Addendum #9: Eleventh Hour HyFlex Planning Notes for High School Courses

This is one of those brief, barely-hanging-on posts. I need to take a detour from my series on “Ways of Knowing” for learning and teaching since remote-teaching-readiness is occupying my mind in light of recent news reports of districts being open for only a few days or a few weeks before shifting to remote learning suddenly. Recently, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on additional sources since my post in May on “HyFlex Course Planning Strategies for High School Teaching and Learning…” 

Especially helpful for me at this point is Kevin Kelley’s post about “COVID-19 Planning for Fall 2020: A Closer Look at Hybrid-Flexible Course Design” Kelley reflects on four key points from  Brian Beatty’s book section on “Values and Principles of Hybrid-Flexible Course Design“: 

  1. Learner Choice: Provide meaningful alternative participation modes and enable students to choose between participation modes daily, weekly, or topically.
  2. Equivalency: Provide learning activities in all participation modes which lead to equivalent learning outcomes.       
  3. Reusability: Utilize artifacts from learning activities in each participation mode as “learning objects’ for all students.                            
  4. Accessibility: Equip students with technology skills and equitable access to all participation modes.  

With slight qualifications and clarifications, these are really helpful. For #1, I’m assuming that Kelley is not referring to the over-emphasized à la carte approach that I’m picking up from some blending learning coaches (the hideous “voice & choice” chant); instead, I’m assuming that the focus on choice is about the access for the student. I would also want students to be at least participating weekly–preferably biweekly at the least so that I can interact and coach them with feedback frequently, in real-time or “asynchronously” (more on coaching next week).

For all references to “modes” in #2-4, I would want to make sure that students are focused on appropriate text-based and knowledge-rich sources. Again, I think it’s fair to say that Kelley is not promoting the problematic notion of learning styles as we discuss the HyFlex or flexible versions of blended learning–instead, he’s focused on the range of in-person to totally remote modes of access.

Specifically helpful in June, Kelley updated his post with sample schedules of how one might run the time segments of a class with the three modes in mind, via his “run of show” Google doc with examples of a 50-minute HyFlex class session and a 75-minute HyFlex class session. [There’s an excellent discussion happening in the sidebar comments for the document!]

From that link, here’s a snippet from Kelley’s chart for planning a 75-minute HyFlex class session–this is on my mind since our school suddenly went to block scheduling this year! 



That sort of charting looks really practical and helpful for setting up flex-ready planning, and I’m starting to draft some versions of it for my 100+ minute, strait-block courses that are coming soon.

In thinking about my classroom, I would also add a segment or two in the left column for something like on-the-spot, actionable feedback (an essential that Michael Degen and others have rightly rightly reminded about recently) and some sort of brain-shifting Quizlet-style game or a current event image for discussion.

So, that’s it for this week. On a related note, I’ve also become fascinated by the topic of masterful coaching so I’m going to visit that next week before returning to some problematic issues with modern rational “Ways of Knowing.” Gotta’ go…


Additionally, a noteworthy page referenced by Kelley: “Active Learning in Hybrid and Physically Distanced Classrooms

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