The HyFlex Course: An Alternative for Teaching in Difficult Times

By Bethany Smith (DELTA) and Maria Gallardo-Williams (OFD)

Educational terms can be confusing, and in a time like this, nobody needs more confusion, but we would like to share one with you that might ease the teaching pains that we are all suffering this semester. What is HyFlex? In a nutshell, it is a teaching modality that recognizes that students might need to engage with the class materials in different modes at different times ( To make that possible, a HyFlex class includes synchronous and asynchronous components, and can be accessed in person or online as needed (Kelly, 2020).

The HyFlex model expands upon the synchronous model and gives options to students. In this model, class is still held on a schedule like a synchronous course, but students have the opportunity to attend in-person, synchronously via zoom or other remote casting software, or watch a recorded version. Students who attend in-person and remotely may have one set of in-class activities to complete, whereas students who watch the recording may do an equivalent activity online.

With a solid learning management system support and organization, HyFlex can be less work than you think. Synchronous lectures can be recorded using Zoom or Mediasite to be broadcast and shared with students on Moodle. Online assignments can be completed anywhere, and discussion boards enable students to discuss assignments even if they are not all accessing the course at the same time.

Because the choice to attend class in person or remotely is left open, each student in the course can make a decision on how to attend for every class meeting. This extra-flexible approach can accommodate students with jobs, intermittent child or elder care responsibilities, doctors’ appointments, and many other attendance barriers, while keeping the door open for a return to in-person instruction when it again becomes feasible. Another advantage is that if courses need to be moved online the instructor already has the infrastructure in place to do so with minimal work involved.

What is a HyFlex Course?

  • A HyFlex course delivers instruction and learning activities in both face-to-face and online modalities and allows students to choose between participation modes for every class meeting.
  • Instructions and assignments are presented in the classroom and also online. Students can choose to complete their activities in any of the participation modes: come to class, attend the class remotely, or access class materials asynchronously.
  • The percentage or division of online and classroom learning for each HyFlex course is left up to the individual student.
  • HyFlex courses take advantage of the best features on both face-to-face and online learning, and allow students to make attendance decisions without rigid pre-determined policies.