By Estefania Magdalena | Staff Writer

It has been two weeks since classes have resumed completely online after Spring Break. The situation has created new challenges for both instructors and students since the measure was quickly taken by the authorities of the University of Hawai‘i to cope with the spread of coronavirus.

Instructor Justin Kong, in charge of teaching Math 101, said that the transition to online classes has been difficult for him. 

He is still preparing all of the same notes and lesson plans that he normally would and holding class during class hours online. In addition, he said he is also creating videos so that students will be able to access lessons at their convenience since their schedules are shifting.

“It has been a time-consuming process to increase online resources and communication and to utilize various platforms, which differ between classes,” Kong said. “The other thing is that I miss having the personal face-to-face interaction with students.” 

Despite the challenges that this situation presents, Kong said that many people have lost income or have to work in high-risk environments, so he is very grateful to still have a job and to be able to work safely from home.

He also thinks the availability of videos has been a helpful resource that was not available for students before because they can view lessons on their own time and pause the video so that they can work at their own pace or rewatch parts they didn’t get the first time around. 

“I’m also getting used to the various online platforms we’re using, and it’s been nice to see everyone’s faces during class time,” he said.

Dawn Oshiro, a professor of English100, said that as an instructor whose course was designed to be delivered face-to-face, this has been a challenging transition since she didn’t have any online resources or lessons prepared in advance. 

“The college has done a good job providing last minute workshops and faculty support groups to help those who have never taught online (myself included),” Oshiro said. “I think the faculty will come out of this semester with greater flexibility and a wider array of tools and skills that they will be able to use in their future classes.” 

Tomona Omura, a Tourism and Hospitality student, said that online classes have been somewhat difficult for her because sometimes she has difficulty remembering her assignments. 

She said that since the classes are only online, she spends most of his time using her computer and certain applications, but that she still likes the change. 

“We can still see each other, and I can wake up 5 minutes before class starts,” Omura said. “I still miss face-to-face classes.” Even though she is still in Hawaiʻi. 

Rino Kitamura is originally from Japan and is studying a Major in Hospitality at KCC. She said that online classes can be difficult if you need to be at an exact time in Zoom chat, an application that allows you to make video calls with many people at the same time.

“Sometimes there are internet connection failures and you accidentally leave the chat room,” she said.

Kitamura decided to stay in Hawaiʻi to quarantine because she believes it is safer to stay than to return to her country, although at times she feels afraid to be away from her family. 

“Everything is confusing and I don’t know what is going to happen with this whole pandemic,” Kitamura said. “Anyways, I feel safe staying in my house in Hawaiʻi.”