WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As students return to campus at Purdue University, one of the biggest questions surrounding the academic year is how will an education be learned safely.
The University is partnering with professors all over campus in an effort to create a hybrid learning model called HyFlex. This gives students and faculty the flexibility they need to navigate COVID-19.
Dr. Nathan Mentzer is a professor in Purdue's Polytechnic Institute. Mentzer is just one of the instructors who tested the new learning model during summer sessions.
"For one reason or another they may need to be remote for one or more days during this semester," said Mentzer.
Students at Purdue can now watch their lectures and other courses live as they happen. Through Hotseat and other forms of communication, instructors can even communicate with their students while they are at home.
"Using a microphone and ear buds, they can have simultaneous conversations at the whole group level, or small group level," said Mentzer.
The technology is Microsoft Teams, and it allows professors to interact in real time.
Chantal Levesque-Bristol is the Executive Director for Purdue's Center of Instructional Excellence. Her work since the pandemic started in March has lead her to a simple conclusion regarding each student's opportunity to get the best education possible.
"They're really not missing out on anything," said Levesque-Bristol. "I think that is the way of the future."
Levesque-Bristol included that students will not only be able to watch their lectures live as they happen, but are now able to watch a recorded version through Purdue's Bright Space platform.
It's all part of an year that's going to require an open mind.
"Be flexible and understand that it's going to be a little different than it used to be," said Mentzer.