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Modes of Teaching

To maximize safety, flexibility, and quality, UNC is exploring a variety of modes for teaching (i.e. remote-only, face-to-face, HyFlex, and remote & recitation). Below is a description of these modes and how an instructor might achieve particular pedagogical strategies within each mode.

A key assumption is that courses with 50 or more students will be remote and that any face-to-face will actually be mask-to-mask with social distancing rules in effect.

Modes of Teaching
Instructional Mode Key Features: Best for This Course Type
1.Face-to-Face
(Mask-to-Mask)/ Hybrid
  • A course with fewer than 50 students that meets face-to-face only.
  • These courses may have remote components in addition to scheduled in-person sessions.
  • For on-campus learners only
  • Reserved for high impact and experiential courses, such as labs, performance, and makerspace courses that require hands-on, special equipment, and high collaboration.
  • Qualifying courses do not have a clear equitable remote option.
  • Options would be available where half the students are face-to-face at one session (with others doing asynchronous work) while the reverse is true at another
    session.
  1. Intended Student Audience: On-Campus Learning (Residential or Commuter)
  2. Experiential Education courses (e.g., mentored research, service learning, internships)
  3. High Impact courses
  4. First-Year Seminars
  5. Courses with a high percentage of synchronous active learning assignments
2. HyFlex
  • A course with fewer than 50 students that meets face-to-face and includes some percent of students joining remotely and synchronously. Classes are recorded for
    asynchronous learners. Students who are face-to-face may rotate by day of the week to give on-campus students equal opportunity. Number of students in the room on any given day dependent on space availability with social distancing plus student enrollments.
  • Opportunity that classes could be archived or used for other audiences of learners or in other semesters.
  • The instructor of record simultaneously runs the course face-to-face and optimally has a facilitator (graduate student, undergraduate learning assistant, staff) to help facilitate the inclusion of online students during class time. Chat feature can be used to allow for Q/A and interaction in courses that do not have the capacity to hold a recitation?
  • Requires faculty consultations with instructional designers and classroom technology to interface with remote students.
  1. Intended Student Audience: Any Student
  2. Courses with fewer than 50 students
  3. Courses with a low need for collaboration in real-time
  4. Courses where collaboration can occur outside class meetings or asynchronously.
  5. Courses when there is no other way that remote learners and face-to-face learners can have synchronous access to the educational experience
3. Remote & Recitation
  • A well-designed remote course with a small, required synchronous recitation.
  • Extra sections may be added to ensure recitation sections of < 50 students.
  • When there is one recitation section, it will be hyflex. Hyflex supports will be needed for the recitation session so it can be led effectively (often taught by graduate students).
  • When there are multiple recitation sections, offer a mix of remote sections (for remote learners) and face-to-face sections (for on-campus students).
  1. Intended Student Audience: Any Student
  2. Many courses with fewer than 50 students, with the lecture-recitation structure
  3. Courses taught by faculty who request remote teaching (with the help of an on-campus teaching assistant)
  4. Large courses (50+ students) with a recitation structure
4. Remote Only
  • Well-designed, high-quality online course
  • Follows best practices for online course design and instruction
  • Faculty consultations or training with instructional designers recommended
  • May involve both synchronous and asynchronous course delivery
  • Often involves multiple low-stakes assessments of learning through the semester
  • Large classes where social distancing could not occur
  • Both faculty and students have access to reliable internet
  1. Intended Student Audience: Any Student
  2. Large, gateway courses
  3. Large courses with 50+ students
  4. Courses taught by faculty who request remote teaching
  5. Courses previously offered online

Note. Synchronous strategies involve students participating “live” during the same time that class normally is held — live lectures, discussions, interactive lessons.
Asynchronous strategies involve students who are expected to complete coursework independently/not live; e.g., pre-recorded lectures, online quizzes based on the reading, worksheets.

Modes Illustrated

Face-to-Face class

Face-to-Face/Hybrid

A face-to-face class in which both students and the instructor are wearing masks and maintain social distancing rules. Designed for on-campus in-person learners only. These courses may have remote components in addition to scheduled in-person sessions.

Face-to-Face class

HyFlex

A HyFlex model in which synchronous sessions are supported but only some of the students enrolled in the course are in the same room with the instructor. The model allows for flexibility in rotating who is in the classroom on a given day.

Remote and Recitation

Remote & Recitation

A model of a Remote & Recitation course. A portion of the course is remote-only and a portion of the course is Face-to-Face in small recitation sections.
Students that cannot attend the recitation Face-to-Face may be accommodated by a HyFlex recitation section or an asynchronous option.

Remote Only

Remote Only

A remote-only course in which the instructor and students are not in the classroom together. This model provides flexibility for students to be at home or on campus in shared or separate spaces.

Common Pedagogical Strategies: Envisioning How They Operate Across Different Modes
 Strategy  Face-to-Face/Hybrid HyFlex  Remote + Recitation Remote
Lecture
  • Instructor talking often with visuals, students listening, often taking notes.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor listening and taking notes.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Other students are watching and listening to lecture remotely either synchronously or asynchronously (watch this lecture within a specific time period) after the class recordings are available.
  • Remote: Recorded videos of instructor and/or visuals, students watch and take notes as the common online experience.
  • Recitation: Instructor talking often with visuals, students listening, often taking notes.
  • Students must be six feet apart
  • Asynchronous: Recorded videos of instructor and/or visuals, students watch and take notes
  • Synchronous: Instructor shares slides or camera in real-time while also recording for other students.
 Whole Class Discussion
  • One person talking at a time, building off what others have said. Students often raise hands to be a part of the discussion. Technology is sometimes used to bring ideas in from more people.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating in the live discussion.
  • Remote students can participate synchronously via chats or video with the help of a dedicated facilitator (TA) in the classroom.
  • Remote students (and all students) can participate asynchronously via discussion boards. Faculty/TA facilitator engagement at specified intervals and need to identify opportunities to bring asynchronous comments/questions into follow-up instruction.
  • Pilot testing suggested whole class discussion may be too difficult in most settings, but the Hyflex Mode may still work for specific whole class activities (e.g.,
    TA-supported Q&A).
  • Remote: Asynchronous discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required.
  • Synchronous discussions with voice, camera, chat and guidelines about how to enter into the discussion.
  • Recitation: One person talking at a time, building off what others have said. Students often raise hands to be a part of the discussion.
    Technology is sometimes used to bring ideas in from more people.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required.
  • Synchronous: Discussions with voice, camera, chat and guidelines about how to enter into the discussion.
 Small Group Discussion
  • Multiple groups talking at the same time. Instructor often listening and engaging with one group at a time.
  • Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating in the live small group discussions. • Remote students can participate
  • Remote students can participate synchronously via “break out rooms” with the help of a dedicated facilitator (TA) in the classroom.
  • Remote students (and all students) can participate asynchronously via discussion boards assigned to small groups.
  • Remote: Asynchronous discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required.
  • Synchronous “breakout room” discussions with voice, camera, chat and guidelines about how to enter into the discussion.
  • Recitation: Multiple groups talking at the same time. Instructor often listening and engaging with one group at a time.
  • Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards often with structured prompts and guidelines about how many posts and replies are required?
  • Synchronous: Students raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.
Polling
  • Instructor uses low tech (hand-raising or paper cards) or high tech (poll everywhere, etc.) to ask all students to answer a question (multiple choice or open-ended); students often have a chance to share answers and justify reasoning with each other.
  • Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor participating with polleverywhere and small group discussion.
  • Remote students can participate synchronously through polleverywhere. With the help of a dedicated facilitator (TA) could be put in “break out” rooms for
    discussion.
  • Asynchronous remote students can use discussion boards or self-paced surveys.
  • Remote: Asynchronous discussion boards or self-paced set of survey questions are available for a period of time.
  • Synchronous students raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.
  • Recitation: Instructor uses low tech (hand-raising or paper cards) or high tech (poll everywhere, etc.) to ask all students to answer a question (multiple choice or open-ended); students often have a chance to share answers and justify reasoning with each other.
  • Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Asynchronous: Discussion boards or self-paced set of survey questions are available for a period of time.
  • Synchronous: Students raise hands on camera or use “digital hands”; instructor opens a live poll with link and students can be placed in “break out” rooms for discussion.
Group Projects (may last entire semester)
  • Students may be given class time to work/sit together. Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Instructor may find it easier to not try to coordinate these synchronously because of the diversity of modes students are working within. Students work in small groups remotely. For maximum flexibility, students may choose their own times to meet synchronously with occasional check-ins from instructor.
  • Remote: Students work in small groups remotely. For maximum flexibility, students may choose their own times to meet synchronously with occasional
    synchronous or asynchronous check-ins from instructor.
  • Recitation: Students may be given class time to work/sit together. Conversations will be conducted from six feet apart.
  • Students work in small groups remotely. For maximum flexibility, students may choose their own times to meet synchronously with occasional synchronous or asynchronous check-ins from instructor.
Writing/Drawing on Board
  • Instructor writing on classroom whiteboard or using a document camera
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Some students are in a common classroom with the instructor writing on paper under the document camera being projected to the classroom screen.
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Other students are watching the writing remotely either synchronously or asynchronously after the class recordings are available.
  • Remote: Recorded videos of instructor writing/drawing on a digital whiteboard as the common online experience
  • Recitation: Instructor writing on classroom whiteboard or using a document camera
  • Students must be six feet apart.
  • Asynchronous: Recorded videos of instructor writing/drawing on a digital whiteboard
  • Synchronous: Instructor shares digital whiteboard and writes for students, in real time while also recording for other students.

Implementation Guides

The Modes of Teaching Implementation Guides are designed to help instructors weigh the challenges and opportunities afforded by each of the recommended teaching modes while offering some practical advice on implementation.