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Investigation on Students' Educational Experience with HyFlex Instruction Model in Two Engineering Courses

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Learning and Teaching Experiences

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Emine Celik Foust York College of Pennsylvania

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Emine Celik Foust is currently an Associate Professor at York College of Pennsylvania. In 2008, she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Mechanical Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University. She received her Master of Science and Ph.D degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University.

Emine Celik Foust's research interests include design and development of engineering systems using analytical and experimental approaches (advanced global imaging techniques). Areas of applications include flow-induced vibrations, flow around bluff bodies, airfoils, perforated plates, cavity configurations, and biomedical devices.

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Inci Ruzybayev York College of Pennsylvania

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Inci Ruzybayev is Assistant Professor in Engineering Physics at the York College of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph. D. in Physics from University of Delaware and her M. S. and B. S. in Physics Education from M.E.T.U. in Turkey. Her technical research interests are in structural and characterization of TiO2 thin films and magnetic nanoparticles along with pedagogical research interests in improving engineering physics curriculum and seeking solutions to gender bias.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators all around the world searched for effective ways to continue teaching. Although switching to online learning seemed to be the safest and most appropriate method at the time, the virtual setting is inadequate for providing active learning. Hands-on learning is indispensable especially for engineering programs. In Fall 2020, synchronous online mode was augmented with HyFlex instruction for the first time. HyFlex is short for Hybrid learning and Flexible course structure. The HyFlex course model provides students with the following options to choose from: (1) face-to-face, (2) online, or (3) a mixture of face-to-face and online. For the HyFlex instruction, instructors at the current institution divide the class into groups to follow social distancing in the classrooms, which reduces the number of students present in the classroom to roughly half of its maximum capacity. Depending on their assigned group, students take turn attending face-to-face classes in with the instructor present. When the student is not physically in the classroom, they join the class through Zoom meetings. In this study, our focus is on the HyFlex instructional model that our school implemented recently. Two engineering classes selected for this study are Electricity and Magnetism, a sophomore level Engineering Physics class, and Fluid Mechanics, a junior level class. Both classes have students from various engineering disciplines. The study group includes 103 students in Physics and 48 students in Fluid Mechanics. It should be noted that in Fall 2020, the semester started a week earlier and all the breaks were removed to encourage students to stay on campus in an effort to prevent spread of COVID-19. As the end of the Fall semester was approaching, both instructors noticed that some students were having more difficulty with the HyFlex instruction in comparison to traditional face-to-face instruction. These difficulties included not being able to complete assignments on time, lack of motivation, and having trouble obtaining and retaining information. To investigate this further, a survey was administered to study the influence of the HyFlex instructional model combined with the shortened semester on the mental and emotional health of the students. Documenting the advantages and disadvantages of this model will help us to shape a better instructional model that could be used more widely in the future. The instructors will discuss their observations on the HyFlex instructional model as well as feedback for future semesters.

Foust, E. C., & Ruzybayev, I. (2021, July), Investigation on Students' Educational Experience with HyFlex Instruction Model in Two Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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