In an effort to further accommodate our busy adult students, the College of Online and Continuing Education last January piloted a new hybrid course model that incorporates additional options for online learning with face-to-face, classroom-based instruction.
The HyFlex pilot of an undergraduate organizational leadership course offered at the Nashua Center sought to increase flexibility for students and faculty while maintaining academic quality and rigor. The course included weekly online learning tracks so students who couldn’t attend class instead completed aligned online course work and discussions.
More than half the students in the pilot used the online option, for reasons that included illness, traveling for work and, in one case, childbirth. Feedback was positive, with students reporting that the online option helped prevent them from falling behind in class and administrators praising increased accountability and participation and the enhanced learning opportunities.
“Hybrid courses, including the Hyflex Hybrid Model, benefit faculty and students by providing increased flexibility with respect to convenience and time, high-quality peer interactions, development of communication skills in multiple modes, increased technical skills, and more opportunities to interact with course materials and resources that lead to greater engagement and enhanced opportunities for success,” said Associate Dean of Continuing Education Kim Blanchette, who created the Hyflex pilot with Dr. Christopher La Barbera, assistant dean, and adjunct faculty member Tim Brecheen.
A second Hyflex organizational leadership course was piloted in the in the April term.