Faculty: Choosing a Teaching Mode

Choose a path

To maximize safety, flexibility and quality—SMU will be leveraging several instructional modes (SMUFlex—a variant of Hyflex, Fully Online, etc.) for the Fall 2020 academic term. Below is a description of these modes and how an instructor might achieve particular pedagogical strategies within each mode.

Overview

SMUFlex (variant of HyFlex)

A course with a percentage of participants meeting face-to-face and a percentage of students participating remotely during the same synchronous scheduled course sessions. Classes are recorded with Zoom. Students determine, prior to the start of the semester, whether they choose to participate in the course in-person or fully online. The maximum number of students in-person depends upon the space available to socially distance in the classroom.

Advantages

  • Accommodates diverse student needs during an extraordinary time
  • Preserves traditional in-person course elements and teaching styles
  • Offers opportunity to develop valuable course materials that can be repurposed for future classes and other uses

Challenges

  1. Requires extensive preparation—both for online and in-person learners
  2. Requires training and technology systems to engage multiple audiences simultaneously
  3. Potential for technical issues to impede equitable delivery of academic content
  4. Requires extensive adaptation and modification of course content, especially for labs and more movement-intensive or “hands on” instruction
Fully Online

This mode of instruction is made up of materials and course activities where all students and instructors are fully online and accessing synchronous and/or asynchronous course sessions and materials.

Advantages

  • Accommodates students and instructors who cannot attend on-campus classes
  • Asynchronous components offer flexibility for distributed students who have scheduling instability or conflicts
  • Allows instructor to focus on a single audience of remote students
  • Flexibility to encourage student participation as individuals and in groups

Challenges

  • Outside the classroom, many students struggle with distractions, technology access, and other challenges.
  • Most students have limited experience as online learners.
  • Need to develop equivalent learning activities for students to complete synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Requires technology-enabled strategies to build course community and to facilitate instructor-student and student-student connections
  • Requires online teaching training and Canvas technology training

Common Pedagogical Strategies:
Navigating Implementation Across Various Teaching Modes

Strategy SMUFlex (HyFlex) Fully Online
Lecture
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor listening and taking notes.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Other students are watching and listening to lecture remotely either synchronously or asynchronously (watch this lecture within a specific time period) after the class recordings are available.
  • Asynchronous: Recorded videos of instructor and/or visuals, students watch and take notes
  • Synchronous: Instructor shares slides or camera in real-time while also recording for other students.

 

Whole Class Discussion
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating in the live discussion.
  • Remote students can participate synchronously via chats or video with the help of the instructor or a facilitator.
  • Remote students (and all students) can participate asynchronously via discussion boards. Faculty/facilitator engagement at specified intervals and need to identify opportunities to bring asynchronous comments/questions into follow-up instruction.
  • Whole class discussion may very challenging in most settings, but the SMUFlex Mode may still work for specific whole class activities (e.g.,
    facilitator-supported Q&A).
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required.
  • Synchronous: Discussions with voice, camera, chat and guidelines about how to enter into the discussion.

 

Small Group Discussion
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating in the live small group discussions.
  • Remote students can participate synchronously via Zoom “break out rooms” with the help of a dedicated facilitator in the classroom.
  • Remote students (and all students) can participate asynchronously via discussion boards assigned to small groups.
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required?
  • Synchronous: Students raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.

 

Polling
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating with Poll Everywhere and small group discussion.
  • Remote students can participate synchronously through Poll Everywhere. With the help of a facilitator could be put in “break out” rooms for
    discussion.
  • Asynchronous remote students can use discussion boards or self-paced surveys.
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards or self-paced set of survey questions are available for a period of time.
  • Synchronous: Students raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.

 

Group Projects (may last the entire semester)
  • Instructor may find it easier to not try to coordinate these synchronously because of the diversity of modes students are working within. Students work in small groups remotely. For maximum flexibility, students may choose their own times to meet synchronously with occasional check-ins from instructor.
  • Students work in small groups remotely. For maximum flexibility, students may choose their own times to meet synchronously with occasional synchronous or asynchronous check-ins from instructor.
Writing/Drawing on the Board
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor writing on paper under the document camera being projected to the classroom screen.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor writing on whiteboard space visible to the room’s remote camera.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Other students are watching the writing remotely either synchronously or asynchronously after the class recordings are available.
  • Asynchronous: Recorded videos of instructor writing/drawing on a digital whiteboard
  • Synchronous: Instructor shares digital whiteboard and writes for students, in real time while also recording for other students.

 

Get StartedStart teaching with SMUFlex. Start teaching fully online.