Getting Started FlexSync Teaching

What is FlexSync?

FlexSync course delivery allows students to attend the same class in-person or remotely via Zoom.
This flexibility may be used throughout the semester to meet student needs and preferences as well as adjust to evolving distancing guidelines due to the current global pandemic.

To adopt the FlexSync teaching model, consider the following steps:

  1. Create a hub for all your class activities
  2. Communicate with Your Students
  3. Engage Students Synchronously
  4. Engage Students Asynchronously
  5. Adopt a Variety of Tools for Assessment
  6. Familiarize Yourself with Classroom Technology

1. Create as a hub for all course activities

Create a hub to share access to all course activities, using a tool like D2L Brightspace - your courses are already there!

Tips for Teaching with D2L Brightspace

  • Log in to D2L Brightspace to locate your courses.
  • Use the Content tool to organize and share instructions, activities, and materials for:
    • Synchronous Activities: This helps make sure all learners whether joining in-person or by video conference can access necessary materials through D2L Brightspace.
    • Asynchronous Activities: Give outside of class online homework and assessments, by linking to Existing Activities from Content to tools like Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions.

2. Communicate with your students

Communicate with your students early about key expectations and technology needs for success in FlexSync courses. Consider the Four Keys for Success as you develop your communication with students:

Four Keys for FlexSync Teaching Success

Communicate Expectations

  • Provide policies in your syllabus that outline expectations for:
    • Synchronous Participation: Be sure to distinguish between:
      • In-Person Participation
      • Video Conference Participation
    • Asynchronous Participation: Homework, assessments, exams, watch class recordings or mini-lecture videos, etc...

Best Practices for Developing a FlexSync Attendance Plan

Communicate Technology Needs

Communicate Course Organization and Important Dates

  • Use Announcements in D2L Brightspace for a quick share of upcoming class topics and due date reminders.
  • Provide a course schedule that outlines due dates and learning activities.
  • Use Content modules or topics and add Due Dates to all topics to communicate with students about when to engage with what content. Example of module/topic structure:
    • Week 1 (Start Date - End Date)
      • Before Class Meeting Activities (Due: Date, Time) 
      • In-Class Meeting Activities: Date, Time
      • After Class Activities (Due: Date, Time)

3. Engage Students SYnchronusly

Engage students in your real-time meetings whether they are in-person or video conferencing.

10 Strategies for Engaging Learners through Active Learning

Browse all of the 10 Strategies Series for Engaging Learners on the MavLEARN website. Here are some specific strategies to consider for FlexSync:

4. Engage Students Asynchronously

Create an asynchronous online learning space that will optimize student learning.

Getting Started with Online Course Design

Here are a few strategies to get started with your asynchronous online course components in the FlexSync model:

5. Adopt a variety of Tools for Assessment

There are many tools available to assist you with the assessment (asynchronous recommended):

You can quiz all students, hold in-depth discussions, and collect essays and papers in D2L Brightspace:

  • Use Class Progress to get an at-a-glance view of student engagement in your online course
  • Use Quick Eval to quickly locate and give feedback on outstanding quizzes, assignments, discussions
  • Attach Grades Items to all Quizzes, Assignments, and Discussions for quick and up to date grade books.
  • Under the Assessment menu you can find:
  • Under the Communication menu you can find:
    • Discussions
  • Use Media Space to create graded video quizzes.

Online Exam Security

6. Familiarize yourself with classroom Technology

Some FlexSync classrooms will have video cameras, microphones, and monitors built-in to make it easy to invite, launch and conduct in-class and video conferencing meetings at the same time. Other FlexSync classrooms will be set-up to make it easy for a professor to quickly plug in their laptop, launch a Zoom meeting, and display screen and sound to bring distance students into the classroom. Learn more about the technology and view our video tutorials and training. Check with your department to learn about room assignments and the specific classrooms available to you.