This book is an expression of my journey with Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) course design over more than a decade, working with the students and faculty at San Francisco State University and many others in institutions of higher education around the world. Many of the ideas and stories come directly from teaching using this approach, and learning from students and other faculty experiencing the journey alongside. 

In particular I’d like to thank San Francisco State faculty Eugene Michaels, Kim Foreman, Peggy Benton, Patricia Donohue, Zahira Merchant, Jeff Brain, and Kevin Kelly for their significant contributions in initiating this work, shaping the values and guiding principles we adopted, using their design expertise to modify our practices, and trying this out for themselves so they could contribute “firsthand” insights. Special thanks to Patricia Donohue and Jeff Brian for contributing their experiences in their own voices as videos in Chapter 2.1. Teaching a Hybrid-Flexible Course.

Of course, none of this would have even started without our need to serve students better in the Instructional Technologies graduate program at San Francisco State. To those students who experienced the early versions of HyFlex course design I offer my eternal thanks for their patience, enthusiasm to be part of something new and different, and for their willingness to share their experiences in class, in course evaluations, research surveys, and in targeted messages to HyFlex students and faculty. Highlighted in this book in Chapter 2.2. Learning in a Hybrid-Flexible Course are contributions from Catherine Mone, Nate Kaufman, Gustavo Campos, Jess Kaufman, Joel Compton, David Miles, Brian Rayner, and Kate Miffitt. 

Many of the participants in workshops at professional conferences, sponsored by publishers, or hosted by institutions considering HyFlex adoption have shaped the story in meaningful ways also. Some of the most impactful contributions are represented in the case reports found in Unit III; special thanks to the initial group of case report authors: Cathy Littlefield, Stephanie Donovan, Jeanne Samuel, Amanda Rosenzweig, Mark McLean, Rene Cintron, Glori Hinck, Lisa Burke, Jackie Miller, Melinda Baham, Melanie Lefebvre, Susan Balter-Reitz, Samuel Boerboom, and Zahira Merchant.

I'd also like to thank my family for their support, patience and willingness to live a life that requires flexibility itself  in many ways: Nellie, my life partner, and our children Elizabeth, Teresa, Jennifer, Katherine, Angela and Christopher. Our shared academic journey allowed each of you to follow your own path through your formal learning years, discovering what worked best for your specific situation at the time. You provided lived evidence every day of the value of adapting instruction to meet the unique needs of learners, including participation mode. Special thanks to Teresa for the cover design for the book!

This book is offered to our education community as a gift to help others find their way to provide students with a better learning experience that meets their unique and individual needs for both flexibility and high quality. This work has been often challenging, sometimes rewarding, and always interesting. After you’ve received something important from this work, please share it with your students, faculty, administrators and others who may benefit.

I leave you with a final piece of ancient wisdom that seems very appropriate for an open access work: ”It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35, New International Version.

Brian Beatty, October 2019

Brian J. Beatty

San Francisco State University

Dr. Brian Beatty is Professor of Instructional Technologies and co-coordinator of the Instructional Design and Technology MA program in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University. Brian’s primary areas of interest and research include social interaction in online learning, flipped classroom implementation, and developing instructional design theory for Hybrid-Flexible learning environments. At SFSU, Dr. Beatty pioneered the development and evaluation of the HyFlex course design model for blended learning environments, implementing a “student-directed-hybrid” approach to better support student learning.  

Previously (2012 – 2020), Brian was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations at San Francisco State University (SFSU), overseeing the Academic Technology unit and coordinating the use of technology in the academic programs across the university. He worked closely with IT professionals and leaders in other units to coordinate overall information technology strategic management at SFSU. Prior to 2012, Brian was Associate Professor and Chair of the Instructional Technologies department in the Graduate College of Education at SFSU. He received his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2002. Dr. Beatty also holds several CA single-subject teaching credentials, an M.A. in Instructional Technologies from SF State and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University. Dr. Beatty has more than 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher, trainer, and instructional designer at schools, businesses, and the US Navy.

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