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What is Hybrid NUflex?

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Hybrid NUflex is a model designed to deal with density restrictions and to provide flexibility to faculty and students.

The concept is this: Some students will be in the classroom and some students will learn remotely, in real time, supported by classroom technology and, in some classes, with an instructional assistant in the classroom. Faculty know how best to deliver their courses to both on-ground and remote learners and will have full pedagogical control over their courses.

A new “dynamic scheduling” web application will be available to allow students to indicate if they want to be in the classroom or be remote on a week-to-week basis and faculty will receive this information via Canvas. Recording in the classroom is at faculty discretion and with student permission.

Faculty training for Hybrid NUflex will begin in July as self-paced virtual modules developed by Academic Techologies and CATLR. Faculty will be able to request to work remotely, and a policy is under development.

The fall semester will begin and end as currently scheduled. Students and faculty will be masked and distanced from each other in the classroom.

 

Hybrid NUflex: What is it and what does it mean for the classroom experience?

Either by choice or due to density restrictions, some portion of the students in each class will be remote and some will be in class. Hybrid NUflex provides a technology solution to meet the needs of these dual populations.

It is a simple concept: Some students will be in front of faculty in the classroom and some students will be on the screen at the front of the classroom, at the same time. That is, faculty will teach their courses both to students in the classroom and to students who participate remotely via Zoom or Teams in real time. In cases where the faculty member’s request to work remotely has been approved, the instructor would appear on-screen.

Is Hybrid NUflex a program that students have to choose or opt into?

Students will not have to choose or opt into Hybrid NUflex. Hybrid NUflex is the instructional delivery method Northeastern will use for almost all course sections that are scheduled for on-ground delivery. Hybrid NUflex courses are regular Northeastern courses. Some students will be in the classroom and some students will be remote during classtime.

How will students know which class sessions they have to attend in-person?

Due to density restrictions, it will be common that students will be scheduled to experience some class sessions in the classroom and other sessions remotely. The current aim is to schedule at least one in-class experience for each student each week per course. Students’ initial schedule of times in class and remote participation will be provided at the beginning of semester. Students may also use a dynamic scheduling web application, available on the Student Hub, to indicate their preferred mode during a given time period. This app will dynamically assign available seats in classes and provide faculty with a roster of who is scheduled to be attending in person that week.

Can students attend part of the semester entirely remotely and part of it on campus?

Yes. The Hybrid NUflex model allows students the option to begin the term remotely then come to campus, begin in person and later make the transition to remote learning or be fully remote for the whole semester.

Will some courses be taught fully remotely?

Yes. Some faculty may not be able to come to campus, and those courses will be delivered remotely. In these cases there will be an instructional assistant in the classroom for teaching support. Some Introduction to College and Introduction to Co-op courses will be fully remote and synchronous. In addition, a small number of specialized classes will either not be suitable for Hybrid NUflex or will be taught in rooms with limited technology so that remote participation is not possible. Classes that were already designated as online will remain fully remote.

When will students know if their class is being taught by a remote or an in-person faculty member?

This will be finalized shortly before the fall term begins. In the meantime, students can ask their faculty members if they plan to teach remotely or in the classroom. The Hybrid NUflex approach is a synchronous delivery method, with the faculty member and all students experiencing the class in real time. Support will be provided for optimum in-classroom technology use, and we anticipate the experience to be the same regardless of where the faculty or students are located.

Will Teaching or Instructional Assistants be available in the classroom for cases where faculty are remote or to assist in managing the chat with remote students?

Most classes will have an Instructional Assistant assigned to them. This may be an upper class undergraduate or graduate student who will provide some limited technology help and also assist with monitoring chat and raised hands from remote students.

Are there official documents that students need to submit to enroll in a Hybrid NUflex course?

There are no additional documents that need to be submitted. Students will select in-person or remote through a “dynamic scheduling” web application available on the Student Hub.

If a student is attending class remotely, how will they interact with their professor and classmates?

Students will participate in the course through a videoconferencing platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. They can see and hear the professor and their classmates and will be able to interact by chat or by video.

Is there a cost difference for Hybrid NUflex courses?

No. Hybrid NUflex courses are regular Northeastern courses that students will experience in-person or remotely in real-time using technology.

What kind of classroom technology will be used for Hybrid NUflex?

Hybrid NUflex will be enabled by classroom technology that includes cameras, microphones, computers and a projection system. It is essentially a web-conferencing system that in most cases allows remote students to see both the instructor as well as students who are speaking. Instructors will have microphones so they can be heard while wearing a mask and will receive training on how to use the technology. The classroom will have microphones that will hang from the ceiling, so students at a distance can hear class discussions.

What are the requirements for classroom recording?

Recording of classroom activities (e.g., class discussions) is up to the discretion of the faculty member.
When an instructor records a lecture using Panopto (the university’s recording software), the recording will only be available to students registered for the class. To record a class, an instructor must alert the students at the outset. If there are objections, the instructor must either allow for opt-out or terminate the recording.

Will faculty members have assistance in the classroom for Hybrid NUflex courses?

We will endeavor to have an instructional assistant in classes to aid with technology and to help manage interactions with the remote students.

What are the health and safety guidelines in the classroom?

Students in the classroom will be required to wear masks and practice healthy distancing, with 6 feet between students. Signage will remind students of this requirement and the number of students allowed to be in the classroom will follow density restrictions. Faculty in the classroom should also wear appropriate face covering and practice healthy distancing. If a student arrives without a mask, the faculty should ask the student to leave and return with appropriate face covering. Students and faculty experiencing any symptoms should not attend the class in person.

Can students apply for educational loans when enrolled in Hybrid NUflex courses?

Yes. Students will be able to finance their education through the same funding sources available for all Northeastern courses. Students can contact Student Financial Services at sfs@northeastern.edu with any questions on financing their education.

Is Hybrid NUflex available for all populations (Residential Day, Graduate, and CPS) and is it available for courses in all of Northeastern’s global locations?

It will be available for most course sections that are scheduled for on-ground delivery, including courses across Northeastern’s global locations.

What experiential learning opportunities will be available to me through Hybrid NUflex? How does Hybrid NUflex impact XN projects?

Hybrid NUflex courses are Northeastern courses, so any course that includes experiential learning opportunities will continue to have them. Hybrid NUflex would not impact XN projects.

Will a student’s degree say “online” if they take Hybrid NUflex courses?

No. Hybrid NUflex courses are not “online.” Students are still enrolled in the same degree program to which they were admitted, and they will be taking the same courses. We expect to eventually increase the number of students permitted in the classroom on a given day—as public health guidelines permit us to do so.

Will faculty members have office hours convenient for students in different time zones?

Faculty office hours are decided by each individual faculty member, and faculty are expected to be available for office hours to support students in the courses they teach. We encourage students to contact their instructors directly to arrange a meeting time if regular office hours are not possible due to time zone issues.

What happens if a student or a professor tests positive for COVID-19?

In accordance with public health protocols, all positive test results will be reported to the appropriate public health authorities. Northeastern will also follow a cleaning and sanitizing protocol to close off areas where the infected person spent significant time for at least 24 hours and then clean and disinfect the space. If the person is located in Boston, the university will activate its internal and professionally trained contact tracing team to determine and notify individuals who may be at risk. Boston students who live in on-campus housing and test positive will be asked to isolate for 14 days in a residence hall dedicated for this purpose. Faculty and staff who test positive will be expected to isolate at home or somewhere else off campus. Students, faculty, and staff who test positive can return to the campus community only after all of the proper public health protocols have been followed.

How are lab courses delivered by Hybrid NUflex?

All departments that have required labs are working on plans to deliver those labs through a combination of in-person experiences and the use of various technologies, including simulation platforms and demonstration software.

How will tests and exams be administered in Hybrid NUflex courses?

Faculty will be determining the most appropriate testing and exam modes for their courses. We have technology tools to administer exams remotely, including reasonable safeguards to ensure exam integrity.

Will students in Hybrid NUflex courses still be able to join school clubs and apply for on-campus jobs, such as teaching assistant and residential assistant positions?

Hybrid NUflex simply means that some students will be in the classroom and some students will learn remotely. All students will have opportunities to join student clubs or participate in community life, some of which may happen in-person, and some of which may occur remotely. For on-campus jobs, any student who meets the qualifications and is located on campus is welcome to apply.

What are the major differences between Hybrid NUflex and NU Start?

Hybrid NUflex is an instructional delivery method for most of our undergraduate courses that will allow students to opt for either in-person or remote instruction, with healthy distancing guidelines applied in the classroom. It is synchronous, meaning that students “attend” class in real time, either physically in a classroom or remotely using online technology. NU Start is an optional program for first-year students enrolling in the fall or through the N.U.in Program. We designed it specifically for those students who choose to complete their first semester remotely or for whom travel to campus is not feasible. It includes remote learning classes plus an experiential learning component based on themed learning communities.

Can Hybrid NUflex be utilized anywhere in the world? Can students attend Hybrid NUflex courses from home or is it streamed to a location like a partner institution in their home country?

Students can attend Hybrid NUflex courses anywhere in the world as long as they can connect to the synchronous/real-time classroom through their internet connection. Because students join Hybrid NUflex courses in real time, some courses may meet at local times that are outside of the typical school day for students who are in time zones different from our campus locations.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued a broadcast message on July 6, 2020 regarding online learning and F-1 students. What does this guidance mean for F-1 students taking Hybrid NUflex courses?

SEVP rescinded its guidance after facing a multi-state lawsuit against the federal rule. To find detailed guidance for international students, please visit the Office of Global Services FAQ page to learn about enrolling in Hybrid NUflex classes, traveling to the U.S., and taking Hybrid NUflex courses from your home country.

If visa issues delay my arrival on campus, how will I be guided when I arrive on campus?

We encourage all international students to stay in contact with the Office of Global Services (OGS) before and after they arrive on campus. OGS is an active resource to 16,000 international students and scholars from 147 different nations across the world. It provides the professional expertise and support students need to maintain compliance through immigration, academic, and employment experiences.

If I decide to take Hybrid NUflex courses from my home country, can I waive the Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP)?

If you are enrolled in a health insurance plan that is fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act and comparable to NUSHP, you may waive NUSHP. Visit the NUSHP website for more details on comparing your plan with NUSHP. You will need to request a waiver by September 30, 2020 through the waiver link available on your MyNortheastern portal. Go to myNortheastern-Services Link and scroll to NUSHP. Choose NUSHP (Northeastern University Student Health Plan). Choose Student Waive on the left toolbar and follow the instructions to complete. Print or write down your reference number. Receipt of this number only confirms acceptance of your form. You will receive notification when your request to waive has been approved or denied.

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