Teaching HyFlex

What is HyFlex?

HyFlex, short for Hybrid-Flexible, is a course design method and teaching approach that was designed to better accommodate student needs by combining online and classroom-based components. Its beginnings are credited to the Instructional Technologies (ITEC) graduate program at San Francisco State University, where instructors were looking for ways to make their courses more accessible to students who could not attend in person while still maintaining a traditional classroom component. Their solution: create class content and material that could be accessed either in the classroom or online and allow students the flexibility to choose their learning path.

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The HyFlex model gives students the freedom to choose whether they would like to attend class in the classroom, online, or both, based on their preferences, needs, or availability. Instructors will therefore prepare course content and material for both in-person and online access. Though it may seem daunting, with some guidance and preparation, the HyFlex model can help overcome some of the obstacles posed by the uncertainty surrounding our future learning environments.

How does it work?

As we navigate through our new environment, dealing with the effects of COVID-19, the HyFlex model offers students and instructors an agile solution for continued learning, but how exactly does it work?

Essentially, instructors should prepare content adapted for both classroom and online learning environments. In other words, all learning material should equally address and support learning outcomes, regardless of the delivery medium. This way, whether a student chooses to attend class in the classroom, through their computer, or alternating between both, the learning objectives and results will remain equivalent.

teacher teaching class students taking notes

The Pedagogy and Activities page of this site walks you through key considerations and offers tips and tricks for implementation of the HyFlex model. The first section covers how to simultaneously manage and administer class to the two separate learning environments. The second section touches upon important strategies for instruction and engagement, and the third section goes over how to plan, design, and deliver assessments for your HyFlex class(es). The final sections on the page cover accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and offer additional support and information.

WHAT DOES A HYFLEX CLASS LOOK LIKE?

In a Hyflex lecture, an instructor addresses both the in-person and remote learner audiences at the same time. Effectively teaching both groups means that special attention must be given to the technology used to present your lecture material so that all students have equitable access to the content. Continue exploring this site to gain an understanding of the technology and the classroom activities that are best suited to Hyflex classes.
You can also view a demonstration of a Hyflex lecture that utilizes the tools and technology in UF Hyflex classrooms to engage both in-person and remote learners.

How do I prepare for my HyFlex classes?

Now that you've become familiar with what the HyFlex teaching model entails, you may be wondering where to begin in preparing for your coming classes.

Step One

Explore this site, which provides multiple jump-off points, suggestions, further reading, and resources available for your course preparation. The Pedagogy and Activities page outlines some best practices that you can utilize moving forward with your course preparation. The Hyflex Class Checklist can help keep you on track in creating and maintaining an efficient HyFlex environment. The HyFlex Resources page offers readings, research, and guides that you can refer to. UF's Classroom Support page provides guidance and assistance for all of your infrastructural and technical needs and specifies the tools available in individual classrooms around campus.

Step Two

Once you have become more familiarized with the HyFlex model and how to utilize it in the coming semester(s), begin planning out and creating course content. You can outline or storyboard the classroom and online components to assure that they are going to equally address learning outcomes. Blueprinting your course(s) will allow you to see the bigger picture and plan, design, and create course material accordingly. You can also refer back to these plans throughout the semester as you move forward with instruction.

Step Three

You can schedule consultations with instructional designers, sit in a virtual training with UFIT Training, or attend a virtual workshop with the Center for Teaching Excellence here at the University of Florida. These knowledgeable teams can help guide you through creating course content that will be applicable to both an online and in-person learning environment. Instructional design specialists can address course design, engagement and assessment, multimedia use, accessibility needs, and more for your course. The UFIT Training team offers multiple workshops and training sessions on tools including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, VoiceThread, Ally, Qualtrics, SPSS, R, and more.

Next Steps

Many of us, instructors and students alike, will be new to the HyFlex model and may need some time to adjust and adapt along the way. Versatility and leniency will be key moving forward as we navigate our new environment together. Be sure to keep resources and support nearby should you encounter any questions or concerns as you begin teaching HyFlex classes.

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