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D2L releases whitepaper surveying students’ perspectives on remote learning amidst COVID-19

The study provides insights on the challenges students face with remote learning, scope for improvement, and recommendations for blended learning in the future

Press Release

D2L has published a new whitepaper examining students’ sentiments regarding the shift to remote learning amidst COVID-19. Titled “Remote learning and the future of post-pandemic education”, the whitepaper surveys 802 students across Australia, India, the Philippines and Singapore, to understand their thoughts on how they feel institutions performed amidst the pandemic; how they utilised the technology available to them; and what challenges they faced as they adapted to online learning.

While edtech and remote learning had seen use before COVID-19, the pandemic forced it to be adopted at an unprecedented scale and speed. The rapid transition to this new model of learning, where technology is not simply an optional addition but necessary for education to take place, hasn’t been easy for many institutions and their learners. However, the massive scale of adoption has also given valuable insight into the benefits and challenges surrounding remote learning.

With this study, D2L hopes to give educational institutions and providers a clearer understanding of the needs and concerns students have regarding their education — particularly, with the growing and pertinent field of online learning.

The key takeaways from the survey are:

  • Following the shift to online learning amidst the pandemic, student satisfaction has dropped across all countries, for all types of educational institutions.
  • Different countries face different challenges with remote learning: Students in Singapore and Australia were more likely to face issues with adjusting to online pedagogy — such as being unable to focus without the presence of a teacher or having teachers that struggle with using technology effectively. Meanwhile, students in the Philippines and India predominantly faced issues with access to the technology needed for remote learning.
  • In the Philippines and India, almost half the students in each country (51% and 47%, respectively) would consider dropping out or postponing their education until the pandemic is over and they can return to their institutions.
  • Students using e-learning platforms reported a higher diversity of teaching techniques used in their studies and higher student satisfaction.
  • Students would like to receive more one-to-one feedback and personalised advice on how to improve, as well as the ability to self-pace their studies with structured course content that allows them to progress from one course to the next at their own pace.
  • Students would prefer to have classes in a blended format — classes that are neither fully online or offline.

“As digital adoption around the world accelerates, the way we learn has to transform to keep pace. We need education systems that are flexible enough to accommodate both offline and online learning. This new mode of remote learning is not just a survival tactic for the short-haul — but essential for the future of education. With this study, we hope to provide some recommendations on how institutions can begin rethinking where, when and how education can happen, with students and their learning at the center,” shared Nick Hutton, Regional Director of Asia at D2L.

“The need for remote and blended avenues of learning goes beyond a short-term strategy to cope with COVID-19. In India, blended learning can become a powerful and necessary tool for supporting the massification and development of our education systems, and for building its resilience to future shocks and uncertainties. With this study, we hope to provide some recommendations on how institutions can begin rethinking where, when and how education can happen, with students and their learning at the center,” said Dr. Prem Das Maheshwari, Business Director of South Asia at D2L.


D2L’s Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform built for people who care deeply about student success and helping to prepare them for what comes next.

It gives faculty across your institution tools they’re going to love, makes it easy to support exceptional student experiences in the classroom or fully online. D2L’s Brightspace is designed in close collaboration with clients around the world – building a pedagogically rich set of features to improve engagement, retention and learning outcomes. It also makes it easier to do assessment and give feedback.

D2L’s Brightspace is worry-free with 99.9% reliability. It’s highly accessible and looks beautiful on any mobile device, making it easier for educators to reach every learner.

D2L’s Brightspace has won multiple industry awards, including the #1 LMS Technology for next generation online teaching and learning. To learn more, visit D2L for Higher Education.


D2L is transforming the way the world learns – helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our more than 950 global employees are dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than where they found it. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at

Media Contact
SYNC PR on behalf of D2L
Emilia Tang
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Tory Waldron
Director, PR, D2L Corporation
[email protected]

Twitter: @D2L

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