Map-Based Curriculum Aides: Survey Results
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Wow! Welcome to the beginning of my journey in creating inspiring, high-quality, data-rich maps and other visualizations as a tool for learning and discovery. Thanks for landing here, and if you haven't already signed up for updates via email, go here and sign up!
I began this exploration by surveying homeschooling friends and friends of friends to find out if this is something that would be meaningful to them. I received a much larger response than I expected, and I'll share some of that data with you as a means to help illuminate some of the decisions I've made in moving forward.
Do you currently use maps in your homeschool studies? If so, where do you get the maps used for your homeschool instruction?
I first wanted to know what homeschoolers are doing already. An overwhelming majority already use some sort of maps in their homes—88.5% to 11.5%. The follow-on question to that was what sources are used for those maps. Most homeschoolers in the survey use books or atlases they already own or purchase (78.3%) or use free online sources (69.6%).
From here, I wanted to understand what type of products would be most useful—in subject matter, grade level, and delivery method.
Subjects, Grade Levels, and Product Type
On my questions for subject matter and grade levels, I allowed multiple answers per question. Worldwide subjects (geography [85%] and history [81%]) were of slightly greater interest than the US. For the US, geography was more preferred (73%) than history (62%). Grade level interest was split into elementary, middle, and high school categories. In what seems to me to be a reflection of demographics, the interest was highest at elementary (89%) followed by middle (69%) and high school (50%). For product type, I limited the answer to just one choice to force the result to hopefully be the delivery method of greatest preference. Of the four choices—hard copy, website, app, or app with print options, hard copy (50%) and website (31%) received the majority of responses.
The end of the survey included questions on desired features and product pricing. I had a list of 11 features and respondents could choose as many as they would like—including adding an "other" category. Not surprisingly, the desired features seem to be quite individualized. Six of the 11 features were chosen by between 58% and 65% of the respondents. None were higher than 65%. Another three were in the 42% to 46% range. Likewise, product pricing results were varied, probably because features and delivery method—undefined in the survey—would cause differences in perceived value.
Overall, I am incredibly grateful for the participation of all respondents. I'm grateful for friends and family who forwarded on the survey so I could gather information as widely as possible. The feeling that I received from the respondents—both in the survey answers as well as emails and comments sent to me—is that this is something that is exciting to homeschool families. That makes me excited to be able to deliver maps and data visualizations that are inspiring, provoke deeper thought and questioning, and high quality. You know, things you'll want to keep around for a long time. Let me know if you haven't already signed up for regular updates (about every month), and welcome to the journey!
Survey summary report: PDF
Additional data information: PDF
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