The following resource was compiled for the 2020-21 academic year of remote and hybrid learning. 

Please also see our article about how Amherst faculty adopted HyFlex strategies for their Fall 2020 classes.

A HyFlex (hybrid-flexible) course was initially designed at San Francisco State as a student-centered learning model that allows students to participate in any given course either in person, online, or both and in any combination from class to class and week to week that works for the student. In our current context, it has become a catch-all for teaching to students who do not have flexibility but are engaging both remotely and in-person with the same course and faculty. At Amherst College, we are using this term to specifically capture those faculty who are attempting to teach remote and in-person students synchronously in the same class.

Resources from the Center for Teaching and Learning

  • Hy-Flex Overview & Resources- An overview of research and literature about HyFlex teaching, its potential impact on faculty and students, and considerations for Amherst faculty.
  • Flexible & Resilient Teaching (Center for Teaching & Learning)- an overview of an approach to course development  developed at Duke in which teaching and learning can be successful in any mode of delivery (online, in-person, etc).
  • Flexible Teaching Models - Offers several potential ways to visualize your course and think through what might fit your course goals.

Options & Approaches

Note: All of the options below assume that course materials will be presented via Zoom screen sharing. Displaying blackboards/whiteboards requires extra technology.

Option 1: Separate Meetings for Remote Students

  • Keep in-person sessions low-tech, and hold separate meetings for remote students over Zoom. 
  • This allows the instructor to give remote students their full attention during a class meeting, instead of being split between remote students, in person, and managing the technology. 

Option 2: Zoom as Primary Class Meeting Method

  • With this method, you can keep Zoom as the primary meeting method for class meetings or lectures. 
  • Use on-campus and face-to-face meetings for supplemental activities like small discussion groups, project-based work, labs or performative activities, etc.

Option 3: Zoom for Instructor Only

  • In this method, the instructor is connected to remote students via Zoom, with a webcam pointed toward the room to display the instructor and/or in-class students to the remote students.
  • The instructor wears a microphone connected to Zoom, and the remote students voices are heard through the instructor's computer or room speakers. 
  • The instructor will need to moderate communication between remote and in-person students.
  • Discussion can happen in small groups: in-person students talk to each other, and remote students talk to each other.

Option 4: Zoom Video for Everyone, Audio through Instructor Computer Only

  • All class participants (in-person and remote)  are on Zoom on their laptop or phone, but in-person students have their speakers and microphones turned off (important to prevent feedback).
  • The instructor is connected to Zoom and has their computer connected to classroom speakers and/or an external microphone. All audio goes through the instructor's speakers and microphone.
  • Discussion can happen in small groups: in-person students talk to each other, and remote students talk to each other.
  • This method requires extra technology, and will not work well in large classrooms.

Option 5: Zoom Video and Audio for Everyone

  • All class participants (in-person and remote)  are on Zoom on their laptop or phone, with headphones.
  • There will be an audio delay from when someone speaks in the room and when the sound comes through headphones.
  • Discussion can mix in-person and remote students in Zoom breakout rooms.
  • This method requires a lot of technology. 

Additional Resources


Published Spring 2021 by Academic Technology Services