ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University will continue to utilize HyFlex on campus, starting again in spring 2022.
HyFlex was used during the COVID-19 pandemic from fall 2020 to spring 2021. HyFlex, or “Hybrid Flexible,” includes not only face-to-face instruction but also synchronous and asynchronous online components, making it accessible to all students, whether on campus or not. Not only did this affect students, but also instructors as well. Students and educators were new to this learning course, which prompted research opportunities on campus.
Student Tony Mangialetti worked with Dr. Ben Harley and Danette Long, Ed.S., did an undergraduate research project, “Implementing HyFlex: A Study of Faculty Using HyFlex Course Design for the First Time,” to examine the experiences Northern instructors had implementing HyFlex in their classes for the first time.
“Ten faculty members were part of the project and were interviewed monthly from September to December,” Mangialetti said.
“The goal of the study was to better understand the challenges these instructors faced and how they overcame them so that we, and administrators at other schools, could better train faculty in HyFlex pedagogies in the future,” Harley said.
The research is still ongoing, and both Mangialetti and Harley said it’s too early to see what their results are.
“HyFlex wasn't just hard on students,” Mangialetti said. “Our faculty really struggled with the transition as well as finding new ways to engage with their students.
But Harley said faculty response has been amazing.
“The switch to HyFlex was no small feat,” Harley said. “Not only were faculty asked to learn new systems and technologies, but they had to adapt their courses and their teaching styles to engage learners in a variety of modalities.”
Though it was challenging to both students, faculty approached HyFlex with dedication and good will.
“Folks were creative and innovative,” Harley said. “It was really amazing to see.”
HyFlex courses will not be offered fall 2021. “Instead, CETL is going to take that semester to offer an in-depth and sustained HyFlex training course to ensure that all HyFlex courses meet Northern’s rigorous standards,” Harley said.
From their applicants, CETL will pick 10 instructors, then discuss HyFlex pedagogies, attending workshops with experts in the field, and develop their own syllabi. HyFlex will be offered again in spring 2022.
About Northern State University
Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and, soon, an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.