Tips & Best Practices

Site Facilitator Tips & Best Practices

Know Your Students: Hawaii Online Courses (HOC) courses are rigorous and require a lot of self-motivation and discipline. Prior to registering, speak with your students to determine if HOC would be conducive to their learning. Typically, students who exhibit the following characteristics are more likely to succeed in an online environment:

(Adapted from the North Carolina Virtual Public School Handbook)

  • Self-motivated

  • Independent learner

  • Committed and self-directed

  • Effective communicator; willing to ask for help, make suggestions and problem solve

  • Effective time management

  • Responsible, prompt, and accurate

  • Basic word processing and Internet skills

Students with an IEP/504: Please refer to the Site Facilitator Handbook for information on students with an IEP/504.

Course load and scheduling: Know what courses your students need. HOC offers Advanced Placement classes as well as other core and elective courses online. Be aware of the course load for your students. Online classes require just as much work (if not more) than regular classes.

Technical requirements: Be aware of available student resources. Students need a computer with high speed Internet access to log into their course daily. They will also need a headset and microphone to participate in virtual class sessions. If your students do not have these resources at home, then the school must make these provisions. If not, enrolling in an HOC course may not be a viable option.

Help Your Students: Students new to HOC may require extra assistance and support throughout the course. Please provide reminders and encouragement to complete assignments.

For new students, it would be helpful if the School Site Facilitators could:

  • Stress the importance of completing the HOC Student Orientation prior to the start of the semester.

  • Send reminders to students who have not completed the Student Orientation.

  • Remind students that they will be automatically dropped if they do not complete the orientation prior to the beginning of the course.

  • If necessary, have face-to-face meetings with students who have not completed their required HOC Student Orientation. Find out why they have not completed the training and what support they may need to complete the training.

It would also be helpful if site facilitators could provide counselors with a list of their students who have registered for HOC. It may be necessary to provide additional support on campus for your students.

For all students, it would be helpful if School Site Facilitators could:

  • Provide information to the student’s assigned counselor when mid-quarter progress reports are available.

  • Follow up with counselor regarding students who are failing or having difficulty completing online classes and provide the necessary support.

  • Provide computer/Internet access options.

  • Provide designated time to work on HOC course on campus if needed.

  • Arrange tutoring support in the content area by a teacher or peer in the same online course.

Understand the Rigor of Advanced Placement Courses: As a School Site Facilitator, you will be helping students determine what courses to take. Advanced Placement online HOC courses are especially rigorous. Please pay special attention to the bullet points listed below describing the expectations of students enrolled in an AP course. You will need to communicate this with your students and their counselors before they determine enrollment in an AP course.

All HOC Advanced Placement (AP) Courses are approved by the College Board and are designed for highly motivated college-bound students who have demonstrated academic achievement, higher-order thinking skills, and the ability to work independently.

  • Students will need to devote at least 8-10 hours a week per course.

  • Due to the enormous amount of information to be covered and its level of complexity, AP courses move at a fast pace and are academically rigorous. Students can easily become overwhelmed if they fall behind in their work. Therefore, students must keep up with ALL assignments.

  • Students must actively participate in class by logging into their online AP course on a daily basis (yes, even weekends) and actively participate in weekly online class discussions. AP coursework requires students to work continually and to challenge themselves to work hard and maintain high standards.

  • AP courses rely heavily on college-level texts and outside readings. Students will read and write extensively. There are substantial reading assignments each week.

  • These courses may utilize college-level computer simulations which will require frequent software updates to plug-ins such as Java and Flashplayer.

  • It will be the students' responsibility to learn any topics not covered in class due to time constraints or other extenuating circumstances.

  • All students are highly encouraged to take the AP Exam in May.

Stay Organized: It is recommended you monitor Student Agreement Form submissions via the Genius system. Remind students and parents to complete the form online.

Be Prompt: Please be prompt when communicating with HOC staff, students, parents and other school faculty so that issues can be quickly resolved.

Drops: Please process drops directly in the Genius registration system during the drop period. Your immediate action will allow other students on the wait list opportunity to enroll in courses.

Communicate Effectively: As a site facilitator, you will have to communicate with many people in order for HOC courses to be successfully utilized at your school. Please be sure to:

  • Read emails and updates from the HOC staff carefully to stay current on policies and procedures.

  • Disseminate information regarding the availability of HOC courses to the school, students, and parents.

  • Respond to questions and inquiries in a timely manner.