Last year, I proposed a research study related to the concept of the Learning Management System (LMS) and got approval to implement it this year. I have no idea that the year 2020 will be full of unprecedented events and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the current situation, face-to-face teaching has been banned by DepEd and CHED until a vaccine is developed and schools are forced to have remote learning interventions. These interventions have opened opportunities to study more about remote learning and highlight the importance of research for the following purposes:
- Understand the problem/issue
Good research always begins with a problem or a question. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several schools transition to remote learning. This raises several issues like the ones relating to change management, technical support, readiness, successful adoption of the new learning delivery, etc. This gives schools an opportunity to benchmark their interventions. Understanding the problems/issues that arise in the implementation of the new learning delivery requires the right process and hearing all stakeholders can give schools valuable information to understand the problem.
- Come up recommendations
Just like the researchers in the medical field who wants to understand how SARS-CoV-2 spread throughout the world to prevent another kind of pandemic, schools are encouraged to endeavor and grab this opportunity to understand the problems surrounding distance learning and other flexible learning options so the next time we encounter similar situations that caused for their accelerated adoption, we are more prepared and better informed in coming up relevant interventions. Specifically, it can help in coming up with a remote learning plan.
- Aid for the success of future interventions
Most of the time, many big businesses usually pilot tests or do demo testing before adopting a particular technology. This is the same for the schools. With the limited time, schools are skipping the pilot test stage and if the technology is unable to achieve its goal, it can be costly on their part. A research study that is both school-initiated or existing one provides a comprehensive insight into future interventions and ways to measure their success.
- Help make an informed decisions
School administrators are the school level policymakers, research results can guide them to chart their school into the right path of quality learning and education management. Teachers are at the grassroots level and the main frontliners in the educational system. Anyone who has been in the actual field of teaching was taught about the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of their strategies, what works well, understanding their students, and feedbacks to a particular intervention. Without data to look for the big picture or not knowing the struggles of the stakeholders (teachers, students, etc.), our interventions will be useless and will serve as temporary solutions. But the good thing is, they can always serve better purposes.
- Promote collaboration
With schools having different remote learning interventions, educators may collaborate among themselves and discuss a number of problems/issues facing remote learning. They can exchange valuable ideas such as their school’s best practices.
COVID-19 is going to change education, but it may or may not improve our educational system. If research is given importance and schools are open for this kind of opportunity, I believe that our learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on education.
In your field of work/profession/vocation, what’s the importance of research during a pandemic?