Campus, News

CSULB to synchronize in-person, virtual classrooms with launch of Hyflex

Long Beach State officials are looking to expand the use of Hyflex, an alternative teaching program that blends in-person and live video sessions to enhance students’ learning experience, for the fall 2021 semester.

Introduced by Associate Vice President for Academic Technology Services Shariq Ahmed during Wednesday’s Associated Students, Inc. Senate meeting, the new course format looks to accommodate remote students by allowing them to engage with faculty and students who are participating in face-to-face learning.

Hyflex, or “hybrid-flexible” and sometimes referred to as “connected classrooms,” according to Ahmed, would allow instructors to move around the classroom while a ceiling-mounted camera follows them based on adjustable settings.

“Faculty can press 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending upon where they’re standing, but they’d have to make that choice,” Ahmed said. “So if they’re standing in front of the podium, then press default one, if they move over to the whiteboard they would press the preset number two.”

The cameras can pan, tilt and zoom to show “pretty much everything,” Ahmed said.

Some of the earlier versions included multi-cameras switching from different possible positions and a lapel microphone for instructors.

Now, microphones are omnipresent throughout the classroom.

So far, Ahmed said, CSULB has 34 classrooms on campus operating with Hyflex. The Liberal Arts and Psychology buildings can expect 65 additional Hyflex-integrated classrooms during the fall.

According to Ahmed, plans to implement Hyflex in upwards of 225 classrooms in the next two years marks a new beginning in the “next pedogogy” of education with CSULB.

“Faculty can connect to their peers in other universities internationally and in organizations or institutions,” Ahmed said. “Where they can bring in scholars or other speakers into their classrooms, and the students will be able to see these folks on the cameras and engage,” Ahmed said.

In many schools, COVID-19 has led to course modifications that reflect some of the principles of HyFlex, which has prompted emergency remote learning.

“The long-term goal is to make our classrooms really connected in and out of the classroom with individuals across the board,” Ahmed said.

Associated Students, Inc. Senate will reconvene via Zoom next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

One Comment

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    Patty Denham

    That sounds awesome! However will a recording of the session also occur so you can go back and review it at a later time and take notes.

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