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Coronavirus is Reinventing Communication Channels for Business and Education

Dr. Mike Gospodinsky Virtual Communications Expert

Dr. Mike Gospodinsky

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Dr Mike Gospodinsky discusses how "Coronavirus is Reinventing Communication Channels for Business and Education"

In the past, detractors of distance education have fallen back on concerns about tradition and integrity similar to those who are reluctant to adopt remote auditing.”
— Dr. Mike Gospodinsky
GREAT FALLS, MONTANA (MT), UNITED STATES, March 23, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- I understand virtual communications and believe it is a tool that we are not fully utilizing in business or education. As an entrepreneur, I have owned and managed two companies, Quality Innovations and Alpha Background Investigations, for over 20 years. My staff, customers/clients and I utilize virtual communications as often as possible and if allowed by government regulations. This has allowed my companies to increase innovation, reduce cost, and maximize efficiency. My experiences within these companies and dealings with my customers/clients has allowed me to become knowledgeable about the positive and negative aspects of virtual communications.

The recent outbreak of the Corona Virus has resulted in a drastic increase in “virtual” or “remote” communication. School classrooms, individuals asked to work from home, customer or supply chain audits or meetings, certification audits, inspection activities have been cancelled or converted to off-site activity. Apollos University educational activities are largely conducted in a distance learning environment, therefore adjustments to our normal operations have been minimal. There are many advantages and disadvantages to distance learning or virtual communication. The primary advantage is cost savings due to limited travel, as well as the ability to conduct the work during a flexible time frame, rather than a specific class time. One advantage which was not previously considered is the ability to provide social distancing to prevent the spread of disease.

As a doctoral student at Apollos, I conducted research on best practices in remote auditing of management systems. Management systems audits are used to document quality management standards. Normally, audits are conducted on-site, however there are many opportunities to save time and money by supplementing these audits remotely. The research involved surveying 138 industry professionals to determine the current usage and best practices. The usage of remote auditing techniques was low with only 5% of respondents citing often used. By contrast, when asked if respondents felt that remote audits were an effective supplement to on-site audits, 81% responded positively. The top three reasons for limited usage of remote audits were, 1) resistance to change, 2) unaware that it was an option and 3) lack of honesty, trust or integrity.

Similarly, 2017 US Department of Education data indicated that 15% of students were enrolled in programs delivered exclusively via distance learning methodology while 66% were enrolled in programs delivered only on-ground. The remaining 18% of students took a combination of on-ground and online courses. Graduate degree programs have a higher percentage of exclusively online students at 29% and 66% exclusively on-ground. The increase in online graduate degrees may be attributed to the fact that many students enrolled in graduate studies are also working full time and seek graduate degrees to advance in their field. Now, in the spring of 2020, the vast majority of graduate and undergraduate courses will be conducted through some type of distance learning. Two potentially positive outcomes from this new reality include reduced costs of education and increased understanding of the value of distance learning methodology. We can hope that institutions realizing reductions in costs created by serving students online will follow the Apollos model and pass these savings on to students rather than following the now common practice of charging online students additional fees per each online course. Likewise, the increasingly shared experience of online education may increase awareness of the value of online education. While on-ground schools transitioning to proven distance education methodology may experience some hiccups in education delivery, hopefully, with the help of schools such as Apollos that have already successfully developed distance programs, most students suddenly introduced to online learning due to the Corona virus will have a positive experience. If this so called new normal holds, it will become more common to obtain post-secondary degrees through distance or online learning, making higher education more accessible.

In the past, detractors of distance education have fallen back on concerns about tradition and integrity similar to those who are reluctant to adopt remote auditing. However, with advances in technology, traditions can be updated and integrity maintained and verified. Apollos University strives to deliver on the promise of distance education: to offer students high quality learning opportunities, low costs, and increased convenience. As a former student, I feel that my education at Apollos was exceptional. I hope that other students who would benefit from distance education will enjoy similar opportunities

Dr. Paul Eidson
Apollos University
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