HyFlex Tips and Tricks

By Elaine Bohórquez (Physiology Graduate Program), Erin McKenney (Department of Applied Ecology), and Maria Gallardo-Williams (Office for Faculty Excellence)

None of us had heard of HyFlex just a couple of years ago, but it is now our daily reality. 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 (https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex/hyflex_introduction). If you teach in person but in some way share your lectures online via streaming or delayed posting you are in essence teaching a HyFlex course.

While all courses are different, HyFlex can be particularly challenging in large classes. We would like to share with you some tips and tricks that apply to the simultaneous delivery of content from our own teaching practices as we prepare for the Spring semester.

From Elaine, who teaches General Physiology I (PHY 503), General Physiology II (PHY 504), Pathophysiology (PHY595):

For simultaneous in-person and online classes, I logged into Zoom on the lectern desktop and shared my screen so that virtual attendees had the same view as in-person attendees. To account for the difficulty with seeing the whiteboard, I used the doc-cam. Under the “Advanced” tab for screen sharing in Zoom, there is an option to share the screen from a second camera: in this case the doc-cam. As long as I shared the doc-cam on Zoom and also projected the doc-cam to the classroom, I could have a functional whiteboard that all attendees could see easily.

I used the wearable mics in the classroom, which were connected directly to the Zoom audio and the lecture hall speakers. Zoom participants could unmute, and their voices were projected to the class through the room speakers, which made it easy for everyone to participate in classwide discussions. For any small group work activities, I did log into Zoom on a second device so that I could move through the breakout rooms to give students a chance to ask questions without having the audio projected to the entire class during this time.

On the lectern table, there was also a built-in microphone that was flush with the table surface, which automatically recorded all sound for the Panopto lecture capture in case I chose not to use a mic. This microphone cannot be muted, so I delayed the release of the lecture capture videos on Panopto to allow myself time to edit out any private student conversations that inevitably happened after class.

From Erin, who teaches Applied Ecology (AEC 400), Field Ecology (AEC 460), Global Conservation Ecology (AEC 245), Gut Microbial Ecology (AEC 495/592):

During the lectures I also used Zoom so students could join remotely, with the same view as in-person attendees. I checked the chat icon periodically throughout the class period, and opened the window when I saw a notification. Whenever I saw a question I’d say “I’ve got questions in the chat: Jordan asks…”, read their question, and then answer. This helped keep everyone on the same page, and credited / alerted the student who asked each question. (I kept questions sent privately anonymous.)

During in-class activities (i.e., jigsaws or case studies), I would project all slides and join Zoom from the lectern screen; and I kept the chat box open in an empty corner of the slide (so it wasn’t blocking activity content).
This was helpful because in-person students could see chat history, and also helped alert me to incoming questions if I was roaming the classroom to answer questions.

We know that you have ideas and suggestions that could be added to this list. Send them to us! OFE would love to hear from you!