What is a HyFlex course?

HyFlex course

Which is better – online learning, or face-to-face? Torn between the two? Try a HyFlex course.

A HyFlex (hybrid-flexible) course is a course that allows each individual student to choose whether they want to attend class online or in person. Students can choose their preferred method of learning on a daily basis; they can attend some sessions online, and other sessions in the classroom.

The term “HyFlex” was coined by Dr. Brian Beatty, SF State faculty member and AVP Academic Affairs Operations.

Why choose a HyFlex course over a fully online course?

Advantages of a HyFlex course:

  • Each student chooses to learn in their preferred learning style – whether online or face-to-face.
  • Students entering the class with a stronger background in the course material may choose to do more online sessions rather than coming to class.
  • Students have the option to attend both online and face-to-face versions of the class, if they find the material difficult, and would benefit from a face-to-face review.
  • The flexibility of a HyFlex course is great for students who commute long distances or who have to balance work and family responsibilities with their education.
  • Classes can continue to take place online, even when there are weather-related circumstances (ex. snowstorms) that make commuting difficult.

But before you jump on the bandwagon, consider the challenges involved in designing a HyFlex course:

  • Assignments, materials and activies must be equivalent in online and classroom use; they must be the same quality and same level of difficulty, otherwise students will have an unfair advantage if they choose one mode of learning over the other.
  • The online course must move at the same pace and run on the same schedule as the face-to-face course, so that students can switch from one to the other without missing or repeating material.

Do HyFlex courses really work? Are they better than fully online, hybrid, or classic hybrid courses?

Let us know what you think.

Additional Resources:

HyFlex Tips for Success (for students) by Brian Rayner

10 Do’s & Don’ts of A Hybrid Course (for students) by David Miles

7 Things You Should Know About the HyFlex Course Model by Educase

The HyFlex World – a blog by Dr. Brian Beatty

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