Principles of a HyFlex Learning Experience

⏱ 3-5 minute read

The advancement of educational technology and the need to accommodate more diverse learner needs has led to significantly impactful learning whether online or offline. This also introduced a lot more freedom of choice and agency for learners as to how they can access their learning. With the current pandemic situation and the need to prepare for possible disruptions, there is a demand for schools and educators to be highly flexible and adapt to any situation in order for learning to continue.

The HyFlex model of learning is an instructional approach that combines synchronous and asynchronous learning in achieving intended learning outcomes. The difference of a Hyflex model of learning from other blended learning approaches is that there is a particular emphasis on the student’s choice and agency on how to participate in their learning.

Students can typically participate in 3 ways:

  1. Face to face synchronous
  2. Online synchronous
  3. Asynchronous

Any combination or proportion of the three that the student chooses would allow for learning continuity and achieving the intended learning outcomes.

The HyFlex model was originally designed for the context of online and distance learning by Dr. Brian Beatty of San Francisco State University. The HyFlex model follows four main values [1]:

Learner Choice – Learners can easily choose between different ways of participating in the learning experience
Equivalency – The different learning activities across the different participation modes should lead to equivalent learning outcomes
Reusability – Artifacts from the different means of participation should be used as “learning objects” for all learners
Accessibility – Learners are given the means and the skills to access all participation modes

The HyFlex model puts the learner’s agency at the heart of the learning experience. By following the 4 main values of HyFlex learning, educators can provide effective learning opportunities for all learners, regardless of how they might participate.

We think the HyFlex model is well suited for the current demands of learning continuity amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. Adopting this approach will surely make use of the insights and best practices from about 2 years of experience with online learning in the country, and ensure as much equitability as possible when it comes to learning continuity.

If you want to learn more about the HyFlex model, you can check out these resources:
[1] Values and Principles of Hybrid-Flexible Course Design – Excerpt from “Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing student-directed hybrid classes” by B.J. Beatty (7 minute read)
[2] HyFlex Course Design Model with Brian Beatty | Think UDL – Podcast of Think UDL with Dr. Beatty discussing the HyFlex model (50 minutes)

You can also do a quick Google search and look up some case studies or demonstrations of HyFlex learning. Here are some examples to get you started:

Principles of a HyFlex Learning Experience – Habi Plus