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Basic Statistics and ICT Skills

Introduction to the report 

According to Kaarakainen, Kivinen, and Vainio (2018), Information and Communication Technology skills are regarding comprehending and implementing various computer programs, software and different applications. These incorporate word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint. Search engines and databases. Besides technical skills, the associated skills involve creativeness and analytical skills to employ the appropriate ICT skills to an activity. Moreover, basic Information and Communication Technology skills are vital and required in any role (Picatoste, Pérez-Ortiz, and Ruesga-Benito, 2018). To comprehend and be more skilled in ICT tools, it is imperative to comprehend the basic statistics as using different computer programs and software required statistics. The main reason to comprehend basic statistics is that statistical knowledge assists individuals in utilizing the appropriate methods to gather the data, implement the appropriate analysis, and efficiently demonstrate the outcomes. Statistics is a critical procedure behind how an individual makes scientific discoveries, makes decisions based on data and makes interpretations (Bailey, 2021). Regarding Lehner (2018), possessing ICT skills would assist in organizing the workload, streamline procedures and access to digital info. Enhancing ICT skills is a levelheaded way to stretch a competitive advantage over other applicants when applying for job vacancies. 

This report presents the comprehending of the usage of spreadsheets to enter, analyze and report data using appropriate functions, formulas, descriptive statistics and graphical representations. Specifically, the application of MS Excel spreadsheet for the purposes is demonstrated. The data utilized for demonstration purposes concerns the GDP and COVID-19. To guarantee inclusive and right data analysis, it is vital to perform a series of processes. The report is subdivided into three tasks. The particular procedures discussed in this report integrate:

  • Data entry (spreadsheet formatting and data entry)
  • Data summary (performing descriptive statistics including mean, total, minimum, and maximum)
  • Data visualization (i.e. using a pie chart, line chart, and bar chart)
  • Data reporting (demonstration of analyses outcomes

Task 1 – Impact of COVID-19 on daily life in the UK

Introduction

This task involves the essay on the impact of the COVID-19 on daily life within the UK in the context of healthcare, economic and social settings. For this task, some statistics have been presented using different charts such as line charts, bar charts, and pie charts. The data utilized for this task is COVID-19 death, total cases of COVID-19 in the UK, and monthly unemployment within the UK due to COVID-19 measures. 

Main body

As per Milas (2021), in January 2020, economists surveyed through the Financial Times and showed that the economy of the UK progressed by about 1.4% in 2020. This approximation was hardly off the mark as the UK economy shrunk by 9.8% in 2020 due to the negative impacts of COVID-19. With the fast widespread of the pandemic and the death toll rate within the UK mounting to an unimaginable extent (over 128,000 to date), social unfriendliness and restrictions of lockdown measures turn out to be a one-way street. Milas (2021) showed average yearly GDP growth of -9.1% ever since the epidemic has started (amid March 2020 to January 2021) equated to 0.6% in the counterfactual situation where no constraints were enacted. Thus, on average, constraints/boundaries diminished yearly UK progress by 9.7% compared to the state of no action by the government. 

Concerning the impact of COVID-19 within the UK, Bloom et al. (2020) present the larger impact of a pandemic on UK businesses. The mean probability of adverse influence of COVID-19 on sales in the UK was projected at 71%, whereas the probability of positive influence was only 7%, as shown in figure 1. Nevertheless, these sales influences were temporary. 


Figure 1: COVID-19 impact on sales

Following is the demonstration of data of COVID-19 deaths within the UK. Figure 2 demonstrates the average number of deaths from Jan '21 to Mar '21. Figure 2 shows the great decline in the death rate from COVID-19. As per Ross, Morales, and Ashton (2 report021), the decline rate was due to the strict lockdown measures imposed by the government after the massive death rate of people.


Figure 2: COVID-19 deaths from Jan'21 - Mar'21

Moreover, figure 3 demonstrates the average number of deaths from Mar '20 to Dec '20. Figure 3 shows that the death rate was at a peak in April. According to Kumar et al. (2020), the rise in the death rate meant there were no strict lockdown measures. As a result, social distancing was becoming elevated results in more cases of coronavirus. However, at the end of April, the UK government impose strict lockdown measures. This slowed down the surge of an epidemic of COVID-19 by the end of April, which consequently resulted in a very low number of deaths. Additionally, due to a low number of cases and deaths, people turned back to normal routines and avoided lockdown measures. However, this worsens the situation even more and an upsurge in death rates. Figure 3 showed that there was a sudden rise in deaths in October '20. According to Looi (2020), the government of the UK declared the second spell of COVID-19 in October '20. Hence, the rise in several deaths was due to the second wave of covid-19.


Figure 3:COVID-19 deaths from Mar'20-Dec'20

HEALTHCARE

The covid-19 epidemic has changed healthcare delivery and access across the UK. For instance, emergency department visits were down by an approximation of 40% in various communities all over the UK (Lundberg et al., 2021). As per Lundberg et al. (2021), various in-person office visits were also postponed due to the adverse impact of covid-19 and were altered to telehealth visits. Moreover, different forms of healthcare delivery have been altered as a result of measures of social distancing. The major impact of covid-19 on the healthcare sector was the lower number of beds and staff per capita to treat the patients with a virus (Thorlby, Tinson, and Kraindler, 2020).

Moreover, working 24/7 was stressful for healthcare workers due to the low number of staff and higher number of infected people, which adversely impacted healthcare delivery (Thorlby, Tinson, and Kraindler, 2020). Figure 4 shows the cases of COVID-19 on 25th March '21, which demonstrate that a greater number of cases were reported on a single day. However, the majority of them was recovered, and a very lower number of deaths occurred. Moreover, fewer people were admitted to the hospital on 25th March '21, as shown in figure 4.


Figure 4: Coronavirus cases (impact of COVID-19 on healthcare)

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ECONOMY

The impact of COVID-19 has intense structural influences on the UK economy and the labour market because the crisis endures accelerating the present trends. For example, shift to extra online shopping while perceiving progress in newer trends like more individuals working from home (Bhat et al., 2020). As per Bhat et al. (2020), covid-19 is also upshot in income loss as many people lost their jobs, resulting in domestic issues. Furthermore, the impact of covid-19 was also seen in businesses of the UK as it produced major uncertainty. According to the report of Bloom et al. (2020), in the survey conducted in March '21, 81% of businesses reported COVID-19 as one of the major triggers of business uncertainty. This results in the decline of the UK economy by 9.8% in 2020.

Additionally, 24% of the UK employees, i.e. 7.6 million jobs were at risk due to pandemic in which the most vulnerable ones were with the lowest incomes. According to a Mckinsey (2020) report, in April '20, about 22% (9 million people) of the UK working-age populace were laid off. Considering the negative impact of covid-19 on the economy, an upsurge in the unemployment rate was observed, as shown in figure 5. Figure 5 demonstrates the number of unemployment in 2020. The figure also shows the trend line, which is upward, implying that the number of unemployed people was increasing over time because most people were laid off as negative impact on businesses. It can be observed that unemployment was higher in October '20 due to the second wave of covid-19, which has severely impacted the business on a higher scale compared to previous months.


Figure 5: Unemployment (impact of COVID-19 on economy)

SOCIAL LIFE

The impact of COVID -19 was additionally seen in the Social life of people. According to Bhat et al. (2020), anxiety, depression, and stress alongside the economic downturn resulting in domestic issues have severely disturbed the social life of individuals in the UK throughout the preliminary phase of a pandemic. COVID has impacted people's social life in such a way that educational institutions, restaurants, café, and parks were all closed as lockdown measures. Singh and Singh (2020) stated that man is a social animal and that social connections and relationships are essential to human civilization. However, because of the fast-growing situation of pandemic and the upsurge of social distancing measures, this network of connections was seriously affected. However, various people also considered this a positive element. Due to lockdown measures, most employees were shifted to work from home, and they got time to get along with their families (Diab-Bahman and Al-Enzi, 2020). Below some pictures depict the positive and negative impact of covid-19 as in the first picture (figure 6a), a working woman is working. This shows that covid measures have positively influenced the working mothers as they can now manage their office work from home besides getting along with their children. In the second picture (figure 6b), it can be observed that various people are working from home with face-timing with their loved ones, which cannot be possible in the office. However, the third picture (figure 6c) depicts the negative impact of covid-19 as two people have to maintain the social distancing, which might affect their enjoyment or connection. 

Concerning my own experience, Covid-19 has also impacted my life as a whole, both positively and negatively. Positive in a way that lockdown measures shifted me to work from home in which I can work wherever and however I want it has lessened my social interaction with my friends and colleagues. This has also affected my progression as an employee as I believe that working along with co-workers and a working environment helps me grow personally and professionally. 

Conclusion 

It is concluded that the pandemic of COVID-19 has shown an intense shock to the UK in several sectors such as healthcare, economy, and social lives. Although the measures have been taken to control the pandemic, it has already reached deeply into the lives, impacting incomes, employment security, and social connections – vital factors for healthy lives. Task 1 has discussed the impact of these factors on people within the UK.  

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Task 2 – Assessing skills using MS Excel

This task involves the assessment of MS Excel skills. The data used for this task is of Gross Domestic Product (GRP) of Canada, France, Germany, UK, Italy, and the US, from 2016 to 2020. This section integrates the data entry and formatting to appropriate font style, font size, and font type. Moreover, it includes basic operations, basic functions, formulas, descriptive statistics and graphs. This section shows how good I am at using MS Excel skills. Figure 7 is the solution of the exercises carried out in Excel for task 2. In Figure 7, the "green highlighted" column demonstrates the total GDP of six countries from 2016-2020 and below that is the graphical representation of the total GDP. Figure 7 further articulates that the US’ total GDP is highest amongst other specified countries,, whereas, Germany stand at second, and Canada third. In terms of maximum and minimum, the fluctuation between maximum GDP and minimum GDP is quite lowest for Canada. 


Figure 7: GDP

Task 3 – Assessing PowerPoint skills

Introduction

The pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in educational institutions being closed all over the globe. Consequently, education has altered intensely, with the distinguishing upsurge of online learning or e-learning, in which teaching is carried out remotely and on digital platforms (EVANGELIN, 2020). Regarding Wang, Shannon, and Ross (2013), online learning is surely the more successful option for students. However, it has also helped in improving the environment. The research of Onyema et al. (2020) showed that online courses result in an average of 90% less energy and 85% lesser carbon dioxide emissions per student compared to traditional face-to-face courses. Sari and Yoni (2021) stated that the primary motive of online learning is to provide students to change smoothly into the notion of distance learning, online courses, or certificates. It is comprehended that no individual in the world would have contemplated that online learning would be the fundamental mode of teaching from Montessori to the university level in the short haul (Wang, Li, Malik, and Anwar, 2021). 

With this unexpected move of physical classes to online mode in various parts of the world, few wonder whether embracing e-learning will continue after the pandemic and how this move would influence the education sector around the globe. Hence, task 3 involves presenting the evaluation of online learning by explaining its pros and cons. Thus, making a PowerPoint demonstrate my skills in PowerPoint presentation. 

Online Learning

According to Chen (2011), online learning is the notion of imparting knowledge or education utilising internet satellite, communicating television, intranet, and extranet amongst the students. The notion of online learning involves implementing modern technology and the available tools of e-learning for productive two-way communication. Various researches showed that throughout the outbreak of COVID-19, online learning had been noticed to be a crucial element for effectively enduring education at all levels (Alipio, 2020; Soni, 2020; Basilaia and Kvavadze, 2020). On the contrary, as per Yuan (2021), online learning necessitates a substantial amount of time and devotion to making an environment that upholds students in informal and formal resources. 

Positives of Online learning

Gupta (2018) contended concerning the geographical significance of online learning. He stated that one of the benefits students could take from online learning is access to eLearning from anywhere in the world. Likewise, Kilburn et al. (2014) showed that online learning is not restricted by space or time and can be accessed simply through computers and mobile anywhere. Besides, Bakia et al. (2012) deliberated that e-learning covers the way for inexpensive education to those students and groups of people who cannot afford the educational expenses. 

Regarding the benefits of online learning, Tsai (2016) stated that learning employing effective tactics, i.e. through digital platforms, increase students’ engagement in learning. Moreover, he added that it is important to involve the students in learning to accomplish optimum results. As per Onyema et al. (2020), the online courses result in an average of 90% less energy and 85% lesser carbon dioxide emissions per student than traditional face-to-face courses. This surely makes eLearning and multimedia content an added productive method of education. Furthermore, fostering and involving students in this kind of eLearning can assist students and organizations in performing a little for the atmosphere and twig to their personal ecological goals (Onyema et al., 2020). 

Moreover, Mukhtar et al. (2020) explored that the students learn five times more content via eLearning utilizing multimedia content compared to physical classes; as eLearning provides them full control over their learning, and they can function at their own pace. In general, students function better and quicker than in in-person classes. They can interchange via areas of courses they understand better but slower via those requiring extra time. 

Negatives of Online learning

Moreover, Mukhtar et al. (2020) explored that the students learn five times more content via eLearning utilizing multimedia content compared to physical classes; as eLearning provides them full control over their learning, and they can function at their own pace. In general, students function better and quicker than in in-person classes. They can interchange via areas of courses they understand better but slower via those requiring extra time. 

Regarding Zounek and Sudicky (2013), technologically enhanced learning might additionally trigger adverse dislikes with learners who do not have enough enthusiasm and the capability to plan and organize the workload and learn self-sufficiently. Zounek and Sudicky (2013) stated that some learners might need strict and thorough management from their educators. Nevertheless, while employing online learning solutions, teachers normally anticipate greater activity, self-organization, and self-sufficiency from the students. In this regard, Aguilera-Hermida (2020) suggested that for students with no motivation and ineffective learning habits, technologies might be a reason for diminished productivity and worsen academic outcomes. 

According to Alheneidi, Alterkait, and Smith (2021), another significant concern of eLearning was communication and the overload of information by teachers. Too many contacts and continual collaboration through a range of networks and services might trigger remarkable distractions deterring learners from emphasized, concentrated learning and solving tasks. Improperly structured and imparted teaching might also result in information and study overload, such as hybrid learning courses. Regarding Tyrell-Ferguson (2014), it could be supposed that the devastating boost of workload also triggers plagiarism and cheating through electronic forms. Moreover, education based on ICT additionally increases health problems mainly associated with spending elevated time on computers or mobiles, including eye-strain, issues in movement, mental disorders, back pain, etc. (Zounek and Sudicky, 2013)

Conclusion

In synopsis, it was discussed that outbreak of COVID-19 has also impacted the educational sectors resulting in dramatic changes in the education system. At present, the education system has been shifted to online mode. In the concluding statement, it can be said that online learning is a more successful option for students than physical classes as it helps in improving the environment. Besides, it is beneficial in terms of learning access from anywhere. Also, eLearning provides students with full control over their learning, and they can function at their own pace. However, online learning has also some negative impacts as it results in decreased satisfaction and health issues resulting in poor study outcomes. 

References

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