Consider these aspects of a needs assessment survey to make sure you get the data you need to design an effective home
1 | SET AN OBJECTIVE
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.
2 | SURVEY DESIGN
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.
3 | EXAMPLE QUESTIONS
What device does your student have for online learning?
- Android tablet
- Other (please specify)
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.
4 | OUTREACH
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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