Hybrid/HyFlex Model

When the pandemic began in the winter of 2020, Quest instantly changed its teaching and learning model from the standard face-to-face classroom approach to the synchronous online model using the communications and course management system known as Zoom. With Zoom technology Quest held classes and meetings online, engaging its members in almost all of its areas of interest, and continuing to carry on its business.

Using current computer and communications technology, Quest is planning to expand its reach by adding simultaneous in-person and online instruction to it capabilities. Three classrooms at 25 Broadway will be outfitted with computers, projectors, speakers, microphones and cameras so that in-person classes can be simultaneously broadcast as webinars on Zoom. In-person classroom attendees, remote users, and the instructor will all be able to see and communicate with each other during hybrid (in-class and online) sessions, thus engaging all students equally, using an approach called “Hybrid/Hyflex teaching”.

Many colleges and universities are implementing the Hybrid/HyFlex teaching and learning model in some of their classrooms. Using this technology, institutions are expanding their reach beyond just the students who appear in their classrooms to those who are connected to their classrooms via the internet, engaging both in the learning experience equally.

What is Hyflex?

Hyflex is a made-up word which combines the terms “hybrid” and “flexible.” Hybrid learning has been around for many years. It refers to an approach to education that integrates standard face-to-face classroom learning with online delivery of classroom and discussion services. All students in a hybrid class attend the same in person and online sessions.

The diagram below is a two-camera, two-microphone implementation that illustrates the basic functionality of a HyFlex system.

Figure 1. This diagram gives a functional representation of a two-camera, two-microphone implementation of a HyFlex/Zoom-Room set up. The lecture room connects via Zoom to remote users and to the Zoom cloud, where classes are recorded. Recordings are made available to members though the Quest website.

In a HyFlex course, students are given a choice in how they participate, attending either in person or online, or even a combination of both. Students engage with the instructor and the materials in the mode that works best for them.

Questers can choose how they wish to participate in classes. They can

  1. attend face-to-face classroom sessions in-person at the 25 Broadway venue,
  2. participate in online sessions at home on their computers via Zoom,
  3. mix the two modes, attending some classes live and some on line.

In addition, since all webinars are recorded and posted to the Quest video website, Questers will have yet another way of observing classes: by viewing recordings.

HyFlex Class Setup

Consider the configuration given in Figure 1. The cameras may be placed anywhere in the room. Camera A, trained on the instructor, could be mounted on the podium. Its only purpose is to put the instructor’s image into the Zoom video stream. Keep in mind that the instructor’s presentation materials are transmitted directly to Zoom, so remote users see on their screens the PowerPoint slides and the instructor’s face. The PowerPoint slides are also projected onto the projection screen in front of the room for the in-person attendees. The instructor’s voice is picked up by the podium microphone, played though the speakers in the room, and injected into the Zoom stream for the remote attendees.

Camera B, placed in the front of the room in Figure 1, is used to show the in-person attendees. When an in-class member speaks, he or she will be seen by camera B and heard through the nearby microphone. Remote users will see and hear everything that is said by class members, and when remote users speak, their images will appear on the projection screen and their voices heard over the classroom speakers.

The system is designed to engage everyone equally, without regard to where they are located.