by Yahna Kawa’a (Guest Blogger)
I had the pleasure of attending the Master’s presentation session by Kelley Duduoit entitled, The Role of Online Courses in Native Hawaiian Culture and Language at the University of Hawaii on April 24, 2014. Her study sought to identify the needs of online degree seeking Native Hawaiian students, who like herself were balancing work and school schedules while living on an outer island away from the major university campus. The topic was both of personal and scholarly interest. Through a needs assessment, Native and non-Native Hawaiian students were surveyed about their online coursework and learning preferences. She found that students preferred and valued regular contact with quality instructors, wanted training and desired greater selection of course offerings. Her study highlighted the challenges universities face in meeting the needs of their students, the expectations placed upon online professors and instructors and the wonderful opportunities created by online programs to reach a great population of students interested in furthering their education. The study’s focus on Native Hawaiian students and Hawaiian culture made it unique and it is my hope that these results be shared with the University of Hawaii’s Distance Education program.
Kelley is a Master’s student in the College of Education’s Online Master’s in Educational Technology Education program at the Univerisity of Hawaii, Manoa. She lives on Moloka’i with her family.