Student Experience


In a HyFlex environment, it is essential that students and instructors are partners in learning. This means that students have a good understanding of what HyFlex is, and what their responsibilities are as creators of their own learning experiences.


To prepare students for these options, instructors should provide clear instructions on their syllabus and within the content of their first class regarding the definitions and expectations of HyFlex learning. For example, will students get choice in the way they participate in class for every session, or will some sessions be fully in person? Will exams or assessments also be given in a HyFlex modality? Instructors can also provide students with a questionnaire or survey asking them which modality they may prefer to engage in and why. If the student is a more kinesthetic learner, perhaps an in-person modality may work best. If the student learns best visually and/or auditorily, a synchronous environment may be ideal. If the student identifies themselves as an intrinsically motivated, self-directed learner, an asynchronous environment may be a good fit.

Although we know that some students may choose a HyFlex modality because of distance and/or convenience, this should not be the only reason behind modality choice. Some students, for example, choose an asynchronous mode of instruction out of convenience, but may not be able to keep up with the content and/or amount of independent work involved.  If this does happen, the instructor should have a conversation with the student, centered on the potential benefits of the student choosing a modality that works better with how they learn and input information.   

   

Well-designed HyFlex courses are ones in which all students have relationships with each other – relationships that transcend modality choice.

As an example, asynchronous students should have asynchronous contact time with their in-person and synchronous classmates. This can be easily achieved by creating group asynchronous assignments that all students can participate in. Synchronous students should take time to build relationships with asynchronous and in-person classmates as well. Instructors can open their physical and virtual classrooms a bit before class time so that synchronous and in-person participants can engage in “before class” chatter and relationship building.

All students can build relationships with their HyFlex course instructor by attending synchronous, asynchronous, or in-person office hours. Instructors can also make sure they get mid-term feedback from their students so they can adjust the HyFlex experience as needed to reach all learners. Mid-term feedback can be collected by a survey or open discussion board prompt.   

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