The unique geographical nature of the state of Hawaii creates hardship in attempting to offer adequate instruction and resources to students in all the communities that the University of Hawaii (UH) system serves. Distance education plays a significant role in attempting to address some of these hardships. The purpose of this needs assessment (NA) was to collect University of Hawaii student feedback in regards to their needs, preparedness, perceptions and learning preferences for online courses in Native Hawaiian culture and language. This study utilized the UH Maui College, Molokai Education Center as a sample site to collect feedback from those who plan to utilize distance education in pursuing an Associate Degree in Hawaiian Studies, or to take courses in Native Hawaiian language and culture. A comprehensive survey was developed and administered to collect student feedback on their opinions of distance learning at UH, with an emphasis on online courses. A review of their responses provides readers with a unique opportunity to understand the student experience from the perspective of those in some of the most remote areas served. Strengths and weaknesses of online course delivery are reviewed as well as recommendations for strengthening distance education planning and implementation.
- Kelley Dudoit, UH Manoa, Kaunakakai, HI, USA
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