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What is DE?

Distance education classes are classes where the instructor and students are separated by distance and/or time.

Types of DE classes-

Online Classes
Hawai'i CC online classes offer flexibility for students with challenging schedules. Online classes require minimal requirements for students to come to campus. While classes have deadlines that need to be met, students taking online classes have the ability to access their classes via the Internet and study at times and places that best fit their schedules. Students must have access to a computer with reliable Internet connection.
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Cable Television Classes
Some University of Hawai'i campuses offer cable courses statewide. To receive cable classes, students must have access to Oceanic Time Warner Cable. See for more information.

Interactive Television (ITV) Classes
Using video conferencing technology, Hawai'i CC offers ITV classes that meet at a designated time and location but with the instructor and students are in different locations. They can see and hear each other, creating a traditional classroom-like environment. ITV courses may also include an Internet component such as email or a website for additional instruction and materials. Students must be able to meet at the designated time and location to attend class.
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Is DE for you?

There are no special requirements to take an online course, as long as all prerequisites for the course are met. However, each student learns differently. Some may find that they are more successful in a regular classroom, while others may be more successful in a DE class.

To help decide if distance education is right for you, watch the following video.

Also, ask yourself these questions before enrolling in a DE class:

  • Do I like learning on a computer or by TV?
  • Am I comfortable with using computers and other technology?
  • Am I self-disciplined enough to follow lessons and complete coursework on my own?
  • Am I able to create and stick to a schedule for my learning?
  • Will I be comfortable if I do not see the instructor or classmates in person?

Also, keep in mind that DE classes:

  • will take as much time as regular classes.
  • will require a substantial amount of reading and writing.
  • will require you to be organized to keep track of dates and assignments.
  • may require a limited number of on-campus activities such as orientations, meetings, review sessions, and/or exams.

If you have any questions or if you’re still unsure if taking a DE class is for you, contact your Academic Advisor or a Counselor.

Technology Requirements

Access to a computer with reliable Internet access is required, especially for online classes. Visit the UH Information Technology Services Web site ( for information on computer hardware recommendations.

Most DE classes will also require use of common word processing and presentation software (e.g., Word, PowerPoint), email, and the Internet to communicate, and to complete and submit course assignments.


Question: What is Distance Education?
Answer: Distance Education (DE) is education that occurs through instruction in which the instructor and student are separated by distance, time, or both.

Question: Who can benefit from Distance Education?
Answer: ANYONE! Whether you are busy trying to juggle work, family and leisure; live far from campus; can't make it to the campus; or want to take classes not currently offered at Hawai‘i CC, DE makes it possible for you to still go to college! With DE classes being offered online, over cable television, and through interactive television, you can now take classes that will work with your lifestyle.

Question: What is an online course?
Answer: Online courses are courses in which instruction is conducted solely through the use of computer software in an online learning environment. For a course to be considered an online class, 100% of the content must be delivered online, although faculty may require on-site exams, faculty conferences, field trips or other proctored activities.

Question: What is a hybrid course?
Answer: Hybrid courses replace approximately 50% of face-to-face “seat time” with online instruction. Face-to-face instruction is reduced, but not eliminated.