Hawaiian color theory requires knowledge of Hawaiian language, culture, and history, and familiarity with the natural environment. Current education on Hawaiian concepts of color is obsolete, inconsistent, and centers on foreign perspectives, while resources are unavailable and/or inaccessible. These gaps are evident in the Hawaiian Studies Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. To address these deficiencies, an online module, (Re)Learning Waihoʻoluʻu, was designed and implemented. This module can be accessed at www.waihooluu.com.
This project studied the impact of (Re)Learning Waihoʻoluʻu on undergraduate Hawaiian Studies majors’ perception and interpretation of color. This was done by conducting a learning assessment that drew on Delorme’s (2018) Star Quilt Framework for Culturally Competent Instructional Design, and the Dick and Carey Model of Instructional Systems Design (2009). The presentation of the module’s content was shaped by Mayer’s (2014) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning and place-based pedagogy, while tests emphasized authentic assessment.
The learning assessment consisted of three rounds, with revisions made to content and design following each round. Assessment of participants’ perception and interpretation were inconsistent, highlighting compact-learning limitations, design errors, diverse learner backgrounds, and challenges with an underdeveloped Hawaiian color theory. However, all participants self-reported changes in both interpretation and perception of color. Altogether, this study demonstrates the need for increased access and resources on Hawaiian color theory; indicates the Hawaiian community’s evolving attitude to e-learning; and illumines a demand for online learning in the Hawaiian Studies Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.