Structuring Community and Sustaining Expectations

This collection of research and experience supported materials was created to help you meet your dynamic teaching and learning needs.  Check out the resources provided here to learn more about establishing an engaging community in your face to face, remote, and HyFlex classes. You’ll also find information and tips for maintaining high expectations, fostering inclusivity, and building rapport with students in various learning environments, simultaneously.

Blackboard Photo Roster

Get to know your classroom community a little bit better! Learn how to access your class photo roster on Blackboard and get a clear picture of your students (what’s under their masks or behind their cameras at least).

Sample Syllabus Language

  • Sample Descriptions for the Teaching Syllabus of a Bi-Modal Course
    As educators, communicating with students often depends on learning environments. A course taught bi-modally will differ from an online or classroom course.  In order to reach all audiences at once, it is important to provide clarification concerning course delivery, hardware and software requirements, participation expectations, etc. Here, we provide a range of flexible narratives, from a “pure” HyFlex approach to a more prescriptive option, depending on your course, content, teaching style, etc. Feel free to apply this language to your course syllabus and modify it as needed. As always, please connect with your chair concerning specific course and departmental policies. 

  • Syllabus Language for Face Covering and Social Distancing
    Including clear guidance regarding classroom and university policies and procedures can elevate your syllabus’ transparency and support your learners' success. Expectations regarding face coverings and social distancing are no exception

HyFlex Resources for Students

This page is intended to provide CMU students with most of the technology-related information needed to participate in a HyFlex classroom environment. While every course and instructor are different, this information is meant to cover the most common scenarios we anticipate to apply to the majority of courses at CMU. 

Scheduling and Taking Attendance in a Bi-Modal Class (9:45)

This video will walk you through a few ways to create a class schedule and track attendance.

Group Work Best Practices

Here, you’ll learn more about implementing groups in your course, as well as how to apply various educational technologies to best employ groups in your virtual, bi-modal, hyflex, learning space. 

For more, on strategies to maximize group learning in your courses, visit our Cooperative or Collaborative Learning resources.  

Creating Small Groups in MS Teams (5:42)   

In this video, faculty member Dr. Doug Lapp, illustrates how to create small groups or “channels” within Microsoft Teams. 

Using Synchronous Sessions

Read on to learn how to apply synchronous sessions to get the most out of your HyFlex course.

HyFlex Teaching: Engaging Two Audiences at the Same Time (11:05)

In this video, we share a few techniques to engage learners in a bi-modal classroom using practical, active learning strategies.   

Supporting HyFlex Teaching Assistants and Student Volunteers

This guide contains a collection of resources that will be helpful to any teaching assistant or other student helping to support your HyFlex course delivery.

Best Practices in Hosting Virtual Office Hours

Hosting virtual office hours provides flexibility and convenience for both faculty and students. Here, we provide best practices in hosting office hours in virtual spaces. 

Collaborative Learning in a HyFlex Class (8:59)   

In this video, we share a few techniques to foster small group learning opportunities in diverse class environments. 

Classroom (In)Civility Series

In this 2 part video series, we will discuss the dynamic and contextual nature of classroom management and introduce strategies and support resources to build and maintain a healthy classroom environment.

  • Classroom (In)Civility Part 1 (6:52)
    In this video, we will identify common classroom management challenges and explore communication and expectations as valuable tools to prevent and address classroom management issues.

  • Classroom (In)Civility Part 2 (7:48)
    In this video, we will explore the value of objectivity in managing our classroom and also identify the resources that are available to support instructors in their classroom management endeavors.

Additional Resources

Here is a list of hand-picked resources and tutorials on topics specifically related to this category. Some of these are mentioned within and pertain to the items above, while others are included as additional instructive material. Note: some links will require a CMICH login for access. 

For additional help and training on educational technologies, such as Blackboard, WebEx, Panopto and more, check out our Tackling the Technology page. 


For technical assistance, the first point of contact is the OIT Help Desk. Additional resources and contact information are available on the Office of Information Technology’s Help Desk page  

If additional assistance and consultation are needed, the CIS staff are available to support you. Contact us at CIS@cmich.edu or call 989-774-3615.