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Initial development of a national survey on remote learning in early childhood during COVID-19: Establishing content validity and reporting successes and barriers


This article describes the development and administration of a survey to identify early childhood educators’ successes and barriers when delivering remote instruction (e.g., online whole or small group instruction) during the COVID-19 pandemic to children 2–5 years old. The survey was developed using procedures outlined by the commonly accepted stages of an instrument development process. Content validity was established using four approaches: (a) identification of the purpose of the survey, (b) creation of a blueprint of items, (c) cognitive interviews, and (d) expert panel review. A total of 1,053 early childhood educators began the survey, with 808 (77%) of the responses included because educators met the inclusion criteria of working in the United States and responding to at least one question related to remote instruction. The survey contained 37 closed-ended and six open-ended items covering eight domains: (a) demographic information; (b) preparation, guidelines, and materials for remote learning; (c) caregiver communication and engagement; (d) assessment; (e) instruction; (f) educators’ levels of confidence before and after remote learning; (g) access to services (i.e., wraparound and/or special education); and (h) planning for the return to face-to-face instruction. Both quantitative (descriptive, t-test, regression, ANOVA, and Chi-square tests) and consensual qualitative research analyses were applied to summarize the survey results. Findings from this survey indicated that even with limited or no guidance from administrators, educators successfully adapted to remote instruction and their levels of confidence increased over time. Ongoing improvements need to be made to sustain regular communication with all families, to offer access to technology (i.e., devices and internet), to administer assessments or universal screeners, and to provide cohesive guidelines and expectations. Results from this study begin to shed light on early childhood educators’ adaptation to remote instruction as a result of COVID-19. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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