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New Delivery Mode Increases Learning Options For Students

Southern Institute of Technology is rolling out a new delivery mode for Screen Arts students this year; Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) Delivery offers a greater variety of ways to engage in study, with flexibility of learning the most obvious benefit, there are other positive outcomes expected as well.

SIT’s School of Screen Arts Programme Manager, Rachel Mann, said HyFlex has been used around the world for a number of years - first designed and used in a US university around 2010 - its core values are learner choice, equivalency, reusability and accessibility; it recognises different forms of participation whilst ensuring students receive the same quality of learning.

“We have adapted and evolved the original concept to be custom-designed for the Screen Arts programmes with their heavy emphasis on project-based learning and collaboration,” said Ms Mann.

In HyFlex courses at SIT, students will have three options to choose from in their learning: distance, in their own time (asynchronous); remote, real-time (synchronous); or on-campus (traditional). The beauty of HyFlex learning is that it allows students to base their learning around their schedule and needs, without there being disadvantages to accessing course material and requirements. There should be no difference in learning among the different modes – all students will have access to the same types of resources online.

Ms Mann said the HyFlex development has been made possible by the advances in speed and technology for virtual desktops which are preloaded with all the hardware and software requirements offered on campus.

The School of Screen Arts have been using HyFlex techniques in their teaching for several years now, by live streaming classes, using online collaboration tools and designing innovative class content. “It has been a natural evolution to run full HyFlex courses,” Ms Mann said.

“In 2021 we offered the BSA 528 Introduction to Game Design in HyFlex and found that students enrolled in both the on-campus and HyFlex versions found the flexibility to be of a great advantage to their learning and both groups collaborated seamlessly on the online platforms.”

Within the School of Screen Arts, HyFlex is available for Film, Animation and Game Design majors in 2022, followed by Content Creation, Digital Fashion and Concept Art and Design in 2023.

Introducing HyFlex is a response to several changes in the way people live, work, and learn, said Ms Mann.

“Remote working and creative collaboration are the norm and we want our students to be able to adapt and grow in all-creative collaborative spaces. HyFlex puts the learner and the learner journey in the centre. It gives opportunities to collaborate with a more diverse range of creatives and brings down barriers to participation.”

Having already utilised HyFlex techniques within the School of Screen Arts, Ms Mann said they can foresee other positive outcomes.

“We have found the peer support and collaborative on the online platforms has created small communities of learners who have continued their journeys with each other after the course finished. As we respond to the learners and design in collaboration with their journeys, we anticipate the HyFlex journey will become stronger and stronger.”

For further details, check out the website link:

https://www.sit.ac.nz/Campuses/HyFlex-Distance-Learning?subject=Creative-Industries

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