Northeastern announces ‘NUflex’ hybrid learning model for fall


Kelly Chan

The NUflex model will allow students to choose how they take their classes.

After much uncertainty regarding the fall semester, Northeastern University announced its learning plan for the fall semester, a hybrid learning model titled NUflex.

In an email to the Northeastern community Friday evening, Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning Kenneth W. Henderson and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan described NUflex as “an exciting hybrid-flexible learning experience available for all Northeastern classes this fall.”

NUflex will give students the option to attend physical classes on campus or connect virtually through technology that allows for communication via audio, text and video. Remote students will be able to see, hear and interact with the instructor and classmates in real-time, as well as access additional teaching tools such as a whiteboard or projection screen. The classes will also be recorded and available to watch later. 

Students will have the option to begin or end the academic term remotely, as well as the freedom to reduce overall time spent in the physical classroom. The semester will follow the previously planned academic calendar, which begins on Sept. 9 and ends Dec. 9 for undergraduate students.

Henderson and Madigan emphasized their investment in state-of-the-art classroom technology and additional faculty training in order to ensure the “highest quality learning experience for students.” Northeastern recently migrated their online learning platform from Blackboard to Canvas, and all digital materials for fall courses will be housed on Canvas.

Northeastern previously came under criticism for its abrupt switch to online learning during the spring semester, and the quality of Northeastern’s online courses prompted graduate students Manisha Bahrani and Manny Chong to file separate class action lawsuits against Northeastern citing “inferior” educational services.

Northeastern has not yet released a full plan regarding other aspects of the fall semester, but plans to provide more updates “in the coming weeks” on dining, housing, testing and tracing, travel guidance and safety protocols. The university released certain details on the reopening page’s FAQ section, including a no-visitors policy for dorms and a promise to “launch and maintain [a] viral testing operation with the capacity to administer thousands of tests per day.”

Henderson and Madigan wrote in the email that the plan is “uniquely Northeastern — powered by innovative research, by boundary-crossing networks, and by learning that empowers lifelong learners to reshape our human communities.”