Enhancing HyFlex to ActiveFlex for a COVID-19 World
Abstract: In Fall 2020, Athens State University piloted a HyFlex modality in five courses to address COVID-19 concerns among students. The thought was that HyFlex would allow flexibility in an uncertain world. Students would have the option to attend live, synchronously online or asynchronous any week. This would help build resilience in instances where students had to quarantine, shift work schedules, or tend to family members that may be sick. Out of the five pilot courses, there was a large variety in terms of instruction delivered to students. This led to a wide disparity in student and faculty feelings towards the modality. Ultimately, it appeared that the courses that intentionally added in active learning and engagement strategies tended to have higher satisfaction with the modality. Thus future development with the modality was intentionally infused with more active learning elements. This process began to be known as ActiveFlex at the university. In August 2021, the university was awarded a FIPSE grant to further implement and research the ActiveFlex Modality. Our theory is that a key component in truly making ActiveFlex work is adding in the active learning and engagement components not typically found in HyFlex. Thus, we are hoping to collaboratively brainstorm various active learning strategies that are used in traditional and online courses and see if we can blend them together to create an equivalent experience among all possible ActiveFlex delivery modes.