DATA: Parents, students, staff share feedback on Round Rock ISD online learning

To gauge the perceived effectiveness of online learning initiatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, Round Rock ISD sought input from parents, students and staff via a survey administered between May 15-22.

Cathy Malerba, RRISD's executive director of assessment and evaluation, presented the survey findings to the board of trustees May 28.

“We took a snapshot at the end of the school year. I would definitely consider this as more of a first look than a detailed analysis,” Malerba said. "I think it's helping us get a picture of how our students, staff and parents are feeling during this really unprecedented time."

Student responses

In all, 14,824 students responded to the survey. Across every grade level, the majority of respondents said they spent one to three hours per day on school work while lessons were held virtually this spring.

Many students indicated they adjusted to using Google Classroom and Google Hangouts to meet with teachers. The biggest challenge identified by students across all grade levels was having less interaction with teachers and classmates.

Parent feedback

According to RRISD, 15,492 parents responded to the survey. Respondents listed several challenges with online learning. Among them were balancing their own professional work load alongside assisting their child with school work, helping multiple children with online lessons and teaching to the same quality as a licensed educator.

Should schools reopen in the fall, 63% of respondents said they would be comfortable with their students returning to campus.

Staff input

Staff respondents totaled 2,771 individuals.

Similar to the parent responses, staff said they found balancing their own work and instructing their children a challenge. In addition, staff said they missed interaction with colleagues and students.

In terms of instruction, should virtual learning persist into the fall, staff expressed a strong preference for self-paced instruction with periodic check-ins.

The survey found 60% of district-based staff and 68% of campus-based staff would be comfortable returning to campus if schools reopen in the fall.

By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.