Towards Flexible Learning for Adult Students: HyFlex Design


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In this presentation, I share the results I found from conducting a case study in a graduate educational learning technology course at a medium sized university in the southwest US. The purpose of this case study was to understand the meanings that graduate students assign to their experience with HyFlex design. The term HyFlex has its roots in two words: Hybrid – combines both online and face-to-face teaching and learning activities in a single course, and Flexible – students choose their mode of participation whether face-to-face, online, or both. Findings show four themes that capture the meanings the participating graduate students assigned to their experience with HyFlex design: accommodating students’ needs, increasing access to course content, differentiating instruction, and encouraging student control.

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Towards Flexible Learning for Adult Students: HyFlex Design

  1. 1. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2014 Jacksonville, Florida, United States March 17-21, 2014
  2. 2. Towards Flexible Learning for Adult Students: HyFlex Design MariamAbdelmalak, Ph.D. The New Valley College of Education Assiut University
  3. 3. Agenda: • HyFlex Design • HyFlex Design and Andragogy • The Purpose of the Study • Methodology • The Design of an Educational technology Course That Followed the HyFlex Design • Students’ Perspectives • Conclusion
  4. 4. HyFlex Design: HyFlex Hybrid Face-to-face approach Online approach Flexible Choices
  5. 5. HyFlex Design and Andragogy Andragogy HyFlex Design Self-concept of self-directedness, resulting in a desire of having some control over learning The differences and richness of adult experiences; a need for avoiding “one size fits all” approach; Students as learning resources for one another Providing choices regarding their mode of participation, resulting in a sense of control The combination of face-to-face and online approaches results in multiple paths to instruction; Students learn from each other through threaded discussions and other out-of-class activities.
  6. 6. Andragogy HyFlex Design Adult orientation to learning; Relevance to real world situations Motivated by having choices about how, where, and when to learn Motivated by having a sense of personal control of the learning context. Flexibility to attend class in person or online, depending on their schedule, personality, work/family requirements, etc., results in increase the relevance of the learning environment to adult learners’ life circumstances. Flexible choices to participate online, F2F, or both; Students control the time & place of their participation
  7. 7. The Purpose of the Study • The purpose of this study was to answer the following question: What are students’ perceptions of HyFlex design
  8. 8. Methodology • Qualitative Case Study. • Data Gathering Methods: Observation: a graduate educational technology course for one semester. In Depth-Interview: 6 graduate students. Recordings of class meetings Students’ coursework such as assignments and presentations • Analysis: The cross case analysis
  9. 9. The Design of an Educational technology Course That Followed the HyFlex Design: Before the HyFlex Design After the HyFlex Design Face-to-face Meeting every week Face-to-face + online (adobe connect room) + class recordings Meeting twice a month
  10. 10. Sample Week: Face-to-face students Online students Students who do not attend either face-to- face or online Share verbally thought & ideas Can use chat in adobe connect room Face-to-face students collaborate together Share verbally using microphone and share screenfeatures in adobe connect room Use chat Online students collaborate together using adobe connect room Listen to the class recording, and respond in the discussion area. Discussion area
  11. 11. Students’ Perspectives Accommodating students’ needs and their life circumstances [The instructor] is flexible. It is logical flexibility. She accommodates the fact that we have a life outside our academic life. It is recognition of the fact that she is working with people who have jobs, kids, and family, and what else can happen. She recognizes we are adults; we are running things that can interfere with the class schedule and prevent us from making the face-to-face sections, so the recordings and the online options are there in case something happens. (Sonia)
  12. 12. Students’ Perspectives Accommodating students’ needs and their life circumstances By doing that [having face-to-face and online sections], [the instructor+ accommodates her students’ needs. She recognizes that in order to meet students’ needs, accommodations need to be met in more ways than just learning accommodations. It is also a physical presence accommodation. I appreciate that. (Sara) She accommodates my needs of time by allowing me to attend online. Otherwise I would not be able to take this course.
  13. 13. Students’ Perspectives Differentiating Instruction It is how I learned in the past. I am older, and face-to-face is more comfortable to me, technology is not comfortable for me. I like to be in the class and learn from other students and from the instructor; it just felt more comfortable for me. (Tina) I LOVE online learning. It is the best way to learn. You get the online content, discussion and resources that are quickly delivered and available 24 hour. This lesson needs to be shared with many instructors, that we can learn online and do not have to be sitting in chairs listening to a lecture in order to learn. (Sara)
  14. 14. Students’ Perspectives • Increasing access I think there are many advantages of having multiple delivery modes, like the advantage of just having the option if something happens, so you do not feel like you are missing out. Last class, I did not attend the face-to-face meeting because I was sick, but I listened to the recording. I felt like I was there, and then I participated in the discussion area *Canvas’ discussion+. (Karl)
  15. 15. Students’ Perspectives • Encouraging student control Traditional delivery is a matter of control from the school and from the instructor, it forces you to conform to what they want and what they believe is the most efficient method of delivery. But in this class, we recognize that the most efficient method of delivery may be different for each person. Due to constraints external to our academic life, we may not be able to attend class in person but will benefit from the online option. If something comes up where we cannot even attend the online section, then we benefit from the recordings because we can listen to what was covered. So it is recognizing that not everyone has to attend every class and take notes. We are taking control of our own learning situation, rather than someone else taking control of it. (Sonia)
  16. 16. Conclusion: • Adult learners need flexible learning so they can balance study, work, family and other commitments. • The HyFlex course design acknowledges that learners have different needs and preferences concerning participation in the instructional environment and activities. • The HyFlex course design encourages students to study when and where they are able to so. • Educators of adult learners are actively encouraged to find effective and flexible delivery models to provide all students with more convenient access to quality learning experiences than is possible with traditional on campus offerings alone.
  17. 17. References: • Beatty, B. (2006, October). Designing HyFlex world - Hybrid, flexible courses for all students. Processing ofthe 2006 Association for Educational Communication and Technology International Conference, Dallas, TX. • Beatty, B. (2007a). Hybrid classes with flexible participation options – If you build it, how will they come? Processing ofthe 2007 Association for Educational Communications and Technology Annual Convention, Anaheim, CA. • Beatty, B. (2007b). Transitioning to an online world: Using HyFlex courses to bridge the gap. In C. Montgomerie& J. Seale (Eds), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (pp. 2701-2706). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. • Beatty, B. (2008). Using the "HyFlex" course and design process. 2008 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award. Retrieved October 7, 2012, from course-and- design-process • Beatty, B. (2010). Hybrid courses with flexible participation- HyFlex design. Retrieved Sep. 24, 2012, from • Beatty, B. (2012). HyFlex course design: The advantages of letting students choose the blend. 9th Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference & Workshop. Retrieved October 7, 2012, from advantages-letting-students- choose-blend • Beatty, B. (2013). Analyzing the feasibility of HyFlex. Retrieved April 6, 2013, from • Cordova, D., &Lepper, M. (1996). Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), 715-730. • Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building theory from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532-582.
  18. 18. References: • Holton, E., Swanson, R., & Naquin, S. (2001). Andragogy in practice: Clarifying the andragogical model of adult learning. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 14(1), 118-143. • Kehoe, J. E (1979). Choice time and aspects of choice alternatives. In L. C. Perlmuter and R. A. Monty (Eds.), Choice and perceived control (pp. 67- 82). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. • Knowles, M. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy. Cambridge Adult Education. • Knowles, M. (1995). Designs for adult learning. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development. • Knowles, M., Holton III, E, & Swanson, R. (2005). The adult student: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. USA: Elsevier. • Korr, J., Derwin, E, Greene, K, &Sokoloff, W. (2012). Transitioning an adult-serving university to a blended learning model. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 60, 2-11. • Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. • Miller, J, Risser, M., & Griffiths, R. (2013). Student choice, instructor flexibility: Moving beyond the blended instructional model. Issues and Trends in Educational Technology, 1(1), 8-24. • Watson, J. (2008). Blending learning: The convergence of online and face-to-face education. Promising Practices in Online Learning, North American Council for Online Learning.
  19. 19. Q & A Thank You