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Focus Proposals

Beginning with the Spring 2021 effective term, there is just one form to complete for proposals to add or renew any Focus designations. Please make sure to check off the correct box(es) on page 1, indicating whether you are applying for an Instructor-Based, Course-Based, or Staff-Based Focus designation(s). The definitions for each type are below:

“INSTRUCTOR-Based” Focus proposals should be submitted by an individual instructor when that instructor wants a new Focus designation or needs to renew an expired designation.

COURSE-Based” Focus proposals should be submitted by the Department Chair or Focus Course Coordinator when a department has a course that inherently meets the Focus Hallmarks. Upon approval, all sections of the course will be designated with the requested Focus.

Proposals to add or renew a COURSE-based Focus designation for a course include identifying a course- coordinator. See the Focus Course Coordinators page for more information about what this role entails.

Note that course-based proposals are now being accepted for all courses; it is no longer the case that a course needs to have been previously taught by two or more instructors with a given designation. Course-based Focus designations may be given to new courses, or to courses usually taught by a single instructor.

“STAFF-Based” Focus proposals should be submitted by the Department Chair or Focus Coordinator when a department has unstaffed sections of a course that traditionally have a Focus designation. Upon approval, the unstaffed sections will be designated with the requested Focus. Once instructors are assigned, they must submit their own instructor-based Focus form to explain how they will teach the course in accordance with the Focus Hallmarks. The Department Chair or Focus Coordinator should make sure that an instructor-based Focus proposal is submitted as soon as an instructor is assigned to the (previously unstaffed) section.

The hallmarks, explanatory notes, and student learning outcomes for each of the four Focus areas can be found on our Teaching Focus Courses page. For the hybrid/online checkbox, please check the appropriate box if you are currently planning to teach the course in this modality beginning Fall 2021, regardless of the possibility that the course may revert to all in-person instruction at some point in the approval period. Please refer to this link for more information about online and hybrid course modalities.

We also encourage you to explore the Teaching Resources available on our website for pedagogical resources relevant to many areas of the undergraduate curriculum, as well as distance education/online, hybrid, and classroom instructional modes.

Summer 2021 Focus Form: Due Friday, January 15, 2021

  • Summer 2021 Focus Proposal Form (form-fillable PDF version): download to your computer first
    • Mac users: Please use Adobe Acrobat (not Preview) for completing the form-fillable PDF form. Our office has received some forms with fields that appear blank, and we believe this may be due to an incompatibility issue between software. If you are having any difficulty with the PDF version, please use the MS Word Doc version instead.
    • Click here for a quick tutorial video on how to sign documents with Adobe Acrobat reader (note this works only with the PDF version of the form).
  • Summer 2021 Focus Proposal Form (MS Word Doc version): download to your computer first

Fall 2021 Focus Form: Due Friday, February 5, 2021

  • Fall 2021 Focus Proposal Form (form-fillable PDF version): download to your computer first
    • Mac users: Please use Adobe Acrobat (not Preview) for completing the form-fillable PDF form. Our office has received some forms with fields that appear blank, and we believe this may be due to an incompatibility issue between software. If you are having any difficulty with the PDF version, please use the MS Word Doc version instead.
    • Click here for a quick tutorial video on how to sign documents with Adobe Acrobat reader (note this works only with the PDF version of the form).
  • Fall 2021 Focus Proposal Form (MS Word Doc version): download to your computer first

Please download (do not fill it out in your browser) the PDF Form-fillable or MS Word Doc version of the proposal form above, and complete all sections relevant to the Focus designations you are seeking. Attach one or more syllabi as appropriate, and save as one file (preferably a PDF). Completed forms may be submitted via email to gened@hawaii.edu.

Do I need to check the “Online or Hybrid” box?

Courses offered with particular Gen Ed designations are inherently different when delivered mostly or fully online. For example, hallmark 5 of courses with a Contemporary Ethical Issues (E) designation requires that “A minimum of 8 hours of class time will be spent in discussing contemporary ethical issues.” That requirement for 8 hours of discussion is more difficult to fulfill if all classwork is done asynchronously and via online discussion forums, for example. Checking the “online or hybrid” box on a proposal form alerts reviewers to these considerations, allowing them to offer faculty pedagogical support and resources to assist them with fulfilling the hallmarks and learning outcomes. So should you check the box? Consider these three scenarios:

  1. If a course is being taught mostly or fully online in fall 2021 or spring 2022 because of the pandemic, and the syllabus or syllabi that will be submitted with the proposal reflects this instructional mode (e.g., the syllabus reflects fully online or hybrid instruction, with synchronous or asynchronous class meetings and assigned work indicated), please check the “online or hybrid” box on page 1 of the proposal form.
  2. We recognize that a department may be offering a course online in summer or fall 2021 that has only been taught in a traditional face-to-face format in the past. Because UH Mānoa has not yet officially set the range of instructional modes for the fall term, we do not expect instructors and departments to necessarily have syllabi ready for next semester. If this is the case, the department may choose not to check the “online or hybrid” box. The proposal will be reviewed as if it will be offered in a face-to-face format. If the course does end up being offered as a hybrid or fully online course, we encourage you to explore our teaching resources online, as well as the resources and tutorials offered by the UH Online Innovation Center. Please feel free to contact us and the relevant Gen Ed Board as well for support with moving your classes to a different instructional format.
  3. If a course is normally taught face-to-face, and may not be offered in summer or fall 2021, do not bother checking the box.

 

How should I modify the course catalog description if I’m proposing a course-based Focus designation?

Our office will generate a UHM-2 form for you once you’re approved for a course-based designation. On the Focus proposal form, however, you are asked for a modified course description for the catalog, and this is reviewed as part of the proposal review process by the appropriate Gen Ed Board. Here are tips to consider:

  1. The modified course description must stay within the 35-word limit. Any proposed course descriptions longer than this will have to be sent back to you for revision.
  2. Because Focus designations may not be renewed in the future, and because the catalog is only updated annually, course descriptions cannot directly state that a course has a given Focus designation (e.g., “Course has a W”). Here are some examples of acceptable language to use in modified course description:
    • Contemporary Ethical Issues: Ethical issues in electrical engineering discussed.
    • Hawaiian, Asian, & Pacific Issues: Hawaiian and Asian perspectives on health care integrated throughout.
    • Oral Communication:
      • Course covers colonial history, contemporary Indigenous groups, and significant attention to oral communication skills.
      • Candidates perform, present, and teach to develop oral communication skills. 
      • Focus on student teamwork and oral communications.
      • Includes an emphasis on instruction and feedback in oral communication.
    • Writing Intensive:
      • This course develops written communication skills.
      • Significant attention paid to developing writing skills.
      • Emphasis on writing instruction.

Diversification Proposals

To request a Diversification designation, departments should complete a UHM-1 form (for new courses) or a UHM-2 form (to modify an existing course).

For new courses, check the box in #7a to “Request Gen Ed designation indicated below” and indicate the requested Diversification designation (i.e., DA, DH, DL, DS, DB, DP, DY) in #7b. A course that has an embedded laboratory component may have DB+DY or DP+DY.

For existing courses, fill in the “Existing Gen Ed Diversification, Foundations, or HSL Designation” in #7a and indicate the requested designation in #7b.

Submit the UHM form as required by your School/College. For a Spring 2022 effective term, the form should be routed to the OVCAA by Monday, March 15, 2021. For a Summer/Fall 2022 effective term, the form should be routed to the OVCAA by Friday, October 15, 2021. 

Foundations Proposals

Spring 2022 Foundations Forms: Due Monday, February 22, 2021

Summer/Fall 2022 Foundations Forms: Due Monday, September 27, 2021

Global & Multicultural Perspectives PDF WORD
Quantitative Reasoning PDF WORD
Written Communication PDF WORD

When a Foundations designation is being requested for the first time, a UHM form is also required. Submit the form as required by your School/College. For a Spring 2022 effective term, the form should be routed to the OVCAA by Monday, March 15, 2021For a Summer/Fall 2022 effective term, the form should be routed to the OVCAA by Friday, October 15, 2021. 

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