Flex Models (HyFlex and BlendFlex) Discussion January 20-22

Colleagues,

Are you interested in Hybrid learning, specifically "Flex" (HyFlex and BlendFlex) models? This will be an opportunity to explore with David J. Rosen, Moderator of the LINCS Integrating Technology group, and co-author of The What, Why, Who, and How of Blended Learning for Adult Basic Skills Learners how Flex models may be useful for adult basic skills education, particularly -- but not only -- in community colleges that are thinking about or planning HyFlex and BlendFlex Models.

Join the discussion in the LINCS Integrating Technology group at https://community.lincs.ed.gov/group/21/discussion/blendflex-and-hyflex-learning-models-discussion-january-20-january-22

Please share this announcement with colleagues who may be interested and, if they want to contribute to the discussion, share with them these two links on how to join LINCS and the Integrating Technology group. How do I create a new account? and How do I join or leave a group?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Comments

Hello Integrating Technology colleagues,

Your questions and comments about Flex models are welcome now. You don't have to wait until Wednesday. Let us know what's on your mind. The discussion will only be two days, Wednesday and Thursday this week, so post your questions now or as soon as possible, as you may want to follow up on the answer(s) with more questions.

Thanks!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Colleagues,

Friday, January 22nd, is the last day of our Flex (HyFlex and BlendFlex) Discussion. If you haven't yet, please check it out, and if you have questions or comments, please post them now or on Friday. Thanks.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

My very 1st questions are all about definitions:

What is HyFlex and what IS BlendFlex? I've seen these words used to describe a number of different delivery models - in K-12, Higher Ed, and Adult Ed. Is there yet any agreement about the *specific* elements that make something a "flex" model? (Vs just online+in-person blended)? At what point is something NOT a "flex" model?

My 2nd set of questions have to do with asynch and synch online learning delivery options - and how they fit in to "flex" definitions.

Looking forward to the discussion!

Hello Integrating Technology colleagues,

Often in the LINCS Integrating Technology group we've had a guest expert or a panel of experts.  In this case, however, I haven't invited an expert but, instead, I am playing the role of what I would call an enthusiastic learner who has been intrigued by flex models and wants to learn more. I expect that you, and I hope others who join in this discussion, are also intrigued learners. Perhaps we'll have some "in-the-trenches" flex model practitioners and experts join us. I hope so. Fortunately there are a few Flex model experts in the post-secondary education field, including in community colleges; in this discussion, I'll point them out so, if you wish, you can read what they've written. You can point out other experts that I may have missed. As far as I know, however, in the adult basic skills field there are no experts yet working with Flex models and writing about their experience, and no research. If I am mistaken, I hope someone will correct that impression. I'm hoping that as flex models increasingly are used by people in our field that you and I will be able to learn more about them.

Now let the discussion begin. Share your questions, your experiences, and your knowledge

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

David and everyone - 

I'm intrigued by the potential of this model. It seems to allow for maximum flexibility for student engagement and I would guess can have an impact on persistence. Do you know of any programs that have tried this out? I'm wondering specifically, what the start up was like - did it take lots of extra staff time to get the first iterations of the courses rolling?

Jen

Jen, you asked, "Do you know of any programs that have tried this out? I'm wondering specifically, what the start up was like - did it take lots of extra staff time to get the first iterations of the courses rolling?"

I have the same question, where in post-secondary education AND in adult basic skills education have Flex models been tried and then made a regular choice, and what has been the result? I would add, as you have, and do they in fact lead to greater persistence and completion, to more students reaching their education goals? Here’s what I have found, but it's not a definitive or comprehensive answer, and may be expanded in the next few months and years as more colleges and – I hope – adult schools and programs try Flex models..

Although HyFlex models had their origin at a university, San Francisco State, BlendFlex models appear to be more widely used in both community colleges and universities, for examples:

BlendFlex has been pioneered at the two-year Central Georgia Technical College, University of Central Florida, Nova Southeastern University Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, and at Seward County Community College, in Kansas. There are also several community colleges in Illinois that have  been implementing BlendFlex models, and some of these have been including adult basic skills classes in their plans, for example Lewis and Clark Community  College and the College of DuPage.

HyFlex has been implemented at San Francisco State, and the University of St. Thomas, in Minnesota and perhaps elsewhere.

At the time of this Inside Higher Ed article, “Introducing a New(-ish) Learning Mode: Blendflex/Hyflex” January 24, 2018 https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/01/24/blendflex-lets-students-toggle-between-online-or-face-face  according to Brian Beatty, approximately 20 institutions had experimented with variations on BlendFlex or HyFlex.

I would agree, Jen, that the Flex models could offer maximum opportunities for student engagement, and that’s one reason I find them appealing. They also offer maximum opportunities for staying enrolled when a student cannot attend an in-person class for some period of time, but can engage remotely in the same content – addressing the same content standards – until they return to an in-person class or, in some cases, instead of the in-person option complete the class asynchronously.

As far as Flex start-up, because it's based on decisions made at each institution or agency, there is a lot of variation. However, most community colleges, at least, start with a limited number of courses, perhaps with one or two pilot classes first, to work out the implementation challenges. A curriculum that may have been used only in-person, even if proven successful in that mode, may need to be adjusted so it is also equally successful in an online synchronous or asynchronous mode.Training for instructors in addressing the complexities of delivering that curriculum in three modes is essential, especially if the goal is that all three will achieve the same kinds of successful results. Very often in the BlendFlex model there is also technology that is new weven toi the tech savvy instructor that needs to be mastered, a mobile robot camera, for example that follows the instructor around the in-person classroom so that students participating remotely get to see the instructor and perhaps the students. One example of this technology is the SWIVL. In many implementations, the first steps include involving instructors who want to be early adopters, who may also participate in the design of the model and its Flex curriculum. The institutional, agency, school or program goal may not be to have _all_ classes delivered in a BlendFlex model, for example, hands-on occupational training courses, or other classes in which hands-on practice, observation and assessment are essential may not lend themselves to a Flex model.  

I should add that I, too, would like to know more about what the variations are on start-ups, and what has been learned from those experiences.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

 

 

Collegues,

These notes on how the University of Central Florida uses BlendFlex come from two sources:

What Students Need to Know About The BlendFlex Modelhttps://digitallearning.ucf.edu/newsroom/keeplearning/blendflex-model/

What Faculty Need to Know About The BlendFlex Model https://digitallearning.ucf.edu/newsroom/keepteaching/blendflex-model/

I will preface the details with this overall note about the UCF BlendFlex approach: UCF does not want to create an instructional “class system” where some students only get an in-person experience and some students only receive a remote experience.

How BlendFlex Works

  • For a typical instructional week, the class is split into smaller groups that meet physical distancing requirements in the assigned space. Students are only be permitted to attend one in-person class meeting per week. For example, in a class that typically has 100 students enrolled, 33 students would physically meet on Monday, 33 would meet on Wednesday, and 34 students would meet on Friday.
  • When not in a physical class, a student “attends” the equivalent of the weekly instruction remotely, either synchronously (live stream) or asynchronously (through a recorded session).
  • For very large sections or those with a twice-per-week meeting schedule, students may need to be split into additional groups and limited to a once-per-every-other-week in-person meeting schedule (or other arrangements) in order to comply with physical distancing guidelines.
  • A student cannot choose which day to attend in person; their only option is their assigned cohort day. If a student chooses to not attend on their assigned day, that is their choice within their instructor’s attendance requirements.
  • A real-time video feed and/or a recording of each class session is available to those students not in the classroom on a given day.
  • An instructor can use the same syllabi and lesson planning (each cohort is a sub-part of the actual course section). The instructor will need to take care not to inadvertently disadvantage remote students by ensuring that each cohort has equally meaningful face-to-face experiences throughout the term.
  • UCF uses Panopto, a classroom-based auto-recording capability that also enables easy curating and indexing of content within a recorded video.

Advantages

  • Faculty largely do not have to significantly modify planned pedagogy—only minor adjustments to classroom practice will be necessary.
  • Most classrooms are already equipped with basic technology.
  • Most personal equipment (e.g., laptops) can be configured to work.
  • If faculty or students are unable to be on campus, the class can be easily moved to a fully remote experience.
  • In previous “HyFlex” implementations, increasing numbers of students tend to attend remotely, except where attendance is required by the faculty. This might be good in an environment where the college is trying to encourage physical distancing.
  • Online active learning activities are suggested for those courses in which physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained for face-to-face activities (headphones will be required for online active learning that occurs within a physical classroom environment).

Limitations

  • Lab sections and other courses (e.g. performance-based) may not work in this model due to their core face-to-face, physical requirements.
  • Class content that requires in-person activities might benefit some students over others (e.g., in any given week, one particular group of students might benefit from an in-class activity while the rest must make do with a remote experience).
  • Due to space constraints, large CBA RA (REAL) courses might limit student in-person experiences to only once or twice for the entire term. Those might be better-served being designed as fully remote.
  • Faculty are expected to teach face-to-face in this model. If the faculty plan to be remote due to being high-risk or other factors, they should convert the section to fully remote.
  • If a deaf or hard of hearing student registered with Student Accessibility Services is enrolled in the course, a workable captioning plan for that student will need to be devised.
  • Additional costs for equipment and support.

Implementation Needs

  • Faculty professional development will include:
    • When to use Zoom (course is mostly class discussion) vs. when to use Panopto (course is very large or is mostly lecture).
    • How to set up and record in a classroom and on the computer.
    • Using the classroom document camera or Zoom whiteboard— instructiors cannot use classroom whiteboards.
    • Assignments and exams should be able to be submitted/completed online.
    • Suggest asynchronous online discussions whenever possible rather than synchronous discussions that involve in-person and remote students.
  • Additional equipment is being purchased and installed in some spaces.

BlendFlex Faculty Training

The Center for Distributed Learning and the Office of Instructional Resources have created an online, self-paced course that should take around an hour to complete. This course gives an overview of how this model will be used at UCF, address questions instructors have about its implementation, and identify considerations in teaching practices. It also contains a helpful guide of tools, technologies, and strategies for applying this model in instructors courses.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

 

Thanks so much, Duren, for your questions. They are a welcome kickoff for this discussion.

Here are my answers to some of your first set of questions:

“What is HyFlex and what IS BlendFlex? I've seen these words used to describe a number of different delivery models - in K-12, Higher Ed, and Adult Ed. Is there yet any agreement about the *specific* elements that make something a 'flex' model? (Vs just online+in-person blended)? At what point is something NOT a 'flex' model?"

I see HyFlex and BlendFlex as the newest models of teaching and learning made possible by digital technology that offer adult learners more control over how they can take formal learning courses, how they can make them fit the demands of their complicated lives.

Before the digital revolution there was group, and one-on-one, in-person learning in a physical teaching/learning space, a classroom or tutoring space. There was also paper-based distance education, what have often been known as correspondence courses, and there've also been courses delivered through radio and television technology.

With computers, portable digital devices such as smartphones, the Internet and Worldwide Web, there've been online distance education or remote learning, with online courses, including Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCs.

We've seen hybrid learning models, a combination of remote/online and in-person teaching and learning. More recently there's been an integrated kind of hybrid learning, known as blended learning, where what one learns online and in-person addresses the same content standards, but in different teaching and learning modes.

Now we have Flex learning, a super flexible kind of hybrid or blended learning.

There are two, I think similar, kinds of Flex learning, HyFlex and BlendFlex. “Hy” refers to “hybrid”, and "Blend" refers to “blended” learning.

In a HyFlex model, instruction consists of blending online student attendance and face-to-face student attendance in a single course. Brian Beatty, when he was the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations at San Francisco State University, called the new mode he was developing in the mid-2000's "hyflex."  Beatty, incidentally, is currently Associate Professor of Instructional Technologies in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University.

Here's some information about the key principles of HyFlex:

Beatty (2019) clarifies key principles of HyFlex courses as:

(a) providing students a choice regarding how they will attend a given session,

(b) offering equivalent learning activities in all modes,

(c) using the same learning objects for all students,

(d) ensuring that students are equipped with the technologies and skills to participate in all modes, and

(e) employing authentic assessments.

According to its proponents, the HyFlex model is more learner-centered and flexible than standard mixed mode classes, because students can make their own choices about fitting their learning needs to their course experience (Liu & Rodriguez, 2019). 

And here's an answer to your question, Duren, about the difference between HyFlex and BlendFlex models:

Another format—BlendFlex (blended + flexible)—differs slightly in that instructors pre-assign student face-to-face attendance on certain days and students may choose how to participate on other days (e.g., attend remotely, watch a recorded session, complete online module) (Quinn & Lee, 2016).

More answers coming in my next reply.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

 

Benefits of BlendFlex and HyFlex Models

  • Students have the freedom to choose the course mode.
  • Videoconferencing puts students in BlendFlex courses if they choose to attend synchronously but remotely.
  • Recorded lectures are available in an online archive for all sessions.
  • With a BlendFlex or HyFlex model, both students who want to be very engaged with the teachers, and those who don’t want to be engaged with their teachers have a choice.
  • Although BlendFlex might sound like more work for instructors, and in some cases constructing a full in-person course and a full online course may be more work – in other cases teachers may find the BlendFlex mode easier than teaching the same course in two or three different modes simultaneously.
  • One BlendFlex teacher at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota wrote, "With blendflex, I have one section with one Blackboard shell and all my assignments, emails, discussions and course materials are the same for the BlendFlex class and are all located in this one class section, and [it] is so much easier to manage and maintain. Where I had 35 students in three classes, I now have 105 in one class."

Challenges of BlendFlex and HyFlex Models

  • Most students aren't familiar with BlendFlex when they arrive on campus. Choosing a course without having to select a corresponding modality can be jarring at first. Central Georgia Technical has worked the concept into its orientation and trained student advisers to explain the approach.
  • Students must still be accountable for completing assignments or they may be removed from their course.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community, Integrated Technology group

Duren, you asked “Is there yet any agreement about the *specific* elements that make something a "flex" model? (Vs just online+in-person blended)?”

Brian Beatty has defined HyFlex, and how BlendFlex differs from it, but as in many innovations in education it’s hard to say if there is widespread agreement. In my view, what is most important is not so much the ways that HyFlex and BlendFlex are the same or different, but whether and how these models as implemented actually meet adult learners’ needs, as well as learning organizations’ -- especially adult schools' and programs' needs. Perhaps, over time, particularly as more studies are conducted, researchers may come to agree on what distinguishes the various modes. 

You also asked, “At what point is something NOT a ‘flex; model?”

So far, the best treatment of that question I have seen is from Beatty’s detailed and comprehensive book, Hybrid-Flexible Course Design (Updated 07/07/20), free and online at https://edtechbooks.org/pdfs/mobile/hyflex/_hyflex.pdf  You will find a list of short descriptions of models that he believes qualify as HyFlex on  pages 22 – 27, and “design approaches” that share many characteristics with HyFlex, but differ in at least one fundamental way so are not truly Hybrid-Flexible as he defines the term on pages 28 – 32.

You also wrote, “My 2nd set of questions have to do with asynch and synch online learning delivery options - and how they fit in to "flex" definitions.

A simple answer, from what I have learned, is that all Flex models, HyFlex and BlendFlex variations, offer both synchronous and asynchronous modes. All have: 1) a synchronous in-person delivery mode, 2) a synchronous online delivery mode and 3) an asynchronous online learning mode. All also allow students flexibility in changing from synchronous to asynchronous modes, although in the BlendFlex model, as I mentioned earlier, there may be little or no flexibility in choosing the day(s) of the in-person class and, of course pandemic restrictions may mean that the in-person is not available.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Duren's question and your response reminded me of my years teaching in the TESOL minor program at the U of MN. I ran blended learning format for some of my classes there. When students couldn't come to the in person part of the course, I'd come up with an instructional equivalent. I tried to create learning activities beyond just requiring them to read a classmate's notes. This was before it was common to use web conferencing tools for synchronous instruction. Generally, I'd ask them to write responses to the readings that others had discussed in class. I'd use Google docs, so that if more than one were absent they could collaborate and respond to each other. Sometimes, I'd have them do this ahead of time and integrated these responses into the classroom discussion.

I'm sure there are other teachers out there who have come up with similar/other equivalents, so perhaps we do have some collective experience in the field creating parallel content for in class instruction.

Duren's question and your response reminded me of my years teaching in the TESOL minor program at the U of MN. I ran blended learning format for some of my classes there. When students couldn't come to the in person part of the course, I'd come up with an instructional equivalent. I tried to create learning activities beyond just requiring them to read a classmate's notes. This was before it was common to use web conferencing tools for synchronous instruction. Generally, I'd ask them to write responses to the readings that others had discussed in class. I'd use Google docs, so that if more than one were absent they could collaborate and respond to each other. Sometimes, I'd have them do this ahead of time and integrated these responses into the classroom discussion.

I'm sure there are other teachers out there who have come up with similar/other equivalents, so perhaps we do have some collective experience in the field creating parallel content for in class instruction.

As I read David's description as well as reading this article ...

https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2020/7/eli7173.pdf

I am immediately thinking that we have tools available online that are free and sound like they meet so many aspects of what is required for a good HyFlex  program to run. The tool that came to mind is Twitch. 

For those of you not familiar with Twitch, it is a free platform that allows people to stream and share experiences with a live audience and these experiences are even saved for a while within the service so asynchronous consumption can happen. Twitch started out as a means for people to play video games with a live audience in a way that allowed the audience to interact in many ways in a chat. The streamer presenting would monitor the chat or have a friend monitor the chat to catch questions or comments that needed attention. Most of all, the streamer would modify their actions based on the what the viewers discuss. 

As Twitch evolved, non gaming activities have been encouraged and now there exists a huge range of experiences one could interact with. These streamers create a community feel by broadcasting their experiences for about 3-5 hours a day. During that time, they are sharing their thoughts on what they are doing, options they might engage in, asking opinions or insights from the viewers and interacting in many creative ways including polls and mini games within the chatting experience. 

It seems to me that a teacher could easily include students present in person in the stream in a way that present students, remote students and the teacher are all contributing to the stream and the experience. Since this is recorded, the whole experience can even be viewed by people that could not make the experience first hand. 

If people would like a more formal introduction to Twitch and what kinds of things people are currently offering, please let me know as I really feel this tool has potential in learning experiences. From what I have seen in hours of browsing channels, I have not seen any streams describing themselves as "educational" in terms of offering formal academics or support. I will have to dig into their terms of service to see if there might be barriers in their terms, because there otherwise seems every reason that more educational focused content should be available on this tool. 

Hello Jen, Ed, Duren, and others,

Thanks Ed, for suggesting Twitch as a tool that might increase engagement in a Flex model. As both you and Jen have mentioned, new and deeper student engagement may be possible with Flex models. One of the goals for some Flex implementations is that students accessing the class remotely in real-time should be able to participate as fully as those attending in-person. One way that some flex models do this is by using a chat feature, such as chat in Zoom and, where needed, an instructor can un-mute a student's mic, although I could imagine that this might not be a good idea if the student is in a setting with a ,lot of background noise. Some Flex models that I have read about have an electronic whiteboard in the in-person classroom with the Zoom chat displayed in large print so students in class can read what the remote students write. If in-person students have a portable device with them in class they can also contribute to the Zoom chat themselves. This can help to make the chat more lively, and the remote and in-person students feel more equally connected. Perhaps Twitch would increase that engagement, and would be worth trying in a Flex environment. Maybe someone reading your suggestion, Ed, will give it a try.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Integrating Technology colleagues,

You may wonder why Flex models are important for the adult foundational (basic) skills field, some colleagues have asked me what contributions these might make to students and education institutions.

For many years, not surprisingly, our field has had a challenge with student retention and completion of classes or courses. From a student point of view this is sometimes referred to as persistence instead of retention. In the research literature, there are often three kinds of barriers to persistence and retention and completion: 1) Situational, for example students not having childcare, or transportation to get to an in-person class, 2) Motivational, for example students not having confidence or “grit,” or not having a compelling personal reason or goal for the class or course, and 3) Institutional where, because of the organization’s policy on class attendance, the days and times classes are offered, or a requirement for in-person attendance at a class, well-intentioned students find they can no longer attend class, and must stop out for a time, or drop out.

The growth in adult foundational skills education that I described in an earlier post, from solely in-person to hybrid to blended, and now to flex models, offers significant ways to reduce these institutional barriers to persistence/retention, to better fit the lives and emergencies that adult learners often face. I believe that with Flex models, especially the HyFlex model, which provides the greatest opportunities for students to make their own choices about fitting their course experience to their learning needs, we have the potential to greatly increase class or course retention and completion. If so, this would be a benefit for students, for education institutions and, once teachers/instructors get the hang of delivering instruction in multiple modes, possibly for teachers, too.

However, this is all very new and we don’t yet know if, in fact, retention will be improved, or if flex instruction actually has its other proclaimed benefits. We need evaluation and research over time to know this.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

 

Dear colleagues!

What a great discussion on these innovative ways of instruction! 

I cannot agree with you more, David, on your last point. And I have a great evidence of it when a couple of my students had to travel to Japan to extend their visas but it did not prevent them from joining our classes in Chicago. It was mind blowing to see how tech has no borders. It was a terrific "aha" moment for students, no doubt. And the fact they had to get up early, having a jet lag, showed their motivation for learning as well. 9 am in Japan and 6 pm in Chicago, fascinating, right?! And of course, to mention the days of snowstorms here in Chicago when we have to cancel classes last minute and now we don't have to do it.

We also experimented with a hybrid mode of teaching at our Adult Education programs and I discovered for myself that the sound was the biggest issue, very time consuming too. Having students in class and ZOOM is totally different dynamics of teaching and if you are one of those energetic instructors, it might be challenging. It definitely slows down the session, connection delays can have an impact too. But is it definitely one of the solutions during this time for those students that are health concerned or home bound, like self quarantine. I had 2 soon to become Moms, who did not want to compromise their and their baby health, so they chose to join our ZOOM session. 

Our classrooms in the Township High School District 214/Community Education were just equipped with the sound enhanced system and I am looking forward to test it and see if it improves the experience. 

Best, Anya 

 

Thanks Anya,

You have given some great examples of highly motivated learners who might not have been able to continue in the class without the flexibility offered by a class that has both in-person and online synchronous, and perhaps also asynchronous options. It sounds like what you are doing is close to being a Flex model, although typically Flex models are embraced by a higher education (including community college) institution. Although Flex is not for all classes, usually several or many implement a pilot. This may make it easier, with a team of teachers working together to resolve the complexities and to learn from each others' innovations.

Tell us more about your sound-enhanced classroom Anya. What's its purpose, what are the elements of the system, and how are you hoping to use it.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Totally, David! I definitely need to spend some time with the links you posted to clarify the terminology and all the differences for myself. 

As it was mentioned above, it is always a two way street and we think about benefits for the instructors with this mode of instruction as well. And it is great especially for volunteer based programs that have instructors and tutors from different occupations. One of the successful practices is with our "Read 2 Learn" program with the tutor, who is a flight attendant, who was able to deliver a class without cancelling it because of flying to a different location for her job. Isn't it a wonderful flexibility?!

As for the enhanced-sound system, my expectation is as simple as to have a good sound for both participants - in class and on ZOOM this time. Before the students on ZOOM did not hear my instruction or students in the classroom, so I had to repeat it to them or make sure I am not too far from the computer mic. It is definitely a limitation and time consuming. Hope this new system will improve the experience. I will know more next week when see it in action. Will be sending updates. 

Best, Anya

Thanks Anya. I look forward to hearing how your enhanced classroom sound system works.

If it is still difficult for those accessing remotely to hear you, I suggest you look into purchasing a lapel microphone. I believe there are good quality ones for under $100 that a teacher has clipped to a blouse, shirt, sweater or jacket. The microphone is connected to a small bluetooth device that transmits the teacher's voice to her computer, to a video camera or other electronic device. She can control the volume. I have used laptop mics like this when videorecording classrooms, and the teacher can be heard well wherever she travels in the classroom, so connected to your computer, this might be a good solution for students accessing the class synchronously but remote.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group

Colleagues,

For those who may be interested, here are some details from my notes on the Central Georgia Technical College BlendFlex model:

  • Its origin may have been influenced by a course that Carol Lee, Director of Educational Technology at Central Georgia Technical College, took at the University of Central Florida in 2013. She was hoping to improve access for students struggling make reasonable course schedules due to issues of transportation, child care and housing instability.
  • Lee and Bonnie Quinn, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, applied for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant and came up with the “blendflex” term.
  • At first, blendflex classes had a maximum enrollment of 30 students, but as they grew more popular, the institution doubled that number, simultaneously allowing instructors to count a fully enrolled blendflex course as two courses in their contract time
  • Each class in the blendflex model has face-to-face, synchronous online and asynchronous online experiences running simultaneously.
  • Students can choose to attend as many or as few face-to-face sessions as they want, and complete the rest of the course online.
  • They can seamlessly at any time during the semester move back and forth within that course delivery
  • Instructors interested in teaching blendflex courses at Central Georgia Technical must take a nine-hour professional development course taught by Lee that’s itself delivered in blendflex mode, with three face-to-face sessions and an online option. Topics include the basics of blendflex, classroom management tips and technology, including the learning management system and lecture capture.
  • External; Evaluation  Positive results achieved in a BlendFlex math course) https://members.aect.org/pdf/Proceedings/proceedings19/2019/19_32.pdf

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology group