Opinion: Remote learning has created some big challenges, but also opportunities

Opinion: Remote learning has created some big challenges, but also opportunities

It is common knowledge that COVID-19 and current health issues have made in-person classroom learning and teaching move to online learning and teaching across all levels of education.

Some big questions are, when will COVID-19 get managed better and effective inoculations become available to help people be safer from this and when will all people become inoculated to help assure good health.

This will help the education systems to maybe get back to in-person classroom learning and teaching.

It should be obvious this may take many months to a year or more.

Add to this, that many people will not want to become inoculated for various reasons and refuse.

Then what happens?

There are problems and challenges already trying to get all people to wear masks and social distance. 

This is creating problems and issues with social and personal dynamics, economics, business, and politics; globally.

If you can figure out the solution to these problems, challenges, and issues, you have a great ‘crystal ball seeing into the future’.

Now that many schools of all education levels, colleges and universities have moved personal in classroom learning and teaching to online learning and teaching, we now have many new problems, issues, and challenges.

These are very real, substantial, and serious.

Teachers and professors in all levels of education had big challenges to motivate students to learn, make all materials and knowledge interesting and fun to learn, and make all very interactive to help motivate students to learn.

Teachers and professors need to learn how to be ‘entertainers’ and integrate this into their teaching and the classrooms.

During these times when classrooms and learning/teaching are now online, teachers must learn how to transfer entertainment skills and interactive methods to online learning/teaching.

This is not easy and will require time to learn how to accomplish this.

A big challenge to all teachers and professors is motivating students and keeping them focused.

This was a big challenge in the classroom and now with online teaching/learning, it is even a far bigger challenge.

Again, this will take some time to work with this problem and challenge and requires much effort from professors/teachers and senior administration and leadership.

Motivating students and keeping them focused was the burden of the school, teachers and professors. 

For education below the college and university higher education levels, being online learning now, parents are being asked and tasked with helping their children to learn, focus and be motivated.

Many parents are challenged greatly with this and struggling.

Many college and university level students are being challenged to be focused to do the assignments, readings, projects, and research, and motivated to learn, as well.

When students that are not motivated, they will not work at their assignments as much as that what is needed, they will seek out find short cuts to do assignments and learning at some minimal level and maybe not do at all.

This leads to lack of learning, low grades and far more students Failing in grades and Fail the classes.

With Failing grades this puts great strain and problems on teachers, professors, senior administration, and senior education leadership.

Grades and students passing to other classes and levels, is a criteria and requirement for all education levels, schools, colleges, and universities.

Often, this is directly tied to funding of the schools and education systems.

For college and university, if students Fail, they will be required to repeat the classes and pay tuition for the classes again.  This puts financial burdens on students even more.

We all know that balls roll downhill.

Same with these education issues.

Senior administration and leadership then put more burden and stress on teachers and professors to find a way to get students to pass.

Some teachers and at all levels of education and professors may select to use the approach or method of create tests and teach directly to the test questions as a way to get better passing grades. 

This approach is basically teaching students the test questions and answers to the test questions and does not include other the important dynamic things needed to be learned and not teaching how to apply what learned.

This approach is definitely Not progressive higher education standards.

This approach will hurt students, society and important life progress and world progress.

This method does decrease higher learning objectives but can help get better passing grades and more students passing.

If enrolments, tuition and funding decrease, layoffs of teachers and professors, administration staff can happen.

This puts such excessive stress on everyone that can easily cause ethical issues such as just grading up falsely to assure students getting passing grades and decreasing learning to help increase passing grades.

This creates ethical turmoil, demoralizing issues and academic standards disintegration, on all.

There is a very old saying; ‘Money is not everything, but it is way ahead of whatever is in second place’.

As I teach my graduate MBA students and undergraduate business students, ‘When things or decisions happen or do not happen, to find out the root cause and why:  always follow the money’.

Eventually, COVID-19 will get managed better, but it will take more time than we expect.

Education will change at all levels in the future.

Education will evolve just like business will evolve.

Life as we once knew it will evolve.

In the meantime, we have many challenges and issues to manage and learn about.

Professor Marshall has taught advanced business subjects at universities in the USA and globally, in many countries over the last nine years. Prior to this, he worked his way up to senior executive levels in various businesses and industries over 35 years.