Remote Learning, The Unexpected Benefits

Just one year ago, a college student graduating from the Leavey School of business could reasonably expect to make a smooth transition from the SCU campus to the Google Campus. Both environments provide structure, support, and a sense of community. However, much has changed in the last 12 months, and with no estimated date to return to a 100% in-person work environment. Remote work is likely to become a predominant operations model. What experiences and skills have they developed that will prepare them to work remotely? 


The abrupt shift to remote learning has created many challenges. Overnight, college communities were physically disbanded, while the objective to grow and learn remained firmly in place. And so, the students are learning to adapt to continue to navigate their ZoomRoom class schedules while continuing to engage student organizations or even safe social interaction. They have been fortunate to make this transition with the support of the administration as well as the development of remote scheduling technologies such as Likeli.


One of the biggest changes NOT to be occurring on campus, is the serendipitous opportunity to chat, before, during, or after class, in the dining hall, at a party, or the bar. They don’t form their study groups with the kids from their dorm. They don’t lean over and ask a classmate what that meant. They don’t stand patiently waiting after class to chat with their professor. Students don’t conveniently drop in for office hours.


Remote Team Collaboration 

How are they adapting? First, they are learning to take initiative. Collaborative projects are forcing students to reach out of their comfort zone, digitally, to initiate contact. To succeed, they work with other students they may have never met before and will likely never see in person. While awkward at first, it has become the only way to connect, form groups, engage and continue some senses of community normalcy. 


Remote Team Scheduling

In addition, students are learning to pay attention to their calendars like never before. Previously, the average M-W-F class schedule consisted of a thoughtless walk through campus, “start here 10:30 AM, lunch 12:05, end there, 8:40 PM.” Today, it’s a matter of sitting at home and trying to remember when to click on the zoom link. In addition, all of their activities must be strategically coordinated to fill in the gaps between their zoom meetings. Even more challenging, they need to find mutual availability (find the zoom gaps) within the entire group they are meeting with. 


While at first, this experience may have left some students feeling isolated, it is to develop skill sets that will equip them to be more prepared to be successful in the new “work remote” environment. Learning to utilize technologies such as Likeli for remote work scheduling, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to take this journey along with them.