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Getting Ready for Hybrid or HyFlex Learning: It’s Complicated!

Earlier this year BCcampus put out a call for proposals to expand our suite of Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) courses. One of the topics of interest was hybrid or HyFlex learning. Dr. Matthew Stranach, educational technologies coordinator at Thompson Rivers University, took on the challenge to design a brand-new FLO MicroCourse called “Getting Started with Hybrid or HyFlex Learning.” This is clearly a hot topic, as registrations surpassed our expectations, and our newest advisor on the Learning and Teaching team, Olaolu Adeleye, was asked to take on co-facilitation. 

Post by Helena Prins and Olaolu Adeleye

Matthew observed that one of the biggest themes to emerge was a serious concern about how the fall delivery would be handled by participants’ respective institutions, an observation shared by Olaolu and conversely a real desire to help others in the course with these same challenges. There was problem-solving in real time, sharing of resources, and a desire to learn from one another’s experiences that Matthew found inspiring. 

As co-facilitator, Olaolu noticed plenty of debate about the words hybrid and HyFlex. Some people use them interchangeably, and this interpretation is specific to each institution. From the HyFlex forum discussions, Olaolu concluded that:

  • HyFlex places a greater emphasis on student agency. Although it requires greater preparation, there is more opportunity to meet varied student preferences, abilities, and lifestyles that align with Universal Design for Learning principles.
  • HyFlex models promote equitable approaches, but institutions face a potential barrier in incorporating technology that allows for streaming or live viewing by people who are unable to attend.

Understanding of “flipped” classroom experiences also varied and evolved among participants. When looking at the varied models, our participants highlighted the need to focus on learning outcomes to determine the best approach.

One of the final optional assignments in the course was for participants to share their work in the open web on a SPLOT. You may find some great inspiration here.

Throughout the week it was clear that participants valued connecting to peers and others experiencing similar challenges. Whatever your plans are for the fall, whether you are going fully online, face to face, blended, HyFlex, hybrid, or a unique modality yet to be written about, you do not have to go at it alone.

For people interested in exploring hybrid or HyFlex learning further, consider joining the BCcampus Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG). The ETUG is a community that exists to empower and inspire all who design, develop, and support learning experiences. 

We will offer this course again early 2022. Watch our newsletter for registration details! 

Here is an overview of the course delivery models.

You may also find this book helpful: Beatty, B. J. (2019). Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes (1st ed.). EdTech Books. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex.

Check out these upcoming FLO sessions:


The featured image for this post (viewable in the BCcampus News section at the bottom of our homepage) is by Zen Chung from Pexels

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