In-person, On-campus + Remote Learners

Modes of Teaching Implementation Guide

A course that meets in person on campus, but also includes some percentage of students participating remotely. Course design optimizes learning for both in-person and remote learners simultaneously. The course may also make use of asynchronous methods.

Note: The approach we identify here is referred to in multiple terms across Carolina’s campus to include hybrid, HyFlex, in-person/remote (IR), or dual mode. Prior to the pandemic, Carolina offered several well-developed fully or mostly online degree and certificate programs across our many schools. Several had already adopted similar approaches to teach both in-person and remote students. Every instructor will need to modify or adapt their approach to ensure that all students are able to succeed and participate fully. We offer these resources to support faculty as they make decisions on how to teach their course most effectively given this type of mixed student composition.

At-a-Glance Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Accommodates diverse student needs
  • Preserves traditional in-person components and teaching styles
  • Opportunity to develop valuable course materials that can be repurposed for future classes and other uses
  • Requires extensive preparation
  • Taxing to engage multiple audiences simultaneously
  • Potential for tech issues to impede learning
  • May require a teaching assistant or course assistant


  • Research studies (Huang et al. 2017) suggest that remote students often feel disconnected or overlooked from the on-site experience, and may even learn less (Weitze et al. 2015) than in-class students. This may be especially true when there is an over-reliance on monologue-based teaching strategies or when technological issues delay responses to their questions or problems.
  • Teaching a dual-mode course of any size requires a high degree of coordination. Simultaneously addressing the needs of in-class and remote students is challenging for even the most experienced instructors, and can create excessive mental load (Bower et al. 2015; Ørngreen et al. 2015; Zydney et al. 2019).
  • Requires a high degree of facility with relevant technologies, and technical challenges can impede remote learners’ success
  • If you are not teaching in a classroom with ceiling microphones, it may be difficult for remote students to hear in-class students, due to audio feedback challenges.
  • In order to accommodate students who are accessing the course asynchronously, they must have access to recorded class sessions.


  • Flexibility benefits students with competing job, family, and health circumstances, leading to more equitable access to education and equality in learning outcomes
  • Exposes students to potential uses of technology and increases students’ technological savvy.
  • Recorded lectures and other asynchronous course materials can be repurposed in future semesters to supplement a face-to-face class or as an accessible option for students who face challenges attending in person.
  • Early research results suggest that learning outcomes in HyFlex classrooms such as test scores (White et al. 2010), motivation, needs satisfaction, and perceived success (Butz and Stupnisky 2016) are comparable to face-to-face classrooms.

Make it Work

Location matters. Nearly 65 general purpose classrooms on campus have been outfitted with ceiling microphones and additional cameras. They make it easier for in-class and remote students to hear and see each other during class discussions. Efforts will be made to schedule all courses slated to be offered in this mode in these classrooms. You can get a list of the updated classrooms supported by ITS Classroom Hotline by searching on HyFlex Classrooms through its Classroom Info page.

Visit your classroom before the semester begins. Serving both in-person and remote students at the same time is challenging. You will want to be as comfortable and confident as possible managing the classroom technologies that you will use to facilitate interaction. You can schedule a classroom demo with an ITS Classroom Hotline consultant at any time.

Confirm how many students would like to attend class in person. If you are in a classroom that cannot accommodate all students registered for the course who would like to attend in person, you will have to decide how to ensure that all students interested have an equal opportunity to do so.

Prepare your students. Provide clear instructions to your students: ask them to create an inventory of their remote workspace, give them instructions to check their audio and video function before the first session, and allow them to log in early to synchronous sessions, so that there is sufficient time to test and resolve possible problems with AV access (Ramsey et al. 2016, Bower et al. 2015)

Keep all students engaged. Actively solicit the comments and questions of remote learners during full class discussions. If you don’t find it disruptive, consider encouraging student participation in back-channel tools such as Zoom chat. Use small group activities via Zoom breakout rooms to promote remote student interaction. Record synchronous classes and post them promptly. All students will benefit from access to recorded classes.

Use a course assistant. Many instructors will find it necessary to have a second person (e.g. a graduate assistant, work-study student, ULA) monitoring remote students’ questions and managing the technology necessary to keep them engaged. Course assistants should sit in a location where eye contact with the instructor is easy to maintain so that they can easily get the instructor’s attention when they need to flag remote student comments and questions in Zoom.

Stick to what works. Once you’ve worked out the kinks with a given set of tech tools, resist the temptation to add new methods. Small usability issues resulting from updating technologies have been shown to confuse, delay, or hinder the learning process (Bell et al. 2014; Weitze 2015).

Supporting students who cannot attend class. Some of your students may be unable to attend classes synchronously for a period of time, due to quarantine or other personal circumstances. Consider the following options for serving the learning needs of those students:

  • Familiarize yourself with the University’s approved absence policy.
  • Reach out to affected students and schedule a time to chat about their situation and how you can support them.
  • Record your class sessions in Zoom and make them available to students who cannot attend in-person or remotely. This benefits all students.
  • Replace in-class participation activities with asynchronous alternatives. For example, if class discussion is a regular part of your in-person class experience, consider hosting a supplementary discussion forum assignment. You might assign short written reflections to replace in-class small group activities. Poll questions (via Poll Everywhere) can also be assigned asynchronously.
  • For group project work, ask students to consider recording their Zoom meetings or relying more on asynchronous communication. Have them document meeting notes, action items, and deadlines and post those to the group’s Sakai or Teams site.
  • Create a “study buddy” system where students who are unable to attend class are paired up with a classmate who can share notes and update them on class sessions.

Learn More


Beatty, B. J. (2019). Hybrid-Flexible Course Design. EdTech Books. Retrieved from

Bell, J., Sawaya, S., & Cain, W. (2014). Synchromodal classes: Designing for shared learning experiences between face-to-face and online students. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 5(1), 68–82.

Bower, M., Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G. E., Lee, M. J. W., & Kenney, J. (2015). Design and implementation factors in blended synchronous learning environments: Outcomes from a cross-case analysis. Computers & Education, 86, 1–17.

Butz, N. T., & Stupnisky, R. H. (2016). A mixed methods study of graduate students’ self-determined motivation in synchronous hybrid learning environments. The Internet and Higher Education, 28, 85–95.

Huang, Y., Shu, F., Zhao, C., & Huang, J. (2017). Investigating and analyzing teaching effect of blended synchronous classroom. In 6th International Conference of Educational Innovation Through Technology (EITT) (pp. 134–135).

Ørngreen, R., Levinsen, K., Jelsbak, V., Moller, K. L., & Bendsen, T. (2015). Simultaneous class-based and live video streamed teaching: Experiences and derived principles from the bachelor programme in biomedical laboratory analysis. In A. Jefferies & M. Cubric (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th European conference on E-learning (ECEL 2015) (pp. 451–459). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited.

Raes, A., Detienne, L., Windey, I., & Depaepe, F. (2019). Learning Environments Research

Ramsey, D., Evans, J., & Levy, M. (2016). Preserving the seminar experience. Journal of Political Science Education, 12(3), 256–267.

Weitze, C. L. (2015). Pedagogical innovation in teacher teams: An organisational learning design model for continuous competence development. In Jefferies, I. A. & Cubric, M. (Eds.), Proceedings of 14th European conference on e-Learning ECEL-2015 (s. 629–638). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International.

Zydney, J. M., McKimm, P., Lindberg, R., & Schmidt, M. (2019). Here or there instruction: Lessons learned in implementing innovative approaches to blended synchronous learning. TechTrends. https://