About the Office of Distance Learning

The mission of the Office of Distance Learning is to ensure that all students have access to and experience quality learning in their online courses by employing the best pedagogical practices based on the existing research literature to foster student success in their distance education programs.


The Office of Distance Learning was established to support the growing needs of students, faculty, and staff involved with online and hybrid courses.


Some of the services we provide:

  • Assisting students and faculty with navigating Laulima, LMS within the UH system
  • Provide instructional design and technology for faculty and staff
  • Provide assistance with Blackboard Collaborate
  • Quality Matters workshops
  • Quality Matters course review
  • So much more...

Our office provides several options for students and faculty seeking support including an online help form, daily office hours, online tutorials, workshops, and chat through our website. We also encourage students and faculty to stop by our "Help Wall" in the library, room B222. The wall provides quick assistance for some of out most frequently asked questions related to navigating Laulima.

Distance Learning @ UH West O‘ahu

Distance learning or distance education, encompasses all educational experiences that occur from a physical distance.


The University utilizes a learning management system called Laulima. All University of Hawai‘i courses are connected to a Laulima account. Faculty who are teaching, not only online, but in person may utilize Laulima to organize course content.


Students are encouraged to go through the Laulima orientation and contact instructors (if they have questions about the content of the course) or email the Office of Distance Learning (if they are having Laulima questions), immediately so that minimal time is lost in the usability of the course.

Learning Through Distance

UH West O'ahu offers online coursework in many of the most popular areas of study. After completing lower division coursework in-person and online at UH West O'ahu and/or a partnering University of Hawai'i Community College, students may pursue UH West O'ahu's distance learning upper division coursework in Business Administration, Public Administration, Social Sciences (Applied Track), Early Childhood Education, Political Science, and Psychology entirely online.*


*UH West O'ahu does not offer online-only degree programs. Lower division coursework needs to be completed via in-person and online classes at UH West O'ahu and/or a partnering University of Hawai'i Community College.



Our Staff

Sharla Hanaoka

Sharla Hanaoka is the Coordinator for Distance Learning and Creative Media. Her background is in Communication Arts with a focus on advertising. Through her experiences in the advertising world, she became interested in customer (user) experience and interface and how does this affect the customer's (user's) perception on consuming. She brings her experience in usability to Distance Learning.

Rian Barreras

Rian Barreras is an Instructional Designer in the Office of Distance Learning who has been a staff member in the UH system since 2013. She earned a MEdT from UHM in 2008 and taught in the public school system until 2013. She is currently a doctoral student at UH Manoa. Her current research interests revolve around mobile mediate communication, arts based education and game-based learning.