13 April 2008
Dear Neighbor Island students:
We thank you again for taking the time earlier this year to meet with Violet Harada, LIS associate chair, and sharing your thoughts about the effectiveness of the HITS experience and your recommendations for strengthening and expanding the distributed learning options. We wanted to provide you with informal feedback before the end of the school year. In the itemized list below, we focused on your major requests and followed this with our proposed actions.
1. Have veteran LIS HITS instructors provide mentoring support to new LIS HITS instructors.
Response: We plan to do this more systematically starting this summer. On a voluntary basis, veteran instructors will meet with new HITS instructors to offer advice and collegial coaching.
2. Offer the required core courses (601, 605, 610, 615, and 650) on a more regular basis.
Response: All of these courses are offered at least once during a four-year cycle and several are offered at least twice during the cycle. We will consider other options that students might select and inform you as plans develop.
3. Offer more HITS courses each semester.
Response: We have only two time slots given to us each semester. Starting in fall 2008, we will split the Saturday time slot so that two courses can be offered in the two-and-a-half time frame. This means that the instructors of the split courses will decide how to make up the rest of the contact hours. Although we will encourage instructors to consider online alternatives rather than weekend intensive sessions on the Manoa campus, the final decision must be left to the instructor’s discretion.
3. Offer more asynchronous online courses.
Response: In the recent past, we have offered LIS 650 and LIS 686 as asynchronous summer courses. We will continue to work on other options and inform you as plans develop.
Site-specific matters introduced in the interviews
During the interviews conducted on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, students expressed concerns and requests specific to their individual sites (e.g., a better HITS classroom on Maui, impact of the closing of the Maui Community College Library for the remainder of the calendar year, working more closely with the Hilo HITS tech staff on weekend service). We will be addressing each of these matters with the appropriate neighbor island coordinators and informing you about the outcomes.
Once again, thank you for your input. Please continue to contact us by e-mail or using the Neighbor Island Student blog space at http://neighborislander.blogspot.com/
Andrew Wertheimerand Violet Harada