Archive of ‘distributive learning’ category

hybrid in the fall of 2020

the HyFlex model for the fall… reflects a rift between administrators and professors, who are raising alarms over the health risks of teaching in person, and about the logistical, technical, and pedagogical complications of the model itself. Search HyFlex on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll come across comments like this one: “Whoever the hell thought of this is a bean counter, not an educator, and an idiot.”

Teaching experts and others familiar with hybrid teaching say that HyFlex can work, but it requires effective technology, careful planning, instructional support, and creative course design.

“If HyFlex is part of the plan, it has to be done with will faculty participation,” says Brian Beatty, an associate professor of instructional technologies at San Francisco State, who created the model. “Otherwise, if it’s top down and the administration is saying, We’re doing this, then the faculty are saying, But why are we doing this?”

Much of what bothers professors about the push for HyFlex is that so many details about its mechanics remain ill defined. And assumptions about its value seem rooted in a particular idea of teaching, one where the professor stands at the front of a classroom and lectures.

We are the ones holding the bag if this does not work, or if it’s chaos,” says Michelle Miller, a psychology professor at Northern Arizona University and author of Minds Online: Teaching Effectively With Technology.

Miller is a fan of the original HyFlex model from San Francisco State, but says that colleges need to be mindful that the conditions under which it’s now being adapted — quickly, at scale, and without giving students much choice — will limit its effectiveness.

To work effectively, she says, hybrid teaching requires a lot of support, such as having teaching assistants help manage the complexities of working simultaneously with two different audiences. Otherwise it risks becoming a “lecture-centric, passive consumption view of learning.” That goes against years of hard work faculty members have been doing to make their classrooms more inclusive, active, and engaged.

To help think through pedagogical challenges, faculty groups are testing out teaching strategies, some departments meet weekly to discuss course design, and a student-leadership team is providing feedback and creating online tools to help their peers learn effectively online. Even so, the process has been challenging and frustrating at times for faculty members. Professors are both looking for templates and wanting to maintain control over their courses, which inevitably creates tension with the administration.

more on hyflex in this IMS blog

depersonalization of teaching

Back in the 1960s, an experimental form of teaching made a big splash at colleges. It was called PSI, or the Personalized System of Instruction.

the case that colleges should do more to professionalize teaching, which might help reduce the number of fads that emerge. But he also acknowledges that there are risks. “If you start creating elaborate bureaucracies to measure and judge [teaching], might you actually depersonalize it? Might you take some of the charisma, idiosyncrasy and serendipity out of it?”

HyFlex model

“A well-designed HyFlex class, with effective alternative participation modes
that all lead to the same learning outcomes, can provide meaningful learning opportunities for all students.” Brian Beatty

more on the HyFlex model in this IMS blog

ADDIE and SAM models

Corinne Hyde

Anyone in here teach instructional design that can recommend a textbook that teaches ADDIE or SAM but is inclusive and has an emphasis on instruction being culturally responsive or culturally sustaining?

Glenn Singley

The ADDIE model of instructional design is probably the most well-known approach for crafting learning solutions. ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Development, Implement, and Evaluate. But ADDIE isn’t the only game in town these days. One popular alternative to ADDIE is SAM, which stands for Successive Approximation Model.

Created by Allen Interactions, SAM offers an instructional design approach consisting of repeated small steps, or iterations, that are intended to address some of the most common instructional design pain points, like meeting timelines, staying on budget, and collaborating with Subject Matter Experts

more on ADDIE in this IMS blog

bio lab in emergency teaching

Hi everyone- my mom has been teaching Bio 101 with a lab for 39 years. I’m working with her to get ready for the fall semester online but Science isn’t my field. Any recommendations for online bio labs?

Stephanie Edelmann I’m still working on my lab, but here is an extensive list of online resources that was shared with faculty at our school.…/1Mv0EyCw2QeFIpW5P5qNR5EW…/edit

Rebecca Westphal Carolina has kits…. but they are mostly on back order and hard to get for fall (in US?). You could think of putting together your own kits for students to pick up. There are also many labs using “household” materials such as this spinach photosynthesis lab…/photosynthesis/photosynthesis.html.

For introducing basic chemistry I really like the “Build an Atom” simulation on the PhET website, although it’s more of an activity than a “lab”. HHMI biointeractive has lots of free resources and data sets that you could build on, including lots for natural selection — try searching “rock pocket mouse natural selection” on the biointeractive website.

Rachel Scherer is one of my go to favorites. I have some instructors testing labster out this summer. I haven’t heard anything back so I am guessing it is working well for them. Also

Cheryl DeWyer Lindeman

Cheryl DeWyer Lindeman

Sondra LoRe

more on emergency teaching in this IMS blog

Mixed Reality remote learning platform

GIGXR, Inc., a provider of extended reality (XR) learning systems for instructor-led teaching and training, announced today the availability of its GIG Immersive Learning System for the Fall 2020 Northern Hemisphere academic year. The cloud-based System was created to dramatically enhance learning outcomes while simplifying complex, real-life teaching and training scenarios in medical and nursing schools, higher education, healthcare and hospitals.

more on mixed reality in this IMS blog

six Google Meets updates

more on Google Hangouts in this IMS blog

XR anatomy

The EDUCAUSE XR (Extended Reality) Community Group Listserv <XR@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>

Greetings to you all! Presently, I am undertaking a masters course in “Instruction Design and Technology” which has two components: Coursework and Research. For my research, I would like to pursue it in the field of Augmented Reality (AR) and Mobile Learning. I am thinking of an idea that could lead to collaboration among students and directly translate into enhanced learning for students while using an AR application. However, I am having a problem with coming up with an application because I don’t have any computing background. This, in turn, is affecting my ability to come up with a good research topic.

I teach gross anatomy and histology to many students of health sciences at Mbarara University, and this is where I feel I could make a contribution to learning anatomy using AR since almost all students own smartphones. I, therefore, kindly request you to let me know which of the freely-available AR app authoring tools could help me in this regard. In addition, I request for your suggestions regarding which research area(s) I should pursue in order to come up with a good research topic.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Grace Muwanga Department of Anatomy Mbarara University Uganda (East Africa)


Dear Grace, a few augmented reality tools which I’ve found are relatively easy to get started with:

For iOS, iPhone, iPad: or

To create AR that will work on social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat (and will work on Android, iOS) try or . You’ll want to look at the tutorials for plane tracking or target tracking

One limitation with Spark and Snap is that file sizes need to be small.

If you’re interested in creating AR experiences that work directly in a web browser and are up for writing some markup code, look at A-Frame AR

For finding and hosting 3D models you can look at Sketchfab and Google Poly. I think both have many examples of anatomy.

Best, Matt


“Beth L. Ritter-Guth” <britter-guth@NORTHAMPTON.EDU>

I’ve been using Roar. They have a 99$ a year license.


I have recently been experimenting with an AR development tool called Zappar, which I like because the end users do not have to download an app to view the AR content. Codes can be scanned either with the Zappar app or at

From a development standpoint, Zappar has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface called ZapWorks Designer that will help you build basic AR experiences quickly, but for a more complicated, more interactive use case such as learning anatomy, you will probably need ZapWorks Studio, which will have much more of a learning curve. The Hobby (non-commercial) license is free if you are interested in trying it out.

You can check out an AR anatomy mini-lesson with models of the human brain, liver, and heart using ZapWorks here: Even if you choose to go with a different development tool, this example might help nail down ideas for your own project.

Hope this helps,


Brighten Jelke Academic Assistant for Virtual Technology Lake Forest College Office: DO 233 | Phone: 847-735-5168

more on XR in education in this IMS blog

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