Most classes at UH Hilo move online today through the end of the term in response to the coronavirus. Some classes have components which cannot be conducted online and will meet in person.
Faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo moved quickly over spring break to switch their classes to online delivery for the remainder of the semester. UH System President David Lassner announced on March 12 that due to the COVID-19 health crisis and concern for the safety of students, faculty, and staff, “the University of Hawai‘i will be moving our classes online after spring break, effective Monday, March 23,” the first day of classes after the break. Most classes move online today through the end of the term; some classes have components which cannot be conducted online and will meet in person.
Along with the UH Online website already long established to help faculty transition their courses online, the UH System’s Office of Information Technology Services is now providing a range of resources to help faculty transition, including a checklist with resources, online mini-lessons, online office hours, and one-to-one consultation. A website, Remote Instruction During an Emergency, also has been launched.
UH Associate Vice President for Students and Director of Academic Technology Services Hae Okimoto says about a third of UH faculty statewide were already utilizing distance education methods before the current health crisis, although the rates varied across the 10 campuses.
“What is really impressive to me are faculty who have used technology before saying, ‘Hey, I’ll help. Do you want me to help my peers and my colleagues?’” Okimoto says.
UH systemwide collaboration has been key. UH Mānoa College of Education’s Technology and Distance Programs shared their resources and expertise. Leeward Community College instructional designers collaborated to develop a remote instruction template. Instructional designers on all campuses have been collaborating in teaching online lessons and support for their faculty.
UH’s instructional design programs are nationally recognized. The UH Online Innovation Center received the Effective Practice Award for Innovate 2020 from the International Online Learning Consortium.