Perceptions of Educational Effectiveness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Poster presentation

Stefanie McKoy  
Lorien Jordan  

This poster presents an investigation of parent comments on YouTube newsclips during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a netnographic approach, researchers examined the online comments as parents discussed the fidelity of online instruction and the safety of returning to school during a pandemic.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: Community college/university
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
Additional detail: Graduate student

Proposal summary


Social media continues to be an influence in our society; yet, it is largely ignored in educational research. Social media is a vast cultural site that needs to be considered when exploring thoughts influencing education. It was for this reason, we turned to YouTube. Other researchers, such as Kozinets (netnography), Hine (digital ethnography), and Przybrlski (hybrid ethnography) all emphasize the importance of exploring the online cultures to analyze perspectives for new understandings. It is through the framework of digital ethnography and netnography that we explore online cultures using in-vivo coding and narrative analysis to capture parent perspectives.


Our research question was, "How do parents of school-age children perceive the effectiveness of education during the COVID-19 pandemic?" We followed the netnographic research model by investigating social media sites to find a rich cultural site with deep conversations held by parents. YouTube provided rich discussion as well as being the most used social media site across demographics. Our investigation phase allowed us to settle on six YouTube videos across three time periods during the pandemic. We observed the YouTube comments only, and did interact. We collected the data through screenprint and paste features. The sample included 1,321 comments (673 unique users)Comments were analyzed utilizing in-vivo and verses coding. . The findings included themes of shared experiences through pandemic fatigue, loss of control as parents navigated changes in education, and parenting under a microscope through the discourse of social media comments.


The parent comments demonstrated a concern with a lack of quality education during COVID-19, largely due to inadequate online instruction. Parent concerns included access to the internet, technology, and other school resources. Parents turned to social media to vent frustration directly aimed at teachers, school districts, and the government. Parents blame teachers for 'being lazy' or describe a lack of appropriate equipment. Conversely, there is support noting teachers spend more time communicating with parents through modes of technologies and online learning has forced teachers to increase planning time. Social media provided the opportunity for building communities and understanding diverse times. The YouTube comments suggested parents found communities to share learning ideas, learning pods to provide direct instruction and offer advice during the pandemic.


This research describes the impact online learning has on families, especially when implemented suddenly and without fidelity. Implications for future research are shared and include a focus on specific demographics as well as online teaching strategies.


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Stefanie McKoy, University of Arkansas
Graduate student

ISTE Certified Educator

Stefanie McKoy (M.Ed) is a Doctoral Academy Fellow and student in the University of Arkansas’ Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. Her program of research comprises three interconnected lines: gifted education, teacher education, and digital ethnography. Stefanie has an extensive presentation record, and multiple manuscripts in development and under review. As a graduate assistant, Stefanie teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in special education, gifted and talented education, and teacher preparedness. In addition to her research interests, Stefanie is an author with Kagan Publishing, with twelve books currently in distribution. Before beginning her doctoral degree, Stefanie taught elementary for thirteen years.

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