Dr. Jerry Rivera-Wilson, University at Albany
Dr. Gina Riley, CUNY Hunter College
Welcome to K-12 HyFlex!
Our interest in HyFlex learning came from the urgent need to provide flexible learning options for K-12 students during the pandemic. As higher education faculty members who work with inservice and preservice educators (and who also have a combined 50 years of remote and in-person teaching experience), we were quickly able to adapt and adjust our instructional delivery to best meet the needs of the students. As a result of the COVID pandemic, more K-12 schools recognize that flexibility is needed to best support its student population; and that one delivery system does not fit all. As the need for a K-12 HyFlex model grows, we need to be honest about the benefits and challenges of multimodal instruction. Within this blog series, we will outline some of the benefits and challenges of HyFlex instruction in elementary, middle, and high schools. Although we plan on discussing the challenges of HyFlex in K-12 settings in our next blog posting, in this posting we will highlight the benefits of multimodal learning opportunities when considering HyFlex delivery.
Equal Access: HyFlex learning provides equitable access for students with a range of physical, learning, and/or emotional dis/abilities; whether temporary or lifelong.
Learning Preferences: The HyFlex classroom space is helpful for students with a variety of learning preferences. Students who prefer more interactive and interpersonal learning experiences have the opportunity to attend in-person or synchronously; students who prefer more self-paced, self-directed classes can participate asynchronously.
Uninterrupted Instruction: HyFlex learning environments allow for continued, uninterrupted instruction – for example, a school or community health or safety emergency or snow day. A student who tests positive for COVID can also benefit from access to coursework and instruction through a HyFlex modality.
More Options: A significant benefit of HyFlex instruction is the ability to open up language or AP classes to students in rural districts, providing learning opportunities that may not be readily available to some students. For example, a Chinese language class offered in a large urban high school can be opened up to students attending school in a rural area.
Choice and Flexibility: Post-pandemic, parents of K – 12 students are looking for more choice and flexibility regarding their child’s educational experience. A K-12 HyFlex option provides this opportunity for all.
What do you see as the benefits of offering multimodal learning opportunities within the K-12 population? We look forward to seeing your comments!