Western Sydney University (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 1818-1824
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0516
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
The COVID pandemic has accelerated the rise of new educational delivery models. One notable model is HyFlex, which aims to give students the agency to decide when, where, and how to learn without any loss of fidelity or limitations for engagement. To achieve this, each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Delivery of HyFlex requires collaboration tools and immersive experiences that presently exist outside of traditional Learning Management Systems. Most commonly, this includes Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or social media platforms such as Whatsapp. While the flexibility of the HyFlex model demonstrates a commitment to student success, theoretical and practical frameworks to guide the implementation of HyFlex models are still in their infancy. More work needs to be directed towards areas such as accessibility and inclusion. In this context, accessibility refers to the feasible removal of any barriers to student success in HyFlex learning that a chosen technology platform might unintentionally or intentionally introduce. Inclusion refers the educator’s role in creating a safe environment in which all learners are supported, heard, and treated equally throughout each learning experience, regardless of their mode of study. Both are crucial to maintain the advancements in equity, diversity, and inclusion. This paper aims elucidate for teachers and students, current tools and practices that can be used to generate learning content and educational experiences in HyFlex environments, which address issues related to accessibility and inclusion. Specifically, this paper will give practical recommendations for teachers that are grounded in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and principles of Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robustness (POUR). Finally, this paper will discuss the risks of designing increasingly immersive experiences without considering POUR, and highlight key learnings from the technology sector, digital game design, and high performing geographically distributed teams.
HyFlex, Accessibility, Inclusion.