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. The “law” says that The value 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 individual. 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 hybrids 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 bathroom language we have for mixed-person / zoom meetings in a course setting. Students in the Hyflex course can choose whether to join 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 instruction 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 badly difficult it is to design and operate a quality Hyflex class. Not impossible, just difficult.
So, where does this leave us?
If hybrids are problematic and Hyflex is not tensile, what could be a simpler language to describe mixed physical / virtual meetings that might actually be adopted?
x meeting: What if we put an “x” before the word meeting? We let “x” stand for a combination of virtual or physical.
Polyming: The prefix poly means “a lot.” Here “poly” refers to many places.
Pan meeting: Pan is a prefix 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.
Multi-meeting: Multi means a lot, and in a multimeting, there are participants from many places.
Concentric: The prefix “a” does not mean so a centralized meeting is not centered 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, expansion, and universality?
What kind of meeting are you having?