Learner Author Spotlights: Distance Learning Research by Lauren Parsons & Sam Diem

Middle Schoolers iLEAD Agua Dulce

Learner Author: Lauren Parsons, 7th Grade

A lot has changed since kids have started distance learning. Over the past few weeks, the middle schoolers at iLEAD Agua Dulce created a survey to find out what other middle schoolers thought about their learning in quarantine. A total of 108 sixth through eighth graders from different iLEAD schools responded to the 32-question survey.

Below, I’ve gathered responses to the four following questions:

  • Do you enjoy distance learning?
  • Would you rather be in school with all of your friends and teachers?
  • Do you feel like you have completed more work at home than you have at school?
  • Do you feel confident in your learning so far this year?

Do you enjoy distance learning? Of middle school respondents, 59.3 percent answered “kind of,” 30.6 percent responded “no” and 10.2 percent said “yes.” So far, the majority of the middle schoolers are not enjoying quarantine.

Would you rather be in school with all of your friends and teachers? The results of this question were not very surprising. The largest number of kids (86.1 percent) chose “yes,” and 13.9 percent responded “no.”

Putting these responses together, I could tell that almost everyone does not enjoy distance learning and would much rather be at school.

Do you feel like you have completed more work at home than you have at school? Of respondents, 65.7 percent voted “no” and 34.3 percent chose “yes.” This was not very surprising either because I know that while you are at home, it is a lot harder to sit down and get stuff done with so many distractions.

Do you feel confident in your learning so far this year? Most middle schoolers, about 64.8 percent, said yes.

Collecting and combining the information from these responses left me with one question. A majority of learners feel they have not completed as much work at home as they would at school but still feel confident in their learning. It would be interesting to follow up and find out why.

Learner Author: Sam Diem, 8th Grade

The purpose of this study was to see how middle schoolers are doing during the pandemic. We created a digital survey, sent it out to iLEAD middle schoolers, and received 108 responses. The survey consisted of 32 rating, ranking, and fixed questions.

After looking at the data, I have concluded that most middle schoolers would rather be in school than do distance learning and most are still in contact with their friends. The majority say they kind of like distance learning, and most are feeling confident with their learning this year but wish they were at school.

The thing that surprised me most is that 59.3 percent of middle schoolers who took the survey say they feel neutral toward distance learning. I expected more kids to say they either enjoyed or disliked it.

I was also surprised about the difference in how many kids from each grade participated. There were 12.6 percent 6th graders, 56.5 percent 7th graders, 38.9 percent 8th graders out of the 108 who participated. I expected that there would not be such a huge difference in the numbers.

The limitations of this study were that whoever we wanted to survey needed to have a device they could answer the digital survey on. It had to be a digital survey because we could not go visit our demographic due COVID restrictions.

I think we could have improved the survey by adding question diversity. We would have more data to analyze if our questions asked more things.

After reviewing the data, I conclude that most middle schoolers who took the survey are doing well with distance learning but would rather be at school with their friends and teachers.


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