Technology & Learning Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HyFlex?

[Excerpt from Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)] 

The hybrid flexible, or HyFlex, course format is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning. Each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students can decide how to participate. The flexibility of the HyFlex model demonstrates a commitment to student success, and that flexibility can also enable institutions to maintain educational and research activities during a disruption.

For a quick, clear overview of HyFlex classrooms, please take a look at Educause Learning Initiative’s (ELI) “HyFlex Course Model (PDF),” which details seven important things you should know about the HyFlex course model.

What is ChicoFlex?

In the past, the Hyflex course format is known to give students the opportunity to choose when to attend F2F vs online. However, in our current COVID-19 campus environment, we must stay within the limits of the COVID maximum classroom capacity for social distancing.

Hence, we are adding adjectives (i.e. COVID-Modified) to the Hyflex model in order to differentiate from traditional Hyflex definitions and capabilities.  

What will ChicoFlex Look Like? 

Modes of Instruction (MOI) determine how faculty deliver the course to students.  The traditional modes of instruction recognized by campus are face-to-face (F2F), hybrid, and online.

Existing Modes of Instruction (MOI) Categories

  • F2F - Curriculum is delivered in-person and hence student synchronous engagement is expected, although course materials and activities may exist online.
  • Hybrid - Partially online and partially in-person. Mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction and interaction. Internet access required.
  • Online - Curriculum is delivered fully online and hence student synchronous and/or asynchronous engagement is expected.

Modes of Instruction Detailed List

The full list of detailed modes of instruction at Chico State with their descriptions are listed here:
https://www.csuchico.edu/schedule/glossary.shtml 

Fall 2022: ChicoFlex Mode of Instruction

Class meets at set days/times with students simultaneously attending in-person or online.

Faculty work with department chairs to set attendance expectations in the Class Notes field of the Class Schedule so that students can plan accordingly. See below for example. 

 chicoflex class listed in Class Schedule

 

Can Anyone Teach a ChicoFlex Course?

  • Who should teach ChicoFlex?

    • Faculty comfortable with technology
    • Faculty comfortable with juggling multiple audiences
      • Comfortable juggling attention in the classroom F2F and online
    • Faculty organized and prepared in advance for lessons and activities
    • Faculty comfortable with multiple styles of teaching/pedagogy
      • Able to keep students engaged both in the classroom and those online
    • FOR STUDENT SUCCESS - Faculty who teach:
      • High DWF classes where students need social motivation
      • Students who are at high risk of failure
      • UNIV 101 - how to be a successful learner
      • Undergrad, lower division
      • Freshman comp
      • Experiential learning
  • Who should not teach in ChicoFlex?

    • Faculty who aren’t comfortable with technology
    • Faculty not comfortable with multiple audiences at once
      • Challenged to keep students engaged both in the classroom and online
    • Faculty who are not experienced and well-versed in online methods of instruction
    • Faculty uncomfortable with having three different audiences (F2F, online synchronous, and perhaps online asynchronous); this can be challenging if the faculty have not prepared course materials in advance.
    • Faculty who primarily lecture should just record video or teach via Zoom; try to keep videos to no more than five minutes each UNLESS using resources in the Hyflex classroom to teach while all students in Zoom for
      • Use of white board
      • Use of special classroom / lab resources

How Do I Design a ChicoFlex Course?

  • Promote activities that involve both students present F2F and students attending synchronously.
    • For example, how to do think, pair, and share with both audiences?
    • Using polling to engage both groups of students.
  • Methods for inclusion when speaking to different audiences at the same time that interact in different ways (F2F, online synchronous, online asynchronous).
  • Use Zoom chat for classroom questions and communication.
  • Limitation of students F2F still need to be doing social distancing.
  • Take advantage of technology and various tools to promote engagement and participation.
    • Use the LMS to structure your course so that everyone has the same access to each other and to content.
    • POLL EVERYWHERE (pre-planned polling questions for engagement and reflection back to the whole class) - All students can be polled wherever they are.
    • Use Google (Docs, Jamboard, Currents, etc.) for students to collaborate on documents in real-time whether in the classroom (with computer) or online.

What Technology is Required for a ChicoFlex Course?

Chico State has about 500 classrooms or lecture/lab spaces (not conference rooms). Before COVID, there were essentially three types of classrooms: traditional classrooms without computer equipment; smart classrooms with computers and internet access along with other equipment for presentations; and distance learning classrooms (just two in the library basement). After the onset of COVID, the campus invested in upgrading many of our classrooms to ChicoFlex, which now have or should soon have “livestreaming” equipment.

What is a Smart Classroom? What does it contain?

Overview and Equipment:

  • Controller or Touch-panel controller, computer, projector, screen, hardwired Internet connection, wifi
  • No classroom camera or ceiling mics to feed audio/video from the room to the computer
  • 225 smart classrooms out of a campus total of about 500 classrooms

What does a ChicoFlex classroom contain?

Overview and Equipment:

  • Touch-panel controller, computer, projector, screen, hardwired Internet connection, ceiling-mounted auto-tracking PTZ camera, ceiling-array microphone, wifi for students
  • Ceiling camera automatically follows faculty around the room feeding video back to computer
  • Ceiling mic catches all sound in the room and feeds back to computer.
  • The classroom is full broadcast over the Internet using Zoom or other live streaming software. Interactivity capable with online students and F2F students and faculty (audio to and fro).
  • 131 Hyflex classrooms should be available by Fall 2021.

Note: Chico also has a few "distance rooms" in the basement of the Meriam Library that are used for the Chico Distance Online Education program. 

How Do I Know if My Room is a ChicoFlex Room? 

  1. From your browser, go to www.csuchico.edu/classrooms
  2. Select Room Information > Supported Locations.
  3. Uncheck all filters.
  4. Select ChicoFlex. 

 Watch: Check if your classroom is a HyFlex classroom(opens in new window). (2 min)

What is the difference between a smart classroom and a hyflex classroom?

Smart classrooms do not have ceiling-mounted auto-tracking PTZ camera or a ceiling-array microphone. So, no video or audio from the smart classroom can be used for online broadcasting or interaction.

What can I do in a hyflex classroom?

There are multiple ways to teach in a hyflex room:

  1. Record a video/lesson for later viewing (classroom empty, no F2F audience).
  2. “Lecture capture” recording live with students F2F in classroom (for student review of the archive later).
  3. Livestream online with only faculty in the classroom and interacting with all students online. (Students all online in Zoom or other livestreaming options, allowing faculty to focus on one audience.)
  4. Hyflex course design - Faculty engaging with mix of students F2F and online livestreaming.

How Do I Get Trained in a ChicoFlex Room? 

Teaching in a HyFlex room is more than just turning on the camera and the projector.

You need to consider your course objectives and determine how to engage both the in-person and online students. 

If you are not able to attend GoFlex, we recommend the following:

Tips 

Resources