I am grateful to Matt Reed for continuing the conversation about how we work together in the academy.
In Kim’s legislation, I was personally and trying to unpack why zoom meetings are almost always frustrating and unproductive. “Law” states that the quality of a physical / virtual meeting is directly proportional to the condition of the virtual participants.
In Matt’s piece, he uses the language of “hybrid” to describe meetings where some participants are virtual and some are personal. Matt’s post makes me think that the language we use to describe epidemic life is not really captured. Today we need more precise vocabulary to describe work and social life.
“Hybrid” works when describing meetings where participants are distributed across physical and digital spaces. We know exactly what Matt means when he calls these meetings hybrid.
But other ways, using “hybrid” to describe something that is not a class or course (a meeting) is problematic.
For teaching and learning, we use the term “hybrid” to describe a course that contains both personal and online material. A hybrid degree program is traditionally understood to be primarily distributed online and has some expectations on campus and during face-to-face communication.
HyFlex is the language closest to us for mixed-person / zoom meetings in a course setting. Students in the Hyflex course can choose whether to participate physically (in class) or practically (using zoom or any platform).
“Hyflex” does not work well, however, when applied to meetings.
First, my explanation of HyFlex for guidance is that the concept combines the flexibility of both space and time. Students can learn anywhere and anytime. Course materials can interact with both synchronous and asynchronous. It doesn’t work for meetings.
Second, the concept of learning hyflex is widely debated in higher versions. Although everyone likes the idea of flexibility and inclusion, anyone who has taught (or worked with instructors) knows how bad it is to design and run a quality Hyflex class. Not impossible, just difficult.
So, where does this leave us?
If hybrids are problematic and Hyflex is not technically possible, what could be a simpler language to describe mixed physical / virtual meetings that could be adopted in practice?
- x Meeting: What if we put an “x” before the word “meeting”? We let “x” stand for virtual or physical adjustment.
- Polyming: The prefix poly means “a lot.” Here “poly” refers to many places.
- Pan meeting: Pan is the symbol of “all”. A pan meeting is where all people can participate, no matter where they are.
- Maxi meeting: “Maxi” means big, or as big as possible. Without the limitations of physical space or the need to travel, a maximizing can be as large as we wish.
- Mixed: Combining the language we use for language learning is probably a mistake. Blended learning education has a special and different meaning.
- Multimeting: “Multi” means many, and in a multimeting, there are participants from many places.
- Concentric: The prefix “a” does not mean. So a centralized meeting is not centralized anywhere.
- Ultramiting (or uMeeting): If we say something “ultra,” we mean something extreme.
In most cases, office / zoom meetings are awesome, but if we work in our language, it can inspire us to work on meeting design.
What do you think?
What are mixed-person / virtual meetings on your campus called?
How does the discussion of language translate into usage, spread and ubiquity?
What kind of meeting are you having?