Impact of Digital Media on Children | Educational Assessment Case Study

Over the past decade, the complexity of technology inside and outside of the classroom has evolved dramatically. This increased access to technology has educators incorporating learning media into their lesson plans by integrating elements of technology and gaming as an educational tool for students.

There is no question, the use of computers and tablets offer a more direct line of communication and creative approach to the classroom. However, do these electronic devices result in a higher learning aptitude than other traditional methods such as textbooks and notetaking by hand? How do digital learning apps and technology impact the aptitude of young children?

Recently, our education market research company partnered with an organization focused on education development for children and a major TV network to understand the impact of learning media. The study examined the use of technology by allowing children aged 4 and 5 to play with learning videos and games on a tablet for 8 weeks.

Here is what we learned through the educational assessment study.

impact of digital media on children case study

With the rise of digital media in classrooms, how does this impact the aptitude of young children? Here is what we learned.


The organizations partnered with our educational market research company to manage the recruitment of 454 families to participate in an educational assessment study across the country. The study aimed to examine 4 and 5-year-old children in cities across the United States and their use of a tablet as an educational tool in an 8-week controlled usage test.

The educational study consisted of two separate sessions, in which families were asked to complete identical assessment test taking and surveys. The first session showed how children interacted with game-like assessments prior to using a tablet. After 8 weeks of using the tablet, the families returned for a second session to determine if there were notable improvements in the child’s learning aptitude behavior.

Selecting Markets of Study

Cities across the United States were examined as potential locations for the educational assessment study. Drive Research completed site-selection research by examining populations of low-income households in cities across the country.

This Section 8 defined audience was determined as the target audience for the fieldwork and assessment. Our qualitative recruiting company made the final recommendation as to what locations offered the best possible feasibility for the market research project. Additionally, the client considered other criteria beyond simply the largest populations of low-income households.

The following 5 markets served as the focus of the educational assessment:

  • New York, NY
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Boston, MA

Once the markets were selected, Drive Research began recruiting to find quality research participants.

Recruiting Educational Assessment Participants

The systematic recruitment process began with outreach to pools of targeted social media users and email lists. Among the 454 total participants, 155 were sourced through Facebook and 299 were sourced through email lists. More on this below!

The Facebook advertisements briefly described the educational assessment study, sponsor, and reward. The call to action of the paid social advertisement invited potential participants to complete a short online survey to determine if they were qualified for the assessment.

The screening criteria in the online survey included:

  • Verifying the participant lived within 20-miles of the city of interest.
  • Were a parent or legal guardian of a child born between Sep. 2013 and Sep. 2014.
  • Did not have a second child born between Sep. 2013 and Sep. 2014.
  • Earned less than the household income limit to qualify for Section 8 which was unique to each market.
  • The child could speak and understand English proficiently for his/her age.
  • Nothing which would prevent the child from participating in game-like activities.

Those who qualified based on their survey responses were asked to enter their contact information. Drive Research then completed follow-up phone calls to re-screen the survey respondents. Doing so ensured all survey answers are correct and allowed potential participants to learn more about the education assessment study.

Email list overview

As part of the recruitment outreach, Drive Research partnered with a data collection company with access to over 1.6 million contacts. Panel members were asked to complete a detailed survey to meet the targeting criteria needs as well as a 5-step recruitment process, which ensured each contact was qualified, validated, committed, and engaged.

In total for all 5 markets, 237,150 contacts were reached resulting in 721 prequalified contacts.

Each prequalified contact was rescreened by phone. Not all prequalified contacts participated in the educational assessment study for a variety of reasons including disqualification during re-screening, lack of interest, no availability during the research dates, etc.

Paid social media overview

The following data highlights statistics from Drive Research’s Facebook outreach for all 5 markets.

This includes a total number of:

  • Impressions: Number of times our survey advertisement was shown.
  • Reach: Number of parents/guardians saw our advertisement.
  • Link Clicks: Number of clicks to the survey
  • Survey Responses: Number of those who began the survey.
  • Qualified Leads: Number of those who took the survey and qualified based on the responses.

Follow-up Communication

As referenced in the infographic above, Drive Research saw a 98% show rate for the educational assessment study among those who attended Session 2. This is a testament to our thorough participant follow-up process which resulted in nearly 100% of participants completing the 8-week assessment process and returning for the final visit.

After families agreed to participate in the study, they received a confirmation email a week before their scheduled timeslot. A few days prior to the assessment, parents received a phone call reminding them again of their agreeance to participate in the study.

Lastly, families were sent a reminder text on the day of the assessment. Most communication included details of the assessment such as the date, time, location, incentive, and more.

This follow-up process was used for both sessions 1 and 2 in each city. Our strategic follow-up process ensures participants received reminder communication in multiple facets and times leading up to the market research project. Doing so allowed families several opportunities to confirm their participation or reschedule for a different time.

If a parent and their child did not show within 15 minutes of their scheduled appointment, they were followed up with by text, phone, and email to reschedule. On-site teams worked directly with Drive Research through shared, live documents to communicate in real-time.


Drive Research conducted two sessions to determine the effects a tablet had in pre-learning aptitude and post-learning aptitude among children.

Opening session

The first sessions through the 5 markets began on Friday, February 1 to Thursday, March 28. The 1-hour opening session required participation from both the child and their parent or caregiver. The child was asked to complete a 30 to 40-minute game-like assessment. The parent remained in the same room and completed a survey lasting 5-10 minutes.

Once both activities were completed the family received $25 as a thank you for their time and a tablet to take home for the 8-week study. The tablet included a tracking software to be reviewed at the end of fieldwork.

Closing session

The second sessions through the 5 markets began on Friday, March 29 to Friday, May 24. After 8-weeks, the same families were asked to participate in a 1-hour closing session. Identical to the opening session, the children were asked to participate in a 30 to 40-minute game-like assessment while the parents took the 5 to 10-minute survey.

After the child and their parent or caregiver finished their assessments, the tracking software was removed from the tablet in order to upload the data. The family earned an additional $100 and the tablet as a thank you for participating in the educational assessment study.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

Message us on our website
Email us at
Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

Market Research Case Studies