A guest blog post by Tasha Williams Moses, formerly an English instructor and currently the Tutoring Services Coordinator.
Due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing and prospective Leeward students face unprecedented challenges with online learning and have many questions. As the 2021 OER Leeward OER Creation Incentive Award recipient, I’ve created a 10-part video series to assist students with navigating online learning during the pandemic and beyond.
I designed this project due to my interactions with students in online classrooms and tutoring services. They have encountered new academic, financial, and emotional difficulties due to the challenges of writing in online environments. The pandemic has exacerbated many socio-economic challenges, and this equitable and inclusive approach addresses topics students face who are affected by the digital divide.
With a focus on online and hybrid writing classrooms, the series aims to help students who are grappling with developing their writing skills amid the ongoing fallout of the pandemic. The video series can assist ENG 100 students and instructors with the following:
Write a structured academic essay
Analyze and apply text(s) to logically support an argument
Apply reading, writing, and critical thinking strategies in other contexts
Apply study skills to improve learning
It was a great collaboration with the EMC! This was my first venture into recording educational videos. Camden and his video production team were really insightful and helpful throughout the whole process. You can access the series playlist on the Leeward Writing Center’s YouTube channel or click the links to the individual videos below. They are licensed CC BY-NC so feel free to use them.
Do you combine multiple sections of a course in Laulima? Please note that due to FERPA concerns raised by the UH Data Governance Office, ITS has revised their request process for cross-listing or combining Laulima sites. You will find new guidance language on the Laulima site request page that reflects how faculty could request to combine their courses while still being FERPA compliant.
Here’re the highlights relevant to you for Fall 2022:
Dissemination mode vs. Collaboration mode: this distinction was necessary to ensure that students are fully aware (and have an option to withdraw) before the start of the semester if there is cross-CRN collaboration.
Combined sites in Dissemination mode are used for disseminating announcements and providing course content only: (a) Don’t use the Email tool since it shows names and email addresses of students in all CRNs, in violation of FERPA. (b) Discussion/Forum groups cannot be formed across CRNs.
Combined sites in Collaboration mode can use the Email tool and other collaborative activities (such as discussions/forums) across CRNs, but need to include in the syllabus, “This course space is being shared by students in the following CRNs [list] and if you do not wish to be in a shared course space, please drop this section and register for another section of this course.”
Submit your request to combine sites by August 18, 2022, if you plan to use the collaboration mode.
Note that in future semesters, you will need to submit a request before the registration begins if your combined sites will operate in the collaboration mode.
As summer approaches, we would like to share changes that will affect instructors and employees using classrooms starting Fall 2022. (Complete information about technology classrooms on campus can be found on our website.)
Technology Enhanced Classrooms (TECs)
Here is a list of TECs. The fourth column indicates if the classroom is a TEC.
TECs have the most updated technology including a hybrid kit bundle of equipment to facilitate various modalities of teaching and learning using equipment, such as a video recorder on a tripod, Elmo document camera, Wacom graphics tablet, and video capture card to input a secondary video source into the classroom computer.
TECs (with the exception of BS 104 and BS 109 Mac computer labs) will be equipped with a new Windows all-in-one computer with a touchscreen monitor. Instructors who prefer Windows or do not have a preference should use a TEC. (Instructors can also bring their own laptop (including Mac brand) to use in the TEC by connecting to the provided HDMI cable. They must bring their own adapter, if needed.)
TECs will continue to be supported and upgraded by the campus.
Smart Classrooms will continue to be supported until the equipment stops working. The Smart Classrooms currently have iMac computers running both macOS and Windows OS. However, because of Apple’s recent updates to the macOS, the iMacs cannot run Windows OS. Therefore, iMacs in Smart Classrooms will be re-imaged over the summer and will only run macOS starting Fall 2022. Instructors who prefer macOS should use a Smart Classroom.
A note about Smart Classrooms – the life expectancy of the iMac computers are 1-2 years. These computers will not be replaced if they fail or if Apple puts them on the obsolete list. Smart Classrooms will eventually be phased out.
If you have a strong preference for Mac, please ask your Division Chair to schedule you in a Smart Classroom. If you have a preference for Windows OS, do not have a preference, or will be using your own laptop, please ask to be scheduled in a TEC (which has the most up-to-date equipment and technologies).
If you have any questions about the classroom computers you may contact the ITG Help Desk at 455-0271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are planning to teach in any of these classrooms in the Fall, it is highly recommended that you acquaint yourselves with the equipment and technology prior to the start of the Fall semester. You may contact Brent Hirata, Educational Technologist, for an orientation or consultation on using the technologies in the classrooms for teaching.
Move over Smart Classrooms, there’s a new kid in town. As most of you already heard by now, we have a new technology classroom called the Technology Enhanced Classroom (TEC). Thanks to CARES funding, the campus was able to purchase equipment for 50 TECs (most were former Smart Classrooms and some non-Smart Classrooms) and two casual hires to assist with installation. The TECs are more powerful and flexible than the Smart Classrooms to accommodate different modalities (i.e. in-person, hybrid, and DE) for teaching and learning.
View a complete list of all technology classrooms on campus including the installation status of the TECs.
The new modular design for the TECs was created by our very own Electronics Technician, Garrett Chaves. It features:
laser projector providing brighter images and quieter operation
standardized user-friendly control panel
ADA lectern with more table space for instructors
the functionality of adding modules without affecting the overall operation of the room
Hybrid Kit Add-On
One such “module” added onto the TECs (funded by CARES) to support socially-distanced in-person and various hybrid and DE modalities were the “hybrid kits.” The hybrid kit contains:
Video recorder on a tripod for capturing video in the classroom for streaming, for instance, on Zoom, or creating video recordings
Elmo document camera for showing 3D objects or demonstrating
Wacom digital tablet for annotating or drawing on the computer, for instance on Zoom or slides
Elgato video capture card to allow multiple video inputs for streaming, for instance, on Zoom, or creating video recordings
Lanyard mic to allow the instructor to be heard, for instance, in Zoom, as they walk about in the classroom
Our AV Services staff, Iban Urmeneta and Garrett Chaves (Electronics Technicians) and Ryuko Tanner and Jacob Gabriel (Classroom AV Installers) were instrumental for installing and testing equipment to get these classrooms ready for instructors to use starting in Fall 2021. TECs scheduled for Spring 2022 should be ready by the start of the semester.
EMC’s Ed Tech and AV Services units will be providing a TEC + Hybrid Kit Orientation on January 6, 2022 at 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in LA 110. Please register to attend. Alternatively or if preferred, you can make a 1-1 appointment.
ITG Help Desk for technical problems in the classrooms. Trouble calls will be routed to the appropriate unit, ITG Help Desk or AV Services.
My experience developing OER has changed the way I teach and interact with learning materials. I teach classes in botany and agriculture and finding materials that are relevant for Hawai‘i can be a challenge. Teaching these subjects through local examples and incorporating content relevant to Hawai‘i makes learning more relevant to my students.
I started out by just wanting one of my classes to be textbook cost zero (TXT0), which meant the library purchased an electronic copy of the book I was using that students could access for free. This was the only book available for native Hawaiian plants and ecosystems. The main issue was the language used was not very accessible and most of my students were not using the materials. After attending an OER workshop sponsored by our library I got inspired to give OER a try.
In the Spring of 2020 I was a recipient of the Leeward OER Award for a team project with Paula Mejia Velasquez, to create the OER textbook “Botany in Hawaii”. At that moment I thought I could remix some existing OER materials that were available online. Unfortunately, most of the botany materials were not specific to Hawai‘i and it quickly became clear that it would be better to write all 10 chapters from scratch. The intention of the project was to localize the botany materials and make them more relevant and enticing to students.
There are many things that I can talk about regarding this experience producing this OER book. For this blog post I want to focus on the part of the experience that I most enjoyed. One thing I was not expecting is that it would be hard to find illustrations and photos with an open license we could use in the project. Creating illustrations is something I was familiar with, but I I didn’t know how much work it was going to take for a project like this. Learning new software and techniques to make things look good were super challenging, but that’s something I really enjoyed and would like to continue improving on. I think that having illustrations that are locally based make a huge difference for the kind of teaching I do. I think our students can relate to the materials better and become more interested in the subject.
Here is an example of an illustration I put together using a plant that is found in Hawai‘i. After collecting a fresh hau flower, I took it to the lab where I photographed a step by step dissection. Then I used software to do the post editing and add labels. So now my students can learn the terminology related to flowers with a local example.
Here is another example of an illustration that I put together for the stems chapter using a variety of kalo that was grown in the gardens at Leeward. In the text, we include a linkto an illustration using Hawaiian language and knowledge.
I feel really thankful to all the nature photographers that gave me permission to use their images. And to those who release their illustrations through Wikicommons which can be used and adapted by anyone. To highlight the need of sharing resources through an open license, take a look at the example below of an illustration that was put together using my photos as well as photos by other photographers. If you want to make a difference in the OER world, consider sharing your photos with an open license on sites like Flickr or Wikicommons. Photos of everything (not only plants) can be used by those working on OER projects in different disciplines.
A lot of people donated their time to peer review this book. From Leeward CC: Alyssa MacDonald, Annemarie Paikai, Kalei Laimana, Bruce Koebele and Chai Blair-Stahn reviewed the chapters and provided a lot of feedback that we used to improve things. Our library and EMC staff supported me in this long road towards having good OER materials for my classes.
Working with OER is powerful because you can create free materials that can be constantly adapted and improved. My students have also reacted positively which validates my reasons for embarking on this journey in creating local OER materials relevant to Hawai‘i that captures and shares its beauty and uniqueness through the botany lens.
Paula Mejia Velasquez
Creating our Botany OER textbook, “Botany in Hawaii,” has been quite an adventure, one that we hope will provide students with more relatable class materials and access to a more affordable education. In my case, I have converted all my classes to be textbook free for several years now by adopting OER textbooks. I got the inspiration for this from several of the OER workshops offered at Leeward CC. For several years I remixed and modified available OER materials from different sources to tailor them to the specific needs of each one of my classes. Given that there are not many OER Botany textbooks available, at one point I came to the realization that I was creating and modifying a considerable portion of the content instead of just mixing materials. In addition, most Botany textbooks (conventional and OER) often use examples from the mainland, showcasing plants that students have never seen or even heard of, which make them not very relevant to my classes, or even the islands. This is when I teamed up with Daniela to create a Botany textbook that would be focused on Hawaiian plants, presenting examples of local plants and ecosystems, and aiming to better connect our local students to Botany.
Last year, Daniela and I received the Leeward OER Creation Award, and we decided that instead of just remixing and modifying existing OER materials, we would take on the endeavor of developing an original Hawai’i-centric Botany textbook. The journey of creating an OER textbook from scratch has not only been an interesting academic exercise but also an undoubtedly time-taxing venture. As with most side projects, we ended up working crazy hours and trying to carve time from our busy schedules. We are deeply grateful to our colleagues that helped us by reviewing the book: Alyssa MacDonald, Annemarie Paikai, Bruce Koebele, Chai Blair-Stahn and Kalei Laimana, Miles Thomas, as well as to the staff at the Leeward CC library and EMC, and LibreTexts that have supported us in the process.
I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to better communicate the sometimes perceived as “dry” scientific topics in an engaging and approachable language suitable for our students and classes. I have a newly found respect for the science communicators that can make the most advanced scientific findings not only easy to understand, but also seem so cool and appreciated by the general public.
To anybody interested in OER, I would say that one of the biggest virtues of creating, mixing or using OER materials is that they are not immutable products, on the contrary, they can continuously be adapted, improved and tailored to meet the specific need in your classes. There are many possibilities, as you can adopt an OER textbook, or select only chapters or sections of interest, or mix chapters/sections from different textbooks, or even create your own OER materials. It does not matter which route you go, the main idea is to be able to offer free high quality, relevant, relatable and novel materials to our students so that they can achieve their educational goals regardless of their socioeconomic background.
Join us for a new, microlearning workshop series featuring interactive activities using: Zoom.
Our first microlearning series consists of four instructional examples using the tools in Zoom to support interaction and engage your students in your Zoom classrooms. These include:
How This Works
Simply register once for this workshop series by clicking the button below and you will receive an email on Mondays and Tuesdays (see dates below) featuring examples of using Zoom to support interaction and engage your students.
Monday 11/29: Stamps
Tuesday 11/30: Polling
Monday 12/6: Breakout Rooms
Tuesday 12/7: Remote Control
When you receive the email, take some time to review the contents. Give it a try, too, and use the resources for additional help. Reflect on how you can apply it in your classes. Jot down some ideas.
Come to our optional Virtual Open Lab (Zoom sync session) on Thursdays at 1:00-2:00 p.m. to further engage in your learning by practicing what you learned with your peers, asking questions, getting ideas for your classes, etc.
Thursday 12/2: Stamps and Polling
Thursday 12/9: Breakout Rooms and Remote Control
Furthermore, there will be an opportunity to earn a digital badge credential for this series by applying your learning. More details to come later for those who register.
Thanks for taking the time to visit our EMC Blog. If you have thoughts, questions, or feedback, please comment below. – Mahalo
Mahalo to everyone who helped to make this year’s Tech It Out Day a success in this new format, too, synchronously online! It was so good to see everyone’s smiling faces and connect with you even at a distance. Tech It Out Day is always a fun way to kick off the new semester!
We had over 50 participants this year join us via Zoom and eight sessions of cool tools to support teaching and learning, and promoting interaction and engagement.
iSee – How to Setup Your iOS Device as an Extra Camera in Zoom
5 Finishing Touches for Laulima Lessons to Enhance the Course Experience
Create Interactive Tutorials with Iorad
Interactive Online Learning Activities with H5P
Screencasting with Loom
Communicate with Impact: Create Engaging Animated Videos with Adobe Spark
Using the New Google Sites
Jammin’ with Jamboard
Mahalo also to our faculty who presented and shared their mana’o with us this year: Anika Gearheart, Junie Hayashi, Kelly Kennedy, Michael Cawdery, and Erin Thompson.
“All of the sessions were incredibly helpful for my new online classes! I particularly liked Iorad to help “technology challenged” students access all of the tools in the course.”
“I will be using Loom to record my course and syllabus intro and hope to use it for more difficult assignments. Love Jamboard and will use it in my synchronous meetings with students.”
“I’m excited to use H5P in my Laulima Lessons.”
“Tech-it-out days are always engaging and useful to hear about new technologies and platforms. Great job on the first Zoom version of the workshops! It was well organized and easy to follow!”
Did you miss Tech It Out Day or want to re-visit a session? You can access the session info, presenter info, resources, and recordings on our website. Also, don’t forget to request your Participant Badge and claim it by the end of this month if you haven’t already done so.
See you at next year’s Tech It Out Day! You might even have something awesome to share as a presenter!
Looking for More?
By popular demand, we’ll be doing a full workshop on Loom, a free video screencasting tool. So many uses for teaching, learning, or work tasks, for screencasting how-to video tutorials, video presentations, mini lecture presentations, video feedback on students’ work, and more! Save the date: Friday, September 18, 2020 at 1:00-2:30pm. Watch for email from the Educational Media Center to register and for more workshops coming this semester.
Our CanDO PD (Classroom and Distance Online Professional Development) series is starting next week! Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to help you examine your course and explore approaches for online delivery. These will also help you in meeting the Baseline Recommended Actions for Distance-Delivered Instruction and even some of the Distance Education Guidelines. There are five, two-week online “mini courses” to choose from or sign up for all five!