HyFlex learning is an approach that simultaneously combines face-to-face teaching with online participation. 

It can be very hard to get right and is more challenging to deliver than either purely online or face-to-face sessions. However, this may not always be possible to limit delivery to one medium, so the information provided here aims to offer actionable tips to help minimise the inherent challenges associated with Hyflex learning. It is not possible to remove all the challenges unfortunately, but the guidance provided will hopefully offer enough support to make it as successful as it can be.

*Please note, the advice provided is necessarily generalised to cover a range of situations and therefore might need to be adapted to work within your specific location.  

[Title descriptor.] Blackboard
Image text: Definitions

Virtual participant – A learner that is taking part through a purely online or virtual presence. They will only be able to see what you present to them via MS Teams or Blackboard Collaborate and can only respond virtually using features of these technologies.  

Physical participant – A learner who is taking part in the room. They will be able to respond physically in the room and can join in with virtual responses if they have access to a personal laptop.

Physical room – A traditional teaching space I.e. a lecture/seminar room where the tutor is in a physical location. 

Virtual space– An online/virtual location such as a Microsoft Teams meeting or Collaborate Ultra session. 

Image text: Display Setup

Display setup (5 minutes to set up) 

To support a set up in a standard lecture room, which contains a computer and a projector, we recommend you use the following set-up.   

Extending displays. 

To utilise the screens effectively, we recommend using the ‘extended display’ mode on the computers. By default, this may be set to duplicate which puts a copy of the main screen on both displays. By using ‘extended display’ means that you can extend display the computer screen across two displays and therefore show different elements on either (e.g. PowerPoint and MS Teams/BlackBoard Collaborate). This is especially useful when working with a hyflex approach.

Instructions to set up extending displays 

Each room has the ability to utilise both the desktop monitor as a screen as well as a projector screen. To help use this equipment effectively with hyflex teaching, we would recommend that you set the screens to be independent of each other. This will enable you to have different windows and images on each screen. Please find the instructions on how to do this below:

1. Right click on your desktop (in an empty space) & Select ‘Display settings’

decorative

2. When the display settings folder appears, there will be a setting called multiple displays, Change this to ‘Extend these displays‘.

Teams set up 

To help students access the meeting it is recommended to set up a Teams meeting (see Microsoft Teams page | resources hub) and share this via Blackboard to enable student to join the meeting. 

Audio setup

Most teaching rooms have a Panopto microphone built-in as standard. This microphone will help you capture voice coming from multiple directions. Whilst this microphone can pick up sound from a distance, we would still recommend staying close to the microphone when presenting.

Modes of delivery

Below; three different approaches are outlined. Depending on how you want to interact with your students, these approaches will enable you to use the technology effectively.

This includes: Presentation mode, Discussion mode, Physical contributor and Virtual contributor mode.

We have also provided below some basic technical set-up to support you with using these ‘modes’. 

Image text: Presentation Mode

Presentation mode 

When you are presenting to both an online and physical audience, we would recommend using your screens in the following configuration.  

Screen 1 (main lectern): 

On Screen 1, we would recommend you have your Teams area displayed, this will enable you to see your virtual participants whilst watching for any incoming messages via chat etc.  

 

Screen 2 (projector) 

This screen will show you presentation for the physical participants, then by using the Teams share button, we recommend sharing this screen with your virtual participants. That way everyone can view the presentation.  

Two screens, one labelled '1, virtual' showing PowerPoint and Teams, the other labelled '2, physical' showing full screen PowerPoint.
Image text: Discussion Mode

Discussion mode 

When you want to lead a discussion with both an online and physical audience, we would recommend using your screens in the following configuration.  

Screen 1 (main lectern): 

The screen will not be used for this 

 Screen 2 (projector):

The second screen will show your main Teams window for the physical audience allowing them to feel connected to each other. The tutor will need to facilitate the conversation through the use of signals, such as hand raising so that physical and virtual participants don’t talk over each other.

Tip: Due to the distance from the microphone for Physical participants, it is recommended that the facilitator summarise and repeat back the information, or have a physical student type the information into the virtual room to ensure everyone is involved in the conversation. 

Benefits:  

This approach works well for presentations because it allows virtual and physical participants to have the same experience and to experience the presentation in full screen mode. It also means that the tutor can support virtual participants with any questions they may have. 

Two screens; one labelled '1, virtual' showing no content, the other labelled '2, physical' showing Teams with multiple attendees.
Image text: Virtual Contributor mode

Virtual contributor mode 

To enable virtual participants to present to both an online and physical audience, we would recommend using your screens in the following configuration.  

Screen 1 (main lectern): 

Do not use 

Screen 2 (projector):

The second screen will show your main Teams window for the physical audience.  The virtual participant will then use the share button in Teams to share their screen. This will then be seen by both the virtual and physical audiences. 

Two screens; one labelled '1, virtual' showing no content, the other labelled '2, physical' showing an atendee presenting PowerPoint.
Image text: Physical Contributor mode

Physical contributor mode

To enable physical participants to present to both an online and physical audience, we would recommend using your screens in the following configuration.  

Screen 1 (main lectern): 

Do not use 

Screen 2 (projector):

The second screen will show your main Teams window for the physical audience. The physical participant can use a third device (i.e. mobile, tablet, laptop) to share their information to both the physical and virtual participants. This could involve using the camera to show some notes/work or to share their screen.  

Tip: It is recommended not to share audio from the third device as this will result in an echo or feedback 

Two screens; one, a phone labelled 'Physical participant' showing a camera, the other labelled '2, physical/virtual' showing the camera shared in Teams.
Image Text: Example of Interactive engagement

Example of interactive engagement: Padlet

Share QR code for in-room and link in chat for virtual 

Sharing a link with  both an online and physical audience is possible and can lead to an interactive and engaging session. For the following example we will show you how this might work using Padlet, but this method can be used with multiple tools. 

Screen 1 (main lectern): 

On Screen 1 we would recommend you have your Teams area displayed, this will enable you to see your virtual participants whilst watching for any incoming messages via chat etc.  

Screen 2 (projector):

This screen will show you presentation for the physical participants, then by using the Teams share button, we recommend sharing this screen with your virtual participants. That way everyone can view the presentation. 

Method: 

For the physical participants, you can share a link to the activity through a QR code or via shortlink code. To share the activity with your virtual participants, place the link into the chat box.

Two screens; one labelled '1, virtual' showing virtual participants the other labelled '2, physical' showing a padlet screen
Image Text: Quick Tips

Check Display Settings

When extending your screen, as detailed in the advice above, you may notice that your mouse cursor has to go to the opposite side of the screen to move to your secondary display. This can easily be changed in your display settings. You will see an image box with some numbered screens (1 & 2). To remedy this:

  1. Left click and hold on the screen marked number two and drag it to the other side of the screen marked number one.
  2. Click apply

Your mouse can now move onto the secondary screen from the opposite side.

An image of the display settings menu

Check Sound Settings

If you are unable to hear sound through the speakers in the auditorium/lecture room. This could be due to your sound settings. Some suggestions for Microsoft Teams and Collaborate Ultra can be found below.

Microsoft Teams

  1. During the call, click the three dots (…) in the right hand corner of the screen
  2. click ‘device settings’
  3. Change the speaker device to the PC option in the list
  4. Click apply

 

Collaborate Ultra

You can only change your input device (i.e. microphone and camera) within collaborate. It will use your PC’s audio settings to play your sound. Follow the advice below to change your device setup (windows 10 guide)

  1. Right-click on the speaker item on the windows menu bar in the bottom right corner of the screen
  2. Click open sound settings
  3. Click the drop down list from ‘Output’ and choose the desired speakers

This should automatically changes sources so you can check if the sound is playing through the correct device. 

 

Two screens; one labelled '1, virtual' showing virtual participants the other labelled '2, physical' showing a padlet screen
Image shows the sound settings menu within windows