8 Steps to Conducting Distance Learning Surveys

8 Steps to Conducting Distance Learning Surveys | Market Research Company

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and universities to rethink their education models.

As a result, many institutions are turning to distance learning surveys to address students' and parents' concerns about the effectiveness of remote schooling.

To relieve some of the anxiety education decision-makers have regarding remote learning, Drive Research has written a blog post to demonstrate the benefits and process of conducting distance learning surveys.

Plus, our education market research company shares sample survey questions to ask parents and students.


Defining Distance Learning Surveys

Distance learning surveys help measure parents' and students' satisfaction and effectiveness of remote schooling.

Because there are many concerns with student engagement, safety, and emotional well-being, many institutions need data-driven insights to make necessary adjustments.

Remote learning surveys are a fast, cost-effective methodology to collecting parent and student feedback, especially as schools start to transition to in-person teaching full-time.

Distance learning surveys help measure parents' and students' satisfaction and effectiveness of remote schooling.


Benefits of Conducting Distance Learning Surveys

Distance learning survey insights help decision-makers make necessary adjustments to assure students and parents more comfortable with this "new normal." 

Specifically, benefits of distance learning surveys with students and parents include: 

  • Online surveys are fast, cost-effective, and generate high-quality results.
  • Collect suggestions for how to engage students in remote learning better. 
  • Measure the comfort-level with students returning to in-person schooling full-time.
  • Understand what percent of students would continue distance learning even when schools re-open.
  • Provide students and parents with a sense of comfort that you value and appreciate their feedback.

There is a lot of uncertainty with COVID-19. The answer is not to make changes based on assumptions, but data-driven decision-making.

Recommended Reading: How Colleges and Universities Can Measure Student Experience in the Pandemic Era


How to Conduct Distance Learning Surveys

When choosing to conduct remote learning surveys, education decision-makers must first decide if they will complete the study in-house, or with a third-party market research company.

If you are still struggling to decide between the two, read our blog post, "Market Research: Is In-House or Outsourced Better?" to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both and weigh your options.

In this section, I will outline the steps our team follows when conducting surveys with educational institutions. Most of these steps will apply even if you decide to execute a do-it-yourself (DIY) market research.


Step 1. Find a Market Research Company

Not all market research companies are the same. Watch this 60-second video to learn tips on how to select the best partner for your unique goals and objectives.


Step 2. Receive a Proposal or Quote for the Survey

I’m sure a deciding factor between conducting the survey in-house or outsourcing the project is the costs associated with hiring a third-party.

To best understand what the costs would be, ask market research companies for a quote.

In your request, include project information such as:

  • How many responses do you need?
  • How many questions do you want to ask?
  • Do you have contact information such as emails or phone numbers to reach students and parents?

Not sure where to begin with writing a market research RFP? You’re not alone.

That’s why Drive Research created a free, editable request for proposal template.

Whether you need pricing for a small or large project, these easy-to-use templates help act as a guide for what information is helpful to include in your request.

Download the free market research request for proposal template here.

RFP Download Template CTA


Step 3. Schedule a Kick-Off Meeting

After selecting an education market research company for your distance learning parent survey, it is best practice to host a kick-off meeting.

In this meeting, the research firm will ask questions such as:

  • Can you share more details about your project objectives?
  • What are you hoping to learn in the parent survey?
  • How do you plan to use the survey results?

Clear objectives = more aligned survey questions = actionable, high-quality results.


Step 4. Create the Remote Learning Survey

With your survey objectives in mind, our education market research firm begins drafting the questionnaire.

Example distance learning survey questions for students include:

  • What type of device do you use for distance learning? (ie. Laptop, tablet, phone)
  • How much time do you spend each day on remote learning?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your experience with distance learning?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your experience with in-person learning?
  • How helpful has [INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY] been in offering resources to learn from home?

Example distance learning survey questions for parents include:

  • Do all caregivers in your family work?
  • How soon will you feel comfortable with your child/children returning to in-person learning full-time?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the platforms used for remote learning?
  • What more can [INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY] do to improve our distance learning initiatives?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you about your child/children’s social-emotional health?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the communication between teachers and students?
  • Are you confident your child/children will make sufficient academic progress through distance learning? Explain.

The survey draft is sent to our clients for review and to make any edits. Once the distance learning questionnaire is complete, the Drive Research team programs the survey so that it can be completed online.

Interested in learning more about survey programming? Watch this short video by our online survey company.


Step 5. Send the Survey to Parents and/or Students

When completing any online survey project, our market research firm recommends launching the questionnaire in two phases.

  1. Soft-launch. First, send the survey to a small sample of respondents. Review the data to assure the distance learning survey is working as intended and there are no bugs or issues.
  2. Full-launch. Once the data passes quality checks, send the remote learning survey to the remainder of the respondents.

If the distance learning survey is conducted with a third-party ask about live reporting options.

For example, Drive Research provides our clients with a survey reporting link where they can review responses in real-time.

For reference, here is a preview of our online client portal.


Step 6. Analyze and Report the Findings

Now the fun begins. Once the remote learning survey with parents and/or students is complete, it is time to analyze the findings.

If executing the survey with a market research company, your team will receive a topline or comprehensive market research report.

Here is a chart to demonstrate what is included in either reporting package.

topline vs comprehensive reporting packages by drive research


Step 7. Schedule a Project Debrief Meeting

After receiving the distance learning market research report, Drive Research will schedule a debrief meeting to discuss the results.

Our team likes to take the time to review the feedback and recommendations to assure no question is left unanswered.

What good are charts and numbers if you don’t know how to use them to drive change for your school or university?


Step 8. Act on the Results

Perhaps one of the most critical components of a market research study is acting on the results.

Realistically there is no point in taking the time, money, effort, or resources to conduct a distance learning survey with no intention of using the results to improve your educational offerings.

In some instances, it can even help to share the results with parents or students and how you plan to leverage the results to enact change. This shows you value their feedback and are taking it seriously.

it can even help to share the results with parents or students and how you plan to leverage the results to enact change. This shows you value their feedback and are taking it seriously.


Conduct Distance Learning Surveys with Drive Research

You have a lot on your plate right now. Conducting distance learning surveys is something you know you need to do, but just don’t have the time. Here is where our education market research company can help.

Drive Research is a national market research company that partners with schools and universities across the country to provide qualitative and quantitative insights.

To learn more about our services or receive a project quote, contact our team today!

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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