With retrofitted classrooms, UH moves toward blended in-person, online learning

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 7:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii is starting a slow transition back to in-person learning. They’re hoping to bring most students back to classes by Spring 2022.

There are 75 retrofitted classrooms at UH Manoa. The feature a tracking camera which has facial and audio recognition to follow the professor as they move.

When more UH students start coming back to class in the fall semester, it’ll be a mix of online, distance and hybrid classes will be part of the new norm.

“Beginning this August, everyone who wants to be on campus can be on campus,” said UH Manoa Provost Michael Bruno.

However, maintaining 6-feet of social distancing is still a challenge.

“We can’t run those big classes any longer in person so those have moved online,” said Bruno.

“But for many faculty they are finding real advantages to delivering read ahead material online before the lecture so those are going to persist after the pandemic,” he added.

At the Campus Center, signs of life are returning to the popular student hub.

Ally is a junior and while she has a study partner, her classes have been online over the last year.

“I’m hoping that more and more classes will be in person, but I still think that people should be cautious about it,” she said.

A look around campus shows a new Life Sciences building standing proud while Snyder Hall is all boarded, awaiting demolition.

Also this fall, there’s discussion of a COVID vaccination clinic, and amenities and 120 clubs will be back. On campus football is also going to take place.

“They will all be back meeting in person. For the first time ever, we are going to have football on campus at Manoa so that’s pretty cool,” said Bruno.

On Tuesday, the Governor announced more than $48 million dollars for design and construction to improve UH system facilities.

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