The flexibility afforded to students by HyFlex courses has been evident this semester, but the style of teaching required has proven more difficult to maintain than anticipated. Moreover, that same flexibility has been the proverbial double-edged sword when it comes to student success.
HyFlex courses are hard to build, and even harder to teach. Designing effective online courses is hard work and differs significantly from in-person teaching. HyFlex courses essentially braid the two together. Moreover, the braiding is even more complicated because the online strand is further divided into synchronous and asynchronous paths. What seems clear is that institutions using the HyFlex model need to find more and different ways to support faculty members than before. Hire work-study students to wrangle Zoom? Improve the integration and workflow of these various tools? At the very least, we have to acknowledge the significant burden now on classroom instructors, a burden for which very few of us were prepared.
HyFlex’s origin story matters. HyFlex courses were initially developed for graduate students in an educational-technology program. we needed more in the way of introducing students to HyFlex — more clearly and specifically outlining how the courses work and how to navigate them most successfully.
HyFlex works better for some types of classes than others. It’s no coincidence that faculty members who are finding HyFlex a difficult fit are those whose classes are either completely or mostly discussion-based, perhaps even student-led.
We need to help students learn to become online learners.
Faculty members cannot hide from structural racism and economic inequality any more, because our students were never able to in the first place.
Looking for different ways for students to share their knowledge. I’ve done Jamboard, Google Slides, Discussion posts, padlet…I just want something different and am not able to come up with any great ideas here. Anyone come up with anything else fun or interesting? This is for an asynchronous course.
Create opportunities online for students to connect with each other as part of the school day.
Keep lines of communication open and constructive between teachers and parents/guardians.
Focus on core skills at home.
There’s a distinction between online and using technology versus distance learning.
It’s going to become a lot more interactive, a lot more personal, and then teachers are going to be able to zero in a lot more on what the kids need.
A lot of teachers feel a lot of pressure to have these perfectly planned lesson plans that go exactly as intended when you get into the classroom. In this environment, it’s okay to not have the planning perfect. It’s okay if things get a little bit extemporaneous, a little improvisational in the classroom.
If I’m a teacher looking at the pie of time and energy that I have in a given week, I would try to minimize the energy that I have to put into things where I’m not interacting with students …
Teachers putting a lot of time and energy getting a setup like I have with a microphone and a pen tablet and all of that. That takes a lot of work, a lot of energy, and it’s energy that once again gets taken away from time that they could be interacting with students.
In a time of growing and increasingly complex challenges, too many top administrators, leadership teams and boards are focusing on tactics rather than strategy
how should presidents begin to think strategically about the content and the pedagogy of the education their institutions will offer going forward? How should they lead their institutions to take concrete steps to eliminate systemic inequities on their campuses? How can they facilitate a commitment to combat racism not only on their campuses but also in their local communities and beyond? How can they manage all this as many face daily threats to their institution’s financial health?
Some of the presidents with whom I talked, along with several trustees and faculty members, have inspired the following suggestions for how at least some campus leaders may begin to think about the future.
Move even more online.
Rethink goals in light of demographic realities, concerns about costs and shifting student interests.
Reconceptualize and streamline institutional structures to better serve faculty and student realities.
Consolidate student support services.
Embrace the virtue of the out-of-doors.
Budget for mission, with long-term strategies in mind.
Address systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other biases.
Responding to Susan Resneck Pierce’s excellent Views piece, “Beyond Incrementalism.”
Maria is the principal consultant at Edge of Learning and the CEO and Cofounder of Coursetune, an edtech company that builds curriculum design, management, visualization, and collaboration software.
Previously, Maria has been the Director of Learning and Research for Instructure. For ten years she taught mathematics as well as chemistry and social media full-time at Muskegon Community College. She was also the Learning Futurist for the LIFT Institute.
I plan on asking Maria about how campuses are using new and emerging technology to improve online or blended learning this fall. Which technologies have moved to the forefront in this pandemic semester?
And, as always, you will have the chance to ask your own questions. After all, the way the Forum works is that all attendees can ask our guests questions, engage and collaborate with other leaders in education technology, and also invite friends and colleagues to join.
To RSVP ahead of time, or to jump straight in at 2 pm EDT this Thursday, click here:
They then worked with a deepfake artist who used an open-source algorithm to swap in Putin’s and Kim’s faces. A post-production crew cleaned up the leftover artifacts of the algorithm to make the video look more realistic. All in all the process took only 10 days. Attempting the equivalent with CGI likely would have taken months, the team says. It also could have been prohibitively expensive.