Teaching in a HyFlex classroom space requires a few specific steps and presents some special challenges. Below are some suggested practices for setting up a HyFlex learning environment so that all students can participate, and for facilitating student learning experiences in as equitable a manner as is possible.
Establish a clear process with students who need to connect remotely. Indicate:
- how they can connect to the class via Zoom and provide information about important support resources (e.g. how to contact the Technology Service Desk for help);
- how they can expect to participate through making contributions, asking questions, engaging in group activities, etc.;
- how they can communicate issues and problems that arise, for instance sound quality or video issues; and
- what a "Plan B" might be if there is a problem connecting, for example that they can view a Zoom recording later.
Tip: If you want to create a Zoom link only for students who need remote access, for example those with an AEC accommodation, create a recurring Zoom link directly in your UO Zoom account (not through Canvas) and email the link directly to students who need it. Similarly, if you plan to share a link to a Zoom recording only to those who miss a class, set this link up directly in your UO Zoom account.
Establish a technology setup routine for when you arrive at the classroom. Suggestions include:
- before you arrive at the classroom, have your Zoom account open on your device, plus have open the materials you plan to project, such as slides, browsers, etc. This is particularly helpful if you are coming from another class and only have a few minutes to set up.
- arrive as early as you can and focus first thing on connecting your device to the classroom technology. For instance, first turn on the Crestron panel and projection system, then connect your device via HDMI to the Crestron, and via USB to the Camera and Mic (use these instructions for HyFlex classroom technology set up). Then start your Zoom class session to connect remote students. In HyFlex “2” spaces, remember to turn on the lapel mic.
- get confirmation in chat or verbally from remote students that they can hear you and see your screen. Remember, you will need to unmute your Zoom microphone for them to hear you, and you will need to "share screen" in Zoom for them to see what you project.
Tip: Let students know that you must use the time before class for technology setup, thus they should email you questions or information before class or wait until after class (if you are able to meet after and do not have to transition to another class), or wait until you are set up and might have a few minutes before class starts.
Tip: Remember that you must in Zoom connect the microphone and the speaker (both found under the "Mute" microphone icon button at lower left in the Zoom interface) and the camera (found under the "Start Video" camera icon button at lower left in the Zoom interface). Again, use these instructions for HyFlex classroom technology set up.
Repeat student contributions for the benefit of everyone, but especially for those on Zoom who are relying on the microphone for sound. The presence of masks further affects sound volume and quality, which is another reason to repeat contributions for everyone’s benefit. That is, not just students connecting remotely will have difficulty hearing voices in the classroom; other students in the physical classroom may have difficulty hearing their peers’ contributions. Note that the instructor’s voice tends to be captured better in a HyFlex “2” space with a lapel mic. In the HyFlex “1” space with the mic built into the Logitech MEETUP camera, it helps with voice capture if the instructor remains close to the microphone when speaking.
Tip: Consider enabling the closed caption setting in Zoom and turning on live transcription during class. This can help every student, not just those connecting remotely.
Establish a method for remote students to signal they have a contribution to make. For example, they might indicate in the Zoom chat they want to make a contribution, ask a question, etc. – or just post questions, contributions, etc. in the chat if they are not wanting to voice them aloud.
Tip: If you are projecting the Zoom interface on the screen during open discussion, you can ask students in the classroom to watch for signals in the Zoom chat (or raised Zoom hand, etc.) and alert you when a remote student is wanting to contribute or ask a question or has put a contribution into chat. If you are not projecting the Zoom interface during open discussion, you will need to ensure you check the Zoom interface on your device from time to time in case a remote student is wanting to contribute.
Have a plan for how remote students engage in small group work. For instance, you may need to have one of the groups in the classroom meet near your device and the microphone in order to interact with remote students. Alternately, you can establish set groups and ask that a member with a device login to Zoom to connect with remote students who are part of their group. Another option is to have groups use a virtual tool as part of their interaction, allowing remote students to engage at least in the virtual space, if not via camera and sound. If you have more than one remote student, the remote students on Zoom could be their own group. Lastly, and depending on the purpose of the group activity, a single remote student could be a “group of one” and engage in the activity individually. However the remote students might participate in group activities, ensure there is a way for them to share the results of their work in a similar manner as other students – for instance, an oral summary via Zoom or a submission to Canvas or other virtual space (which might be a substitute for paper submissions in class).
Tip: If you regularly check in with groups during group work time, remember to check in with remote students on Zoom, too.
Be prepared that issues will arise, for example poor sound quality for remote students or poor internet connection that prevents them from connecting. It is thus helpful to have other options in place, such as using Zoom to record your class session or having students in class take and post notes for others in the class. If recording over Zoom, you can make that recording available only to students who need to connect remotely (why we advise scheduling your Zoom link directly in your UO Zoom account and not through Canvas, if you are wanting to restrict access to recordings). You can also ask remote students to connect with you during office support hours to check in, discuss issues, troubleshoot problems, or brainstorm different options for participation.
Tip: Check in with remote students periodically to ask how it is going. Are they able to hear? Can they see the shared screen okay? Are their signals for contributions being acknowledged in a timely way? Is their engagement with groups working?