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Updated August 24, 2020

The UH Mānoa Student Learning Working Group is responsible for addressing specific challenges associated with the significant changes made in delivery formats of instruction (in-person to online or hybrid) for the majority of the fall 2020 courses. These changes were necessary because of the significant reduction of classroom and laboratory spaces due to required social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The working group also addressed and identified resources and training available to instructors for the transition to different delivery formats.

The working group’s full report is available for public review.

Available classroom and laboratory space was reduced by as much 70 percent because of the required 6-foot distancing for desks, chairs and/or workspaces. At the end of June, the faculty chose new course formats that had course offerings at 77% fully online or hybrid and 23% fully in-person. In response to the recent increase in COVID cases on Oʻahu, faculty have revisited those choices, and with the safety of students, staff and faculty in mind, have reduced fully in-person courses to just 4% of all courses. The full list of fall courses and adjustments was to be announced in mid- to late-July 2020. The course delivery formats include:


  • Students meet in a classroom and/or teaching laboratory modified for social distancing

Online students complete the course entirely online

  • Synchronous  Class is held entirely online, with students expected to meet virtually on scheduled day(s)/time(s) that to the greatest extent possible follow the originally scheduled days and times for the course.
  • Asynchronous  Students complete course requirements entirely online, with no specified meeting day(s)/time(s).

Hybrid Instruction combines 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 meet 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.

Update from the Student Learning Group

June 18, 2020 On May 3, 2020 President Lassner announced that “the University of Hawaiʻi plans to resume in-person classes on all 10 campuses beginning August 24, 2020, as scheduled,” but that “the fall will absolutely not be a return to business as usual.” The announcement noted preparations “for greater use of online resources and some classes shifting to hybrid modes with a mix of on-campus and online instruction.”

Since May 11, UH Mānoa’s Fall Coordinating Committee and eight working groups have been working on plans and processes to more safely resume instruction. The Student Learning Working Group necessarily must draw on guidance from other working groups, and this is reflected in this document. For additional information, please consult updates from the other groups.

The Space Planning, Preparation and Utilization Group has reviewed and set standards for classrooms and classroom buildings in preparation for fall classes. UH Mānoa Facilities has committed to new distancing, sanitizing and cleaning processes.

For courses that do meet in classrooms, we expect that:

  • Where appropriate, 6 feet of distancing locations for desks/chairs will be indicated on the floor. If class activities require that you move the furniture, 6 feet of social distancing must be maintained, and at the end of the class the furniture should be returned to where it was originally placed.
  • For rooms with fixed seating, seats and rows will be taped off to ensure 6 feet of distancing between seated students.
  • A regular cleaning and disinfection protocol will be followed by Facilities once a day per CDC guidelines, and trash will be emptied once per day. For large classrooms and theaters, a misting or electromagnetic “spray” may be utilized to improve cleaning efficiency.
  • Cleaning/sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom for occupants’ use.

Additionally, wherever practical:

  • High-touch areas will be cleaned by custodial staff three times per day, in classrooms, common areas and restrooms, including in office buildings. High-touch areas include elevator buttons, door handles, restroom counters and faucets, etc.
  • Every classroom building will have one dedicated entry point and one dedicated exit point. Flow will be directed in common areas.
  • Hand-sanitizing dispensers will be provided at classroom building entryways. For other buildings, the hand-sanitizer will be provided by colleges or schools and/or departments and programs.
  • During normal business hours, and where feasible given the activities in buildings, dedicated “entry” doors to buildings and/or floors of buildings will remain propped open to minimize the need to touch doors.
  • Signs in every classroom, building entrance and restroom will promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs, such as by properly washing hands and wearing a face covering (either cloth or plexi face shield) as per current local, state and CDC guidance.

A classroom inventory with revised capacities, based on social distancing at 6 feet, was produced. The revised inventory revealed a significantly reduced capacity to hold face-to-face classes of more than 20 students. A summary of revised capacities follows:

Classroom capacity (# of students) Rooms available in normal circumstances Rooms available with 6 feet of distancing
4–9 2 21
10–19 18 106
20–29 56 18
30–49 56 15
50–70 16 3
71–99 9 0
100–199 6 0
200–299 3 0
350–385 2 0

In light of the governor’s current guidance limiting gatherings to groups no larger than 50 and the restriction on room capacities, most courses with enrollments of 50 or more students will either convert to fully online delivery or a hybrid course format within the classroom capacities.

For courses that must be delivered in a 100 percent face-to-face format for pedagogical reasons, we will work with the faculty, the scheduler, and the Space Planning, Preparation and Utilization Group to facilitate 100 percent face-to-face instruction.

With this revised classroom inventory, and understanding that both faculty and students expect learning opportunities in a variety of face-to-face, online and hybrid (mixed face-to-face and online) modalities, the Scheduler (in conjunction with the Provost Office and the Student Learning Working Group) is working with the UH Mānoa department chairs on revising the official Schedule of Courses to reflect the changes in delivery modes for the fall semester.

On June 15, all UH Mānoa departments were sent the updated classroom capacity information, sanitizing and social distancing plans for buildings and classrooms, available faculty support services and a set of updated course delivery formats (noted below). Department chairs were requested to work with faculty to indicate one delivery format preference for each course section and a second choice format for sections that cannot be accommodated under our reduced classroom capacities. Responses are expected by June 26, after which UH Mānoa Scheduling will make changes to the fall schedule. Depending on departmental responses, additional format changes may be necessary.

Course delivery formats include:

Face-to-Face Class meets in a classroom
Online Students complete the course entirely online Synchronous – Class is held entirely online, with students expected to meet virtually on the day(s)/time(s) scheduled
Asynchronous – Students complete course requirements entirely online, with no specified meeting day(s)/time(s)
Hybrid 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.

Instructional Support

Faculty who convert courses to online or hybrid options have a variety of support services and assistance available.

  1. Instructional design assistance through UH UH Online Innovation Center by appointment or virtual drop-in hours (via Zoom).
  2. A self-paced module on Preparing to Teach Online. The module requires between 5 and 20 hours for completion.
  3. Video recording assistance by request, which can include recordings of instruction in lab or studio spaces.
  4. Online (Zoom) “collab lab” sessions from June 15 through August 7 offered through Outreach and College of Education. Instructional design staff will provide brief presentations to assist with online and hybrid course planning, followed by group and individual assistance. Available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Faculty can register via the Center for Teaching Excellence.

In addition to these technical and instructional supports, we are looking into additional support for the conversion of classes and will announce these as they are finalized. These include:

  1. Classrooms with instructor-tracking cameras to support instruction via synchronous web-conference (e.g. Zoom), targeted for fall availability
  2. UH video hosting service for instructional recordings
  3. Faculty/staff laptop loan pool
  4. A temporary (physical) testing center for delivering mid-term or other exams, including proctoring services for Fall

General Timeline for Scheduling Changes and Registration

As stated above, the faculty are working with their chairs and deans to revise their current course offerings so that the course format can be reflected in the Schedule of Courses (Class Availability on MyUH). Every effort will be made to retain the original date(s) and time(s) of courses when a format is changed.

Following the June 26 deadline for changes, registration will be closed while the Scheduling Office makes the necessary changes to the official Schedule of Courses. We expect that this process will take a little more than a week.

Once the changes are made, registration will resume, and a schedule for registration will be announced to both continuing and incoming students.

While UH Mānoa will resume in-person classes as announced; the landscape of instruction will be different, including this expanded range of instructional delivery formats. Based on our significantly restricted classroom capacities and a survey of faculty, delivery is expected to lean toward hybrid and online formats much more than in past semesters. Many students are likely to have a mixed schedule, including both online and face-to-face instruction.

Our working groups will continue to make preparations for a safer return to campus this fall. We expect new norms of interaction; including face masks or shields, prevalent hand sanitizing stations, new facilities cleaning and sanitization schedules, and 6 feet of social distancing wherever possible. It is important to keep in mind the possibility of additional modifications as we respond to changing conditions.

We are all in this together.


  • L. Lyons (Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)
  • P. McKimmy (Specialist, College of Education and Vice Chair, Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee)

Working Group Members

  • Krystyna Aune (Dean, Graduate Division)
  • Ron Cambra (Assistant Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs)
  • Bill Chismar (Dean, Outreach College)
  • Siobhán Dhonacha (Academic Advisor, Honors)
  • Chip Fletcher (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, SOEST)
  • Clem Guthro (University Librarian)
  • Vanessa Ito (Director, KOKUA)
  • Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa (Kūaliʻi Council and Professor, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies)
  • Ronette Kawakami (Associate Dean, Law School)
  • Stephanie Kraft-Terry (Associate Specialist, Biology)
  • Kate Lingley (Chair & Associate Professor, Art)
  • Landon Li (ASUH)
  • Kenny Lopez (Associate Director, Housing)
  • Laura Lyons (Co-Lead, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)
  • Ashley Maynard (Professor, Psychology)
  • Bev McCreary (Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel)
  • Maggie McGehee (University Scheduler)
  • Paul McKimmy (Co-Lead, Specialist, College of Education)
  • Brennon Morioka (Dean, Engineering)
  • Diane Nakashima (Staff Senate)
  • Truc Nguyen (Specialist, College of Education)
  • Hae Okimoto (Associate Vice President for Students & Director, Academic Technology)
  • Jon Osorio (Dean, HSHK)
  • Wendy Pearson (Senior Advisor to the Provost)
  • Alison Sherwood (Interim Associate Dean, College of Natural Sciences)
  • Monica Sitt-Bergh (Specialist, Assessment and Curriculum Support Center)
  • Maura Stephens-Chu (GSO President)
  • Michelle Tagorda (Undergraduate Advisor, Public Health Studies)
  • Alice Tse (Department Chair of Nursing and Dental Hygiene)
  • Maya Ward (GSO Vice President)
  • Ania Wieczorek (Interim Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, CTAHR)
  • Garret Yoshimi (Vice President for Info Tech & Chief Information Officer)

Scope of Work

Propose principles, processes, policies (or suspended policies) for Fall campus operations. The Working Group has created several subcommittees to address specific challenges associated with the delivery of instruction.

References (this list will be updated)

CDC Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Questions and Answers for Postsecondary Institutions Regarding the COVID-19 National Emergency Designing an Accessible Online Course

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