During this time of distance learning, parents have, in a way, taken on the additional role of a teacher. Most schools have now been in distance learning for a few months, and as the semester nears an end it is important to collect feedback on this experience from all stakeholders who have been affected. It is just as important to be collecting feedback from parents regarding distance learning as it is to collect similar feedback from teachers. An effective way to quickly gather this feedback is by creating and distributing a distance learning parent surveys. 

While discussing how his school district has adapted to distance learning, Dr. Erik Youngman (@Erik_Youngman), Author and Curriculum Director at Libertyville District 70, explained their use of distance learning parent surveys to, “inform potential change in the spirit of continuous improvement.” Dr. Youngman’s school district has gained impactful feedback from these surveys, but the question still stands: how do I create an effective distance learning parent survey?

How to Create Effective Distance Learning Parent Surveys

It is very impactful to gain feedback from parents during this time of distance learning, as they should one of the key groups to survey. The tricky part is how to get parents to engage in the survey. Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay Cooper, gives some great tips on how to create effective distance learning parent surveys to increase engagement.

1. Let parents know what’s in it for them

Jay explains that it is crucial to let the parents know the importance of the survey and their participants. An increase in engagement is likely if the parents understand the impact of the survey. 

2. Make the survey short and sweet

Parents are being pulled in multiple directions during this time of distance learning. A shorter survey that gets right to the point is more likely to have engagement by more parents. You may want to also preface the survey with an estimated time length to take the survey.

3. Share the results

Make sure to share the outcome of the distant learning parent survey as they will want to see the perspectives of other parents as well. It can be very beneficial for the participants to see these results to understand the importance of the survey.

What Questions Should We Be Asking Parents?

Dr. Erik Youngman’s district found great success with their distance learning parent survey with over 300 parents and 90 staff respondents. Here are some examples of the information Libertyville District 70 found useful to ask in their survey.

1. Does the time length for distant learning seem appropriate?

Their survey found that some parents wanted more rigor or time spent on remote learning, while others did not. This was useful information to the staff to understand how to support an area of growth.

2. What are your concerns during this time?

Dr. Youngman explained that many parents were concerned that students were regressing or falling behind in content. Using this information, the district wants to create assignments and activities for students to continue to obtain new content. 

3. What has been beneficial during this time?

Try to get some positive information out of the surveys to see what is working. As Dr. Youngman said, “It’s important to make time to celebrate the good things that are happening while also making time to change things that can be improved.”

To help understand even further how to create effective distance learning parent surveys, we put together a SlideDeck to give you some tips on how to create a parent survey and what questions you should be asking parents during this time:

Distance learning has been difficult for parents as they try to keep up a “teacher” role. A distance learning parent survey can be a great tool to check up on parents and understand how they are doing.

Listen to full conversation with Dr. Erik Youngman

On this episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, Brett McGrath speaks to Dr. Erik Youngman, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the Libertyville School District in Chicago. Erik is an advocate for remote learning and expert of growth mindset. His book, “12 Characteristics of Deliberate Homework,” will be available May 6.

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