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Adult Perspectives of Online Learning: 2022 Michigan Virtual Survey Results

Published on September 1, 2022
Written By: 

Public Sector Consultants

In the spring of 2022, Michigan Virtual contracted with Public Sector Consultants (PSC) to update its most recent survey on Michigan adults and college students about their beliefs, preferences for, and experiences with online learning. As one of the largest providers of online learning in the state, Michigan Virtual is keenly interested in the public’s opinion of online learning, how it changes over time, and how the COVID pandemic has influenced those opinions.

The 2022 survey complements PSC’s previous iterations of the survey, which were completed in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Comparisons to prior year’s data have been included in this report, where applicable. In addition, PSC developed new questions to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on virtual learning and specifically recruited parents to ensure their opinions of online learning during the pandemic were captured.

PSC worked with Qualtrics to identify and survey randomly selected respondents from a list of vetted panelists of Michigan adults, college students, and parents of students who are enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. The survey was implemented using Qualtrics’ Web-based tool and received 1,326 total responses. A breakdown of respondent types is shown below.

Respondent TypeNumber of RespondentsPercentage
Adult81061.1%
College student16012.1%
Parent35626.8%
Total1,326100%

Key Findings

Public opinions about online learning have remained fairly consistent among Michigan adults and college students since PSC began measuring these opinions. Although survey respondents reported the importance of access to and the benefits of online learning for future career and academic success, they also noted poor experiences. This suggests that school districts have an opportunity to create more streamlined approaches to online learning for their students.

Overall, the survey analysis revealed common themes and perceptions of online learning, including its importance to career and college readiness.

  • Online learning is an important component of K-12 and college education. Of adult survey respondents, 82 percent believe that having the option of enrolling in online courses in traditional school districts is somewhat or very important.
  • Online learning is an important component of future success. Of all respondents, 86 percent noted that knowing how to learn online is an important skill for career and college readiness. For college students, 69 percent reported that they would have benefited from more online learning opportunities in high school.
  • Students and families who choose online learning are very satisfied with the experience. For families with children enrolled in online learning prior to the pandemic, 81 percent found their education to be very effective; however, this rate decreased to 61 percent for those only enrolled online during the pandemic. This may suggest that traditional online learning experiences are well received by students when purposely chosen rather than as a response to pandemic restrictions.
  • Hybrid learning environments are less effective than other options. As schools struggled to meet educational and safety requirements during the pandemic, many turned to hybrid learning opportunities to meet the preferences of students and families. Only 8 percent of parents and 4 percent of college students reported that their hybrid learning experiences were highly effective.
  • College students continue to participate in more online learning activities as part of their educational experience. Survey results showed double-digit percentage point increases in accessing course materials online, interacting with instructors, contributing to discussion boards, and taking quizzes and tests.
  • Online learning is a key component of continuing education for adults. Two-thirds of adults reported that online continuing education options are required or available in their field of employment.

Survey Results

Opinions of Online Learning

All survey respondents were asked to rate the level of importance—on a four-point Likert scale— of student access to various types of learning opportunities or instruction. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) indicated that face-to-face instruction is very important, and 39 percent said that the option of enrolling in an online class at their local school district was also very important (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1. Level of Importance for Student Access to Various Types of Learning Opportunities or Types of Instruction

Type of Learning OpportunitiesVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Fully online instruction24%36%28%12%
Blended instruction (a mix of face to face and online)36%45%14%6%
The option of enrolling in an online class at local school district39%43%12%6%
Face-to-face instruction64%25%8%3%
Number of respondents = 1,326
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

This theme is consistent with prior years of the survey. Respondents continue to overwhelmingly see the importance of online learning for middle-school and high-school students, with a strong majority saying it is somewhat or very important to have an online enrollment option at their local school district. Responses have been fairly stable over time, with small increases in those identifying online learning as somewhat important. This was likely captured from a similar-sized decline in those who reported online learning as not important (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2. Importance of Access to Online Learning Options, 2015–2022

Level of Importance20152016201720192022
Very important33%38%38%38%39%
Somewhat important38%42%45%39%43%
Not that important16%9%12%15%12%
Not at all important12%10%5%8%6%
Number of respondents = 1,326 in 2022 and 800 for each of the previous years.

In addition, respondents rated their level of agreement on several statements related to online learning. Forty-one percent strongly agreed that all students would benefit from developing the skills to be a successful online learner, and 36 percent strongly agreed that Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course prior to graduation (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3. Level of Agreement for Various Aspects of Online Learning

Aspects of Online LearningStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course each year prior to graduation.27%37%24%12%
Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course prior to graduation.36%36%20%8%
Knowing how to learn online is part of what it means to be college and career ready after high school.39%47%11%3%
All students would benefit from developing the skills to be a successful online learner.41%46%10%2%
Number of respondents = 1,326
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

In prior years of the survey, respondents were asked to reflect on whether and how often Michigan high-school students should be required to take an online course before graduating. In 2022, respondents were instead asked to rate their level of agreement with the same statements. The difference in question structure between prior surveys and the 2022 version makes it difficult to ascertain any statistical differences in the response rates (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4. Preference for Requiring Online Learning in Michigan, 2014–2019

Requirements for Online Learning in Michigan20152016201720192022
Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course prior to graduation.29%29%35%34%36%
Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course each year prior to graduation.26%26%34%39%27%
Number of respondents = 1,326 in 2022 and 800 for each of the previous years.

Children’s Online Learning Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic upended traditional educational settings, forcing schools in Michigan and across the country to quickly pivot to online learning in spring 2020. For the 2020–2021 school year, education was delivered in a range of ways, including fully remote online, a blend of online and in-person learning, and fully in person. Due to these changes, the number of parents and students who have experienced various forms of online learning has increased substantially. Survey respondents were asked to reflect on their and their children’s experiences with online learning before and during the pandemic.

Approximately 26 percent of survey respondents reported having a child in enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. Of those, about one-third had children enrolled in formal online learning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (Exhibit 5). Most of those children (77 percent) were enrolled in cyber or online school, where all courses were taken online (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 5. Whether Child Was Enrolled in Any Formal Online Learning Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Enrolled in Online Learning Prior to PandemicPercentage of Respondents
No67%
Yes33%
Number of respondents = 356

Exhibit 6. Type of Online Learning Child Was Enrolled In

Type of Online LearningPercentage of Respondents
Cyber or online school, where all courses were taken online77%
A specific course that was not offered at their school district23%
Number of respondents = 119

For those respondents whose child was enrolled in online learning prior to the pandemic, 81 percent said that their online education was effective or very effective (Exhibit 7).

Exhibit 7. Effectiveness of Online Education Received Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Level of EffectivenessPercentage of Respondents
Very Effective34%
Effective47%
Ineffective15%
Very Ineffective4%
Number of respondents = 119

Respondents were also asked what type of education setting their child was in during the 2020– 2021 school year. Of these, 39 percent were in a hybrid learning environment—with a blend of face-to-face and remote/online learning—29 percent were fully remote, and 21 percent were fully face to face (Exhibit 8).

Exhibit 8. Type of Education Setting Child Experienced During the 2020–2021 School Year

Type of Education SettingPercentage of Respondents
Fully online learning with a cyber school11%
Fully face-to-face learning21%
Fully remote/online learning with their local school district29%
Blend of face-to-face and remote/online learning with their local school district39%
Number of respondents = 356

Respondents also rated the quality of their child’s education setting during that time frame. Almost 90 percent said that fully face-to-face learning environments were very effective or effective, compared to 61 percent who noted that fully remote/online learning in their local school district was very effective or effective. Fully online learning with a cyber school was rated significantly higher in effectiveness than online learning through a district. Hybrid learning environments resulted in the lowest levels of reported effectiveness (Exhibit 9).

Exhibit 9. Quality of Education Child Received Through Their Selected Education Setting During the 2020–2021 School Year

Type of LearningVery EffectiveEffectiveIneffectiveVery IneffectiveNumber of Respondents
Blend of face-to-face and remote/online learning with their local school district8%55%30%7%76
Fully remote/online learning with their local school district13%48%35%4%30
Fully online learning with a cyber school38%44%13%5%17
Fully face-to-face learning47%41%11%1%50

Respondents also rated the likeliness of enrolling their child in several online learning options in the future. More than half (68 percent) indicated they would be very likely or somewhat likely to enroll their child in a single online course if it was not offered face to face by the school.

Comparatively, 52 percent said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to enroll their child in a full-time, public cyber charter school where their child would receive 100 percent of their instruction online (Exhibit 10).

Exhibit 10. Likeliness to Enroll Child in Various Online Learning Options in the Future

Type of LearningVery LikelySomewhat LikelyUnlikelyVery Unlikely
A single online course to overcome a scheduling conflict that prevents your child from taking the course face to face16%47%23%13%
A full-time, public cyber charter school where your child receives 100 percent of their instruction online19%30%26%26%
A single online course to provide access to a course not offered face to face by the school19%49%21%10%
A single online course to retake a course that your child had previously failed21%44%19%16%
Number of respondents = 356
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Compared to prior years, survey respondents reported being less likely to enroll their children in online learning options in the future (Exhibit 11). This decline could be attributed to negative experiences and low rates of perceived effectiveness of online learning during the pandemic.

Exhibit 11. Likeliness to Enroll Child in Various Online Learning Options in the Future, 2015– 2022

Online Learning Options20152016201720192022
A full-time, public cyber charter school where the child receives 100 percent of his/her instruction online38%45%45%43%39%
A single online course to overcome a scheduling conflict that prevents the child from taking the course face to face71%73%70%66%63%
A single online course to provide access to a course not offered face-to-face by the school73%74%70%75%68%
A single online course to retake a course that the child had previously failed72%74%78%71%65%
Number of respondents = 356 in 2022 and 800 for each of the previous years.

Additionally, 63 percent of respondents said that a fully face-to-face learning environment is best for their child. Only 15 percent said that a fully remote/online learning environment would be best (Exhibit 12).

Exhibit 12. Educational Setting Best for Child

Educational SettingPercentage of Respondents
Fully remote/online learning is best for my child.15%
Fully face-to-face learning is best for my child.63%
Blend of face-to-face and remote/online learning is best for my child.22%
Number of respondents = 356

College Students’ Experiences with Online Learning

All survey respondents were asked if they are currently or have been enrolled in a college or university in the past two years. Of those respondents, most graduated from a Michigan high school (84 percent) and attended college in Michigan (83 percent) (Exhibits 13 and 14).

Exhibit 13. Survey Respondents Who Graduated from a Michigan High School

I graduated from a Michigan high school84%
I graduated from a high school in another state14%
Other1%
Prefer not to respond2%
Number of respondents = 212
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Exhibit 14. College Attendance of Survey Respondents

College LocationNumber of Respondents
Michigan83%
Another state16%
Prefer not to respond1%
Number of respondents = 212

In addition, 33 percent attended high school during the 2020–2021 school year (Exhibit 15).

Exhibit 15. Did You Attend High School During the 2020–2021 School Year?

Attended High School During the 2020-2021 school yearPercentage of Respondents
No67%
Yes33%
Number of respondents = 212

For those who attended high school during the 2020–2021 school year, 36 percent were in an educational setting that was a blend of face-to-face and emergency remote learning/online learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were just as many respondents who were fully emergency remote learning as there were fully face-to-face learning (24 percent each). Still, 16 percent of respondents were fully online learning with a cyber school (Exhibit 16).

Exhibit 16. High-school Education Setting During the 2020–2021 School Year

Type of Education SettingPercentage of Respondents
Blend of face-to-face and emergency remote learning/online learning with your local school district36%
Fully face-to-face learning24%
Fully emergency remote learning/online learning with your local school district24%
Fully online learning with a cyber school16%
Number of respondents = 70

Respondents also rated the quality of their educational setting based on a four-point Likert scale. For those in a fully face-to-face learning environment, 100 percent felt that it was effective or very effective, compared to 64 percent who felt that a hybrid environment was effective or very effective (Exhibit 17).

Exhibit 17. Quality of Education Received During the 2020–2021 School Year

Type of Education ReceivedVery EffectiveEffectiveIneffectiveVery IneffectiveNumber of Responses
Blend of face-to-face and emergency remote learning/online learning with your local school district4%60%28%8%25
Fully emergency remote learning/online learning with your local school district24%41%18%18%17
Fully online learning with a cyber school45%27%27%0%17
Fully face-to-face learning53%47%0%0%11
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) reported taking at least one online course during high school—a 7 percent decline from 2019. In 2022, almost as many respondents had taken one to three online courses during high school as those who had not taken online courses during high school (33 percent and 34 percent, respectively). Ten percent had taken more than six online courses during high school (Exhibit 18).

Exhibit 18. Number of Online Courses Taken in High School

Number of Online CoursesPercentage of Respondents
None34%
Four to six23%
One to three33%
More than six10%
Number of respondents = 212

In addition, most respondents (82 percent) had taken classes in high school that used a learning management system (LMS), such as Schoology, Canvas, Blackboard, Google Classroom, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and BrainHoney. In 2022, 53 percent reported that most or almost all classes used an LMS, compared to 54 percent in 2019 (Exhibit 19).

Exhibit 19. Number of Classes Taken in High School Using an LMS

Number of Classes Taken That Use an LMSPercentage of Respondents
None18%
Most23%
A few29%
Almost all30%
Number of respondents = 212

In addition, 86 percent of respondents had also used similar LMSs in college or university classes (Exhibit 20), and 79 percent had taken an online course at their college or university (Exhibit 21).

Exhibit 20. College or University Class Taken Using an LMS

Taken a College Class That Used an LMSPercentage of Respondents
No14%
Yes86%
Number of respondents = 212

Exhibit 21. Taken an Online Course at College or University

Taken an Online Course in CollegePercentage of Respondents
No21%
Yes79%
Number of respondents = 212

Respondents were also asked about the type of activities that they completed online either in high school or at their college or university. Overall, fewer online activities were done in high school compared to college or university. Between 46 percent and 68 percent of respondents indicated completing an activity in high school compared to 83 percent and 92 percent of respondents in college or university (Exhibit 22).

Exhibit 22. Activities Done Online in High School or College/University

Activities Done OnlineWhile In CollegeWhile In HighSchool
Access course readings or materials84%58%
Contribute responses to a course discussion board or forum83%46%
Interact with your instructor86%55%
Turn in assignments88%64%
Take quizzes or tests85%64%
View your grades92%68%
Watch course videos/lectures86%57%
Number of respondents = 212

Over time, there were fluctuations in the number of online activities that high-school students participated in. In some cases, the rates remained stable (viewing grades, for instance).

However, there were decreased rates of some activities, including accessing course materials, and increases in others, such as watching videos or lectures. There were significant increases in online activities at the college level across all activity types (Exhibits 23 and 24).

Exhibit 23. Online Activities in Which Students Participated, 2019

Online Activity TypeWhile in College/UniversityWhile in High School
View my grades72%69%
Turn in assignments73%63%
Access course readings or materials67%67%
Contribute responses to a course discussion board or forum72%49%
Watch course videos/lectures75%50%
Interact with my instructor73%53%

Exhibit 24. Online Activities in Which Students Participated, 2022

Online Activity TypeWhile in College/UniversityWhile in High School
View my grades92%68%
Turn in assignments88%64%
Access course readings or materials84%58%
Contribute responses to a course discussion board or forum83%46%
Watch course videos/lectures86%57%
Interact with my instructor86%55%

A majority of respondents (60 percent) said that it was very likely that they would take an online course before graduating from their college or university (Exhibit 25), and most (69 percent) said that they would have benefitted from more online learning opportunities in high school (Exhibit 26). This aligns with the increased amount of online work that college students reported.

Exhibit 25. Likeliness of Taking an Online Course Before Graduating from College or University

Likelihood of Taking an Online CoursePercentage of Respondents
Very likely60%
Somewhat likely32%
Somewhat unlikely5%
Very unlikely3%
Number of respondents = 212

Exhibit 26. Benefit from More Online Learning Opportunities in High School

Would Benefit from More Online Learning Opportunities in High SchoolPercentage of Respondents
Yes69%
No31%
Number of respondents = 212

In addition, 44 percent shared that it was very likely that they would need to engage in online learning as part of future employment, such as job training or professional development (Exhibit 27).

Exhibit 27. Likeliness of Needing to Engage in Online Learning as Part of a Future Job

Need to Engage in Online Learning as Part of a Future JobPercentage of Respondents
Very likely44%
Somewhat likely40%
Somewhat unlikely13%
Very unlikely3%
Number of respondents = 212

Personal Experiences with Online Learning‌

Survey respondents who were not currently enrolled or had not been enrolled in college or university for the past two years were asked about their personal experiences with online learning, specifically in the workforce. Just under half (49 percent) were employed at the time of the survey (Exhibit 28).

Exhibit 28. Percentage of Survey Respondents Currently Employed

Currently EmployedPercentage of Respondents
No51%
Yes49%
Number of respondents = 1,114

Of those employed, 44 percent reported that it was optional or possible to take continuing education courses online at their place of employment; 33 percent said online continuing education or certifications were not available for their profession (Exhibit 29).

Exhibit 29. Percentage of Survey Respondents Required to Take Classes for Employment

Required to Take Classes for Continuing Education or CertificationPercentage of Respondents
It is optional/possible to take continuing education courses online.44%
Online continuing education or certifications are not available for my profession.33%
I am required to take online courses for continuing education or certification.23%
Number of respondents = 547

The Future of Online Learning‌

Finally, survey respondents rated the likeliness of whether current students, in grades six through 12, would take a formal online course as part of their future education and workforce development. Forty-four percent said that it was very likely that students will take an online course when they go to college or vocational training, while 25 percent said it was very likely before they graduate from high school (Exhibit 30).

Exhibit 30. Likeliness of Current Michigan Students in Grades Six Through 12 Taking a Formal Online Course

Likeliness of Students Taking a Formal Online CourseVery LikelySomewhat LikelyNot That LikelyNot at All Likely
Before they graduate from high school25%45%24%6%
When they join the workforce (job training)40%45%11%3%
When they go to college or vocational training44%43%10%3%
Number of respondents = 1,326
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Survey respondents estimated that Michigan K–12 students would continue to increase their level of online enrollment over time, predicting around 38 percent of K–12 students would enroll in an online course next year, compared to nearly 58 percent ten years from now (Exhibit 31).

Exhibit 31. Percentage of Michigan K–12 Students Who Will Enroll in Any Online Course

RespondentsNext YearTen Years From Now
Number of respondents1,3111,302
Average38%58%
Median35%60%
Range0–100%0–100%

Conclusion

Although families who participated in online learning prior to the pandemic rated their experiences highly, it is clear that families who first engaged in online learning during the pandemic have had a wider range in the quality of their experiences. Some might even be hesitant to engage in online learning at all in the future. Districts around the state would benefit from Michigan Virtual’s expertise. Michigan Virtual could support districts by providing training and access to resources that are focused on creating quality online educational experiences. As more students attend school online, either through necessity or choice, Michigan Virtual has an opportunity to set the standard for thoughtful, well-developed online instruction by continuing to provide high-quality experiences for their students and supporting their district partners in similar efforts.

Appendix A: Demographics of Survey Respondents‌

The largest number of survey respondents were 40 years of age or older (54 percent), followed by respondents who were 18 to 24 years old (16 percent) (Exhibit A1).

Exhibit A1. Age of Survey Respondents

Age CategoriesPercentage of Respondents
40 or older54%
35–39 years9%
30–34 years11%
25–29 years9%
18–24 years16%
Prefer not to respond1%
Number of respondents = 1,326

Most survey respondents identified as female (67 percent), while 31 percent identified as male (Exhibit A2). The remaining 2 percent of respondents identified as gender variant/nonconforming, transgender male, transgender female, preferred to self-describe, or preferred not to respond at all.

Exhibit A2. Gender of Survey Respondents

GenderPercentage of Respondents
Female67%
Male31%
Gender variant/nonconforming1%
Transgender male0.4%
Transgender female0.2%
Prefer to self-describe0.1%
Prefer not to respond1%
Number of respondents = 1,326

In addition, most respondents (78 percent), identified as white, while the second largest group of respondents identified as Black or African American (15 percent), and the third largest group identified as Hispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish origin (4 percent) (Exhibit A3). This distribution is similar to the demographics of Michigan’s population, most recently reported 72.4 percent identifying as white, 13.8 percent identifying as Black or African American and 5.6 percent identifying as Hispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish origin.

Exhibit A3. Race and Ethnicity of Survey Respondents

Race/EthnicityPercentage of Respondents
American Indian or Alaska Native2%
Asian3%
Black or African American15%
Hispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish origin4%
White78%
Some other race1%
Prefer not to respond1%
Number of respondents = 1,326

Annual household income varied among survey respondents, with 29 percent earning $25,000 to $49,999, 20 percent earning $50,000 to $74,000, and 17 percent earning less than $24,999 (Exhibit A4).

Exhibit A4. Annual Household Income of Survey Respondents

Income CategoriesPercentage of Respondents
$100,000 or more15%
$75,000 to $99,99913%
$50,000 to $74,00020%
$25,000 to $49,99929%
Less than $24,99917%
Prefer not to respond6%
Number of respondents = 1,114
U.S. Census Bureau. n.d. “Explore Census Data: Michigan.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed July 29, 2022.

Exhibit A5. Highest Level of Education Completed by Survey Respondents

Level of EducationPercentage of Respondents
Postgraduate study or degree (master’s, professional, or doctorate)11%
College graduate (associate’s or bachelor’s)30%
Some college25%
High-school graduate (diploma, GED)27%
Less than high school4%
Prefer not to respond2%
Number of respondents = 1,114
Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Appendix B: Comparisons by Respondent Type‌

Note about Respondent Type

The group variable from the data set was used which assigns a category (i.e., adult, college, parent) to each respondent based on the survey panel recruitment. This group variable was used for the crosstabs instead of the screener questions related to college enrollment and children in school to address overlap in the groups (i.e., those respondents who reported being in two categories).

Opinions of Online Learning by Respondent Type

Adults and college student respondents said that the option of enrolling in an online class at their local school district was very important (41 percent and 48 percent, respectively) compared to 29 percent of parent respondents (Exhibit B1).

Exhibit B1. Importance of the Option of Enrolling in an Online Class at Their Local School District by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot At All Important
Adults41%41%10%7%
College students48%39%11%3%
Parents29%48%18%5%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Adult, college student, and parent survey respondents reported similar levels of importance related to access to different types of learning experiences. Between 62 percent and 69 percent said that face-to-face instruction was very important (Exhibit B2), and between 23 percent and 29 percent said fully online instruction was very important (Exhibit B3).

Exhibit B2. Importance of Access to Face-to-face Instruction by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Adults62%26%8%5%
College students65%28%8%0%
Parents69%22%8%1%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Exhibit B3. Importance of Access to Fully Online Instruction by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Adults23%38%26%12%
College students29%39%24%8%
Parents24%28%35%13%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Comparatively, almost half of college students (48 percent) said a mix of face-to-face and online instruction was very important, compared to just over one-quarter of parents (26 percent) (Exhibit B4). Of adult respondents, 38 percent said blended instruction was very important.

Exhibit B4. Importance of Access to Blended Instruction by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Adults38%43%12%6%
College students48%44%7%2%
Parents26%47%21%5%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement with a series of statements related to online learning. Of all college student respondents, 44 percent strongly agreed that knowing how to learn online is part of what it means to be college and career ready after high school, which is slightly higher than adult and parent respondents (39 percent and 36 percent, respectively) (Exhibit B5).

Exhibit B5. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Knowing How to Learn Online Is Part of What it Means to be College and Career Ready After High School,” by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Adults39%48%10%3%
College students44%46%9%1%
Parents36%47%14%3%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Just over half of college student respondents (52 percent) strongly agreed that all students would benefit from developing the skills to be a successful online learner, compared to 32 percent of parent respondents (Exhibit B6).

Exhibit B6. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “All Students Would Benefit from Developing the Skills to Be a Successful Online Learner,” by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Adults42%46%9%3%
College students52%34%12%3%
Parents32%52%13%2%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

The different respondent types shared similar levels of agreement on whether Michigan high- school students should be required to take at least one online course prior to graduation (Exhibit B7), and whether they should be required to take at least one online course per year prior to graduation (Exhibit B8).

Exhibit B7. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Michigan High-school Students Should be Required to Take At Least One Online Course Prior to Graduation,” by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Adults36%37%19%8%
College students39%32%20%9%
Parents33%37%21%8%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Exhibit B8. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Michigan High-school Students Should be Required to Take at Least One Online Course Each Year Prior to Graduation,” by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Adults27%37%23%13%
College students29%32%24%14%
Parents24%39%27%11%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Future of Online Learning by Respondent Type

Between 22 percent and 28 percent of survey respondents said that it was very likely that students in grades six through 12 will take online courses before they graduate from high school (Exhibit B9).

Exhibit B9. Likeliness Students Grades Six to 12 Will Take Online Courses Before They Graduate from High School, by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery LikelySomewhat LikelyNot That LikelyNot At All Likely
Adults25%45%25%5%
College students28%46%23%3%
Parents22%45%24%8%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Respondents shared that it was much more likely that students will take an online course when they go to college or vocational training—between 43 percent and 49 percent (Exhibit B10). Only 37 percent of parents said that it is very likely students will take online courses when they join the workforce (Exhibit B11).

Exhibit B10. Likeliness Students Grades Six to 12 Will Take Online Courses When They Go to College or Vocational Training by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery LikelySomewhat LikelyNot That LikelyNot At All Likely
Adults43%45%9%3%
College students49%39%10%2%
Parents44%41%12%4%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Exhibit B11. Likeliness Students Grades Six to 12 Will Take Online Courses When They Join the Workforce by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeVery LikelySomewhat LikelyNot That LikelyNot At All Likely
Adults41%43%12%4%
College students43%43%13%2%
Parents37%49%10%3%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160 Number of parent respondents = 356

Adult survey respondents estimated an average of 38 percent of K–12 students will enroll in online courses in the next year, compared to 46 percent estimated by college student respondents and 35 percent estimated by parent respondents (Exhibit B12). All survey respondents estimated more than half of K–12 students will enroll in online courses ten years from now (between 53 and 61 percent) (Exhibit B13).

Exhibit B12. Estimated Percentage of K–12 Students That Will Enroll in Online Courses Next Year by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeNumber of respondentsMinimumMaximumAverage
Adult7980%100%38%
College student1600%100%46%
Parent3530%100%35%

Exhibit B13. Estimated Percentage of K–12 Students That Will Enroll in Online Courses Ten Years From Now by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeNumber of respondentsMinimumMaximumAverage
Adult7961%100%61%
College student1591%100%54%
Parent3470%100%53%

Demographics by Respondent Type

Across all respondent types, most respondents identified as female (between 66 percent and 69 percent), while just under one-third identified as male (Exhibit B14). Of college student respondents, 4 percent identified as gender variant/nonconforming, and 1 percent or less identified as transgender male or preferred not to respond.

Exhibit B14. Gender Identity by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeFemaleMaleGender variant/non-conformingPrefer not to respondPrefer to self-describeTransgender femaleTransgender male
Adults66%32%<1%1%<1%<1%<1%
College students66%29%4%1%0%<1%1%
Parents69%30%0%1%0%<1%0%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356

Across all respondent types, most respondents were white (between 61 percent and 82 percent), while 24 percent of college student respondents were Black or African American and 11 percent were Asian (Exhibit B15).

Exhibit B15. Race and Ethnicity by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeAmerican Indian or Alaska NativeAsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish originWhiteOtherPrefer not to respond
Adults2%2%12%2%82%0%2%
College students2%11%24%8%61%2%1%
Parents1%4%15%8%76%1%1%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 356
Note: Percentages may total to more than 100 because more than one response was selected.

For adult and parent survey respondents, 47 percent and 46 percent have an annual household income of less than $50,000, respectively (Exhibit B16). Of parent respondents, 19 percent have an income of $100,000 or more, compared to 13 percent of adult survey respondents.

Exhibit B16. Annual Household Income by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeLess than $24,999$25,000 to $49,999$50,000 to $74,000$75,000 to $99,999$100,000 or morePrefer not to respond
Adults19%28%20%12%13%7%
Parents13%33%20%13%19%2%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of parent respondents = 304

Adult and parent survey respondents reported similar levels of education completed. For example, 28 percent of parent respondents were high-school graduates compared to 26 percent of adult respondents (Exhibit B17). In addition, 31 percent of adult respondents were college graduates compared to 28 percent of parent respondents.

Exhibit B17. Level of Education Completed by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeLess than high schoolHigh school graduateSome collegeCollege graduatePost graduate study or degreePrefer not to respond
Adults5%26%24%31%12%2%
Parents4%28%30%28%9%1%
Number of adult respondents = 810
Number of parent respondents = 304

Most of the college student and parent survey respondents graduated from high school in Michigan and attended college in Michigan (between 83 percent and 85 percent) (Exhibits B18 and B19).

Exhibit B18. Location of High-school Education Completed by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeMichiganAnother stateOtherPrefer not to respond
College students84%13%1%3%
Parents85%15%0%0%
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 52

Exhibit B19. Location of College Education Completed by Respondent Type

Respondent TypeMichiganAnother stateOtherPrefer not to respond
College students83%16%0%1%
Parents83%15%0%2%
Number of college student respondents = 160
Number of parent respondents = 52

Opinions of Online Learning by Online Enrollment Status

Additional analyses were conducted on the opinions of online learning and whether parent survey respondents had a child who was enrolled in an online learning experience prior to the COVID-19 pandemic or not.

Most parent survey respondents who had a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience said that the option of enrolling in an online class at their local school district was very important or somewhat important (86 percent), compared to 73 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience (Exhibit B20).

Exhibit B20. Importance of Access to the Option of Enrolling in an Online Class at Their Local School District Opportunities by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Prior online learning experience37%49%13%2%
No prior online learning experience26%47%21%6%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Just over half of parents who had a child in prior online learning experiences (54 percent) said that face-to-face instruction was very important, compared to 76 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in prior online learning (Exhibit B21).

Exhibit B21. Importance of Access to Face-to-face Instruction by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Prior online learning experience54%27%17%3%
No prior online learning experience76%20%4%0%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Comparatively, 39 percent of parents who had a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience said that access to fully online instruction was very important, compared to just 16 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in prior online learning (Exhibit B22).

Exhibit B22. Importance of Access to Fully Online Instruction by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Prior online learning experience39%30%20%10%
No prior online learning experience16%27%42%15%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Parents who had a child in a prior online learning experience were more likely to say that hybrid instruction is very important or somewhat important (82 percent), compared to 69 percent of parents who did not have a child in a prior online learning experience (Exhibit B23).

Exhibit B23. Importance of Access to Blended Instruction by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusVery ImportantSomewhat ImportantNot That ImportantNot at All Important
Prior online learning experience34%48%15%3%
No prior online learning experience22%47%24%6%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Of parents who had a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience, 44 percent strongly agreed that knowing how to learn online is part of what it means to be college and career ready after high school, compared to 32 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience (Exhibit B24).

Exhibit B24. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Knowing How to Learn Online is Part of What it Means to be College and Career Ready After High-school,” by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Prior online learning experience44%39%12%6%
No prior online learning experience32%51%15%2%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Both parent groups shared similar levels of agreement on whether all students would benefit from developing the skills to be a successful online learner—between 84 and 86 percent strongly agreeing or somewhat agreeing (Exhibit B25).

Exhibit B25. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “All Students Would Benefit From Developing the Skills to Be a Successful Online Learner,” by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Prior online learning experience34%52%11%3%
No prior online learning experience32%52%15%2%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Of parents who had a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience, 41 percent strongly agreed that Michigan high-school students should be required to take at least one online course prior to graduation, compared to 30 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience (Exhibit B26).

Exhibit B26. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Michigan High-school Students Should be Required to Take At Least One Online Course Prior to Graduation,” by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Prior online learning experience41%36%16%7%
No prior online learning experience30%38%24%9%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Similarly, 34 percent of parents who had a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience strongly agreed that high-school students should be required to take at least one online course each year prior to graduation, compared to just 19 percent of parents who did not have a child enrolled in a prior online learning experience (Exhibit B27).

Exhibit B27. Level of Agreement with the Statement, “Michigan High-school Students Should be Required to Take At Least One Online Course Each Year Prior to Graduation,” by Child’s Prior Online Learning Experience

Prior Online Learning Experience StatusStrongly AgreeSomewhat AgreeSomewhat DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Prior online learning experience34%39%18%8%
No prior online learning experience19%38%31%12%
Number of respondents with prior online learning experience = 119
Number of respondents with no prior online learning experience = 237

Future Enrollment Predictions by Online Enrollment Status

Survey respondents who had enrolled in online courses in high school or college, and parent survey respondents who had a child who was enrolled in online learning prior to the pandemic, have higher estimated percentages of K–12 students who will enroll in online courses in the next year (between 44 percent and 48 percent) compared to those who did not (Exhibit B28).

Exhibit B28. Estimated Average Percentage of K–12 Students Who Will Enroll in Online Courses in the Next Year by Online Enrollment Status

Online Enrollment StatusYesNo
Online courses taken in high-school48%38%
Online courses taken in college44%45%
Child had prior enrollment in online learning44%30%
Number of respondents who took online courses in high school = 140
Number of respondents who did not take online courses in high school = 72
Number of respondents who took online courses in college = 167
Number of respondents who did not take online courses in college = 45
Number of respondents whose child had prior enrollment in online learning = 118
Number of respondents whose child had no prior enrollment in online learning = 235

Survey respondents estimated similar percentages of K–12 students who will enroll in online courses ten years from now, regardless of their previous online enrollment status (between 51 percent and 57 percent) (Exhibit B29).

Exhibit B29. Estimated Average Percentage of K–12 Students Who Will Enroll in Online Courses Ten Years From Now by Online Enrollment Status

Online Enrollment StatusYesNo
Online courses taken in high-school52%55%
Online courses taken in college54%52%
Child had prior enrollment in online learning57%51%
Number of respondents who took online courses in high school = 137
Number of respondents who did not take online courses in high school = 72
Number of respondents who took online courses in college = 164
Number of respondents who did not take online courses in college = 45
Number of respondents whose child had prior enrollment in online learning = 114
Number of respondents whose child had no prior enrollment in online learning = 233
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