Published June 30, 2020
As Dodge City Community College (DC3) returns to face-to-face classes this summer and fall, new methods of class delivery are being explored and implemented, such as hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) classes.
“HyFlex is a synchronous instructional delivery system that combines a video platform, such as Zoom, Canvas, BigBlueButton or others, with in-person instruction,” Dr. Jane Holwerda, DC3 Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “This enables members of a class to participate remotely while the instructor gives in-time, in-place instruction. It also can be used to meet social distancing protocols. We are in the process of developing syllabi content to communicate expectations and processes relevant to delivery.”
Stephanie Gruver, DC3 Professor of Mathematics, said that with the HyFlex model there will definitely be some changes to in-person classes.
“It will depend on class size as to whether it can be fully face-to-face or if there will be times when they need to meet virtually,” Gruver said. “The HyFlex model is not a true hybrid model, as students will be expected to attend class at the designated time, whether they are attending face-to-face or virtually.”
DC3 English Instructor, Jay Gooldy said that although classes will be given synchronously, students also will be given the opportunity to watch recordings of classes asynchronously in the event of a COVID-19 or other illness.
“The college is also reallocating some computers, teaching technology, cameras, and sound bars to accommodate almost any challenge that may appear,” Gooldy said. “Fully online classes are still being offered as well.”
In addition to the above preparations, Plexiglas shields, along with masks, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer, are already in place across campus for the second session of summer classes, he said.
With the HyFlex system, all coursework will be assigned and turned in through DC3’s Canvas learning management system (LMS). However, the format of final exams has yet to be determined, Gooldy said.
DC3 Associate Professor of Vocal Music, Kerry Kuplic, said he plans to make frequent use of video conferencing technology to supplement his in-class music lectures, after information technology (IT) upgrades his classroom space.
“IT will be installing a sound bar and camera to allow video delivery of lectures and class activities,” he said. “For larger classes like Understanding Music, I’m planning on delivering a face-to-face lecture in conjunction with a video component. That’ll allow half of the class to attend at a time. I plan to rotate the groups to observe social distancing guidelines and to allow the students the flexibility of an in-person and virtual, synchronous, setting.”
Kuplic said a Plexiglas shield also will be installed around the piano in the choral rehearsal room.
“That’ll allow me to teach voice lessons and conduct choral rehearsal from the piano, while still being able to see and hear the students with minimal interference,” he said. “It’ll also allow our staff accompanist an added layer of protection when he’s at the piano and I’m conducting.”
Depending on the COVID-19 guidelines at the time of DC3’s various upcoming concerts and student recitals, Kuplic said he also is investigating the possibility of electronic delivery.
“I prefer live concerts and performances, but I would definitely consider a prerecorded or video component to enhance live performances in the future,” Kuplic said. “There’s some amazing technology that could really bring a new dynamic to our concerts.”
Should the college face a second shutdown due to a resurgence of coronavirus, Gooldy said course deliveries will more than likely shift back to a fully online schedule like they did with the initial shutdown.
“We learned quite a bit from that situation and are focusing on making better use of our digital tools, like Canvas, throughout the semester—with or without a shutdown,” he said. “I think the college is preparing as well as anyone in the country. Everyone, from Board members to faculty, should be comfortable with the steps that are being taken. Family members should be confident that their students attending DC3 will be safe and will receive the highest quality education possible, no matter what form that takes.”
By Lance ZieschDC3 Media Specialist