AV Technology content director Cindy Davis sat down with the AV/IT directors from eight universities to learn how they are approaching the 2021–22 school year. Some are returning to pre-pandemic status with few reconfigured classrooms for hybrid learning, others are all-in with hybrid, or HyFlex modalities, while others are in transition and planning for the future.
We’ve created a series of spotlights that provide an in-depth conversation with university AV/IT directors, which will be posted here on AVNetwork throughout September.
For a snapshot of all eight universities, plus industry thought leadership, and an extensive list of products for the hybrid and HyFlex classroom, download The Technology Manager's Guide to Fall 2021: The Hybrid/HyFlex Higher Ed Campus.
Spotlight on Indiana University
Acting Associate Vice President of Learning Technologies,
Q: Pre-pandemic, what percentage of classes (if any) were set up as hybrid or HyFlex? What are plans for fall classes?
A: For the Fall 2021 semester, we expect some aspects of remote/hybrid/HyFlex to remain for traditional in-person classes, such as lecture capture. Before the pandemic we were already updating our general inventory classrooms with support for Zoom, lecture capture, mobility, et cetera. Upon the onset of the move online and then to the HyFlex instructional model, the demands for the technology increased and the pace of those upgrades escalated. We do not believe all rooms will need the same HyFlex capabilities, however we are trying to target one or two classrooms per building to include student audio capture to ensure student conversations include remote students.
Spotlight on 8 AV/IT Tech Directors
Q: Have more classrooms been outfitted with remote technologies specifically because of the pandemic?
A: The entry-level camera solutions will not be sufficient for the level of connectivity needed in the classroom. We are now including pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras in our classrooms above a 40-seat count. Faculty and students have increased their level of technology competency, and their expectations and needs have changed. Our learning space design strategies need to carefully listen to this changing landscape and re-adjust campus standards.
Q: Key challenges?
A: We surveyed our faculty to identify their challenges over the past year, and some common themes were identified. Audio is the single most important component of a HyFlex classroom. Without a full-spectrum, full-room microphone that picks up the whole class at the same volume and a speaker that is audible to the whole classroom, neither remote or on-site students can participate in a robust verbal discussion.