COVID-19: Distance Learning Instructional Support

Preparing for and Teaching Distance and/or Online Courses

As instructors, we endeavor to create a learning environment that helps students achieve their highest potential. The following information is provided to guide and support your efforts to design and develop your distance, online, and hyflex course(s).

 Quick Access to Topics

       Best Practices



      • Note: This link makes a copy of the template for you to edit. Save this to your UH Google MyDrive. Contact the Instructional Designer (Laureen Kodani) for assistance with embedding your Syllabus in your Laulima site 
      • Course Map Template: To help you align Course/Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives (CLOs, SLOs) with materials, activities, assignments, and assessments.
      • UHMC Laulima Template: This template is designed for any modality. This was designed with accessibility, basic web design principles, ease of use, and student and instructor feedback in mind. Use the basic structure and framework to create a learning path for your students. Add your content and if necessary, attend a workshop or make an appointment with the instructional designer for support. Note: Contact the Instructional Designer (Laureen Kodani) for access to the template and to make arrangements to copy the template to your course site.

      Student Preparation

      • Student Online Readiness Survey: Share this with your students to help them become aware of online learning expectations. Consider taking the survey yourself to understand how the self-assessment works.
      • Maui Online Learning: Share this with your students to help them learn about online learning and the basics of Laulima.
      • UHMC Zoom Quickstart Guide for Students: Share this with your students who will be joining your synchronous sessions and online office hour via Zoom video conference.
      • Consider creating Welcome and How to Navigate Our Laulima Course Site video tutorials. 

      Helpful Sites


          Articles and Other Reading Material 

           Learning Technology


          Video conferencing tool that you can use for online office hour and synchronous class meetings. You can pre-record lectures and video tutorials using the Record option.

          UHMC Technology Toolkit

          The tools listed in this section are free and if you prefer, you can pay to upgrade to a version that includes more features.

          Online Engagement and Communication Tools (Video conference, discussion forums, and more)

          Graphics and Image Tools
          Searching for Public Domain Images
          Multimedia or Interactive Content Creation Tools
          Presentation Tools
          • Piktochart
          • Lucidchart
          • SlidesCarnival
            • Give an instant lift to the tired look of PowerPoint and Google Slides by using the templates found on this site. Amazingly, all templates are FREE!
          • GoBoard
            • Online/video conference with interactive whiteboard. NOTE: You can enable multiple whiteboards in one session then save the whiteboards as PDF files to share with your students after the class is over.
          • Google Doc Voice Typing (Speech-to-Text)
            • Did you know that you can type with your voice? Open a Google Doc in Chrome browser, then Tools > Voice Typing > click the red microphone iconand start talking. Instructions can be found on this Google support page.  You may want to consider creating transcripts and captions by playing the video and letting Google Docs type it out. Give it a try!

          Polling can be used to create fun formative assessment activites.

          Other Free Tools

           PD and Support

          Zoom Café

          Zoom Café is a virtual meetup. This open workshop format is an informal and collaborative approach to personalized support at the level that you need. We cover technology, andragogy/pedagogy, course design, learning technology and more. Need help with Laulima, Zoom or a good laugh? Join us to learn, teach or hangout! Your success and the success of our students are a priority. 

          Look for the RSVP email for the join link and passcode.

          • Friday, 09/03, 9a-11a
          • Friday, 09/17, 10a-12p
          • Friday, 10/01, 1p-3p
          • Friday, 10/15, 9a-11a
          • Friday, 10/22, 10a-12p
          • Friday, 11/05, 1p-3p
          • Friday, 12/03, 9a-11a
          Mixed Plate PD Series

          UHMC’s Mixed Plate PD Series consists of webinars with a special focus on online teaching and learning. Topics will focus on teaching, technology and tips that support faculty and staff in the ongoing efforts of creating and providing the best learning environments for our students.

          Look for the RSVP email for the join link and passcode.

            • Friday, 09/24, 10a-11a
            • Friday, 10/29, 9a-10a
            • Friday, 11/19, 3p-4p
          UH LinkedIn Learning

          Make a request with the UH Site License office. There are a limited number of licenses for this resource that offers a variety of tutorials and courses. Topics include eLearning, Design Thinking, Instructional Design, Developing Your Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Mindsets, Teaching Techniques and more!

          Training Magazine Network

          Training Magazine Network is a platform for social learning and networking for the exchange of ideas and resources among global learning professionals and thought leaders Basic membership is free

          Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

          Accessibility in education is not only morally and ethically the right thing to do; it is also a federal mandate. Website and online course accessibility is mandated for public institutions under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. However, accessibility compliance was traditionally based on accommodation (e.g., a student presenting an instructor with an accommodation letter from the disability services counselor/office). This has now changed with the refresh of Section 508 that went into effect in 2017. In late fall, 2018, The University of Hawai‘i published the UH Guidelines for Accessible Technology and Digital Media which includes requiring "all non-public facing content (e.g., intranet content such as that within Laulima) to be compliant (WCAG 2.0 Level A and Level AA)." Thus, in developing online courses and course content, we need to plan for accessibility from the start.

          The cheat sheet below is a quick guide to essentials of accessibilities.

          Digital Accessibilities Cheat Sheet

          Learn how to design for accessibility. Includes examples. 

          Use GrackleDocs to run an accessibility checker for Google Docs. UH has a paid version.