June 27, 2022
Jun 06, 2022
· Press Release

Instructure Releases Annual State of Teaching and Learning in K-12 Research that Explores New Normal in Education in U.S. Schools


One study highlight reveals that many parents might not understand how far behind students are academically

SALT LAKE CITYJune 27, 2022 Instructure, the makers of Canvas, today released its 2022 State of Teaching and Learning in K-12 research report, which provides insight into the latest trends in K-12 education. As educators move into a post-pandemic era, new educational technologies and instructional strategies have evolved teaching and learning at an unprecedented pace. However, the impact of COVID-19 is still affecting students’ engagement, motivation and achievement, and the lasting impact on teachers is perhaps greater than ever before.

The study revealed that parents might not understand how far behind students are academically. A small share of parents (27%) believes their children have fallen behind significantly or majorly, whereas administrators and teachers are significantly more likely to believe so (51% and 62%, respectively). Similarly, parents don’t seem to realize how much engagement has been impacted. Only half of parents (45%) say that maintaining engagement has been difficult compared to a large majority of administrators and teachers (77% and 81%, respectively.)

"The K-12 community has faced immense challenges over the span of multiple school years," said Trenton Goble, VP of K-12 Strategy at Instructure. "However, educators and students have continued moving forward, adapting to change and evolving their practices. As school districts plan for next school year and beyond, we hope district leaders, school administrators and teachers will find the information helpful as they reflect on how best to engage students, support their schools and improve the learning journey for every student."

The research revealed six key trends that parents and educators across the country feel are important to teaching and learning in K-12 education:

  1. High-quality teaching is the key ingredient to high-quality learning.

Parents want to know that when their kids are in school, they're with teachers who care about their overall wellbeing and have the knowledge and resources to support their learning.

  • An overwhelming 95% of parents and educators agree that student-teacher relationships are one of the most impactful social/emotional factors on student success. There is nearly universal consensus among administrators (97%) and teachers (98%).
  • Nearly all administrators and teachers agree that high-quality staff (97% and 98%, respectively) and engaging instruction (96% and 97%, respectively) have the most impact on student success.
  1. Student engagement is (still) the No. 1 measure of success. 

Educators continue to find student engagement (94%) and attendance (91%) are the most important metrics for measuring student success and are expected to be the most important over the next year (73% and 66%, respectively) – findings consistent with 2021 respondents. At the same time, there is a renewed focus on academic student achievement. Technology that supports engagement continues to play an important role in teaching and learning.

  1. Changes need to be made in the way we approach assessment.

While teachers and students continue to feel pressure around high-stakes standardized tests, their perceived value continues to decrease. While standardized test scores remain the least important measure of student success among educators and parents, their relative importance has increased since 2021. School districts are increasingly taking a balanced approach to assessment. 

  • In terms of measuring student success, respondents perceive standardized test scores as the least important among 14 factors, at only 37% (up from 29% in 2021).
  • For parents, standardized test scores are the least important factor when assessing their child’s success at 41%., a decrease of 22% from our 2021 study (63%).
  1. Both hybrid and digital teaching and learning are here to stay.

With the return to in-person learning, the continued use of technology in the classroom supports innovative pedagogical strategies that prepare students for 21st century skills. We anticipate hybrid teaching and learning to be the new normal for schools and districts moving forward. 

  • Some 90% of parents, 91% of administrators and 94% of teachers agree that personalized instruction has an impact on student success. And 68% of parents believe technology is beneficial in providing access to individualized programs.
  • Self-paced learning is also top of mind for many, with 84% of parents, 71% of administrators and 77% of teachers agreeing it’s at least moderately impactful when it comes to success.
  1. Strides are being made in achieving educational equity, but there’s still work to do.

While the pandemic exposed many of the inequities in K-12 education, it also forced educators to address such inequities. Funding from the CARES and CRRSA COVID relief packages provided the funds needed to adopt technology that supports equitable learning experiences for all students.

  • Funding to facilitate digital learning, (2021: 52% 2022 63%; increase of 11%) is expected to remain a top priority for future funding. 
  • Despite such funding, 20% of administrators and 31% of teachers still report that insufficient equipment or lack of access to devices is a top challenge or concern with technology solutions. Notably, the percentage of respondents reporting this concern decreased from 39% in 2021.
  • While the majority of parents in 2021 expressed that their children received support from their district in the form of tools/devices (56%), the number dropped in 2022 to 44%.
  1. Technology is no longer a “nice-to-have.” It’s essential to innovative K-12 pedagogy.

Technology’s most important role and its principal benefits continue to be rooted in its ability to help recreate core classroom experiences like communication and high-quality instruction. 

  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents agree that the availability of technology has an impact on student success, while 86% believe the use of educational technology resources impacts success.
  • Usage has increased for assessment management systems. Some 69% of administrators and 53% of teachers report using such a system in 2022, compared to only 41% of educators reporting the same in 2021.
  • Parents assess tech to be similarly important to all aspects of the learning experience (67%-80%), but student and parent communication rank as most important (80, 79%, respectively).

Research Methodology 

Instructure developed the State of Teaching and Learning in K-12 Education survey in coordination with Hanover Research. The survey was fielded in March 2022 and was cleaned and analyzed by Hanover Research. After fielding and data cleaning, the study consisted of 1,379 qualified, completed responses from 498 parents, 533 teachers and 378 school or district-level administrators. The data cut into crosstabs by role, region and district urbanicity. We performed statistical significance testing across segments with a 95% confidence level using a Z-Test with p = less than 0.05 and a margin of error +/- 1% for the overall sample size. For any questions regarding the underlying methodology or data, please contact us at studentsuccess@instructure.com.


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About Instructure

Instructure (NYSE: INST) powers the delivery of education globally and provides learners with the rich credentials they need to create opportunities across their lifetimes. Today, the Instructure ecosystem of products enables educators and institutions to elevate student success, amplify the power of teaching, and inspire everyone to learn together. With our global network of learners, educators, partners and customers, we continue to deliver on our vision to be the platform that powers learning for a lifetime and turns that learning into opportunities. We encourage you to discover more at www.instructure.com.


Brian Watkins
Corporate Communications