Fall semester to include in-person, online and HyFlex course formats
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Fall semester to include in-person, online and HyFlex course formats

The HyFlex academic model is the crux of Belmont’s Returning to Learn plan — even if the finer details are still being worked out, leaving some students with unanswered questions. 

Within the Returning to Learn plan, there will be three formats in which each class may be delivered. 

Some classes will be exclusively online, others may be exclusively in-person but many classes will be in a new, hybrid format — HyFlex — that creates flexibility for student participation in various formats.

“We considered 15 scenarios and ultimately settled on the idea of HyFlex learning as the option that would provide the best possible learning opportunities for students while still allowing for accommodations of physical distancing, learning at a distance, etc.” wrote university Provost Dr. Thomas Burns.

Within a HyFlex course, multiple modes of participation are possible. 

In a given class, some students may participate in-person while others do so online, either synchronously or asynchronously, via recorded class sessions and online learning materials.

Burns clarified in an email to faculty that the HyFlex model, while allowing additional flexibility, is not meant to permit students to attend “whenever they wish” — but was designed with the university’s concern for safety as a priority.

Belmont has not yet announced which classes will use what format, but students who have enrolled in a class that is revealed to be HyFlex will be able to take it completely online as a distance learner.

“These distance learners could include those students who may elect not to return to campus in the fall, or to Nashville, but still wish to remain enrolled in courses, as well as those who may need to self-quarantine,” explained Burns in an email to faculty discussing the HyFlex format.

This option will not extend to any courses that Belmont’s deans determine require in-person learning — a prospect that has some students concerned about the schedules they’ve chosen.

For Rosean Majors, a motion pictures student at Belmont, online classes simply seem like an unlikely option — leaving him wary of the associated risks.

“It’s going to be risky, I feel. But a lot of things in my major are pretty hands-on, so I guess it’s a sacrifice I have to make,” said Majors.

Concerned about those risks herself, senior Abbey Khounmy emailed several of her professors after reading about Belmont’s Returning to Learn plan, but found that nothing was yet set in stone.

“They were telling me different things. Some said we were in-person, some said we were HyFlex. I was just confused,” said Khounmy.

However, students can expect more clarity on which classes are in each pathway within HyFlex learning next month.

“We are updating course schedules and plans in Banner and anticipate that Classfinder will be updated by early August,” wrote Burns. 

Until then, students can continue reference the Belmont Return to Learning website, as well as the emails Dr. Fisher has sent out, for up to date information. Students can also check out a brief overview of the return plan on the Belmont Vision website to orient themselves on the important details of the upcoming semester. 

This article written by Ian Kayanja.

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