Online Learning Student Guide


Laulima is the official University of Hawaii learning management system. Most online and many traditional classroom courses in the UH system use Laulima to make course materials available to students, like the syllabus, schedule, assignments, quizzes, and other course-related content. Since each instructor decides how Laulima might be used in his or her own class, expect your courses on Laulima to look slightly different from each other.

If you are new to Laulima, begin by going to the Laulima Student Help Section

  1. View the Laulima Orientation video and tutorials
  2. Check whether your computer meet the Laulima technical requirements

Students taking an online course should contact their instructor after registration or prior to the first day of class to get detailed information regarding the class.

Tips for Students Taking an Online Course

Taking a regular face-to-face course can be challenging with attending class and keeping up with readings, assignments, and other activities. However, taking a course entirely online requires even more effort since there is no physical instructor or class to help remind a student of what needs to be done. Although online courses offer more flexibility, with this flexibility comes more responsibility.

Here are some tips that can help make you more successful as an online student:

Develop a time-management plan
Online courses offer more freedom in terms of when class work can be done. This can be beneficial for students but also challenging for those who lack self-discipline. Create a schedule to dedicate specific times to do course work like participating in class activities online, reading, or doing research. Be sure to stick to the schedule.

Create a good study environment
Create or find a quiet place to do work without distractions from things like television, family, games, or other temptations that can divert your attention. Also, turn off cell phones during designated "class time" and avoid surfing the Web while on the computer. Since there is no physical classroom, it's important to have a good study space to do course work.

Check in regularly
Visit your online course area regularly so you don’t forget about online readings, assignments, quizzes, and such. Log in on a regular basis, anywhere from once a week to everyday to make sure that you do not fall too far behind.

Maintain motivation and independence
Meeting in a traditional classroom with an instructor and students for class often serves as a reminder of what needs to be done for a course. In an online environment, the lack of physical contact with a teacher or classmates can cause students to lose interest or motivation. Find something that will help keep you motivated throughout the course or program, like wider or better employment opportunities, a degree, or some other personal reward. Develop a self-motivation plan. Because an online class requires more work to be done independently, an online student will need to develop personal techniques to stay engaged.

Be persistent and stay committed
Don't let technical problems or other issues stop you from participating in the course. Keep trying when you encounter challenges and ask for help when needed. Students are more successful when they log into the course and make progress every day or create a manageable study schedule and stick to it. Develop basic technical skills Basic technical skills are needed to do work in an online class. Students should be minimally able to create new documents, use a word processing program, navigate the Internet, and download software. If needed, tutorials on basic computer skills are available on the Web. Know when and how to ask for help Don't let technical issues or confusion with coursework become major roadblocks. Because you won't be working with an instructor face-to-face, it's important to build a relationship and ask for assistance when it's needed. Learn how to effectively communicate with instructors (and classmates) to prevent or resolve any misunderstandings that might arise in online discussions.

Make the most of online discussions
You may not likely come into contact with classmates as you would in a face-to-face course, but in an online class, you will likely be interacting with them in an online discussion board. This is typically where most of the interaction between the students, and instructor, occurs and is usually the best way to connect with your classmates. Some students find online discussions to be the fun part of a class. Keep in mind that you'll have a better chance of connecting with fellow students by responding with more meaningful messages than the simple "good post."