What Is HyFlex Course Design?

October 19, 2017 Amanda Rosenzweig

I’ve recently taught a course that utilizes HyFlex Course Design and see some advantages to this model. In the HyFlex course design, students can choose to attend face-to-face, synchronous class sessions or complete course learning activities online without physically attending class. Hyflex can provide student engagement at the time they see/hear the material. Since HyFlex is online and F2F, there are comprehension checks towards objectives from learning activities that are integrated between online and F2F. The same objective is being measured with similar difficulty regardless of delivery mode.

Practicing HyFlex Design

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While there are different practicing definitions of HyFlex, I worked on a grant that focused on flexible attendance with due dates. Students can choose to attend face-to-face meetings and earn weekly participation points or complete equivalent work online and earn participation points. There are due dates for the online set of materials to ensure students stay on task.

To prepare students for the face-to-face meeting or online activities, they have Before Class Work (BC), which closes on a specific date. The next set of activities is in-class work or in-lieu of in-class (online work). Once in-class or in-lieu of in-class is complete, they have after-class assignments to bring the weeks objectives together (AC).

Both sets of activities (in-class or in-lieu of class) will cover the same objectives, but the format is different, and the activities will reflect the difference in format—online versus face-to-face.

HyFlex Design in Laboratory Settings

I have been on teams that focus on laboratory skills and experiments. I believe this format can be an excellent alternative to your traditional labs. The students will have modules created that address BC (preparation) work, IC hands-on laboratory skills, and AC work to bring it all together. Once the BC work for the assignment is completed, the students will have access to the IC laboratory experiment. The AC work will open up once the IC work (lab report, results, troubles, and successes) is submitted on the LMS. For this to be successful, laboratories must be accessible to students, and ideally, there would be a lab manager on duty to help facilitate and answer student questions.

Feedback Is Important

Regardless of class type (lecture or laboratory), each module should have a formative assessment that allows students to discuss the pros and cons of the HyFlex format as well as feedback about the content.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Would this format be something you would consider using?
  2. How can this format support student's needs and wants in and out of the classroom?
  3. What are the implications for teaching and learning built on the HyFlex model?

Have you used HyFlex Course Design? Would you consider using it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Image Credit: SuperStock


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