With the close of the spring semester 2020, we wondered how the parents in the Grown and Flown Parents Group felt about their students’ experiences with online-learning. We thought it was important to gauge parent and student satisfaction with remote learning because the upcoming semester looms and the jury is still out on what will happen this fall.
Some colleges have said that they are absolutely bringing their students back to campus in the fall. Others are hedging a bit more, saying they plan to bring students back but are not yet ready to say with certainty that they will be able to do so safely. The California State University system has said that it plans to move most instruction online for the upcoming semester.
The number of variables that need to be controlled to assure full-on campus learning is extensive and complicated, really, really complicated. Many schools have indicated that college learning this fall will be some kind of hybrid experience-some classes online, and some in person.
Without regard to all the wonderful extra-curricular experiences that happen in high school and college, we wanted to know broadly how parents felt about the online learning experience (remote learning, Zoom school, distance learning-or whatever you called it).
What parents think about remote learning
We are, of course, aware that learning experiences in-person and online always depend on a host of factors including the quality of the teachers, the subject matter being studied and a particular student’s study skills and abilities. But putting those things aside for the moment, we asked how parents felt about their students’ end of year learning experience.
Nearly 1,000 of you answered our survey. A full seventy-eight percent of our survey-takers, the vast majority, said that remote learning was okay but was not as good as being in the classroom. In other words, they seemed to be generally satisfied with how things went and that is certainly heartening if we see a replay of this past spring in the fall.
Nineteen percent of our parents said that remote learning was either a “disaster” or a “complete waste of time.” A small number, two percent, said that the experience was “awesome and as good as in-person learning.”
Some parents commented that even within their own families, some of their students thrived while others struggled and ultimately disengaged. Let’s hope that together we can find a way to keep all of our students engaged and learning, as we move forward.
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