In 2020-21, teaching at CEU will use a model known as HyFlex – hybrid and flexible. This will enable students both to attend lectures on campus in the normal way and to attend the same lectures online. This dual-mode approach means that students can switch between physical attendance at lectures and following them in real time online.
Our general plan for teaching is to offer as many educational activities as possible in an in-person, on-campus format. In fact, for some groups in-person attendance will be the general default mode for learning.
In order to offer this dual-mode model, the CEU Cardenal Herrera University is equipping 150 classrooms with a HyFlex system. This enables interactive sessions to take place with students physically in the room and others participating online from home: everyone, wherever they are, can take part in the session simultaneously. This new dual-mode, HyFlex model enables students to be physically present or to be present online in real time.
All our students can come to campus for their lectures or participate in these same lectures in real time from home. When students come to the CEU campus, they can do so in the knowledge that the right safety and hygiene measures are in place. Indeed, not only will we comply with the recommendations set by the health authorities, but we are going further and putting ourselves forward for an external and independent audit of our implementation of them.
The key for students will be to attend and participate - there’s more to it than just being "in" a class. So, for example, if you’re at home, not only will you be able to access a video feed of your lecture or class via any device, but you can also choose the camera view you want and change it whenever you need. In one click, you can see the class just as if you were seated in the fourth row, or choose a different view to see how those physically present ask questions. You can even come face to face with your lecturer and interact with him or her - just as if you were physically in the room. So, you can follow and participate in the class, while directing your own live feed of it from your own home, using a range of different cameras.
So, we can just watch and ask questions?
It's more than that. Even if you’re at home, you can set up a live session with your classmates for team-working, even if some are online at home and others are in the classroom. So, everyone is connected, just one click away, using any device you want.
Try it out first. Before the academic year begins and during the first two weeks of it, all our students can try out how the HyFlex classroom will work. Everyone will be able to get the real experience, so that you can all plan how you’re going to keep up with lectures.
We’ve modified the structure of the practical sessions so that you can choose between attending practical activities over the course of the semester or undertake these sessions during an intensive period prior to the examinations. Click here to learn more.
You can request, explaining your reasons, to attend your lectures online during part or all of the semester and also to do the practical sessions during the special periods. So, if that is your problem, it’s not really a problem at all.
We are determined to offer our students a safe and healthy campus. That’s why the established health protocols are being followed and why we brought in an external company to audit our procedures, which has certified that CEU UCH is a COVID-19 Protected Space.
Each study programme will implement the dual-mode, HyFlex model in its own way, regarding practical training sessions, sessions where physical presence is required for continuous assessment, timetables, etc. However, in all cases the academic year will be planned in such a way as to guarantee that students can do their practical training sessions (either on a weekly basis or as part of PAP), to maximize the number of in-person sessions on campus,* and to create an interactive learning experience across all scenarios.
Our HyFlex technological solution includes the possibility of the use of online videoconferencing, meaning that, if a temporary lockdown occurred, we would still be able to continue with real-time lectures and interactive student participation, whatever the circumstances may be.
*To maintain the right to continuous assessment, there may be some courses which will have minimum requirements for physical attendance on campus, with exceptions detailed in the CEU UCH 2020-21 Action Plan. These requirements and other criteria related to physical presence on campus may be modified if the health authorities’ safety guidelines change or if prudence requires that these activities be organized in a different manner.
The world is digital, so the University must be too. In our dual-mode approach, our multimedia learning support resources and our evolution in including digital competences as part of each study programme, we are showing what being digital really means.
If being to university is just about memorizing facts, it’d be better not to go at all, right? The shift in our methodological approach means that we base your learning on thinking and doing. Thinking in order to understand, interpret, and express yourself. Doing as a means of using what you’ve learnt and putting it into practice, in the real world. We want you to learn how to do things and think about them, or to think about them and then do them: the order will depend on the course you’re doing and the year you’re in. In the end, if you don’t know how, do you really know? But even more importantly, if you don’t know how to think, what can you do?
We’re deconstructing the knowledge of each discipline, stripping them down to their building blocks, so that you can see the reason why you’re learning each of them. The courses of each study programme will change, so that they are structured in terms of related concepts, facilitating understanding of specific parts and making it easier to grasp the overall picture. In this way, learning will not be linear, but made up of a network in which each node is connected to others, opening up new perspectives, new references and reflections, and new ways of doing and thinking. To be able to be ready for the ever-changing future, we have to go back to the roots of what universities are: we need to understand the details, put them in their proper context and think critically about the whole thing, rather than just relying on what other people think.
There are three goals in front of you: your professional development, your personal growth and your ability to contribute to making society better for everyone. Let’s face it, if all your goals were just about you, that would be bit selfish, right? That’s why our approach at the University is focused on your professional development, on your personal growth and on helping you to contribute to the common good. We believe that everyone has the ability to contribute to a better future, and that there are things which might seem impossible and yet which, together, we can actually achieve. That’s why your experience at the University can’t be just about you.
The motivation we feel towards working hard in our studies increases when what we’re learning is our choice. In the same way, the enjoyment we take from learning increases as we become more aware of how we can contribute to making the world a better place. .
Our Careers Service can support you right from the beginning in your quest to develop professionally. If you want to know more about the Careers Service, click here:
Our mentoring programme is designed to ensure every student can reach their personal potential. It can help you develop your leadership skills (yes, this can be learnt), your communication skills (you can work on them and get better), your ability to work in a team, your ability to innovate, your ability to take decisions, and more. So, it’s up to you to be what you want to be.
Our volunteering programmes give you the chance to take part in projects in Spain and abroad, projects which show how we can make the world a better place. For us, it’s important to learn how we can transform society in a way which benefits the common good. What is the common good? It’s showing solidarity with those who are most in need of help. It means being green. It means being ethical. It means looking out for the good of other people. Find out more about being social:
You choose the soft and transferable skills that you think you need to develop for the future and we can help to do it through real experience of the situations where they’re needed. Then we can record your achievement in these skills, giving you a digital certificate that will enhance your CV and LinkedIn profile.
Test, try and plan
Before the academic year begins, all students will be offered the chance to take part in a “general special lecture” session using the HyFlex technology. You’ll be able to connect from home to the lecture and so actually experience what this approach to learning is like. Those students who are undergoing the admission and enrolment process will also be able to take part in these sessions.
During the first two weeks* of the academic year, according to the official academic calendar, the students will be placed into groups, so that each group can have the experience of physically attending classes on campus and attending them in an online, interactive format.
After these two weeks, students will be asked to indicate whether they are going to attend lectures in person or request online attendance, using a smartphone app or the intranet to do this. You must bear in mind that each degree will specify which type of activities must be attended in person. The University will notify the student whether their request has been accepted or whether it needs to be modified. For more information on this, see the document entitled "CEU UCH 2020-21 Action Plan".
*On one or other of the University campuses, this period may be extended.
Adapted practical training periods
Each study programme will specify which practical training sessions require the students’ physical presence on campus, due to the nature of the target competences concerned. Which sessions are of this nature will be clearly defined for each course: if physical attendance is necessary, the reason will be the need to use the facilities in order for learning to take place in optimal conditions.
In such cases, all students will be able to request to undertake these sessions over the course of the semester on a weekly basis or, if their personal circumstances make this difficult, they will be able to request an “adapted practical training period” (known as PAP, using the Spanish acronym). If the student’s personal circumstances do not allow them to come to campus every week (for example, because they are resident in another province of Spain or in another country), then he or she can request to undertake these activities during a PAP (an adapted practical training period). Before the student makes the request, he or she will be made aware of the exact dates of the PAP for their study programme in the University’s official academic calendar.
Before the academic year begins, the University will notify each student regarding whether their request has been accepted. In general, all requests for the default position of undertaking the practical activities on a weekly basis on campus will be accepted. In the case of PAP requests, these will, in general, be granted, if the student has duly justified their request and if their normal residence is in a province different from that of their campus.
Students can also change from one mode of practical training to the other (weekly practical sessions or PAP) during the semester, if there exists a good reason for doing so. The University will ensure that this combined approach works appropriately so that the student is able to finish the complete cycle of practical training for each course.
Far away, so close
Remember that our dual-mode, HyFlex approach to lectures means that you can always follow your lectures and interact with your lecturer in real time, and also connect with your classmates. You can request to do your practical training during the special period (PAP), and so if you can’t do your practical training on a weekly basis, it’s not a problem so long as there’s a good reason why not. Obviously, this means some adjustment will need to be made to your assessment calendar and the times your practical training will take place may be different, but that isn’t a problem either.
The dual-mode, HyFlex approach also means that all your lectures will be recorded and will be available to you to watch back on our digital platform. You can access these 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The tutorial and assessment systems will also be adapted for those students who live in very different time zones and who are unable to follow their lectures in real time.
Everything will be recorded* and available to students to watch back, or even to watch it for the first time if you weren’t able to be there, physically or virtually, at the time.
*Prior consent for this will be obtained from the lecturers and the students. The videos stored on the digital platform will be protected to prevent downloads and distribution. All these videos will be deleted once the corresponding academic period has been completed.
Let's take care of each other
The idea of taking care of each other has been at the forefront of everything that the Office of the Vice-Rector for Students and University Life has been trying to do for many years and it is now a key priority for the University. That’s why the San Pablo CEU University Foundation has made very significant investments to protect the health and safety of the whole university community.
The University's different services will set up online helpdesks to ensure that a personalized, real time service can be provided to every student, via Teams, Zoom or similar programs.
Every effort will be made to ensure student administration processes can take place online, in order to reduce the amount face-to-face contact without compromising on service quality. In the same way, digital versions of academic records and official documents will be created.