Hyflex Guide for Faculty

WHAT IS HYFLEX?

HyFlex (hybrid-flexible) classes are relatively new at VSU; they are being used to help us adapt instructional delivery during the pandemic. Faculty members may choose to utilize a HyFlex approach in two circumstances:

  • As a result of social distancing requirements, the physical size of the classroom may not accommodate the number of students who registered for the class; therefore, faculty may assign certain groups of students to attend class in person only on a specific day or days of the week, even though the course will meet more than that.
  • In some instances, students or faculty may not be able to attend in person—because they need to isolate or quarantine themselves due to COVID-19. In these instances, HyFlex can allow students or the instructor to attend the class remotely while the rest of the class is present in the classroom.

Whether faculty and students are face-to-face (F2F) in the classroom or attending remotely, the HyFlex class is offered synchronously—which means everyone is meeting at the same time.

SAMPLE SYLLABUS MODALITY STATEMENT FOR HYFLEX CLASSES

This class is offered as a HyFlex (hybrid-flexible) face-to-face class. Because of social distancing requirements, the physical size of the classroom cannot accommodate the number of students registered for this class. Therefore, on some days, you will be assigned to be present and participating in our classroom while on other days, you will be assigned to be present and participating remotely via >>Insert name of platform here<< unless you have received an accommodation from the VSU Access Office to attend class remotely. I will provide you with your assigned schedule for which days you will be in the classroom and which days you will be remote (this is not a matter of choice). The class will be offered synchronously during the times listed on the Banner schedule. Attend and actively participate in class as scheduled. If you must be absent due to a quarantine or isolation requirement for COVID-19, you must report this situation via the COVID Self Reporting Link in MyVSU and through the Dean of Students Office to report any other absences as well.

SHARE THESE GUIDELINES WITH STUDENTS 

  • Read the entire syllabus and know the policies for each class in which you are enrolled, such as any “HyFlex Class Guidelines”. Your instructor may provide a short assignment to verify that you have reviewed the syllabus.
  • Be sure that you have access to the technology the instructor outlines as necessary for success in the class.*
  • Check your VSU email and the Course Calendar, Announcements, and Messages (email) in BlazeVIEW on a regular basis (3 times per week at a minimum).
  • Attend and actively participate in class as scheduled (in person and remotely as indicated by your instructor; you do not get to choose).**
  • Keep current with all course assignments, quizzes, and examinations.
  • If your course uses remote proctoring for exams, test your computer readiness/availability early in the term as well as prior to each exam.
  • Ask questions and communicate with the instructor regularly.

FOR INSTRUCTORS

How HyFlex classes differ from other classes and HyFlex course design

  • Realize that students will sometimes be physically present in the classroom while at other times they will be “present” online.
  • Post all class materials on an online platform, generally either BlazeVIEW or Microsoft Teams.
  • Conduct class synchronously via either Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Microsoft Teams. You may choose to record if you want materials that can be reviewed by students at a later date or time.
  • If you need help with engaging students who attend remotely, watch the CELT-eLearning webinars on HyFlex and University System of Georgia (USG) webinars on hybrid teaching (see Additional Resources); the recordings can also be accessed anytime via the BlazeVIEW 101 course module titled “CELT-eLearning Webinars.” In addition, arrange for an individual consultation on HyFlex course design with the Director of CELT or staff in the Center for eLearning.

EXPECTATIONS FOR A HYFLEX COURSE

  • Depending on the physical size of the scheduled classroom, only a certain portion of students may be able to attend in person on any given class day. The remaining students will be expected to participate in the class remotely. You will need to work with your students to assign face-to-face (F2F) and remote attendance days. For example, many instructors divide students according to the alphabet and noted that pattern in their syllabus (links to guides on how to assign groups and notify students are in the Additional Resources section of this document).
  • In your syllabus and in your discussion with students during the first week of class, you should set both F2F and remote attendance and participation expectations for the class. You could refer to them as “HyFlex Class Guidelines.” Use reminder prompts about these expectations throughout the semester, such as when giving instructions for an activity in class, clarify exactly what the remote students are expected to do to actively participate (e.g., turn on cameras and mics to present (if available), answer in chat, write on the digital whiteboard) and what F2F students are expected to do.
  • You need to design your lesson plans and activities recognizing that some students will be in the classroom, and some will simultaneously be remote. Watch the CELT-eLearning webinars on HyFlex and University System of Georgia (USG) webinars on hybrid teaching; the recordings can be accessed anytime via the BlazeVIEW 101 course module titled “CELT-eLearning Webinars.” In addition, arrange for an individual consultation on HyFlex course design with the Director of CELT or staff in the Center for eLearning.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN TEACHING HYFLEX CLASSES

Scholarship of teaching and learning about HyFlex as well as the experience of those who have taught HyFlex classes shows that some strategies help create a more successful and engaged learning environment. These strategies have proven helpful:

  • All VSU classrooms are equipped with the necessary technology to deliver HyFlex instruction. Before beginning your class, make certain that you know how to operate all necessary equipment and software programs to teach HyFlex in those classrooms. Contact IT for technical support with classroom equipment (instructor station computers, webcams, microphones, speakers, etc.) and to videoconference from a classroom (Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra).
  • At the start of each class, check to ensure that all the equipment is operational. If you wish to record the class, remember to start the recording.
  • Have at least one graded activity the first week of class (e.g., syllabus quiz, student introductions to each other in a BlazeVIEW discussion forum) to build community and to encourage students to check in early and regularly to the class.
  • Assign a student to monitor the chat for every class meeting in either Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Microsoft Teams. Remote students will want to use chat to ask questions or make comments during class. The chat could be leveraged by the instructor for other activities as well. Consider rotating student chat monitors and giving them extra credit to incentivize and distribute the workload.
  • Engage remote and F2F students with active-learning activities such as the following:
    • remote students answer question prompts by writing on digital whiteboards in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Microsoft Teams;
    • remote and F2F students engage in collaborative notetaking via Google Docs;
    • remote students work in groups via video conference breakout rooms while F2F students work in groups in the classroom
    • all students engage in discussion-based activities designed for HyFlex;
    • remote students answer questions from polling tools in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Microsoft Teams;
    • remote students present with screen share.
  • If you want to post the recording of the class meeting, you only need to insert the link to the recording into BlazeVIEW or Microsoft Teams.
  • You can count attendance for engagement and grading purposes if you desire to do so. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Microsoft Teams archive all participants who are online during class. If you assign a student to monitor the chat for every class meeting, then that student could also help the instructor take attendance by tracking student posts in the chat.
  • Have a back-up plan for delivering course content when technology problems arise for students or yourself, such as posting class materials or an assignment in BlazeVIEW later.
  • Maintain your high standards and hold all students to those standards.

*ADDITIONAL TECHNOLOGY GUIDANCE FOR HYFLEX COURSES

On the syllabus, instructors should provide the minimum technology that students will need to access and use during the class.

Suggested technology syllabus statement (material in yellow may be adapted to individual class requirements):

In this class, students will regularly use the following applications >>list those applications that your class will use and what they will be used for<<:

  • Office 365 for access to VSU email and to Microsoft applications that we will use regularly (Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • >>BlazeVIEW, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, and/or Microsoft Teams<< to access course materials and to participate remotely
  • >>Others as needed (be sure to give clear instructions about how to access and identify if this application is not supported by the university)<<
To use these applications, students must have access to a laptop or computer, preferably with a webcam and microphone. While it is possible for students to complete some work on their smartphones, this will not be sufficient in all instances, given the limitations of mobile devices. Hence, access to a computer is essential. Note that the University maintains a number of computer labs, which are available for student use. Laptops and/or MiFi devices are also available for check-out on a first-come, first-served basis from the New Media Center in Odum Library.

You may also choose to list these further resources:

IT also provides a list of recommended technologies at https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/personal-devices/recommended-technologies.php

As a VSU student, you may download and install Microsoft Office Suite on up to 5 personal devices (https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/it/helpdesk/employee-resources/employee-services/work-at-home-tech-guide.php)

List of Resources for Technology

**ADDITIONAL ATTENDANCE GUIDANCE FOR HYFLEX COURSES

Suggested syllabus language for a HyFlex Course:

Suggested syllabus language:

Regular attendance and participation are essential for success in class. Therefore, students are expected to attend class as scheduled (either in person or remotely) and must complete assignments as outlined in the syllabus. If students must be absent due to a quarantine or isolation requirement for COVID-19, they must report this situation via the COVID Self Reporting Link in MyVSU and through the Dean of Students Office to report any other absences as well). They should also discuss any absences with the instructor. Instructors will not alter the schedule for individual students unless arrangements have been made in advance.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES