UH Hilo Distance Learning

Sample Semester Pre-Start Email to Students

It’s good policy to send out info two weeks in advance (or at least one week). Below is sample text that you can copy, paste, and modify as needed:

Important Note: If you’re using the Laulima Announcements tool with an email notification, ensure that your course is published so the email will be delivered. Once the announcement has been sent you can then unpublish to continue working on your course prior to the semester’s start day.

Aloha Students,

Welcome in advance to [insert your course’s name here]. I want to share some information with you that will help you prepare for the first day of class which begins on [insert semester start date here].


Please read the attached Syllabus [or provide a link to your Google Doc-based syllabus] as it provides important information about the course. Additionally, there may be a short Syllabus Quiz so be prepared!

Course Location

Our course will be offered online in Laulima; you can log in at https://laulima.hawaii.edu/portal.


Our text is [insert text book information here]. Please order or rent this book as soon as you can, as you will need it on the first day. You may order from Amazon , GetTextbooks.com , or the UH Hilo Bookstore.

Course Preparation

Prior to the first day of class:

  1. [Go through the UH Hilo Online Learning Readiness Check (OLRC) to do a computer system check, review the Laulima Orientation video, and complete a skills check. Immediately after completing the OLRC you will get access to a Certificate of Completion, if one is awarded, via email.
  2. Forward the certification completion email to me at [insert your email address here].
  3. Review the UH Hilo Student Resources website for Laulima help, including tutorials and guides; general DL FAQs; computer hardware and software help; and more.

Technology Requirements

  1. You will need access to a fairly high-speed Internet connection such as DSL, Broadband Cable, or a T1 line.
  2. Make sure that you have an up-to-date version of Firefox ESR (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/) as this browser version works best with Laulima.
  3. Make sure you have an up-to-date version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat/pdf-reader.html).

Instructions for Faculty: You may wish to list the following items as well, depending upon your course’s needs:

  • Regular access to a computer.
  • Microsoft Office Word or equivalent, such as Google Docs.
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint or equivalent, such as Google Slides.
  • Webcam or videoing capabilities (ex: smartphone or video camera).
  • External speakers, headphones and microphone, or a headset.
  • Zoom Client for Meetings app for course meetings (https://zoom.us/download).

Support Available for Students

Finally, please confirm that you got this message by replying to this email. I look forward to working with you!