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classroom reconfigured to accommodate social distancing
Kuykendall Hall classroom reconfigured to accommodate social distancing

This message was shared with the faculty, staff and students of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on June 19, 2020.

Aloha UH Mānoa ʻohana,

I hope this message finds you safe and well. I wanted to provide an important update on available classroom spaces and how that will affect the way courses will be delivered this upcoming semester. The final plans for all fall semester campus operations are still scheduled to be announced before the end of June.

We are working with a revised inventory of classrooms and other teaching spaces based on the required six foot distancing for desks, chairs and/or workspaces. As expected, the required social distancing has significantly reduced the number of students that a classroom or lab can accommodate. This health compliance will result in more courses and coursework being carried out in a hybrid (partially face-to-face, partially online) format or online than many students and faculty may have originally anticipated. We hope to have the revised schedule of classes available in early July. Our scheduler and registrar are working together to minimize the amount of disruption to our students.

Priority for classroom and lab spaces are being given to those courses that require in-person, face-to-face instruction with special consideration given to courses that fulfill graduation requirements. Department chairs are working with their faculty on revising schedules with an eye toward health and safety first and foremost, as well as keeping our seniors on track to graduate and providing our incoming students with a range of courses in different formats that will afford them an engaged first-year experience. Whereas this past spring, faculty, staff and students did their best to make an abrupt switch to remote instruction, we have time this summer to work with faculty on designing their courses from the start in formats that take full advantage of the technology available to enhance student interaction with their peers and instructors. These course formats include;

Students meet in a classroom

Students complete the course entirely online

  • Synchronous—Class is held entirely online, with students expected to meet virtually on scheduled day(s)/time(s).
  • Asynchronous—Students complete course requirements entirely online, with no specified meeting day(s)/time(s).

Instruction is through a combination of face-to-face and online instruction

  • Scheduled—The class meets one or more times face-to-face, but the rest of the course is delivered online. The online portion may be either synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Split-Class—Students are divided into concurrent sections (with distinct course registration numbers (CRNs) that attend face-to-face on different days, and otherwise participate online.
  • Here-or-There (HOT)—Students enroll either entirely face-to-face or entirely online, frequently through web conferencing within a classroom.

More information can be found on the web page for the Student Learning Team, one of eight working teams preparing the Mānoa campus for the upcoming fall semester. There are also updates on sanitizing and social distancing guidelines in buildings, technical support for distance delivery and faculty support for the conversion to online and hybrid formats.

Please know that teams of people are working diligently and efficiently to ensure the campus is ready to welcome back our UH Mānoa community in the fall. More updates are coming and everyoneʻs patience is greatly appreciated.

Mahalo nui loa,
Michael Bruno
UH Mānoa Provost

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