1. What is HyFlex?
  2. HyFlex learning spaces
  3. Recommended practices for teaching and learning
  4. Supports for getting started
  5. Additional resources
  6. FAQs
  7. Contact

Please note: This page will continue to be updated regularly as more resources and information become available.

With the uncertainty around the fall 2021 and winter 2022 terms and the challenges that some international students may face attending on campus courses, Carleton is offering instructors the option of a HyFlex teaching model beginning in September 2021.

What is HyFlex?

The Hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) teaching model is intended to provide an option to instructors teaching small to medium class enrollments (no more than 60 students), whereby students choose day to day how they will attend each class, either in person on campus or online via Zoom. This means that for each lesson, students choose whether to attend in person or online. As a result, in person attendance may vary significantly from day to day.

Photo courtesy of John Underwood – Purdue University

A HyFlex approach supports student-to-student and student-instructor interactions and participatory teaching approaches. The simultaneous offering of the course on campus and via Zoom is intended to provide students flexibility and allow instructors a method to teach students who may not be able to attend courses on campus. A HyFlex model is not an acceptable model to increase enrollments in courses – rather every student registered in the section must have the option to attend the course on campus.

Example: A fourth-year seminar course with an enrollment of 30 students

Pre-pandemic, all students were required to attend the seminar on campus. The teaching approach used in the seminar was highly participatory – the instructor facilitated discussion and debate, students were responsible to co-teach modules, and students completed activities and problem solving during the class.

In a HyFlex approach, the instructor would be able to adopt similar teaching approaches and provide an option to students on a per class basis on how to participate (whether to attend in class or to attend via Zoom). In situations where significant numbers of students may be international, adopting a HyFlex approach could permit the international students to participate at the same time as the in-class students.

HyFlex learning spaces

HyFlex learning spaces allow for simultaneous face-to-face and online instruction and learning. Carleton University is updating several learning spaces to allow for HyFlex instruction beginning in September 2021.

These initial HyFlex spaces will not look much different than our current classrooms – the existing technical equipment (data projectors, document camera, in-class computer, microphone, etc.) will be incorporated into the overall design. However, the rooms will have added cameras and additional monitors to bring online students into the classroom via Zoom.

Recommended practices for teaching and learning

Instructors should reflect on their specific circumstances, the context of the students that may be registering in their course, and their teaching goals. Instructors considering a HyFlex approach should do so with the following goals in mind:

  • Facilitating interactions between students
  • Creating an equitable experience for both online and in-person students
  • Facilitating the connection between students and the instructor
  • Encouraging active participation and discussion
  • Supporting greater accessibility and student flexibility

A HyFlex teaching model can ensure access to select courses for students unable to attend face to face courses.

With these considerations in mind, Teaching and Learning Services has outlined several recommendations for HyFlex teaching.

Please note: While masks and physical distancing measures are required, small group discussions may be a challenge in the physical classroom. Still, instructors have the ability to engage in-person participants in larger group discussions while online participants are in breakout rooms, or can mediate conversations between online and in class students. Additional guidance for incorporating active learning in a physically distanced classroom is also available.

Supports for getting started

There are several resources and supports available to help you get started with this new modality:

Additional resources



If you have any questions about the HyFlex teaching model or HyFlex classrooms, please email tls@carleton.ca.