HyFlex is a technology-enhanced instructional model that allows students and faculty to fully interact in person or remotely. Most NDSU classrooms are equipped with video technology that allows students or faculty who are vulnerable, in isolation or in quarantine to still teach, learn and be an active part of the classroom experience.
For students in NDSU’s Department of Plant Sciences’ Principles of Forage Production class, things look a little different this year.
“It’s been a challenge to convert a class like forage production to a virtual environment,” says Marisol Berti, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences professor.
“For example, I like my students to be able to smell and touch the different hay and silage samples on the day I teach about forage analysis,” Berti explains. “This year we packaged individual hay/silage samples and had students come pick them up to be able to conduct the analysis at home simultaneously with their lab group.”
Berti also spent weeks photographing and uploading photos of forage samples to allow for all classes, quizzes, tests and lab assignments to be completed online.
“While the workload has been tremendous, one of the benefits of teaching in a HyFlex environment has been class attendance,” she says. “Because students can attend class from home if they need to, we are seeing almost a 100% attendance rate, which is translating into better engagement and higher grades.”
“Now that I’ve developed my class to fit the HyFlex environment, I don’t think I’ll go back to what I was doing before,” says Danielle Condry, NDSU Department of Microbiological Sciences assistant professor.
“My students and I are benefiting from the flexibility, as they are able to help their families, work or participate in extracurricular activities because they have the flexibility to change up their mode of participation at any time.”
Berti and Condry credit the help of graduate and undergraduate assistants with the continued success of their courses.
Berti concludes, “We are continuing to improve the course, working as a team and adapting as we go.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Marisol Berti, 701-231-6110, firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle Condry, 701-231-8345, email@example.com