The need to continually improve education so more students succeed and the nation remains globally competitive is the purpose of school reform. Adults have always assumed they know when changes in school are needed and can make them without consulting the students. However, the communications revolution has transformed the experience of growing up. Most students have access to the Internet, cell phones, laptops, satellite television and computers. Students possess a unique outlook about learning in the digital age based on daily exposure to classroom instruction. Seeking student views can identify the aspects of education they value and possibilities they feel are missing. Their opinions can reveal forms of instruction they prefer, obstacles they struggle to overcome, and factors that support or detract from motivation for achievement. Students welcome opportunities to express their opinions when assurances are given that responses are anonymous. Polling, more than any other source of school reform, suggests that boards of education, principals, teachers, parents, and school improvement committees want to know and will seriously consider how students view their education and ways they believe it could be improved. Listening to the voices of adolescents can enlarge the perspective of educators and enable them to make more informed decisions about school improvement.
This website represents a continuing project to improve schools with the use of a polling and data feedback system. This system has been field-tested at schools across the United States. Over 14,000 secondary students have completed polls. A list of published articles and books that describe these studies is in the Research & Publications section.
More details about this polling project appear in Frequently Asked Questions below. From this section you can click to any of the polls to see their contents.
Paris Strom (PhD, Arizona State University) is Professor of Educational Psychology at Auburn University. He offers campus and distance learning courses about child and adolescent development and classroom management to prospective teachers and graduate students. Prior to working in higher education, Paris taught high school in Peoria and Scottsdale Arizona. He is an author of 70 journal articles and 7 books. His research involves new technologies for school communication with parents and innovative ways to improve conditions of learning at home and the classroom. Paris is coauthor of the Teamwork Skills Inventory that identifies student strengths and needs of teamwork skills. For further information regarding LearningPolls.org, contact Paris Strom at email@example.com.
Robert Strom (PhD, University of Michigan) is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology at Arizona State University and Director of the Office of Parent Development International at http://www.public.asu.edu/~rdstrom. Before he began his college teaching career, he was a public school educator in Detroit, Michigan and St. Paul Minnesota. Robert has written 30 books and 400 articles on ways to support growth and development through the lifespan. The instruments he has devised to evaluate personal strengths and learning needs are widely used. He has been a recipient of three Fulbright Scholar Awards.
Relevant Publications About Polling in Schools
Polling Students for School Improvement and Reform (P. Strom & R. Strom). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2016, 259 pp.
Adolescents in the Internet Age: Teaching Adolescents and Learning from Them, 2nd Edition (P. Strom & R. Strom). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2014, 444 pp.
Adolescent identity and career exploration (P. Strom, R. Strom, L. Whitten, & M. Kraska). NASSP Bulletin, March 2014, 1-17. DOI: 10.1177/0192636514528749
Thinking in Childhood and Adolescence (P. Strom & R. Strom). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2013, 346 pp.
Collaboration and support for student success (P. Strom, & R. Strom). Community College Journal of Research and Practice, June 2013, 37(8), 585-595.
Collaboration and support for student success (P. Strom & R. Strom). The Ed Digest, November 2013, 79(3), 50-56.
Cyberbullying: Assessment of student experience for continuous improvement planning (P. Strom, R. Strom, J. Wingate, M. Kraska, & T. Beckert). NASSP Bulletin, June 2012, 96(2), 137-153. DOI 10.1177/0192636512443281
Adolescent bullies on Cyber Island (P. Strom, R. Strom, J. Walker, T. Sindel-Arrington, & T. Beckert). NASSP Bulletin, 2011, 95(3), 195-211.
Examining stakeholder expectations for guiding school improvement: Including students (P. Strom, R. Strom, & T. Beckert). American Secondary Education, 39(3), Summer 2011, 5-16.
Cheating in middle and high school (P. Strom & R. Strom). In K. Ryan & J. Cooper (Eds.), Kaleidoscope: Contemporary and classic readings in education (12th edition) (pp. 49-56). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage, 2010.
Adolescent learning and the Internet: Implications for school leadership and student engagement in learning (P. Strom, R. Strom, C. Wing, & T. Beckert). The Ed Digest, February 2010, 75(6), 10-16.
Adolescents in the Internet Age (P. Strom & R. Strom). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2009, 619 pp.
Adolescent learning and the Internet: Implications for school leadership and student engagement in learning (P. Strom, R. Strom, C. Wing, & T. Beckert). NASSP Bulletin, 2009, 93(2), 111-121.
Polling students about conditions of learning (P. Strom, R. Strom, & C. Wing). NASSP Bulletin, December 2008, 92(4), 292-304.
Improving American schools: Perceptions of adults and students (P. Strom & R. Strom). In D. McInerney & A. Liem (Eds.), Teaching and Learning: International Best Practice (Volume 8 Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning) (pp. 111-132). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2008.
Curbing cheating, raising integrity (P. Strom & R.Strom). The Ed Digest, April 2007, 72(8), 42-50.
Cheating in middle school and high school (P. Strom & R. Strom). The Educational Forum, &1(2), Winter 2007, 104-116.
New directions for teaching, learning, and assessment (R. Strom & P. Strom). In R. Maclean (Ed.), Learning and Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Festschrift for Professor Phillip Hughes. Support from UNESCO International Centre, Germany, with the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association. New York: Springer Publishers, 2007, 115-134.
Minimizing cyberbullying (P. Strom & R. Strom). Kappa Delta Pi, online, 2006. Reprinted from The Education Forum, P. Strom & R. Strom, 2005, Cyberbullying by adolescents: A preliminary assessment, 70(1), 21-36.
Cyberbullying by adolescents: A preliminary assessment (P. Strom & R. Strom). The Educational Forum, Fall 2005, 70(1), 21-36.
When teens turn bullies (P. Strom & R. Strom). The Ed Digest (Issue: Creating Great School Climate), 2005, 71(4), 35-41.
What is the purpose of LearningPolls.org?
The purpose of LearningPolls.org is to assist middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools in conducting online polling of student perceptions about conditions of learning at their school. Student polling differs from other strategies for improvement because the target for data gathering is a single school. This ensures that poll results have local relevance that can motivate the community to think about and support needed change.
Where can I find the polls to see what issues students will consider?
Please use the links in the table below to see each of the contents for the ten polls.
|Name||Readability Statistics: Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level|
|Career Exploration Poll||
|Motivation to LearnInternet Poll||
|Peer Support Poll||
|School Stress Poll||
|Selective Attention Poll||
|Student Frustration Poll||
|Time Management Poll||
When a student agrees to complete a poll, are the responses anonymous?
Yes. Each student is provided password protected entry data. No personal identity is requested or used. In this way, anonymity is guaranteed and no one votes more than once.
What kinds of demographic information are students asked to give?
Students indicate their gender, ethnicity, grade level, and age. When responses are analyzed, these variables are considered in the analysis. For example, do girls and boys have the same opinion about their learning environment? Does ethnicity influence perceptions? The answers to these questions can make known aspects of school success, contexts where intervention is needed, and identify tentative changes to monitor for evaluation of progress.
What format is allowed for completing the polls?
The site is designed to work on all devices including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
What is the cost of the polling to the local school?
Polling will be accessible and free for school use only. When a principal agrees to participation, guidelines for administering and using the polls site are provided.
What happens after the students have been polled?
Software offers principals rapid feedback about whole school results. It is expected that the principal will disseminate poll results to students, faculty, parents, and community groups.