Student's Experiences of Online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic

Posted on: 9th May 2023


1.  The topic to be investigated is: Students' experiences of online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

You should devise an ethically sound research question in your first workshop. 'Ethically sound' means that you should not focus on sensitive issues such as mental health. You can devise a research question that fits with there topic, but is relevant to your own experiences. Here are some examples:

'Students' experiences of learning online with English as a second language'; or 'Students' experiences of learning online as mature students'; or 'Students experiences of learning online while caring for young children'.    



Each member of the pair will transcribe her/his interview recording and share the transcription with the other member of the pair. You will then each have 2 interview transcripts to work with.



Using Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006), you will identify themes in your transcripts. There will be guidance on this process in the workshops, so you will need to transcribe your interview recording ahead of the relevant workshop. This workshop takes place on the 16th December 2021. The analysis and the write-up of the report will be completed by students working individually.


Finally, you will write up your Practical report using appropriate headings (writing up will be covered in a lecture well in advance).


The report MUST include an Appendix containing both transcripts with only your own transcript marked up to show the process of analysis. The Appendix must also include the interview questions and a template – not signed to protect anonymity – of the consent/brief form and the debrief form.  Marks will be deducted for failure to include any of these documents in the Appendix.


Abstract:      100 - 150 words (not included in the word count)

Introduction: 400 to 500 words

Methods:      400 to 500 words (The theme table is not included in the word count, but the data extracts in the narrative analysis are included)

Results:        800 to 900 words

Discussion:   400 to 500 words

References and the Appendix are not included in the word count.


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The purpose of this thesis is to explore how Covid-19 has affected pupils throughout the world and in the United States. It is critical to understand students' experiences, preferences, and viewpoints because of online learning during the epidemic. Given the substantial shift in the educational process, the primary goal of this study is to uncover students' opinions and preferences on distance learning. During the epidemic, most educational institutions utilized online learning to guarantee that students could complete their studies. Moreover, with the sudden shift of learning from classroom learning to online in many parts of the globe, students will be left wondering the new way of learning will continue post-pandemic. It is evident that the school's abrupt closure affected students' learning; thus, the initiative of online learning positively affected students. However, based on the experience, students negatively viewed online learning, such as a lack of social interaction.


Student's Experiences of Online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic

After the outbreak of the Covid-19 education sector changed its way of learning to meet the need of the students affected during the pandemic by enhancing online learning. Covid-19 indeed disrupted education in over 150 countries affecting 1.6 billion students. Thus, due to the effect of Covid-19 on the learners' numerous countries across the world implemented some form of remote learning in order to ensure that each student access education at home. Although online learning was a good idea for the students, it had some challenges such as decreasing student's teacher interaction, lacking high-quality learning devices, and insufficient teacher and learning gap evaluation, thus making it difficult for many students from low-income families to access learning online. But the transformation of classroom learning to online learning has made more schools across the United States embrace technological changes because it has enabled both learners and teachers to have an excellent opportunity of knowing and interacting with educational tools such as computer-based learning and web-based learning (Barrot, Llenares & Del Rosario, 2021). Hence, it is significant that though Covid was a hazard to humanity, institutions have evolved to invest in online learning. From the students' experience, online learning created a cheap way of educational accessibility. As the students had a chance of learning any time and in any environment thus, developing new skills in the process leads to lifelong learning. Consequently, before the outbreak of Covid -19, students were used to the traditional way of learning where they got the privilege to interact and even if most of them had a positive view about the traditional teaching method. But following lockdown that led to school closure, most schools had to initiate online learning to minimize school. It is also true that establishing online learning in the school positively impacted the students because it helped them continue with their learning; thus, it acted as motivation that improved learning outcomes during the pandemic. Therefore, from the situation of Covid-19, the government must look at both positive and negative factors that students experience from online learning to improve going in the future. More importantly, given that closing schools in the United States and across the globe was meant to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, the switch of learning to online was a noble idea among the schools across the globe (Amir et al., 2020). The transition to online learning was the only option that could have made students remain active. This paper discusses the benefits and challenges of online learning based on students' experiences.


Based on the research question, the purpose of the current study is mainly focused on finding out the experience students had in learning online with English as a second language. With the different experiences that students were exposed to after the outbreak of the Covid-19, it will be significant to use at least 40 students from the United to find their experience about teaching classes during the pandemic. The sample of students will comprise 24 males and 16 females. Most of them are Latino and were enrolled to study bachelor degrees with English majors. In this case, most students have no previous experience with online learning (Lobos et al., 2021). Thus, it was important to use an online-based survey designed to inform a questionnaire for data collection. Given that the investigation focused on finding out the students' experience during unprecedented economic and health crises, I modified 20 multiple questions with yes or no answers. To ensure that the research is effective, I ensured that the questions have different sections that give information about learners and their online learning experiences. More importantly, the questions were open-ended to help get extra information on what students wanted to add or mention about online learning. It is easier to collect quantitative and qualitative data using questionnaires as a research methodology.


 The explosion of Covid-19 in the world has served as a panacea that online is important in a crisis. It is evident that poorly initiating online learning during the Covid-19 had no positive impacts on the students because it was first introduced to the learners after the pandemic. Although it created easier accessibility between the students and teachers, they needed to have a strategy that could make it effective to meet the needs of students with English as a second language. Also, the results find that almost 70 percent of learners in the current digital world can operate technological devices. An indication that they can join online effectively and participate in classes. Given that my research was focused on finding out the students' experiences about online learning during a pandemic, I adopted a descriptive research method to analyze the obtained data. For example, from the research analysis, around 50 percent of the students were embraced online learning as it enables them to understand the current technological revolution. However, most low-income students had the challenges of internet problems (Chandrasiri & Weerakoon, 2021). Moreover, the highest number of students who first joined online learning enabled access to online examinations and even internet connectivity problems. Moreover, the country's learning conditions and technological preparedness make learners embrace online learning. Berge (2005) expressed that digital readiness is the significant approach that influences students' online experience. In addition, from the students' experience, it is indicated that with accessible internet, the students will be able to accept online learning. Online learning depends entirely on technological devices; thus, students with bad internet access can be denied online learning.


 From the students' experience, it is evident that technical support is needed to make online learning reliable and effective for the students. Both teachers and students were forced to embrace online learning without having the experience of submitting and joining learning, as some students come from remote towns. Also, most of the students were not happy with distance education. The results indicate that some of the students, it was their first time thus lacked the experience and confidence to learn online using a new medium. Consequently, the unexpected transformation of traditional education to online confused both teachers and students. Thus, the result is important that going in the future education system and teachers should ensure that online learning is interactive to the learners (Mahyoob, 2020). However, a recent study shows that 57 percent of students are more positive about online learning. Although online learning currently has a positive impact on students, the results show that students experienced isolation and boredom during the pandemic because they were not used to the situation. The low-income students were financially impacted, as most of them could not get funds for online classes because their parents were unemployed. Therefore, it is evident that students' experiences during the pandemic revolved around socioeconomic and imposed lockdown that made them feel lonely. Technological incompetency in some remote areas is part of the experiences that students face during online learning.


In conclusion, students had both negative and positive experiences with online education, but they adapted quickly to the sudden shift due to the pandemic. Students' main worries regarding online learning, according to my findings, are a loss of social connection and perception of diminished effort and motivation. However, it is clear from a perspective that the stakeholders hurried to implement it throughout the learning process, failing to design an effective strategy that would have resulted in the interaction between instructors and pupils. Also, from the students' experience with online learning, future schools and educational authorities must provide sufficient technical support that helps students remain positive and develop a learning platform customized for smartphones. Online learning was a noble idea, but it had great challenges from the students' experiences, such as internet accessibility.



Amir, L. R., Tanti, I., Maharani, D. A., Wimardhani, Y. S., Julia, V., Sulijaya, B., & Puspitawati, R. (2020). Student perspective of classroom and distance learning during COVID-19 pandemic in the undergraduate dental study program Universitas Indonesia. BMC medical education20(1), 1-8.

Barrot, J. S., Llenares, I. I., & Del Rosario, L. S. (2021). Students' online learning challenges during the pandemic and how they cope with them: The case of the Philippines. Education and Information Technologies26(6), 7321-7338.

Chandrasiri, N. R., & Weerakoon, B. S. (2021). Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perceptions of allied health sciences undergraduates. Radiography.

Lobos, K., Cobo-Rendón, R., Mella-Norambuena, J., Maldonado-Trapp, A., Branada, C. F., & Jofré, C. B. (2021). Expectations and Experiences with Online Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic in University Students. Frontiers in Psychology12.

Mahyoob, M. (2020). Challenges of e-Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic Experienced by EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ)11(4).



Consent Information

The information used in the research is private, and it was meant to explain the impact of online learning on learners. Also, the data I have used was collected in November 2021 through individual semi-structured interviews. After the end of the first semester, home-based learning was over. Given that I wanted to come up with evident information on students' experience with online learning, I ensured that they competed for a short socio-demographic questionnaire that included their gender and personal background before the interview. Consequently, the research concentrated on privacy as every individual personal identity was made private. 

Interview Questions

What is your name, school and gender?

What is the impact of online learning during the covid-19 pandemic?

What are the parents' views about online learning during the pandemic?

What is the learners' experience about teaching English online during the pandemic?

What are learners' attitudes towards online learning during the pandemic?

What are suggestions that children suggested making online learning success in the future?

Give a personal view on why online learning should be embraced in the future?

What are some of the challenges you experienced when learning online?

What does distance learning mean for the future of learning?

Based on your experience as a student, can you say online learning is effective?

How can English learning make motivating, innovative and engaging during e-learning?

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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