StanFlex written alongside a rising arrow


What is HyFlex?

[Excerpt from Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)] 

The hybrid flexible, or HyFlex, course format is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning environments. Each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students can decide how to participate. The flexibility of the HyFlex model demonstrates a commitment to student success and flexibility that can also enable institutions to maintain educational and research activities during a disruption.

For a quick, clear overview of HyFlex classrooms, please take a look at Educause Learning Initiative’s (ELI) “HyFlex Course Model (PDF),” which details seven important things you should know about the HyFlex course model.

What is StanFlex?

In the past, the Hyflex course format was known to give students the opportunity to choose when to attend F2F vs online. However, in our current COVID-19 campus environment, we must stay within the limits of a classroom's capacity for social distancing.

Hence, we are adding adjectives (i.e. COVID-Modified) to the Hyflex model in order to differentiate from traditional Hyflex definitions and capabilities. 

What will StanFlex Look Like?

Modes of Instruction (MOI) determine how faculty will deliver the course to students.  The traditional modes of instruction recognized by campus are face-to-face (F2F), hybrid, fully online.

Existing Modes of Instruction (MOI) Categories

  • F2F - Curriculum is delivered in-person and hence student synchronous engagement is expected, although course materials and activities may exist online.
  • Hybrid - Partially online and partially in-person. A mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction and interaction. Internet access required.
  • Fully Online - Curriculum is delivered fully online and hence student synchronous and/or asynchronous engagement is expected.

New Modes of Instruction for Fall 2022 (StanFlex)

StanFlex (Concurrent in-person & online): Class meets at set days/times in-person and is paired with another section taught simultaneously online.

In the first mode of instruction (concurrent) students can enroll either in an in-person section (enrollment is capped based on the room 25% capacity) or in an online synchronous section. Faculty teach two course sections synchronously from a Stanflex classroom: one section of F2F students (maximum COVID capacity) and one section online in Zoom.

StanFlex (Rotating in-person & online): Class meets at set days/times with students rotating in person and online attendance.

In the second MOI (rotating) all students will have a chance to be in person in small groups, to make sure everyone gets to experience in-person instruction. This mode was chosen with first-year students in mind, who might need to feel more present and part of the new campus community, and to give a chance to more students to be able to attend classes in person (especially in courses with lab components).

A specified number of students attend F2F on specific days for social distancing with COVID capacity in the classroom (typically 25% to 30% of the classroom maximum COVID capacity).

MWF classes - Split full class roster into 3rd

- Last name A-L show up F2F on Monday,
- Last name M-R show up F2F on Wednesday,
- Last name S-Z show up F2F on Friday
Tuesday-Thursday classes - Split class roster into 4 - 25% attend F2F every other T-TH (so student’s F2F attendance is one day every other week)
Other students attend online synchronously via Zoom (recorded)

Can Anyone Teach a StanFlex Course?

Who Should Teach StanFlex?

  • Faculty comfortable with technology
  • Faculty comfortable with juggling multiple audiences
    • comfortable juggling attention in the classroom F2F and online
  • Faculty organized and prepared in advance for lessons and activities
  • Faculty comfortable with multiple styles of teaching/pedagogy
    • Able to keep students engaged both in the classroom and those online
  • FOR STUDENT SUCCESS - Faculty who teach:
    • High DWF classes where students need social motivation
    • Students who are at high risk of failure
    • UNIV 101 - how to be a successful learner
    • Undergrad, lower division
    • Freshman comp
    • Experiential learning

Who Should Not Teach in a StanFlex environment?

  • Faculty who aren’t comfortable with technology
  • Faculty not comfortable with multiple audiences at once
    • Challenged to keep students engaged both in the classroom and online
  • Faculty who are not experienced and well-versed in online methods of instruction
  • Faculty uncomfortable with having three different audiences (F2F, online synchronous, and perhaps online asynchronous); this can be challenging if the faculty have not prepared course materials in advance.
  • Faculty who primarily lecture should just record video or teach via Zoom; try to keep videos to no more than five minutes each UNLESS using resources in a StanFlex classroom to teach while all students in Zoom for:
    • Use of whiteboard
    • Use of special classroom/lab resources

How Do I Design a StanFlex Course?

  • Promote activities that involve both students present F2F and students attending synchronously.
    • For example, how to do think, pair, and share with both audiences?
    • Using polling to engage both groups of students.
  • Methods for inclusion when speaking to different audiences at the same time that interact in different ways (F2F, online synchronous, online asynchronous).
  • Use Zoom chat for classroom questions and communication.
  • Limitation of students F2F still need to be doing social distancing.
  • Take advantage of technology and various tools to promote engagement and participation.
    • Use the LMS to structure your course so that everyone has the same access to each other and to content.
    • POLL EVERYWHERE (pre-planned polling questions for engagement and reflection back to the whole class) - All students can be polled wherever they are.
    • Use Microsoft (Docs, Excel, Forms, etc.) for students to collaborate on documents in real-time whether in the classroom (with computer) or online.

What Technology is Required for a StanFlex Course?

Before COVID, there were essentially three types of classrooms: traditional classrooms without computer equipment; smart classrooms with computers and internet access along with other equipment for presentations; and distance learning classrooms. After the onset of COVID, the campus invested in upgrading many of our classrooms to a StanFlex environment, which now have or should soon have “livestreaming” equipment.

What is a Smart Classroom? What Does it Contain?

Overview and Equipment:

  • Controller or Touch-panel controller, computer, projector, screen, hardwired Internet connection, wifi
  • No classroom camera or ceiling mics to feed audio/video from the room to the computer

What Could a StanFlex Classroom Contain?

Overview and Equipment:

  • Touch-panel controller, computer, projector, screen, hardwired Internet connection, ceiling-mounted auto-tracking PTZ camera, ceiling-array microphone, wifi for students
  • Ceiling camera automatically follows faculty around the room feeding video back to computer
  • Ceiling mic catches all sound in the room and feeds back to computer.
  • The classroom is fully broadcast over the Internet using Zoom or other live streaming software. Interactivity capable of engaging online students, F2F students, and faculty (audio to and from).
  • A number of StanFlex classrooms should be available by Fall 2022.

What Is The Difference Between a Smart Classroom and a StanFlex Classroom?

Smart classrooms do not have ceiling-mounted auto-tracking PTZ camera or a ceiling-array microphone. So, no video or audio from the smart classroom can be used for online broadcasting or interaction.

There are multiple ways to teach in a StanFlex environment:
  1. Record a video/lesson for later viewing (classroom empty, no F2F audience).
  2. “Lecture capture” recording live with students F2F in classroom (for student review of the archive later).
  3. Livestream online with only faculty in the classroom and interacting with all students online. (Students all online in Zoom or other livestreaming options, allowing faculty to focus on one audience.)
  4. StanFlex course design - Faculty engaging with mix of students F2F and online livestreaming.

What's Next? Planning and Training

Stan State will be preparing some materials similar to those higher education institutions below to assist faculty in teaching in a StanFlex setting. We will potentially offer a spring or summer training session to faculty to help with this transition.

Fall 2022

Training for faculty scheduled to teach in the StanFlex classrooms.

  • Faculty will need familiarity with the classroom, equipment, software, and settings of the control panel. Along with what they can do and what works best based on their pedagogical needs.
  • Faculty will need to pedagogically design courses with multiple audiences in mind. These things include:
    • How to best prepare course materials
    • How to engage students in all modalities


Updated: November 02, 2022