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Updated July 22, 2020

The UH Mānoa working groups have now posted their reports for the Fall 2020 semester. These include reports:

March 20, 2020

Aloha UH Faculty,

Thank you for your perseverance and patience through this difficult time with the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis, especially with the decision to move all courses online for the rest of the semester. With significant input from the Joint University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA)-UH Working Group, the university has developed these FAQs to help address concerns about the transition to deliver course instruction online.

This resource is available to provide guidance and support and will be continuously updated. If you have any questions not answered on this FAQs resource page, please email

Mahalo nui loa,
UHPA-UH Working Group

Who do I email if I have questions?

UH system is coordinating a response to all inquiries directed to them via:

If my students need additional IT support what should they do?

We recommend students contact the ITS Help Desk which is available 24/7. Concerns can be routed to the appropriate Administrator.

Phone: (808) 956-8883
Toll Free: (neighbor isles) (800) 558-2669
Fax: (808) 956-2108

Where can I find resources to move my class online?

UH has put together a set of resources that is being updated constantly.

Please also contribute your ideas to the UH Padlet.

There is also an extensive collection of University online resources.

It is also possible to use close-captioning with Zoom.

YouTube automatically creates captions for your videos. This YouTube video clip created by the CELTT provides a tutorial on this that might be useful to share.

The quality of my online course will not be the same as providing the course face-to-face.

We understand that adapting to the online environment is difficult for those who have not yet worked with UH’s learning management tools or used other online tools. Please remember that this is a temporary measure taken to ensure that students can complete the semester in response to a public health crisis and it is understood that many of these courses were not designed to be delivered online. However, we are not engaging in business as usual and this is not the time for the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Rather, we are in a moment of academic triage and trying to ensure that we can complete the semester as best we can given existing resources. As courses move online there are numerous resources available for faculty to explore and implement. We hope that all faculty will use the skills they have as learners to do what they can to make this experience the best possible for our students.

Will there be extra resources (graduate student readers for example) for the work associated with having to grade online?

This is a question for departments to address with their Deans and campus leadership. In some cases, there may be lecturers in the subject who could be utilized in addition to students.

Can I schedule advising appointments with students virtually?

STAR Balance is for students to make online appointments for student services

  1. Here is a short video explaining the functions.
  2. Here is a clean version of the form that needs to be completed to get your campus up on STAR Balance. UHCCs: Please submit to Tammi Chung.
  3. A training plan (probably video) is forthcoming shortly.

STAR Balance is an opportunity for students to schedule their own appointments, for a Zoom meeting to be automatically scheduled for the appointments that are made, and if desired, create a one stop for appointment scheduling for students. For campuses new to STAR Balance, CC System Office and STAR office are expediting the implementation of STAR Balance by providing additional IT support to make the service available ASAP. Submit your forms so that we can enable you this week.

What if I get sick and cannot teach my class (even online)?

So far faculty and graduate students have been supportive of each other in developing plans for such contingencies. In normal circumstances, it is easy to fill in for a single sick colleague, but if multiple faculty fall ill, a broader plan will be needed. If your department has not already done so, consider creating a backup instructor list for each of your courses and then let your students know who that person is in case there is a need to transition the course over.

My class simply cannot go online, what alternatives exist?

According to President Lassner’s email on March 12, 2020, “If a class needs to continue to be taught face-to-face to meet learning objectives, students will be informed after approval by the campus.” Approval processes are being developed at the campus level but ultimately only the relevant Chancellor or Provost can approve an exceptions. Students have been told that instruction will be done remotely, unless the Chancellor/Provost of a campus permits a course to meet face-to-face. Under the present circumstances, no one else but the Chancellor/Provost can make that determination.

Can I give a student an “I” if they cannot access materials online or have other reasons for being unable to complete the semester?

As in any semester, giving a student an incomplete is an option. It should be noted that an incomplete is typically given at the request of the student. Most definitions of an Incomplete grade make reference to “conditions beyond the student’s control.” If there is no way for a student to complete the materials either because they are ill or have little or no access to technology then an “I” grade may be warranted. Given that students often find it difficult to complete work after the course is over (because of new classes, work, etc.) incompletes should be an option, but not a default option. Additionally, without further federal guidance, incomplete courses may impact financial aid, but this may change as additional regulations are loosened.

What options exist for proctored final exams online?

The System is looking into additional resources for final exams including the possibility of a license for ProctorU. While online proctoring is an equivalent alternative to student identity verification, it is not the preferred method because there are additional charges to students. We appreciate your willingness to explore alternative assessment methodologies while we find ways to provide proctored exams when required.

Thus, think about alternative methods for how to provide exams in these unusual circumstances. Laulima offers multiple testing options, including timed tests or tests a student can take multiple times. While it is possible to set up an exam that limits cheating, no test is ever perfect. Consider the goals your test is designed for and seek an option that can best achieve these within the context of limited face-to-face contact and the online environment in which we are completing this semester.

On the Teaching Online During an Emergency website, several options for assessing student learning are provided. Also the Best Practices to Promote Academic Integrity is a resource.

Both WASC Junior (ACCJC) and Senior Commissions state that best practices for student identity verification include clear statements about student academic integrity and technology to augment pedagogical practices in online courses. Laulima requires student identity verification, also known as student authentication, to ensure that the student who submits the assessment is the participant in the course.

Availability at testing centers will be contingent upon campus resources. Testing centers will not have capacity to monitor and provide testing services for all courses on campus. Thus, while in some cases Testing Centers will remain open and utilize social distancing protocols by having 6 ft distance between individuals or “every third seat” in a room, faculty should identify alternative methods for testing.

I don’t have online access at home. How can I teach my classes remotely?

Unless the state prohibits movement, faculty can continue to utilize their campus offices and IT services. Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom are offering free Internet service for 60 days to new customers.

I teach early college courses at a DOE high school. What happens if the DOE shuts high school courses?

UH’s approach to sheltered high school classes at DOE, public charter and private schools remains dynamic. As of March 18, 2020, Hawaii public school students will not return until April 7, 2020. High schools are currently assessing whether their students can go online as of March 30. Alternatives would be correspondence class or suspending the class through April 7 while DOE is closed. Please visit this Early College FAQ for updated information.

What about accreditation for programs being online?

US Department of Education is providing “broad approval to institutions to use online technologies to accommodate students on a temporary basis.” USED is permitting accreditors to waive distance education review requirements as it relates to response to COVID19. The flexibility does not necessarily extend to licensing requirements; licensing bodies need to authorize whether distance learning courses or hours will meet licensure requirements.

ACCJC is “waiving review and technology requirements for distance learning and correspondence education at institutions affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Distance education instructors must maintain regular, substantive communication with students.” Per March 16 memo, member institutions that expand Distance Education offerings in response to the COVID-19 outbreak must notify ACCJC of this transition no later than May 8, 2020. UHCC Academic Affairs is preparing a list of active classes for Spring 2020 for each campus to facilitate the submission to ACCJC.

Where might I find additional campus-level resources?

Different departments and campuses are trying to coordinate their resources. This question will be updated as additional resources are made available. This section will be updated as units share their resources.

An FAQ primarily for LLL faculty at UH Mānoa is here:

UH Hilo:

Can faculty meet in groups of 10 or fewer?

We will be adhering to CDC and state guidance regarding group meetings, but at this time consider meetings via Zoom as an alternative.

When communicating with graduate students who may not be in a class or may be in a lab group, how should I proceed?

We will be adhering to CDC and state guidance regarding group meetings. Because the campus is still open, it is still possible to meet face to face with one or two graduate students in your office or lab so long as appropriate social distancing is in place. It is also possible to hold Zoom meetings or phone calls with graduate students.

Do I continue to own the copyrights to my courses when they are delivered online?

Yes. Faculty retain copyright to the materials they create for their courses, including syllabi, instructional materials, or any other materials that are “fixed in a tangible form.” Copyright in course materials belongs to the faculty no matter the delivery method. The rights faculty retain to copyrighted materials are outlined in Article X(1)(b)(1) of the UHPA contract.

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