As part of the University’s return to campus planning, the Schulich School of Business is introducing the HyFlex model of delivery for a selected number of courses in Fall 2021. This hybrid and flexible approach provides learners with the choice to either attend class in person or join their class remotely (Ferrero, 2020). To facilitate this delivery model, five classrooms at Schulich are outfitted to enable simultaneous participation of remote and in-person students in interactive teaching and learning activities. If your course is to be delivered in the HyFlex format (you will have been notified by your area coordinator or administrator), please consult this guide, which serves as a resource to support instructors in their planning and preparations for teaching HyFlex in the fall.
To begin, please review the Introduction to Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom video (above). What follows is a brief overview of: the HyFlex approach; the capabilities of the HyFlex classroom; preparations and considerations in modifying your course for HyFlex delivery; and resources at your disposal to assist you with this endeavour. If at any point, you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the CITE office.
‘Hybrid’ / ‘HyFlex’
Quite often, the terms hybrid (blended) and hyflex are used interchangeably. Hybrid learning “integrates complementary face-to-face (synchronous) and online learning (asynchronous) experiences in service of intended learning objectives” (CTL, 2021). HyFlex learning on the other hand “consists of hybrid classes – blending online and on-site participation modes that provide a more flexible learning experience to students” (Ferrero, 2020) – i.e. learners choose how they participate and engage in the course material, with options ranging from: in-person synchronous; remote synchronous; or, fully asynchronous.
At Schulich, scheduled synchronous class sessions operate on the expectation that all students attend (whether in-person or remotely). We do not include a fully asynchronous option for our HyFlex courses. Therefore, instructors are not expected to develop purely asynchronous material for students. While we encourage instructors to record their lectures to enable asynchronous viewing by students unable to attend, we recognize this may not be possible depending on the learning outcomes of your course.
Do note that our current plan for in-person F2021 learning is informed by York’s May 6th Pandemic and Academic Continuity Principles to Guide 2021-2022 Course Planning. If circumstances warrant, in-person offerings will be scaled-back to comply with health regulations.
Capabilities of the HyFlex Classroom
Rooms in the Seymour Schulich Building (W141 R. McEwen Auditorium, N105, N109), the McEwen Graduate Studies Building (G101) and the Executive Learning Centre (X106) have been equipped with the necessary audiovisual equipment to facilitate HyFlex lectures and interactive activities including class discussions and student presentations. Key enabling equipment includes:
- a tracking camera to capture the instructor at the front of the classroom;
- a lapel mic to allow remote students to hear the instructor;
- ceiling mics to allow remote students to hear in-person students;
- speakers to allow in-person students to hear remote students;
- a large monitor in front of the first row of students to allow instructors to see remote participants; and,
- a document camera to capture instructors’ writing and annotation clearly for in-person and remote attendees.
Investigations are also underway to explore whether we can equip classrooms with technology to support digital writing and annotation (e.g., tablet attached to podium computer).
While instructors and in-person students will be able to see remote students through a screen display in the classroom; remote students will not be able to see their in-person peers in all HyFlex rooms.