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HomeRemote WorkHow to set up a hybrid + flexible 'hyflex' school environment

How to set up a hybrid + flexible ‘hyflex’ school environment


Managing students in the classroom can be a challenge on its own, but teachers are now faced with the difficult task of facilitating students both in the classroom and from home now that hybrid learning has become so prevalent. Transitioning to hybrid learning is bound to come with some challenges, but by investing in the right classroom technology tools those challenges can easily be overcome. 

This transition into hybrid learning has caused many educators to turn to a hyflex (hybrid-flexible) teaching model. By leveraging the advantages of hybrid and flexible learning, schools can create adaptable, personalized learning environments for students, wherever they may be.

What is the hyflex teaching model?

The hyflex teaching model is when teachers offer the same content online and in-person by streaming the course live online, combining hybrid (remote and in-person) and flexible (flexible times, physical spaces, and more) learning styles. Classes are recorded and can be viewed asynchronously after the lecture or class has finished, and students in the classroom can interact with those at home using video conferencing, online chat, and learning management systems.

Creating a hybrid learning environment

When creating a hybrid classroom, you’ll need:

  • Video conferencing technology designed to facilitate hybrid collaboration
  • A learning management system or collaborative education tool
  • Physical and virtual spaces for hybrid group learning

Embracing hyflex classroom technology  

Video conferencing technology helps large numbers of people communicate, enabling group meetings to operate efficiently at home. The installation of video conferencing cameras and the use of video communication apps have made it possible for teachers to project the classroom to students learning at home. 

Having a video option for class has become essential for those who are unable to attend in person due to staggered schedules, health reasons, or other student limitations. Video conferencing creates a flexible classroom environment, offering learning in formats that are accessible to students from home or the classroom.

To use video conferencing technology for hybrid learning, you can:

  1. Project the classroom on a live feed where students can participate in group discussions from home
  2. Facilitate hybrid group learning through breakout groups or small group video chats
  3. Pre-record lectures that can be viewed from home on students’ own time

Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams have become household names for students and teachers across the country, but many other companies also provide video conferencing technology catered to school environments. 

Just like hybrid workplaces are finding value in cutting-edge video conferencing solutions, so too are teachers. For example, Owl Labs Meeting Owl 3 + Owl Bar work together to deliver a front-and-center solution that captures every angle of a room. When used in a classroom, that means students can sit where they like, and still know that their remote classmates will be able to see, hear, and collaborate with them in real time.

 

Collaborative education tools

In a hybrid learning environment, some students may not feel comfortable speaking in an online classroom. Students may have the option to turn off their microphone and camera, making class participation a little more complicated. This is why cutting-edge classroom technology tools can be a great way to encourage student participation and make students feel more comfortable in an online learning environment. 

Collaborative learning tools include features like online chat, Q&As, virtual hand raising, and more to help students participate however they feel most comfortable.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom allows teachers to facilitate learning by creating and assigning work to students. Each assignment has its own folder and students can easily navigate through the platform to find old assignments. Google Classroom has also integrated with Google Meet so students can now access video meetings through easy-to-use links. Teachers can take advantage of several features that help students actively and consistently participate online as well as in the classroom, which include:

  • Q&As
  • Polls and hand-raising 
  • Assigning multiple students to assignments

Anthology

Anthology is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers to manage courses and give out assignments on one platform. Teachers can post content that is easily accessible to the entire classroom and instructors can create a dropdown menu so that students can access grades and see assignments. Surveys and tests can help gather information from students and teachers can set up discussion boards and threads to boost student interaction.

Creating spaces for hyflex group learning

With the recent rise in hybrid learning, a lot of collaborative learning is now done through video and audio connections. Hyflex classrooms should be set up in a way that allows students and teachers to easily connect with peers working from home. Students should have access to laptops, and cameras should be set up so that students can see the material on the board or in the classroom. This is also important for students learning asynchronously — leverage cloud-based apps where students can create presentations or access materials in real-time and collaborate. 

  • Create opportunities for virtual group collaboration during the school day
  • Set aside socialization time for students who are at home and in the classroom, as well as together
  • Provide access to hybrid learning tools and apps for students to collaborate asynchronously

Setting up a flexible classroom environment

Hyflex (hybrid-flexible) or flexible classrooms offer personalized learning and choices for students during the school day.

Flexible classrooms can be flexible in terms of:

  • Flexible physical space
  • Flexible time for certain activities or participating at certain times of day
  • Flexible participation with opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learning
  • Flexible learning styles
  • Flexible group activities
  • Flexible learning location, either in the classroom at school or remote

Hyflex teaching model

The world has changed over the last few years. Hybrid work and hybrid learning are both here to stay, which means the best educators are already embracing new technology and new teaching models, like hyflex, to give their students the best education they can. Hyflex helps students by giving them a chance to learn when, how, and where they are most comfortable, empowering students to participate in their preferred learning environment.

Hybrid learning is here to stay. Consult with your students when creating a hybrid learning environment to find out how they prefer to learn, socialize, and work together. Make sure all students have access to the necessary classroom technology and offer lots of ways for your students to participate.