, you’re essentially setting up students to have a participatory experience,” he said, echoing a concept many corporate learning leaders have adopted.
To read more about the hives and to see more photos, visit here.