Distance Education


The Program’s distance education services permit students pursing the MLISc degree from neighboring Hawaiian islands to attend select courses synchronously (i.e., webcast/face-to-face hybrid) and asynchronously (i.e., entirely online).

For synchronous webcast courses (aka “hybrid courses”), distance students must attend each class session as it occurs via a web meeting service (e.g., Zoom). For asynchronous courses (aka “purely online courses”), students do not attend at specific dates/times and participate via an online system such as UH Laulima or Slack (check with the course instructor for course access). Hybrid and purely online courses are noted on each semester’s Course Schedule.

The Program is usually able to make the full course schedule available to distance students, although we have a very small number of courses that require hands-on labs that are not able to be completed virtually. Students will be made aware of these limitations on the LIS course schedule and during advising. These courses are not requirements for completing the MLISc degree and, as such, distance students are able to complete the entire degree virtually.

Distance education students must have access to a reliable broadband internet connection with a sustained download rate of 8 Mbps or faster as well as a desktop or laptop computer with webcam, microphone & speakers (or headset), printer, and an office suite (e.g., Microsoft Office, Google Docs). Students should also have a designated backup computer site prepared in case they experience connectivity or hardware/software problems at their primary study location; computer malfunctions or local network failures are not accepted as excuses for missing class sessions (or late/missing assignment submission).

Prior to the pandemic, residents of O‘ahu could not use the Program’s distance education services unless there was a documented medical condition (verified by a physician) that would prevent a student from attending class in person. While this policy has not officially changed post-pandemic, some instructors still permit Oʻahu students to attend courses virtually. Students should see each semester’s course schedule for details.

Because of time-zone differences, the real-time nature of hybrid courses, and staffing/resource limitations, the Program cannot accept out-of-state applicants who wish to complete the MLISc degree program online.

If you have further questions about the Program’s distance education services, send an email to LISinfo@hawaii.edu and the LIS Program Coordinator will follow-up with you within 1-3 business days.

Hybrid Course Info

The Program uses Zoom web conferencing to broadcast select courses each semester. Distance education students must install the Zoom Client for Meetings software onto their computers (Mac/Windows) and attend each hybrid class session as it occurs. When called upon, distance students may share their computer’s screen to the onsite classroom’s projector as well as using their computer’s webcam and/or microphone to give presentations.

A student assistant is assigned to most hybrid LIS courses to manage the online portion of the course and to mediate neighbor island student participation during each class session. The student assistant can also help with basic troubleshooting issues.

Hybrid courses are indicated on each semester’s course schedule with the [hybrid] notation.

Services & Support

To better serve the needs of neighbor island students, the following services and resources are available. Students should be aware that distance education requires an extremely high level of personal motivation and responsibility; please contact the Program Coordinator or your advisor if you need additional support.

Whom to contact
Your faculty advisor: Questions you may have regarding your academic program of study in your degree program and approval for courses each semester. Examples: What courses would work well for your area of interest.

LIS Program Coordinator: Administrative processes involving registration, graduation, petitions to add/drop after deadlines, course material requests, changing advisors, Leave of Absence forms, and other administrativia.

Course instructors: Neighbor island students must identify themselves to their course instructors prior to the start of the semester and make arrangements to receive any non-digital course materials and to identify local library resources that can be used to complete assignments.

New Student Orientation
All incoming classified students, including those on a neighbor island, must attend the New Student Orientation held before the start of the semester. Neighbor island students should make travel arrangements well in advance so that they can arrive on O‘ahu in time for the event.

Faculty Advising
An advisor will be assigned to you based on the information provided in your application materials, but students are free to switch advisors at any time. Students consult with their advisor as part of pre-registration to obtain approval for those courses they wish to take in upcoming semesters. Faculty advisors can also help students select appropriate electives based on their interests.

If you wish to select a new advisor, please contact the Program Coordinator for assistance.

Course Registration
Once you have consulted with your advisor to select courses for the upcoming semester, your advisor will submit an advising sheet to the Program Coordinator, who will enter the necessary course approval codes into the UH registration system and file the advising sheet in your student folder. Shortly before the course enrollment period, the Program Coordinator will email students individually with all necessary registration information.

Booklist information is available three weeks before classes begin at the UH Manoa campus bookstore website.

Books may be purchased via any online bookseller (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble) or through the UH Manoa campus bookstore by one of the following options:

  • In person at the host campus bookstore
  • Order online at the UH Manoa campus bookstore website. When you order online, you will have the option of having the books mailed to your home or book pick-up at the UH Manoa campus bookstore. Book pick-up ordering available before Spring and Fall semester classes begin at specified times. Check bookstore website for information. Pick-up option will be removed from the website the Wednesday before school starts.
  • Order books through the UH Manoa Bookstore e-commerce Department at 1-800-UHBOOKS (1-800-842-6657). This option is for those unable to purchase online or travel to the UH Manoa campus bookstore. Orders received will be forwarded on to the respective campus’ bookstore for order processing. Please have your course information and your credit card available when you call.

Note: If ordering used textbooks from an online bookseller, be sure to choose an expedited shipping option, as many retailers ship “media mail,” which can take several weeks to reach Hawaii.

Assignment Submission
If an instructor requires printed copies of an assignment, neighbor island students may email a digital copy to the Program Coordinator for local printing; students must alert the course instructor that the Coordinator is printing the assignment on their behalf.

Assignments must be emailed at least two days before the due date so that the Program Coordinator can print and deliver all materials to the course instructor on time. It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with the course instructor to verify that the assignment has been received on time.

Document Delivery
For copies of journal articles from the Hamilton or Sinclair library print collections that are not available online, please send the article citations to the Program Coordinator via email at least five days before they are required. The articles will be scanned and PDF copies sent to students via the UH Filedrop service. Please limit requests to a maximum of five articles per email.

If you require articles or books for your coursework that are not available in the Hamilton library print or online collections, submit an Interlibrary Loan (“ILL”) request per the instructions on the ILL website. When the item(s) arrive on O‘ahu and are ready for pickup, Hamilton library will send an email to you. Students must then send an email to libill@hawaii.edu or call 808-956-8568 and ask the ILL department to send the item(s) to a nearby UH system library, i.e., Kaua’i Community College, UH Hilo, or Maui College. Note: Molokai students should contact the Program Coordinator to make delivery arrangements.

Additional Resources
Neighbor island students should refer to the UH Distance Learning site for a list of local support services and resources available to them. Students who reside in Maui county may also contact the University of Hawai‘i Center, Maui for additional support resources.

Students who plan to graduate must submit a Graduate Application for Degree form during the first two weeks of their final semester. Note that students who fail to complete this form by the deadline may not graduate on time.