Guide to Creating a Survey to Assess Home Access

Consider these aspects of a needs assessment survey to make sure you get the data you need to design an effective home
access program.


Establish what you need to learn and why in order to design a home access program. You should attempt to gather the information that reveals whether each student has: 

  • A sufficient internet connection
  • A device suitable for online education

Share that objective with your audience. For example, explaining, “This survey will help us design a device and connectivity program to keep our students connected to learning resources during the COVID-19,” could motivate your audience to respond.


The order and style of questions impact the quality of the responses you receive. 

1 | Order: Consider starting with easy, less personal questions to avoid scaring people away. 

2 | Close-ended questions: Multiple choice or pre-populated answers make it easier to respond and provide you with quantitative data when it’s time to analyze the results.

3 | Clear and specific answers: Terms such as “moderate” or “fast” can be up for interpretation. Consider putting the question in terms of online activities that a student is already doing through your distance learning curriculum or otherwise (e.g., streaming video).  You could also ask for specific numbers through speed tests.

4 | Qualitative responses: Leave space at the end for qualitative comments that will provide more context about the student’s situation.


What device does your student have for online learning?

  • Desktop
  • Laptop
  • iPad   
  • Android tablet
  • Chromebook
  • Other (please specify)
  • None

How do you access the Internet at home?

  • Broadband (via cable vendor)
  • DSL (through phone company)
  • Dial‐Up (must connect via phone dial)
  • Cellular service 
  • No Internet access

Is your student able to stream videos and connect to other educational content on his/her device?

  • Yes (we experience no or very few issues)
  • Sometimes (access is inconsistent)
  • No (we do not have Internet access)

Please provide any additional comments you would like to share about your distance learning experiences (related to technology) thus far.


Provide multiple opportunities and channels through which your audience can respond, such as:

  • Online surveys
  • Paper surveys 
  • Phone calls 

If you combine with other surveys (e.g., food access), be sure to keep the connectivity questions in a separate, labeled section for clarity. 

Note: There are many unique considerations for each school district when administering a needs assessment. EducationSuperHighway advises that you take into account any unique circumstances for your school district and community. 

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