Equity in Digital Learning Student Survey - Every Learner Everywhere


The Equity in Digital Learning Student Survey is a survey instrument developed by Digital Promise in partnership with Every Learner Everywhere that gives colleges and universities a way to use student responses to inform course and program improvement for equity in digital learning. The survey provides instructors and course designers with valid and reliable evidence along multiple dimensions related to positive student learning experiences and academic success. The tool can also be used by institutional research offices to assess equity practices in digital learning methods.

The survey is founded in the recognition that unless digital learning tools are intentionally built into courses with equity in mind, those tools are not effective. The instrument design prioritizes the student experience. Improving outcomes for Black, Indigenous, Latino, poverty-affected, and first-generation students requires student engagement.

The instrument builds on prior efforts to gather student perspectives, including the experience of online learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people found out that during Covid, students were falling behind or dropping out so there was a lot of reaching out to students to hear why it was difficult. For example, in July 2020, the occasional Time For Class survey series conducted by Tyton Partners (in consultation with Digital Promise) focused on student satisfaction with the rapid transition to online learning.

Similarly, the report Student Leaders Speak 2021: Student Voices Informing Educational Strategies captured the perspectives of students on equity and digital learning through a survey and original interviews.

The instrument notes the literature supporting the survey design, suggestions for administering it, and includes suggestions for revising the wording of questions for different contexts.

Some of the elements covered in the survey include the modality of the course; teaching practices that are incorporated into the course; the learning conditions students work in; students’ ability to balance the course with other responsibilities; and instructors’ ability to connect with students.

The demographics section of the survey instrument enables disaggregating data by race, ethnicity, traditional or non-traditional status, income, and gender identity. This information can be used to inform planning and revision efforts by instructional designers, faculty, and institutional research offices to make courses more equitable for minoritized and poverty-affected students.


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