Starting fall 2022, Austin Community College (ACC) will expand its course options to better meet student needs, including adding more 8-week and HyFlex offerings.

The college’s Office of Institutional Research and Analytics conducted two student surveys in spring. More than 580 students responded, and data indicate the overwhelming majority would like to see more 8-week course options

  • Most students said they like the 8-week course length (77%) and would like to see more 8-week course offerings (74%).
  • Most agreed that they learned better when focusing on fewer courses at a time (80%) and would recommend 8-week courses to other students (74%).
  • Most said it was important that they could take more courses (76%) or complete a two-course sequence in one semester (72%) and that the shorter length fits into their life/work schedules better (76%).
  • A majority also said they valued being able to start a course in mid-semester (65%) and that the workload was manageable (68%).

The results were particularly favorable for students who work full-time and are seeking flexible options to combine school with busy lives. More feedback from students is below:

Why They Like 8-Week Courses

“I have had the opportunity to take classes in many formats at ACC. I have had the best experience while enrolled in the 8-week and 5-week summer semester courses. I decided I would take 8-week courses whenever possible going forward. I love being able to immerse myself in a topic. When I have a more rigorous class, I am able to push through and find the motivation because I tell myself, ‘I can do anything for 8 weeks!’ Then I feel it becomes achievable.”

“I love the 8-week courses! I STRONGLY prefer to take two 8-week courses back to back over two concurrent 16-week courses. For a busy lifestyle (as we all have), I find this so much easier to navigate and focus and learn.”

In addition to more 8-week courses, the college also intends to offer more HyFlex course options. These are in-person courses that allow students to join virtually during any given class period. Comments in support of HyFlex/online options centered around safety concerns and balancing child care and employment responsibilities. 

Why They Like HyFlex/Online Courses

“As a single mom who doesn’t have daycare options, being able to have hybrid classes for things such as biology would be very helpful. If the lecture could be viewed from home and coming in-person for lab was an option, it would help those of us with limited child care immensely!”

“Please never stop having Distance Learning classes. These have made taking classes along with a full-time job manageable and I finally feel like I will be able to get a degree after having to put off school for work for so long.”

To support this growth, the Office of Distance & Alternative Education will host a series of HyFlex Summer Institute sessions July 11-15. The four-day program is designed to help faculty prepare to teach a HyFlex class. 

Attendees will focus on applying effective practices for implementing HyFlex delivery in their own course with live demonstrations on how to utilize HyFlex technology in the classroom. They’ll also get tips for integrating synchronous learning activities and engagement in a HyFlex learning environment Consultations with Distance Education Instructional Designers will be available after the training.

ACC full-time faculty and adjunct faculty who teach credit-based courses are eligible to apply. All levels of teaching experience and technology skills are welcome. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. To learn more and to register, click here

Learn more about the survey results in the June OIRA Data Debrief.