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Pandemic Response: Hybrid-flexible Course Delivery for General Education Computer Science 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

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Ben Ralph Bernard North Dakota State University

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Ben Bernard is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Computer Science at North Dakota State University and is the Computer Services Specialist for the Department of Architecture & Landscape Architecture at NDSU with sixteen years of service. Bernard has been professionally recognized for his contributions to NDSU's new cybersecurity educational programs and is the first to be awarded an MS in Computer Science with an Cybersecurity focus at NDSU. His research interests bring new technologies together with creative education and outreach implementations, frequently featuring digital fabrication, augmented & virtual reality, and cybersecurity education. Bernard leads a team of graduate & undergraduate design students to research and implement advanced design technologies.

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Jeremy Straub North Dakota State University

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Jeremy Straub is the Director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the North Dakota State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Scientific Computing, an M.S. and an M.B.A. and has published over 40 journal articles and over 120 full conference papers, in addition to making numerous other conference presentations. Straub’s research spans the gauntlet between technology, commercialization and technology policy. In particular, his research has recently focused on cybersecurity topics including intrusion detection and forensics, robotic command and control, aerospace command and 3D printing quality assurance. Straub is a member of Sigma Xi, the AAAS, the AIAA and several other technical societies, he has also served as a track or session chair for numerous conferences.

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Using the Hybrid-Flexible course delivery model (HyFlex), instructors typically build content for both a fully online course and for a ‘face-to-face’ classroom environment. HyFlex courses use both learning environments in tandem, sharing the same learning outcomes each week so that students can move between the online and in-person experiences in the course seamlessly. However, the HyFlex methodology can also be used for courses that do not have an in-person component to them. In these cases, HyFlex provides students with flexibility in the delivery of the course to allow them to choose learning options that align with their preferred learning styles and activity types.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked significant interest in the HyFlex course model. It allows colleges and universities to temporarily close or reduce in-person attendance and apply social distancing policies to classrooms to reduce the risk of disease spread among the student and faculty populations. Thus, it enables students and instructors who prefer instruction in a physical classroom the opportunity to safely do so.

This paper covers the adaptation of a course, CSCI 159: Computer Science Problem Solving, to the HyFlex model. This paper presents the strategies used and the lessons learned about how to effectively instruct general education computer sciences courses using the HyFlex course model.

Bernard, B. R., & Straub, J. (2021, July), Pandemic Response: Hybrid-flexible Course Delivery for General Education Computer Science Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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