By Carlos Guevara, Director and Wilfredo Rodríguez, Coordinator, EdTech

HyFlex at Hostos

The pandemic put the academic world upside down by accelerating the implementation of Hybrid and Online modalities in a blink of an eye. This proved that online teaching is possible at a large scale rather than at a slow pace as experienced in the pre-pandemic era. Of the many changes Covid-19 brought, was the search for approaches to better serve our students in these trying and still uncertain times. The exploration of Hyflex learning at Hostos and many other CUNY campuses started to gain momentum and a CUNY-wide committee connecting the academic and technology sides was formed to implement a pilot project for the Fall 2021 semester. AVP and CIO, Varun Sehgal, and EdTech Director, Carlos Guevara, are representing Hostos on this committee.

“A HyFlex course gives students the ability to choose to attend class sessions either face-to-face or online (e.g., synchronous, asynchronous). The number of modalities available to students will vary from course to course. Students can move among available modalities from class session to session at their discretion.”

What is HyFlex?

“A HyFlex course gives students the ability to choose to attend class sessions either face-to-face or online (e.g., synchronous, asynchronous). The number of modalities available to students will vary from course to course. Students can move among available modalities from class session to session at their discretion.” – CUNY working definition. Hostos joined this initiative and invited members of the EdTech Leadership Council (ETLC) to consider volunteering or recommending faculty who would like to volunteer and join this initial pilot. Five faculty members from the Education Department showed interest and volunteered to be part of this exciting initiative. Over the summer, they participated in a training course offered by SPS and Lehman to learn about the practical and pedagogical approaches to implement HyFlex courses. The five faculty members participating in this pilot are Profs. Asrat Amnie, Johnathan Morales, Edwin Mendez, Miguel Balbuena and Carlos Guevara. In parallel, Hostos IT’s Classroom Technology Support Center (CTSC) retrofitted five smart classrooms to be able to support HyFlex learning (C-463, C-551, C-593, B-515, A-336). Additional hardware was added to these rooms, an Owl Pro 360 camera, and a TV monitor on the back wall of each room. The camera provides a 360-degree view of the classroom and follows whoever is speaking in the classroom. It also has the capability of splitting the view and focusing on the instructor and any student who is speaking. The TV serves as an extended screen, where all students who join the class online are displayed and monitored by the instructor. Additional support is provided to faculty teaching these courses by assigning a dedicated Technology Support Assistant for the course.

Resources for Faculty:

To learn more about Hyflex Learning at Hostos visit its dedicated website: https://commons.hostos.cuny.edu/edtech/hyflex-classroom-technology/

To learn more about the Hyflex Classrooms at Hostos, please visit:
https://commons.hostos.cuny.edu/edtech/hyflexlearning/

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