coronavirus

This message was shared with the faculty of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on March 13, 2020.

Colleagues,

I want to begin by thanking all of you for the extraordinary efforts you continue to make to prepare to deliver course instruction remotely over the three-week period beginning the week after Spring Break. For many of you, this will be your initial experience in providing course content in an online format. We are doing everything we can to provide all of you with the tools and resources you need to engage with your students and ensure that our students achieve their learning outcomes. I want to thank Hae Okimoto, Dorothy Hirata and the rest of the team in the UH Online Innovation Center (UHOIC), as well as Paul McKimmy from the College of Education, for their work in developing the tools and resources that we are providing to the faculty.

While we recognize that remote instruction on this short timeline may be very different from a thoughtfully planned and executed distance-delivered course, we are confident that working together we can ensure that we accomplish the student learning objectives for our courses. As has already been communicated, UHOIC is providing resources on the Teaching Online During an Emergency website to assist faculty during this transition.

Please make a copy of the Teaching During an Emergency Checklist for Faculty (Google Sheet, login with your Google@UH/hawaii.edu credentials) and review the self-paced tutorial links on the site that can be completed at your own pace. If you are currently not teaching online, it is recommended that you complete the following three mini-lessons to prepare for remote instruction:

  1. Update Your Syllabus
  2. Communication with Students
  3. Online Content Delivery

For faculty requiring additional support and guidance, UHOIC will be providing webinar sessions that will be recorded throughout spring break. Drop-in virtual office hours will also be available Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from now through April 12. Visit the website for additional details.

We realize that a primary challenge is the online delivery of lab-based and hands-on courses. There are online simulations or virtual experiments available to stand-in for traditional experiences.

OER Examples include:

Commercial examples include:

I encourage you to explore these options (and others of your own making), and discuss them with your colleagues, your department chair, and your dean. I am prepared to approve face-to-face instruction for small classes on a case-by-case basis. But all such approvals will require that students who are not able to attend will be accommodated. Please also note that all UH policies, including Title IX and the UH Mānoa Student Conduct Code apply to the online environment.

For faculty who have never used online teaching tools, including Laulima, you may wish to consider videoconferencing, that is, moving to an online live lecture. Two options include Google Meet and Zoom. A mini lesson will be available on March 16 and a live zoom session on March 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. But there is no reason to wait. The following are available at any time:

Presenting with Google Meet (Login using your Google@UH/hawaii.eduGmail credentials)

Note: Google Meet has been upgraded to provide advanced features, including the ability to record directly to Google Drive and hosting up to 250 group meetings. These features are available until July 1, 2020.

Presenting with Zoom (Login using your Google@UH Gmail credentials)

Note: The Zoom basic free version provides unlimited 1- to -1 meetings and hosts up to 100 for 40-minute group meetings. UH has a limited number of Zoom licenses for instructional purposes. If you plan to utilize Zoom consistently for online instruction long term, please request a UH Zoom upgraded account. Requests for one-time or short term use of Zoom can be emailed to itvscheduler-l@lists.hawaii.edu.

As we make this transition, and as you review your course content, we encourage you to consider modifying assignments that are due during this period to facilitate remote teaching and learning. We also recommend that you use your first session with your students to familiarize everyone with the new learning format.

I want to emphasize one thing: our faculty are the most dedicated and professional educators with whom I have ever worked. I will not be prescriptive in requiring any single approach to the challenges before us. We trust that you will do all you can in your power to ensure that our students meet their learning objectives and you achieve the goals of your course. And we stand ready to provide you with the tools and the assistance that you require to have success. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Best,
Michael Bruno