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, fully 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.
  • Fully Online - Curriculum is delivered fully online and hence student synchronous and/or asynchronous engagement is expected.

Note: Distance Education (Section 72) - Was unique to the Chico Distance and Online Education program where faculty teach in the library basement with students live on Zoom and students live F2F in the classroom.

Modes of Instruction Detailed List

The full list of detailed modes of instruction at Chico State with their descriptions.

New Modes of Instruction for Fall 2021 (ChicoFlex)

Chico State has just added two new ChicoFlex modes of instruction.

parallel lines

ChicoFlex (Concurrent in-person & online): Class meets at set days/times in-person and is paired with another section taught simultaneously online. 

In the first mode of instruction (concurrent) students can enroll either in an in-person section (enrollment is capped based on the room 25% capacity) or in an online synchronous section. Faculty teach two course sections synchronously from a Hyflex classroom: one section of F2F students (maximum COVID capacity) and one section online in Zoom.

rotating stations

ChicoFlex (Rotating in-person & online): Class meets at set days/times with students rotating in person and online attendance.

In the second MOI (rotating) all students will have a chance to be in person in small groups, to make sure everyone gets to experience in-person instruction. This mode was particularly chosen with first-year students in mind, who might need to feel more present and part of the new campus community, and to give a chance to more students to be able to attend classes in person (especially in courses with lab components).

A specified number of students attend F2F on specific days for social distancing with COVID capacity in the classroom (typically 25% to 30% of the classroom maximum COVID capacity).

MWF classes - Split full class roster into 3rd

- Last name A-L show up F2F on Monday,
- Last name M-R show up F2F on Wednesday,
- Last name S-Z show up F2F on Friday
Tuesday-Thursday classes - Split class roster into 4 - 25% attend F2F every other T-TH (so student’s F2F attendance is one day every other week)
Other students attend online synchronously via Zoom (recorded) 

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 How: (video 1:40)

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.

 Demonstration of how ceiling cameras and mics work in the room.

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? 

This past summer, we offered GoFlex(opens in new window), a 5-day, hands-on session for faculty to practice teaching in the ChicoFlex classrooms. With the start of the semster now upon us we need to get creative on training faculty due to the high demand on Technology and Learning Program and Classroom Technologies.

Remember, it is not the technology that is a hurdle. It is the practice and pedagogy. 

ChicoFlex Jump Start 

  1. Ask a colleague who attended GoFlex(opens in new window) to orient you to your classroom. 

  2. Go through the How to Use the ChicoFlex Classroom (Google Doc) self-start guide at your own pace in your classroom. 

  3. Complete the Earn your wings: pre-flight checklist (Google Doc).  

Tips 

Resources