Flexible Teaching
What is Flexible Teaching?

Our goal is to help UD faculty design and develop courses that can be successful in any mode of delivery – face to face, online, or hybrid. To that end, we are committed to helping you create the most resilient, flexible course(s) possible. We are calling this effort "flexible teaching."

The guiding philosophy of flexible teaching is that each course and all of its components should be viewed from a standpoint of what will best support student learning. The delivery mode, while important, is decided at a later point.

Imagine that you are planning a fun summer vacation. You don’t start your planning by deciding that you’ll fly on a plane. You decide where you want to go first and then decide what is the best mode of transportation to get you there. Oftentimes your plan has back-up plans built-in. For instance, you may be planning a vacation to Disney World. You’d prefer to fly but can ultimately drive there if need be.

Each course learning goal (supported by lectures, activity, assessments, etc.) should be laid out and examined to see what approach or mode would work best to achieve the desired outcome. Some pieces like class discussions will likely work best as synchronous activities that faculty can deliver in a classroom or through a live Zoom session while other pieces like a content-heavy lecture may be better suited for asynchronous delivery through a pre-recorded lecture that students can watch on their own.

Faculty should plan Primary and Secondary delivery options when examining their content. Example: A faculty member may decide that one of their particularly difficult lectures would best work as a synchronous activity because it will be important for them to gauge the student’s comprehension as they go through it. The primary mode for delivery during planning may be to deliver this lecture synchronously, in-person. The secondary mode, if needed to support some/all remote students, would be a live Zoom session where students turn on their webcams and you ask questions throughout.

Read the guiding principles of flexible teaching

Innovative Educators Webinar
Preparing For Flexible Course Delivery: Teaching Online Or On Campus

B. Jean Mandernach, PhD
Executive Director, Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching
Grand Canyon University

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