Hybrid-flexible course designs – multi-modal courses which combine online and onground (classoom-based) students – have been used successfully for more than a decade at many higher education institutions around the world with a wide variety of courses. At San Francisco State we call this design “HyFlex”; many campuses use this term and many others use their own term. This book uses the terms “Hybrid-Flexible” and “HyFlex” interchangeably, often using the more general term “Hybrid-Flexible” to open a chapter and the shorter term “HyFlex” when referring to detailed approaches. Other names for the HyFlex approach are referenced and used when describing other specific implementations, especially in the case reports of Unit III.
Often the initial impetus for developing a Hybrid-Flexible approach is a very real need to serve both online and onground students with a limited set of resources (time, faculty, space) which leads to a multi-modal delivery solution. When students are given the freedom and ability to choose which mode to participate in from session to session, they are able to create their own unique hybrid experience. Locally, we have started acknowledging the student control aspect, sometimes referring to HyFlex as delivering a “student-directed hybrid” learning experience.
This book provides readers with strategies, methods, and case stories related to Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) course design so that they (you!) may make informed and thoughtful decisions about using it themselves and begin their own HyFlex course (re)design journey. More specifically, based on the needs identified for their specific context, readers will be able to:
- gain an awareness of the HyFlex design,
- determine if and how HyFlex course design could help them solve critical needs,
- find their own innovative HyFlex solution to their specific challenges,
- begin the HyFlex implementation process using strategies similar to those used by instructors described in this book, and
- take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve their education practice, enabling them to better serve more students.
The book describes the fundamental principles of HyFlex design, explains a process for design and development, and discusses implementation factors that instructors, designers, students and administrators have experienced in a wide variety of higher education institutions; public and private, larger and small, research-intensive, comprehensive and community colleges. These factors include the drivers, the variations in implementation approaches and constraints, and the results (e.g., student success metrics, student satisfaction). A series of worksheets in Chapter 1.4 provides specific guidance that can be used by individuals or teams engaging in HyFlex design projects at their own institution. Case reports in Unit III from institutions and faculty who have successfully implemented HyFlex-style courses provide a rich set of real-world stories to draw insights for a reader’s own design setting.