Delight the Customer – Customer-centric Principle Three

3. Delight the Customer – “Anticipates My Needs: My interactions with the company are excellent; they are solution-focused versus product-centric.”

HyFlex courses implement this principle when the focus of faculty and student effort is on achieving important learning outcomes, not on the simple completion of detailed activities themselves. When the focus on an activity such as an online discussion is primarily on completing the activity (instructor – “I’ve got to make sure they post three times” or student – “I’ve got to make sure my post is 100-200 words”) rather than on the desired outcome (Demonstrate understanding of [discussion topic here] through interactive discussion with peers), then the students’ needs may not be met.

This could be implemented through providing a range of alternative methods to reach the outcome. Could students be allowed to participate in an online discussion in alternate ways such as text, audio, or video? Could students be assigned activities that clearly restate learning outcomes and connect the activity to outcome(s), focusing on the purpose of the activity rather than on the “checklist” of to-do’s?

An instructor could manage this by treating each student as an individual, and allowing a customized path through course content that meets specific and individual student needs. Though this is certainly possibly and is often practiced to some degree in small classes and graduate programs, it can quickly become overwhelming for the instructor. A better approach may be to provide a limited variety of acceptable alternatives ways to achieve (and demonstrate) learning outcomes. Keep in mind that we are looking for equivalence in outcome, not in process or activity.

HyFlex courses provide a natural meta-environment for alternative ways to achieve outcomes, but the instructor should still consider ways to keep the focus of activity on meeting real and valued needs – the student learning outcomes.

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