HyFlex learning, an approach that simultaneously combines face-to-face teaching with online participation can be extraordinarily difficult to deliver successfully for everyone, especially with large cohorts. Our recommendation would be to adopt separate online and face to face sessions to help ease facilitation.
However, there may be occasions where this cannot be avoided, especially if responding to changing circumstances where facilitating online participation enables continuity of access. As a result, here are some approaches you can use to help minimise the challenges commonly associated with HyFlex learning implementation.
Some questions to consider before running a HyFlex learning event:
- What size is the cohort? (if the cohort is too big this can be very difficult to manage – even with support)
- What tool will I use to share information?
- How can I manage both an online and face to face group simultaneously?
- How can I use the functions of that tool to gather feedback and communicate clearly, quickly and easily?
- How can I run interactive and collaborate elements to keep student involved?
I want my student to complete a task live in the session. How can I get my online students to engage with an activity at the same time as everyone else?
When planning your activities for a HyFlex session, we would recommend thinking about how students can interact with activities, both online and offline. This can be achieved through various types of software. However, in cases where this isn’t appropriate, it can be useful to utilise pre-tasks to gather information.
If you would like students to run activities with both your online and offline groups, you can use an activity which focuses on being semi-synchronous. I.e. completing a task independently but during the session. There are multiple options available for this and it can give you, as a tutor, a chance to discuss elements with either the online or face to face cohort. This also encourages students to engage with the tasks if they know they have to feedback to their groups later in the session (see feedback ideas further down the page). Please see a list of potential ideas below:
- Reading activity – Using Talis Elevate to get students to comment on an artefact (Article, Video etc.) – More information can be found by clicking here
- Independent research – with guided question
I want to be able to work with both my online and face to face group at the same time. How can I keep on top of what each group is doing?
When working with a live and face to face group, it can be difficult to keep an eye on what is happening in the online space and face to face space at the same time. Our recommendation is to work in partnership with another colleague, or potentially student. This will mean that any summaries of key learning can be posted online, questions can be raised from both online and offline. This also means that the group in the live session have a chance to respond and discuss elements with online learners.
Many people will be using the chat function in Teams, Collaborate or Zoom. It can be hard to keep track of that & deliver content. Consider using student moderators to support the chat, and summarise any important questions for scheduled QnAs through the session. @ChrisHeadleand pic.twitter.com/wNd2NSKFet
— BlendED (@UoL_BlendED) October 14, 2020
If I want to use ‘HyFlex Learning’, what tools would you recommend?
To work effectively, we would recommend using Microsoft Teams and if possible to use one of the nine rooms on campus with a wireless mic pack and cameras. This will help online students be able to hear your lecture clearly but will also provide them with an image of the classroom. If you are teaching in a standard lecture room. It is important that you stay close to the microphone so that the online students can still benefit from the lecture.
I’m using ‘Hyflex Learning’ and I want to give information back to both groups as well as gather information from them but i’m not sure how to do this. What can I do?
There are a few methods that will allow you to gather information (either synchronously or asynchronously). We would recommend looking at the checkpoints and structure section of the site (click here to visit this section). This will help you analyse and plan when to structure in ‘pulse checking’ activities.
The first method, especially good at encouraging information from both online and offline simaltaneously, is using Poll Everywhere. By utilising this software you will be able to gather information in real-time via mobile/laptop or computer based devices that have access to the internet. Both your face to face class and online class can answer these questions at the same time to get an idea of what the class’s thoughts are.
The second method can be used as a quick activity to check understanding. By using emoji’s in the chat box (for online students) and using their hands in face to face. You can guage the answer to simple yes no questions. I.e. is everyone happy for me to move on…Do we understand this concept?
In MSTeams you can respond to a chat item with an emoji. You can use this for simple polling. Eg
“What do you call the meal you have in the middle of the day? 👍 for lunch, ❤️ for dinner, 😲 for scran”
It’s easy to engage with and a handy formative tool. pic.twitter.com/kMN9bqdTr6
— BlendED (@UoL_BlendED) October 14, 2020
For detailed guidance on how to apply hyflex teaching please see the ‘Hyflex in action’ page linked below.