A pandemic pivot: hyflex classrooms enable the UNC School of Education to effectively train tomorrow’s teachers

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, and students of all ages were abruptly shifted to full-time remote learning. It was a challenging, lesson-filled experience that instantly magnified the need for high quality virtual learning environments.

Emerging from the pandemic, the UNC School of Education drew upon lessons gleaned from fully remote learning and acted fast to convert two existing classrooms into hybrid-flexible classrooms. Those spaces enable education students — both in-person and remote — to seamlessly interact and learn from each other while also learning from respected researchers and faculty members. Today, these hyflex classrooms are in high demand and have been programmed since immediately following their completion.

The spaces feature technology on every wall and nearly every surface – tv screens, projection screens, projection paint, projectors, cameras, and an AV credenza with controls. These rooms and their technologies begin to dissolve the line between in-person and remote learning. Bringing together education students — many of whom are working educators living in locations across North Carolina — and university faculty members in this environment represents new opportunities to serve North Carolina, its educators, and its students.

The larger of the two classrooms is located on the second floor near the School of Education’s conference room, enabling it to function as a multipurpose space for receptions and events. The smaller classroom is near the “research commons,” a think tank or lab for education students and researchers, and this intentional adjacency positions the spaces to work together to elevate the student experience.


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