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COVID-19 study series: education technology

COVID-19 study series: education technology

UserTesting  |  June 12, 2020

Welcome to UserTesting HITs, an ongoing series in which we share human insight trends (HITs) that we uncover from studies conducted by the UserTesting team. We hope you find these insights interesting and that they inspire you to conduct similar studies of your own!

What we did

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO reported that over 90% of the world’s learners and their caregivers were impacted. To understand how some households are adapting to a remote learning environment, we spoke to caregivers of children in K-12/Primary and Secondary grades in the US and UK who sought out education technology (edtech) solutions to bridge the perceived gap between remote learning and traditional schoolrooms.

What we learned

Recommendations for edtech companies

  • Optimize edtech solutions to reduce teaching pressures on caregivers: Many caregivers aren't experienced educators. Create learning experiences that require little intervention from an adult.  
  • Provide sufficient onboarding tools: Caregivers need guidance and best practices on how to best equip and support their child’s remote learning.
  • Provide tools to gauge learning progress: Caregivers typically rely on schools to monitor learning progress. Find ways to replicate these frameworks to track progress and generate reports.
  • Emphasize education over entertainment: Caregivers are concerned with making sure that children don’t fall behind in their learning and want resources that are engaging with a strong base in education.
  • Make professional educational support more readily available: Consider ways to integrates real-time access to educators and tutors.

Hear from caregivers talk about edtech solutions

How COVID-19 is impacting young learners and their families

Many caregivers are experiencing a shift in how they view children’s education now that they're playing a more direct role in their learning. The swift transition to remote learning raised concerns about how well students were prepared to transition to new styles of learning while keeping up with their regular coursework.

Focus for K-6/Primary

  • Engaging, educational content
  • Independent, self-guided learning
  • Keeping students on-track to resume in-class learning

Focus for 7-12/Secondary

  • Resources and preparation for higher education
  • University-level learning
  • Life skills education
  • Interest-based education

Factors that influence how caretakers choose an edtech solution

Cost

  • What is the cost of the program?
  • Can a similar solution be found for free?

Ease of use

  • Does the resource require little to no intervention from an adult while the child is using it?

Student adoption

  • Is it engaging?
  • Will the child feel motivated to use it more than once?
  • Is there a social component?

Educational impact and support

  • Does the program provide access to an education professional if they need help?
  • Is the program customizable to their child’s specific learning level, needs, and interests?
  • What are other parent’s reviews of the app/resource?
  • Are there assignments within the app/program that encourage learning off-screen (reducing screen time)?

Share your insights with us! 

Have you conducted a similar study? Did these findings inspire you to run some experiments of your own? Insights are always best when shared, so share your biggest "a-ha" moments with us on Twitter with #RealHumanInsight.

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About the author:

With UserTesting’s on-demand platform, you uncover ‘the why’ behind customer interactions. In just two hours, you can capture the critical human insights you need to confidently deliver what your customers want and expect.