UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of English Yasmine Romero’s skillful use of online teaching tools along with her students’ response to her approach has earned her the campus’ 2018-19 Laulima Teaching Innovation Award.
Award committee members cited Dr. Romero’s numerous online teaching innovations and results, including:
- Providing a thoughtful and big picture approach to her class that allowed effective ways for students to communicate with her and their peers along with a three-pillared approached to make her course accessible, applicable beyond the confines of class, and prompting students to be both critical and creative;
- Having the greatest peer-to-peer collaboration among students compared to other award finalists. This included students providing each other with extensive feedback in discussion forums and taking turns leading discussions;
- Strong positive feedback from students that was provided through multiple venues. Through this feedback, students were able to share how they applied course content beyond the classroom; and,
- Committee members believed Romero’s use of tools was excellent. This included using color-coding to organize weekly modules; use of podcasts and wikis.
The award is distinct compared to other teaching honors bestowed talented faculty and instructors in that it recognizes faculty members for innovation, excellence, and achievement in online instruction whether the course be fully online or a hybrid of in-person and online work. The Laulima Teaching Innovation Award is particularly applicable for the Kapolei campus because UH West Oʻahu has the highest percentage of distance and online courses and programs of any campus in the UH System.
To be nominated, the faculty or instructor must use online instructional tools in an innovative way, at least one of which should be a tool on Laulima, the course management and collaboration system used across the University of Hawaiʻi system. Faculty and instructors can use Laulima to post class information, lecture notes, manage assignments, as well as communicate with students via bulletin boards, chat sessions and email.
In addition to being cited for the honor, Romero will also be given a small monetary award during the campus’ convocation in August. Dr. Monica LaBriola, an assistant professor of History, and Steven Hanneman, an instructor of Information Technology, were also finalists for the award.