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How the HyFlex Learning and Teaching Model Bridges the Gap Between Online and Physical Classrooms
Higher education has changed dramatically in the past decade, and even more so in the past two years. Increased access to technology, coupled with a global pandemic, has led us into a world where online education is not only possible but necessary.
In fact, in the Wiley “Voice of the Online Learner” 2021 Survey, roughly 61% of online learners said they would enroll in an online program at another university before joining an on-campus program at their current school. If colleges and universities aren’t adapting to offer more flexible, online options, they may start to fall out of favor with students in the coming years.
That’s not to say physical classrooms will become obsolete. We will always need spaces for in-person learning and teaching — but those spaces will need to adapt to modern expectations.
It’s not necessarily a new concept, but HyFlex learning and teaching is becoming an increasingly beneficial (and attractive) option for many universities. Now is the time for educators to understand the approach, its benefits, and how it can lead us into the future of academia.
What Is HyFlex Learning and Teaching?
Generally speaking, HyFlex is a course design model that combines pedagogical approaches into a hybrid model and flexible structure. Students have the chance to participate online, attend face-to-face classes, or choose a mixture of both.
Although the HyFlex model is somewhat similar to hybrid learning, the two are not synonymous. In a hybrid learning and teaching model, every student is expected to complete the same ratio of in-person classes to online course activities. The participation methods are set by the instructor and applied to each student.
HyFlex model learning, on the other hand, embraces the “flexibility” of online learning. Meetings and materials are made available to students so they have the personal choice to determine how much face-to-face class time and online participation they want (or need).
How HyFlex Models Work
This conceptual framework can be implemented using already-existing course management systems and infrastructures. HyFlex model lesson plans don’t require a total overhaul — just some adaptation.
When preparing to teach a HyFlex class, educators will need to plan as if they were both teaching online courses and providing in-person courses. Coursework will need to be adapted for technology considerations, as well as a dual-classroom audience with different needs.
There are many collaborative and engaging HyFlex course options, including the following:
- Synchronous online class sessions (via video or audio)
- Accessible instructional videos or written instructions
- Class recordings made available online
- Opportunities for online and in-person classroom discussions
Of course, one of the biggest requirements of the HyFlex learning and teaching model is adequate classroom technology. This includes cameras for recording and streaming, as well as proper auditory equipment.
The overarching goal of each HyFlex class should be to support the learning goals of both online and in-person students. This duality can be achieved, but it does take time and strategy to adapt.
What HyFlex Learning and Teaching Means for the Future of Education
The design of the HyFlex model encourages discussion threads to easily transition from one platform to another. Students who attend in person have access to the same coursework and engagement opportunities as those who attend online.
This grants students more freedom, as well as more responsibility for their own learning. Technology has made education beautifully accessible, and the future of academia should (and will likely) reflect this accessibility.
As Emporia State University recently stated, “A hybridized instruction model combining digital and in-person learning will be essential for schools in the coming years.” HyFlex learning and teaching could very well be the most obvious and effective path for universities and colleges going forward.
At Science Interactive, we’re excited to be part of this transition. Our team is here to help you deliver your HyFlex course to both in-person and remote learning students.
How Science Interactive Facilitates HyFlex Learning and Teaching
With our quality lab science kits and objective-focused curriculum, we make sure remote lab work is not only possible but powerful. With our lab solution, every student in your HyFlex course will get their own lab kit and follow the same procedures as their peers, no matter if they participate online, on-campus, or a mix of both, ensuring that their experience matches and learning objectives are met.
Our Lab-Grade, Hands-On Science Kits
Science Interactive helps educators and institutions provide physical lab kits and a rigorous curriculum that teaches critical hands-on skills. These kits can be delivered to remote students as well as used in on-campus laboratories.
With our carefully designed lab kits, educators are able to ensure the consistency of lessons and experiments for every kind of student — no matter their location or life circumstance. Our ability to provide the same quality kits to both remote and face-to-face students gives you the resources to ensure that your students are receiving the same rigorous lessons and hands-on experiences, helping them achieve the same learning outcomes.
Furthermore, you have the flexibility to choose lab kits and digital lessons to fit your course’s specific learning objectives. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to learning, and we’re happy to help educators tweak and improve their lab course kits and curriculums.
Our lessons and experiments are supported by the SI Cloud, the industry’s only learning platform designed specifically for science learning. This allows instructors and students to manage assignments, grading, assessments, and feedback easily for both in-person and remote students.
It’s Time to Help Students Control Their Education
The future of education won’t just offer more flexible learning options — it will demand them.
Hybrid-flexible learning will continue to make waves, and the sooner most universities and colleges adopt this method, the more they can increase their enrollment. It gives students some much-needed control over how and where they learn, making education more accessible than ever.
Do you have questions about HyFlex learning and teaching programs and our hands-on lab kits? Contact us today – our distance learning specialists are ready to assist you.