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



  • UHMC Syllabus Template: Includes required service statements content and a link to the recommended academic support services document.
    • 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.
    • NOTE: Be sure to read the notes in the cells with a black triangle in the upper right corner. Hover your mouse over the cell to view the note.
    • For your convenience, the course map is formatted so you can easily scroll without losing sight of row and column headers.
  • UHMC Laulima Template: This template is designed for any modality and especially for online learning. This was designed with accessibility, basic web design principles and ease of use 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) 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.
  • 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.

Helpful Sites

  • United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET), founded by Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)
  • Online Learning Consortium (OLC)
  • University of Hawai’i Online Innovation Center (UHOIC) Tutorials and Resources
  • Eduwire


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

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. 

Each Zoom Café will have a unique link and passcode to join the meeting and will be shared within 24 to 48 hours of the scheduled meeting. 

Look for the RSVP email for the join link and passcode

  • Friday, 10/16, 9a-11a
  • Friday, 10/23, 1p-3p
  • Friday, 10/30, 10a-12p
  • Friday, 11/06, 1p-3p
  • Friday, 11/13, 9a-11a
  • Friday, 11/20, 1p-3p

Mixed Plate PD Series

UHMC’s Mixed Plate PD Series consists of weekly 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.

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.