Online Education Newsletter

Kapi‘olani Community College | October 2022

October: Changing of the Seasons

As the dust is settling from over 2 years of everyone bravely carrying on during the pandemic, the higher education landscape seems to be anything but "normal,” if normal is defined as pre-COVID status. Even as we recover from the toughest years of teaching by first acknowledging that Your Stress and Burnout are Real, there are also positive signs of change.

Many surveys of student attitudes about online learning during the pandemic showed mixed reviews, but the latest national survey of 2500 online students found that a strong majority (94 percent) of respondents rated their online college experiences as “positive” or “very positive,” compared with 86 percent before the pandemic. Some instructors have discovered pedagogical strengths of online tools (e.g., discussion boards, chat, online surveys) and plan to integrate them into their in-person teaching. The online tools help validate students’ knowledge and efforts, encourage their engagement, and develop skills to collaborate effectively. Have you adopted tools or strategies from your online teaching during COVID days into your in-person or hybrid classes? What other positive changes in teaching and learning have you noticed?

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An Interesting Enrollment Snapshot

What courses are most popular at Kapi‘olani CC? Our Data Diva Kara Plamann-Wagoner illustrates in the chart below: 21 courses with more than 100 students enrolled this semester. The top 10 coures are: ENG 100, PHYS 141, PHYS 141L, SP 151, PSY 100, PHYS 142, HWST 107, PHYS 142L, MATH 103, and HDFS 230, all offered online except for 37% of students enrolled in the F2F sections of SP 151. (Legend: green=online | blue=F2F | gray=hybrid)

Visit the dashboard to hover over the graph for more details like the average number of students per section.

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--Time to Set Up CES--

It’s time to review and update student evaluation surveys of your Fall 2022 courses in the Course Evaluation System (CES). The faculty edit period runs from 10/3 to 11/25 this semester. Please note that there will be no open-ended questions unless the instructor (or the department) adds them each semester. If you want qualitative feedback from your students, please add your own questions to your surveys. Email if you need assistance.

Note these recent changes to CES:

  • Non-traditional (aka part-of-term) surveys are by default open to students for 7 days, just like the traditional surveys. Instructors can still extend and re-open the surveys. Email notifications to the students regarding the non-traditional surveys are automatically sent on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Email notifications to instructors with upcoming non-traditional surveys are sent out on Monday of the week before the survey opens to the students, so the instructor can add questions to the upcoming survey if desired.

  • Starting in Fall 2021, CES creates one survey for each instructor for every course in Banner. Previously, CES created one survey per course and co-instructors had to ‘share’ the survey. While each instructor now has his/her own survey where he/she can select questions, the students will only see one survey per course. If a course has more than one instructor, the student view of the survey will have multiple sections (one section per instructor) followed by the questions set by the campus/college/division/department and subject.

  • ITS has also created a new set of how-to documents (requires logging into your Google account). Please share this information widely, and submit your requests or questions on the CES Request Assistance page.

  • Add questions relevant to evaluating online courses. Browse the DE-Specific questions recommended for DE classes for recommendations.

--Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities--

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Webinars

UH ITS is offering 3 webinars on Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that protects student privacy. The first session will focus on FERPA basics for a general audience. The second and third webinars are intended for faculty and academic advisors and counselors, respectively, and will include issues and scenarios common to them. UH's data classification categories and security requirements will also be covered in these sessions.

UH faculty and staff are invited to attend one (or more) of these webinars. The webinars will be recorded and made available at a later date. Presenters are Pheng Xiong, UH Manoa University Registrar and Sandra Furuto, UH Data Governance Director.


Audience: General

Date: Friday, September 30, 2022

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am

See website for the recording


Audience: Faculty

Date: Friday, October 7, 2022

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am



Audience: Academic Advisors and Counselors

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.

Humanizing Online Courses (UHOIC Webinar)


One of the biggest challenges when teaching online is finding ways to connect with your students. How can we help students understand that there is an actual person behind the computer screen? Join this webinar for some simple tips that you can implement this semester to “humanize” your online courses.


  • Hui-Ya (Laura) Chuang, UHOIC (Moderator)

  • Daniel Harris-McCoy, Classic Literature, UH Mānoa

  • Pua Rossi-Fukino, Hawaiian Studies and Language, Kauaʻi CC


This event is co-sponsored by the UHM Center for Teaching Excellence.

OER Professional Development Opportunities in Fall 2022

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) constantly provides professional development to our instructors and OER advocates. Here is a snapshot of the webinar lineup for Fall 2022. This series is free to register and open to anyone and everyone. Feel free to visit the website to find more information about each upcoming webinar. Previous webinar recordings are also available for interested individuals.

Upcoming topics:

UHCC OER Incentive Program for AY 22-23

The UHCC OER leads are offering another systemwide professional development program and awards for modification and creation projects for AY 22-23. Professional development opportunities include textbook review workshops and an in-depth, asynchronous OER 101 course. There is a call for proposals for those interested in modifying an OER resource or creating ancillaries for a TXT0 course, and proposals to create an OER course or textbook to convert a class to TXT0 are also welcome.

For more details and to apply, please see the UHCC OER Incentive Program Announcement. (The proposal deadline has been extended to October 3, 2022.) If you have any questions, please contact your campus UHCC OER Grant Program lead or email
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Go2Knowledge / Innovative Educators Webinars

Currently, Kapi‘olani CC has a subscription with Go2Knowledge, which offers Kap‘olani CC faculty and staff free access to dozens of Innovative Educators webinars, both live and on-demand (pre-recorded). Many of them are quite good! Here's a sampling to pique your interest:

Upcoming live webinars:

  • Designing Student-Centered Flexible Assignments While Still Meeting Curricular & Pedagogical Goals

  • Live: Wednesday, October 5 ~ 7:00-8:00 am HST
  • Ensuring Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Online Learning Environment

  • Live: Wednesday, October 5 ~ 9:00-10:00 am HST
  • Student Success Coaching: How to Assess & Strategically Improve Your Program

  • Live: Wednesday, October 19 ~ 9:00-10:00 am HST

  • 10 Creative Online Assignment Ideas That Promote Critical Thinking, Engagement & Deep Learning

  • Live: Wednesday, October 26 ~ 7:00-8:00 am HST

Recently added on-demand webinars:

  • The 4 Competencies of Interprofessional Education: An Online Course to Promote Collaboration (75 min)
  • Engaging Male College Students: Advancing Learning, Social Development & Success (60 min)
And many, many more. Sign up at Kapi‘olani CC's G2K account page and browse through the offerings.

---Helpful Tech Tips---

Answergarden (A quick word cloud generation tool for brainstorming)

Sometimes you just need a quick and simple way to assess your students’ understanding or collect their input. You don’t need to log in to use Answergarden which will quickly create a word cloud portal to share with your students. (No log in for students either.) Watch this 2.5-minute tutorial:
AnswerGarden Turtorial: Fun Brainstorming Activity

--Featured Faculty, October 2022--

Name: Nadine Wolff

Department: Math & Science

What courses do you teach (or have taught) online?

At KapCC I have mostly taught Math 135 & 140 (Precalculus & Trigonometry) online, although in the past two years I have also taught Math 241 & 242 (Calculus I & II) in the online format. I have done both asynchronous and synchronous online modalities.

How long have you been teaching online and what made you decide to teach online?

I started teaching online in 2011. I wanted to provide more opportunities for non-traditional students to have access to our classes. I was also interested in expanding my teaching repertoire and exploring new modalities. I had always heard that online courses did not have the same quality as their in-person counterparts, so I felt challenged to create an online class that is engaging, fun, yet rigorous, and would prepare students just as well as face-to-face (F2F) classes. I have come a long way from 2011 and I continue to be challenged every day.

What is your favorite part about teaching online?

I have loved the opportunity to connect with my students via forums & discussions. I believe that sometimes students are worried to speak up in the classroom but the online environment allows students to carefully think and write out their thoughts. It has also provided me with the opportunity to explore ways to include ‘āina-based learning, math-4-thought discussions, and group projects that I would normally not have time for in a standard F2F session.

What is the most challenging part of teaching online?

It would have to be the time it takes to prepare and run a course. I think most folks have discovered that online teaching takes a lot more preparation and organization. Creating videos, learning resources, and engaging activities, monitoring discussions, making the course site interactive and exciting, takes a lot more time than in a F2F course. That being said, I now use those resources in my F2F courses and I think it has made those courses richer. The other challenging aspect is getting students to stay engaged. As we all know, online learning takes excellent time management and motivation but I don’t think it is for every student. So it is tough when they struggle but don’t reach out or respond to my emails. Online learning can be very isolating and when students can’t or won't put in the effort to be a part of the learning community or do not make use of the many tools & resources available, it can be disheartening.

What surprised you about teaching online?

How it really can be an excellent way for students to get their education and succeed. I know it is not for everyone but I have seen students shine in the online environment. Parents that cannot attend in-person classes, students with full-time jobs that have to do their school work at night and on weekends, and even students with learning disabilities that need videos and additional resources to support their learning styles. Online learning is often the only way for some students to get the education they need and it is actually their preferred way of learning.

What is your favorite Web tool/technology?

Floop! I am sure many folks have heard me talk about it but it has been such a great tool to provide feedback on student worksheets and exam work. For math, google docs are just not very useful, and neither is Laulima assignments due to notation and formatting issues. Floop allows students to submit pictures of their work (whether hand-written, typed, or done on a tablet) and I can provide written or spoken feedback with proper math notation. I can chat with students about their work and have rich conversations that lead to improvements. It also allows for resubmissions and peer reviews which I find very useful.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to a fellow online instructor?

There are so many amazing tools and technologies out there and I know I get excited to try them all. But I also get super overwhelmed at times and don’t know where to start. So I recommend picking just one thing each semester/year that you want to work on or that you want to improve.

---What We Are Reading or Watching Now---

We are not alone in struggling to define and appropriately use different digital learning terminology. “In-person,” “online,” “hybrid,” “hyflex,” “synchronous,” “asynchronous,” and many more variations describing digital learning modalities have long confused students, faculty, administrators, and the general public, so WCET has teamed up with Bay View Analytics and the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association to conduct a survey to explore the use of the terms by higher education professionals.

Are we still talking about this? For those who teach synchronously online, this will likely be a continuing discussion for a foreseeable future. In this article, a University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty and her graduate assistant collected post-course survey data from 70 students and shared their insightful findings and recommendations. Notable recommendations: Collaboratively design camera policies with your students and Collaboratively develop social norms with your students.

Another useful resource from Dr. Torrey Trust and her graduate students at UM Amherst, this eBook features critical reviews of more than 125 digital tools and apps for teaching and learning. You can browse through pages by interest, search for specific tools, and explore tools based on themes (e.g., assessment-centered, community-centered, knowledge-centered, learner-centered).

Students may decide to pursue online education for a variety of reasons. A new survey found that virtual students are more satisfied with their online programs than they were before the pandemic. 94 percent of respondents rated their online college experiences as "positive" or "very positive." Career goals and cost have been top-ranking factors in online students' decisions about virtual or in-person classes. One of the most important keys for online learners is flexibility. Although asynchronous learning dominates, synchronous learning is trending. Nearly half of online program graduates say they are "likely" or "very likely" to return to the institution for another program.

Many instructors continue to use online approaches developed during the pandemic to improve classroom learning and teaching. Even though classes have returned to in-person instruction, instructors can continue to incorporate online methods to improve in-person classes. Online class discussion boards engage and prepare the students for in-class participation, are not limited to class hours, and are great for creating a bank of ideas about the connotations of a basic word. Another strategy is using online surveys to get a sense of each student's knowledge, technical experiences, and interests before each course. Lastly, class chats allow students to express themselves and ask the instructor questions without interrupting class. Instructors can now transfer strategies they used in online classes to their in-person instruction.

  • In digital social reading (DSR) technology, students read, comment on, and carry out dialogues on digital texts. Research demonstrates that students who share digital comments with peers build new knowledge, connect diverse viewpoints, and construct vibrant learning communities. Instructors have also noticed that students were better prepared for class discussions when using DSR. When choosing a DSR platform, online Edtech reviews and IT support at your institution will be helpful. If you are interested in implementing DSR in your classroom, see the article for ideas on how to implement it.

    ---DE Newsletter Authors and Compilers---