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NSU researches best practices for re-connecting students to classrooms

Ben Harley
Ben Harley

This interview posted above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

Northern State University in Aberdeen is working to develop best practices in the emerging field of HyFlex pedagogies. Ben Harley, Ph.D., is director for NSU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He says today’s students require flexibility for various responsibilities, including tribal obligations, family emergencies, work demands, and mental health care.

Harley says hybrid, flexible classes are designed to address disconnection and overwhelm in secondary and higher education.

"For any class period, a student in a HyFlex class can choose to attend in person face to face in the classroom, synchronously online via something like Zoom, or asynchronously online the way a traditional online class would be," Harley says. "They’re not penalized for what they’re doing. Every mode is equivalent. What we found is that students really respond to this. It allows them to adapt education to their schedule.”

Northern State will offer a HyFlex Pedagogy graduate certificate this fall, pending approval from the South Dakota Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission.

Lori Walsh is the host and senior producer of In the Moment.
Chris is a producer for In the Moment.