Students reflect on how last semester went while utilizing the HyFlex mode of learning
North Dakota State University started a HyFlex learning style in 2020. This system was created in order to deal with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. By enforcing this system it allows the students and professors to decide for themselves whether to attend class online or in-person.
This new teaching style was first utilized by NDSU in August of 2020. Dean Bresciani, the President of NDSU, wrote in an email to the students, “It took considerable time and effort to develop the HyFlex concept, and it also took a lot of money to buy the equipment to make it a reality.”
Professors and students needed to learn how to use and utilize new technologies and programs. Some of these programs included Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate and other online resources.
One of the advantages of the HyFlex learning system is that students get to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be on campus. It has also made students learning more flexible. Abby Hopkins, a sophomore at NDSU, stated “My favorite thing about last semester was being able to be more flexible with my schedule when everything was online.”
Not only did this HyFlex system help students cope with Covid-19, but also allowed them to be benefitted in other ways. Students were able to utilize distance learning in order to fit their schedules and to save money. Some students found it easier to stay in their hometowns this semester which allowed them to save money on rent and other expenses.
This system also came with struggles for both professors and students. Learning online has been a different experience for many students. By learning from home, students are prone to more distractions. This can often hinder a student’s learning experience and possibly even their grades.
This system does help people socially distance from one another; however, it also prevents students from meeting new people and classmates. “I felt a little less connected to my peers,” said Hopkins. Social distancing is essential to preventing Covid-19, but it has affected relationships on campus.
Although these changes caused some challenges to NDSU it also allowed benefits for students and faculty. “None of it would matter, however, if the faculty, students and staff didn’t embrace the changes and accept the new challenges,” said Dean Bresciani.