Interactive Synchronous HyFlex: From Pandemic to Praxis

Nathan Mentzer
Associate Professor
Purdue University

•Need: The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated traditional face-to-face learning experiences. The mass transition from traditional classroom environments to online learning in March of 2020 required STEM educators to design flexible learning experiences and reconceptualize engagement and participation.Using blended synchronous instruction paired with face-to-face instruction, the HyFlex model offers learners the option of participating remotely for short or long-term as needed.•Guiding Question: In light of the HyFlex model pilot success and these implementation challenges, our study is driven by two research questions: 1. How does HyFlex synchronous blended learning impact student learning, sense of community, and engagement as compared to a traditional face-to-face environment? And 2. How does student learning, sense of community, and engagement compare between students participating face-to-face and students participating remotely in a HyFlex synchronous blended learning course?•Outcomes:To lay the groundwork for institutional improvement and expand beyond the Purdue campus, our project content will be created and maintained initially for our instructors and then shared publicly. Inspired by the advisory board members IMPACT model and HyFlex Course Design Text (Beatty, 2019), we will useGoogle Classroom to create an open public Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) like interface. Our sharing mechanism will be an asynchronous online faculty learning experience that highlights the major principles of course design and assists users by guiding them through modules outlining HyFlex approaches. This ‘digital handbook’ will outline the various aspects of the HyFlex model by giving accessto screenshots, classroom photographs, and videos showing exemplars. In addition, the digital handbook will provide a list of commonly occurring challenges and our evidence-based approaches to addressing these to assist the instructors should problems arise.•Broader Impacts: This project will maximize student learning and sense of community while allowing learning to continue, uninterrupted by sickness, natural disaster, or global pandemic, where remote learning is not a consolation prize for isolated students but, rather, an informed autonomous decision students can make based on their geographic or physical needs.


Shawn Farrington, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Adrie Koehler, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN