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Planning Your Instructional Strategy

Flex@Pitt Instructional Model: Fall 2020

On June 9, Chancellor Gallagher and Provost Cudd provided updates on resiliency planning and some further direction for Fall of 2020. As the Chancellor noted, “our classes will rely on a dynamic, hybrid approach to teaching and learning.” For the Fall 2020 term, instructors and students should be prepared to move between in-person and online modes of instruction, as opportunities for in-class meetings, social distancing recommendations, and public health concerns can change at any time. To meet the needs of students who may be doing all or part of their learning remotely, classes should be structured to include a mix of in-person, online, and blended activities.

This is a general description of the Flex@Pitt Model. In the coming days and weeks, please check back to our website for examples of how the Flex@Pitt Model can be implemented in your course(s), along with resources available to help you use the model to prepare for the Fall, and the places you can go to ask questions and get help.

The Flex@Pitt model is an instructional model that accommodates in-person and remote instructors and students. Using this model, instructors are encouraged to flexibly leverage face-to-face class meetings, with opportunities for remote students to participate using video conferencing technology (blended), synchronous online activities, and asynchronous online content as appropriate to the size of their class, availability of suitable classroom space, content, and course structure (e.g., lecture-based, discussion, recitation, project-based, lab, studio). Instructors should also consider their students’ location and access to on-campus class session to determine the appropriate balance of in-class, blended, synchronous, and asynchronous activities.

Note:  This model incorporates some principles of the HyFlex model, such as class sessions being offered online or in-person and availability of recordings.

Flex@Pitt: Academic Principles

Academic Principles

  1. Pitt educational standards must remain high, for both in-person and remote learners.
  2. Academic continuity is preserved when in-person instruction is not possible.
  3. Assessment of educational quality is done at the unit level.

Flex@Pitt: Operational Principles

Operational Principles
  1. This model builds on work done by faculty in Spring 2020 and can be tailored to fit the pedagogical environment and needs of the academic unit.
  2. Faculty and students must be prepared to move between in-person and online modes, as conditions can change at any time.
  3. Some students and faculty will not be able—for a number of reasons—to attend or to teach in person for part or all of the semester. (Faculty should discuss their individual needs with their chairs, deans, or regional campus presidents.)
  4. All class sessions, whether live, blended, synchronous, or asynchronous should reflect total teaching/learning time and course objectives.
  5. Under scenarios where campus is closed to in-person classes:
    • All classes that are offered remotely should incorporate a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities.
    • All synchronous meetings will be available via videoconference and be will recorded where appropriate.
  6. Under scenarios where campus is open to classes:
    • Some classes can be taught on campus, based on space availability.
    • Class meetings will need to be modified to meet social distancing requirements (cohorts of students attending in-person on alternate days, room capacities reduced to accommodate health and safety regulations).
    • All synchronous meetings will be available via videoconference and recorded.
    • Students can attend on-campus class meetings, participate remotely, or rotate between the two. Some students may receive specific in-person attendance schedules.
    • Remote students can participate in synchronous class meetings live, though due to time zone differences may watch a video later.
    • Lab/clinical/studio/internship – models will vary.

Workshops and Training

Consultants are available to assist faculty as they prepare to teach in the fall 2020 term. Please visit our workshops page to view a full schedule of trainings and to register. You may contact us at teaching@pitt.edu with any questions or feedback.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Teaching

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Remote Course Development

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Student Communication & Engagement

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Assessment Strategies

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Teaching Resources

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Flex@Pitt Instructional Model: Fall 2020

On June 9, Chancellor Gallagher and Provost Cudd provided updates on resiliency planning and some further direction for Fall of 2020. As the Chancellor noted, “our classes will rely on a dynamic, hybrid approach to teaching and learning.” For the Fall 2020 term, instructors and students should be prepared to move between in-person and online modes of instruction, as opportunities for in-class meetings, social distancing recommendations, and public health concerns can change at any time. To meet the needs of students who may be doing all or part of their learning remotely, classes should be structured to include a mix of in-person, online, and blended activities.

This is a general description of the Flex@Pitt Model. In the coming days and weeks, please check back to our website for examples of how the Flex@Pitt Model can be implemented in your course(s), along with resources available to help you use the model to prepare for the Fall, and the places you can go to ask questions and get help.

The Flex@Pitt model is an instructional model that accommodates in-person and remote instructors and students. Using this model, instructors are encouraged to flexibly leverage face-to-face class meetings, with opportunities for remote students to participate using video conferencing technology (blended), synchronous online activities, and asynchronous online content as appropriate to the size of their class, availability of suitable classroom space, content, and course structure (e.g., lecture-based, discussion, recitation, project-based, lab, studio). Instructors should also consider their students’ location and access to on-campus class session to determine the appropriate balance of in-class, blended, synchronous, and asynchronous activities.

Note:  This model incorporates some principles of the HyFlex model, such as class sessions being offered online or in-person and availability of recordings.

Flex@Pitt: Academic Principles

Academic Principles

  1. Pitt educational standards must remain high, for both in-person and remote learners.
  2. Academic continuity is preserved when in-person instruction is not possible.
  3. Assessment of educational quality is done at the unit level.

Flex@Pitt: Operational Principles

Operational Principles
  1. This model builds on work done by faculty in Spring 2020 and can be tailored to fit the pedagogical environment and needs of the academic unit.
  2. Faculty and students must be prepared to move between in-person and online modes, as conditions can change at any time.
  3. Some students and faculty will not be able—for a number of reasons—to attend or to teach in person for part or all of the semester. (Faculty should discuss their individual needs with their chairs, deans, or regional campus presidents.)
  4. All class sessions, whether live, blended, synchronous, or asynchronous should reflect total teaching/learning time and course objectives.
  5. Under scenarios where campus is closed to in-person classes:
    • All classes that are offered remotely should incorporate a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities.
    • All synchronous meetings will be available via videoconference and be will recorded where appropriate.
  6. Under scenarios where campus is open to classes:
    • Some classes can be taught on campus, based on space availability.
    • Class meetings will need to be modified to meet social distancing requirements (cohorts of students attending in-person on alternate days, room capacities reduced to accommodate health and safety regulations).
    • All synchronous meetings will be available via videoconference and recorded.
    • Students can attend on-campus class meetings, participate remotely, or rotate between the two. Some students may receive specific in-person attendance schedules.
    • Remote students can participate in synchronous class meetings live, though due to time zone differences may watch a video later.
    • Lab/clinical/studio/internship – models will vary.
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