Academics & Research Coronavirus News

HyFlex, Synchronous, Asynchronous: UH’s Fall 2020 class formats explained

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UH will begin the fall semester with classes offered in three formats: HyFlex, synchronous online and asynchronous online.

With all three options being at least partially online, all of the different class formats incorporate some form of social distancing. Having these three various formats will also allow the University flexibility to transition fully online at any time it is necessary to do so. 

Course delivery options in the fall will prioritize student choice, accommodate health and safety concerns and allow the University to make rapid adjustments should a COVID-19 resurgence require a return to full remote operations,”  said Provost Paula Myrick Short in a statement.

Despite what format classes take place in, the University plans to prioritize students and their journey towards graduation.

Even in these unprecedented times, student success remains our top priority and we will continue to support students’ timely progress toward graduation,” Short said.  

Currently, the University is planning for all classes, no matter their original format, to transition 100 percent online after Thanksgiving break

HyFlex Classes

HyFlex classes will be the only format to contain any in-person component. A “safe” number of students in each HyFlex class will receive face-to-face instruction in a socially distant classroom. 

Students who are not physically in the classroom can watch the class through a live stream and receive the same instruction as their peers in real-time. Additionally, HyFlex classes will be recorded and available to view after the class has ended. 

While enrolling in HyFlex classes, the instruction mode will read “face to face.” HyFlex classes will also include the specific date and time the class will take place during. 

Synchronous Classes

Synchronous classes will be fully online, but simulate virtual classrooms. These classes will meet virtually at the designated dates and times and allow students to interact with each other and professors. 

These classes may be recorded for later viewing.

Students will know if their online class is in a synchronous format based on if it has a certain date and time attributed to it. All synchronous classes will include a date and time and an online instructional mode.

Asynchronous Classes

Asynchronous classes will be completely online and provide students with flexibility on when and where they complete their assignments.

With no dedicated class dates and times, students may access asynchronous class materials at any time. 

Some professors teaching asynchronous classes can arrange virtual classroom meetings on a class by class basis.

All asynchronous classes will be categorized as online under the instruction format. Students will be able to differentiate asynchronous classes from synchronous by seeing “TBA” under the designated date and time slot.

The University strives to give students variety and safety with the multiple class format plan.

“The University of Houston is committed to providing students with safe and flexible options to continue their education,” Short said.

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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