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The BlendFlex Model

Considerations for Fall 2020
The BlendFlex Model: How Does That Work?
Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Digital Learning
University of Central Florida
69,523 enrollment
Over 13,000 faculty and staff
224 degree programs
26% Hispanic, 47.3% minority
Fall 2020 On-Campus Context
• Must maintain maximum
flexibility for instructional
• Will need to maintain physical
distancing guidelines (COVID
• Will not have enough physical
rooms to move all courses to
larger spaces.
• Do not want to reduce
enrollment to the new reduced
room capacity.
Fall 2020 On-Campus Context
• Do not want to create an
instructional “class system”
where some students get an inperson experience and some
students only receive a remote
• In any given class, at any given
point in the term, any number of
students, or the faculty, may
need to be remote for short or
long durations.
• The more complex the context,
the simpler the solution needs to
Your Mileage May Vary
Definition is
Planned BlendFlex Implementation at UCF
Implementation Considerations
• For very large sections or those with a
twice-per-week meeting schedule,
students may need to be split into
additional cohorts with different
meeting patterns.
• Students cannot choose which day to
attend in person—their only option is
their assigned cohort day.
• Faculty could utilize the same syllabi
and lesson planning (each cohort is a
sub-part of the actual course section).
Faculty will need to take care not to
inadvertently disadvantage remote
• A real-time video feed and/or a
recording of each class session will be
available to those students not in the
classroom on a given day.
• Consistent AV platform
across all locations
Crestron control system
In-room computer
Projectors or large monitors
Document Camera
Microphone and assisted
listening in many rooms
• BlendFlex tech add-ons for
320 rooms
USB Webcam
USB microphone (PZM or lapel)
USB Capture card
Audio cable
• Faculty do not have to significantly modify
planned F2F pedagogy—only minor
adjustments to classroom practice will be
• Most classrooms are already equipped with
basic technology.
• Most personal equipment (e.g., laptops) can
be configured to work.
• If faculty or students are unable to be on
campus, the class can be easily moved to a
fully remote experience.
• In previous “HyFlex” implementations,
increasing numbers of students tend to
attend remotely, except where attendance is
required. Might actually be a positive in an
environment where we are trying to
encourage physical distancing.
• Active learning might be easier online.
• Lab sections and similar may not work.
• Class content that requires in-person
activities might benefit some students over
• Due to space constraints, large courses
might limit student in-person experiences to
only once or twice for the entire term. Those
might be better-served being designed as
fully remote.
• Faculty are expected to teach face-to-face
in this model. If the faculty plan to be remote
due to being high-risk or other factors, they
should convert the section to fully remote.
• Hearing impaired students will need a
workable captioning plan for that student will
need to be devised.
• Additional costs for equipment and support.
Additional Considerations
• Faculty professional development will
• When to use Zoom (course is mostly class
discussion) vs. when to use Panopto (course
is very large or is mostly lecture).
• How to set up and record in a classroom and
on the computer.
• Must use the classroom document camera or
Zoom whiteboard—cannot use classroom
• Assignments and exams should be able to be
submitted/completed online.
• Suggest asynchronous online discussions
whenever possible rather than synchronous
discussions that involve in-person and remote
• Additional equipment is being purchased
and installed in some spaces.
Twitter: @tbcavanagh