During the transition back to campus, many CGU instructors are using the HyFlex (hybrid-flexible) course delivery model to conduct concurrent classes with students who want to learn on campus alongside students who need to continue their studies online. This page provides information for faculty teaching in this model.
Before the Start of the Semester
- Build a clear and specific Canvas course site that supports your chosen mode of instruction. For information and assistance, refer to the CGU Online Faculty Resource Center.
- Become familiar with the technology available in your campus classroom. Refer to the Room Capabilities and Use Smart Classrooms websites, and contact the Help Desk if you need to schedule a tutorial session with OIT staff.
- Prepare orientation materials to share with students on the first day of class. You may want to use this Mixed Participation Class Talking Points PowerPoint template to get started addressing logistics with students.
- Add your continuity statement to the “Start Here” section of your Canvas course site. The new template has a starting prompt prepared for you; if you would like this prompt added to your course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and include your course name and course code.
During the Semester
- Reserve time in the first class session to introduce students to the course structure and environment.
- Leverage Canvas ungraded surveys or other tools to check on student experiences. Keep lines of communication open with students and be prepared to remain flexible.
- Contact support staff any time you face pedagogy, technology, or logistical challenges. If you are not sure where to turn, contact Aimée Garten at email@example.com and she will be happy to assist you.
- If circumstances require a change in plans, such a moving the course to a fully online delivery model, please reach out to your Dean or Director to make a formal request. If approved, your program coordinator will submit the proper change request forms to the registrar’s office.
At the End of the Semester
- Consider holding a debriefing session with students to reflect on the experience and solicit feedback.
- Update your Canvas course site based on your experiences so it can be imported for use in future semesters.
Teaching Strategies and Considerations
Teaching strategies in the HyFlex mixed participation format may vary greatly depending on teaching style, course content, and in-room technology. There are, however, many considerations that apply to all courses using this unique delivery method.
Take stock of your personal teaching style and set up the physical and virtual classroom environments to suit your needs. For example,
- if you tend to speak strictly from a podium and provide a lecture without much interaction, place the in-person seating in a comfortable audience arrangement and zoom/pan the camera to focus on the podium area of the classroom.
- if you move throughout the space and scan the room for interactions with students, place the monitor with your online (Zoom) student’s faces in a location near the physical students so you can see them equally. Adjust the camera show the full classroom so online students can see your interactions in all areas of the room.
Be sure to share materials with all students simultaneously and equitably during class. If you are sharing your screen on the projector screen in class, be sure to also share the screen to Zoom students. Leverage the modules in Canvas to distribute digital materials to all students simultaneously.
If online students are permitted to use the Chat feature in Zoom, make Chat available to in-person students as well. They can join the meeting with their personal devices, but should not join audio. If personal devices join audio during a Zoom session, loud and painful feedback noise is likely to occur. To minimize this issue, use the Zoom settings to mute all participants on entry, and encourage in-person students to bring headphones in case they want to have small group discussions or breakout sessions with their classmates on Zoom.
Consider collecting all assignments through Canvas and return grades and feedback to students in Canvas at the same time.
Three hours is a long time to stare at a screen or to wear a mask. Schedule frequent breaks in your class session so online students can rest their eyes and in-person students can step outside to eat or drink or simply have a few maskless moments. Regular, scheduled breaks will give students better opportunity to remain energized and engaged in your class.
Use the Virtual Computer Lab
Apporto is a service providing the same experience a student would have in CGU’s traditional computer labs on their own personal computer. All students and faculty can access Apporto through their computer’s internet browser. Rather than taking in-person students to a computer lab that is inaccessible to online students, encourage everyone to use the Apporto virtual lab option. You will find more information and instructions online at https://my.cgu.edu/it/academic-support/learning-continuity/apporto-cloud-virtual-computer-lab/.
Be Prepared to Move Online
Personal circumstances along with fluctuating state and county regulations may necessitate the move to a fully online course during the semester. Be prepared for this possible scenario by:
- using a “digital first” course design, with a robust Canvas site and digital course materials,
- creating a plan for the possible quarantining of faculty and/or students,
- communicating emergency protocols with students,
- backing up your computer files in OneDrive cloud storage, and
- discussing scenarios with your department and academic leadership before an emergency occurs.
Selected Literature Available Online
Beatty, B. J. (2009) Hybrid-Flexible Course Design (1st ed.). EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex
Kohnke, L. & Moorhouse, B.L. (2021). Adopting HyFlex in higher education in response to COVID-19: Students’ perspectives. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02680513.2021.1906641
Miller, A. N., Sellnow, D. D., & Strawser, M. G. (2021). Pandemic pedagogy challenges and opportunities: Instruction communication in remote, HyFlex, and BlendFlex courses. Communication Education, 70(2), 202-204. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03634523.2020.1857418
From Our Partners at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC)
- “Breaking Boundaries with HyFlex Course Design” by Dr. Brian Beatty
- “Professional Development for Online Teaching: A Literature Review” by Heather Leary, Cade Dopp, Chad Turley, et al.