PART 1: BUSINESS ANALYSIS
As the world is increasingly getting interconnected with each other, the risks being faced by them is also connected with all. This COVID 19 pandemic is one such example. This virus has affected everyone regardless of their nationality, gender, income etc. Education sector is also not spared with it. COVID 19 pandemic has affected the students and the education providers on a large scale. The schools got closed and due to this distance learning programs were started. McGraw Hill Education is an American learning Math company and is also one of the big three educational publishers which publishes customized educational content, software and also services from Pre-K to PG courses in more than 28 countries. In this report, the key challenges which McGraw-Hill Education is facing in the education sector because of COVID 19 will be discussed.
In this business analysis, the case study of McGraw-Hill is discussed. This report mainly covers the problems that McGraw-Hill Educations is currently facing due to the COVID 19 pandemic in its education division. Here, it is discussed that this virus has destroyed each and every sector of economy and due to this education sector is also suffering a lot. Some of the challenges which were discussed here were related to providing online study material to children whose online classes have been started. Along with the problem, the solution of these issues is also provided in this report later on.
EXPLORATION OF BUSINESS PROBLEM
The COVID 19 pandemic has brought shockwaves across the globe. This unprecedented crisis in everyone’s life has created major issues not only in health of people but also in every activity of their daily routine. There is no section of society which is being spared by it. All the sectors are majorly impacted by this virus and the result is that the government of several countries had to introduce Lockdown (Singh and Avikal, 2020). This lockdown lead to major economic crisis in every country because the people were not working at all. This pandemic has impacted the education sector a lot as well. Due to the lockdown and social distancing rule, all the educational institutions were shut down. It was a preventive measure taken against the virus but it majorly affected all the parties that were connected with the educational systems all around the world (Alonazi, 2020).
To keep the education system running all around the world, the educational institutions had to take a quick decision related to providing education to students through different platforms. This decision has led them to adapt online learning as their another major platform to provide education to students even during this pandemic.
McGraw-Hill was already into providing digital products to their customers along with their traditional print products since the time classroom technology was in much demand. They have more than 11 million users of their products related to higher education and digital formats for students studying in K-12th. But, it is also known that McGraw-Hill education is also constantly facing issues for providing innovative solutions on both online as well as offline level for meeting the needs of their consumers. Also during this pandemic as well, the company faced many challenges in fulfilling their work because although they are already into digital platform but still convincing professors to buy their products is not an easy task. McGraw-Hill Education is also into publishing so in this pandemic also, they are working effortlessly to provide seamless transition for readers of all age groups. They are also providing full support to the booksellers as well so that they can earn some money during this crisis (Somani and Kumar, 2020).
Few of the challenges that were faced by McGraw-Hill were:
- Due to social isolation, the parents were concerned about the education of their child but after the education department decided to take classes online then the parents were not prepared for this situation as there were several issues connected this like few hopes lacks access to necessary technology and the internet or they don’t know how to use the technologies for attending the classes online. The lack of use of technology issue was faced by teachers as well because it is not necessary that every teacher must know how to operate certain technologies for conducting online classes.
- McGraw-Hill also faced challenges while convincing the students to start reading their books online like through Kindle and the traditional printed books are not being published due to the pandemic (Ashraf, 2020).
There were many more challenges which were faced by them but the main benefit that they had was that they were already introduced to the digital space and it was not new to them. So, students who are aware of McGraw-Hill education know that they provide digital books and other study materials as well.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF McGraw-Hill are as follows:
STRENGTHS: It is a highly diversified company as they are working into many segments like education, finance etc. They are also very good in fulfilling their corporate responsibility and this is why they are being like by the people a lot. They are providing their services at online as well as offline platforms both. In this pandemic also, the company provided various resources to the students free of cost and created a strong goodwill for themselves in the market (Dwivedi and et. al., 2020).
WEEKNESSES: They have some weaknesses as well like their textbook unit got down when recession came and the organization also faced challenges after the pandemic hit the world strongly. The prices of their products are also high due to its huge popularity and this becomes a hurdle for some people to try the products of the company.
OPPORTUNITIES: They are already an established brand as the traditional print publishers but due to this pandemic, they have made their own strong place in the digital platform as well. They are introducing new technologies and programs to train and support the people who are not familiar with the digital tools and techniques. McGraw-Hill is also acquiring various new projects and due to this, they are expanding their market more.
THREATS: One of the major threat that this organization is facing is competition. There are so many companies similar to McGraw Hill that are giving major competition to them. Their budgets allocation procedure are also not clear. Initially, this pandemic was also a threat to the company but later on the company converted its threat into opportunity and now servicing their new and existing customers in the best possible manner (Teräs and et. al., 2020).
IMPACT OF POTENTIAL STRATEGIC SOLUTION
Since the pandemic is still going on so it was necessary for McGraw-Hill to think about the solutions they can implement for providing quality educational content to the children. The organization is one of top publishers around the world so finding an appropriate solution to this issue was not difficult at all. McGraw-Hill is working tirelessly with their strategic partners to develop new services so as to tackle the challenges in an holistic manner. McGraw-Hill is providing their support to more than institutions who are rethinking about their methods to use the adaptive tool ALEKS PPL and various other inside arrangements are also going in order to provide digital materials to the students on their forst day at class at prices lower than they purchase it individually. They provided up to 70% discount on the retail cost of printed text books to more than 1100 college campuses. It will have a positive impact on the minds of students because they will have complete study material with them on the first day itself so it will help in enhancing their concentration during the class.
The organization has also made an agreement with the data analytics service provider named as ZOGOTECH for helping the institutions to make the data informed decisions so that retention can be reduced. The organization is also supporting the students of K-12 living in remote areas by providing them free online resources to them. It has also been noticed that McGraw-Hill has also started small groups instructional webinars for making them understand the use of distance learning tools along with digital learning platforms as well. Their E-books are also available in Amazon for the people who use Kindle. Also, they saw that people are affected by travel restrictions as well so they extended their support to them by providing their express Library to them for subjects like engineering, computing, technology, management as well as Humanities. McGraw-Hill is also providing their active support in converting the on-campus courses to online delivery programs.
All these help provided by McGraw-Hill has impacted the educational community in a positive manner and provided lots of benefits to each and every person who is connected with this community. Because of them, students have the resources with them and the teachers are also getting trained about utilizing technologies used for conducting online classes.
From the above report, it is concluded that this pandemic has disturbed the entire economy around the world and because of this most of the businesses are closed and big companies are also facing challenges in operating their work in a successful manner. McGraw-Hill is also working in the education sector and they are also facing challenges during this pandemic related to distributing study material to their respective users and adding new users as well. After discussing the issues, the solutions were also mentioned that were adopted by McGraw-Hill in this situation and these solutions are absolutely effective as they have left a positive impact on the minds of consumers.
Singh, R. and Avikal, S., 2020. COVID-19: a decision-making approach for prioritization of preventive activities. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 13(3), pp.257-262.
Somani, A. and Kumar, A., 2020. Comment on’Attitude, practice, behavior, and mental health impact of COVID-19 on doctors’. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 62(4), pp.445-445.
Ashraf, B.N., 2020. Economic impact of government interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: International evidence from financial markets. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, 27, p.100371.
Dwivedi, Y.K., Hughes, D.L., Coombs, C., Constantiou, I., Duan, Y., Edwards, J.S., Gupta, B., Lal, B., Misra, S., Prashant, P. and Raman, R., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on information management research and practice: Transforming education, work and life. International Journal of Information Management, 55, p.102211.
Teräs, M., Suoranta, J., Teräs, H. and Curcher, M., 2020. Post-Covid-19 education and education technology ‘solutionism’: A seller’s market. Postdigital Science and Education, pp.1-16.
Alonazi, W.B., 2020. The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Job Performance During COVID-19 Crisis: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 13, p.749.
(Singh and Avikal, 2020) (Somani and Kumar, 2020) (Ashraf, 2020) (Dwivedi and et. al., 2020) (Teräs and et. al., 2020) (Alonazi, 2020)
PART 2: REFLECTIVE REPORT ON KEY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
It needs to be understood that learning is a lifelong process and if any person wants to learn something then it can be done at any place or time. Learning can be learned through education or experience or formal training and thus I have also learned and developed some of my skills through working in class as well as on my previous assignment on McGraw-Hills. It was a good experience as lots of research was required to be done in the topic in order to provide its analysis in corrective manner.
After completing the business analysis, the areas in which I experience key skill development are as follows:
Communication – This is one of the most important skills required in every person and I have developed both written as well as verbal skill while completing this assignment. For doing the research, I had to do conversation with many people and through this I developed verbal communicating skill and written communication is developed while writing the previous assignment.
Numeracy – These are the kinds of skills which is not taught in class always. It is a skill to use numbers in an effective manner. I believe every person must have this skill because it helps them in developing their logical thinking and reasoning skills. This assignment didn’t had a direct link with numeracy but the data and statistics I gathered related to COVID helped me in understanding the importance of this skill in real life.
ICT – While doing the project, I also used Microsoft office program as I was required to complete the project. I was working on MS-Word so I developed this skill. Apart from this, I also learned about various new technologies that are now being used and implemented during this pandemic in the education sector for providing online education to students. I was introduced to new platforms like Zoom, Microsoft team for attending online classes from home. I also got to know that McGraw-hills are providing online course materials to students and it is also done by making use of communication technologies in the company. So, overall the learning experience was quiet exiting.
Problem solving – After completing that assignment, I also developed my problem solving skill because when I was working on my project, I faced issues in doing the analysis as I didn’t do any such thing earlier but after receiving appropriate data on McGraw hills, I understood that every issue can be solved if we work on it in a proper manner. The issues were related to the key challenges which the company is facing due to COVID 19.
Team work – Teams are considered as an important part of every organization and if the teams are working properly then companies normally make huge amount of profits. While completing the previous assignment, I also worked in team and understood that working in a team is very essential as it reduces the work of people and also the work is completed in an efficient manner. This will be explained in a better way through Belbin’s team development role.
According to Belbin, there are eight different roles that are played within a team with each other complementing strengths and weaknesses of each other. The team roles are as follows:
- The plant – These people are called as the problem solver of the team and they always provide innovative and creative methods for dealing with situations.
- The resource investigator – These are the ones who are extrovert and can network with many people to explore new opportunities for the team.
- The coordinator – They are considered as the head of team because entire coordination is given into their hand and they are only considered responsible for most of the decisions made by the team.
- The shaper – They are the ones who are courageous and removes the obstacles that comes in front of whole team.
- Monitor-Evaluator – These people have good judgment power and more strategic focus and this quality is very good for the company.
- Team worker – These kinds of members are having the responsibility to avoid conflicts in the team
- Implementer – These people are action oriented as they have the vision of turning ideas into actions.
- Completer – These people take the responsibility to complete the project work on time
So, out o all these roles, I think that I played the role of the resource investigator because I went through a deep research to explore the topic in a detailed manner.