John Bunch

Faculty Voices Series: Preparing for HyFlex Instruction – Details to Consider

Dr. John Bunch, Fixed-Term Faculty, Management, and former Chairperson, Instructional Development Advisory Council

Having online and face-to-face students in the same class at the same time can be a challenge. Interestingly, the CMU MBA program launched this hybrid format last year, and teaching in it has given me an inadvertent head start in HyFlex practices. Dr. Jeremy Bond and I had a conversation about this recently, where we reflected on my experience and what it suggests for flexible instruction this Fall. Here are some of the take-a-ways we drew from that exchange:

First, take time to consider a range of concerns. In other words, while it’s important to know the room(s) you’ll be using and the technology that exists there, also think about nuances. Make sure you’re comfortable sharing projected content with remote students. Related to this, learning enough to be comfortable with web conferencing (e.g., WebEx, Microsoft Teams) is key. In this way, you’ll be ready to use features like hand raise, which can be great for engagement.

Additionally, consider the advice you’ll give students for their technology. For example, if your exams require Lockdown Browser, students cannot use Chromebooks. Likewise, if you’ll be broadcasting audio and video often, advising your students to mind their devices’ data consumption could be helpful to them.

As so many of our classes involve collaborative work, planning for how you form small groups can eliminate challenges later. One approach could be to group online students, if there are few enough, as a single team, and form other groups from those attending in-class, or vice versa.

Finally, if you change any settings in the room, invest a few minutes before departing to put things back as they were. Remember, there is nothing too big or too small to consider as you plan for Fall, 2020; and, CIS and the OIT staff in your college can help.

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