SYKES Report Reveals College Student Perceptions of Their Pandemic Online Learning Experience

A new survey report from Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated finds more than half (56%) of college students who switched from in-person to remote learning say their online instructors have been more supportive than they expected—and more than two-thirds (70%) say their online learning experience has made them more likely to take future online classes.

SYKES’ new survey report, “Student Perceptions of Online Learning in Higher Education During COVID-19,” shares insights from a survey of 1,500 U.S. college students who switched from in-person classes to online classes during the fall 2020 semester in response to COVID-19. In addition to sharing insights regarding U.S. college students’ virtual education experience, the report reveals college students’ preferred learning management systems (LMS), the LMS features most useful to their learning, the greatest benefits to students since shifting to online learning, the areas they want more support in their virtual courses, whether or not they have participated in virtual office hours, and more.

“Our student respondents told us that while they feel quite personally supported by their online instructors, there’s also ample opportunity to improve their virtual learning experience—nearly half of students say they want more support both on how to better virtually collaborate with their classmates (45%) as well as how to deal with tech issues during class (44%),” said Steve Davis, Higher Education Business Development Executive at SYKES. Davis added: “The rippling effects from COVID-19 have dramatically transformed higher education systems for good—and with 84% of students surveyed indicating that virtual learning can offer an effective learning environment, now is the time to further invest in elevating the virtual student learning experience.”

Survey data highlights from the report include:

  • 95% say their instructors were supportive regarding personal difficulties students experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 85% say their online courses felt like a “classroom community.”
  • 71% say they felt online learning meant they had a reduced risk of getting sick.
  • 96% say their instructors adapted to online teaching either “OK” or “very well” after switching from in-person to virtual instruction.
  • To access the full report, visit

Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated is a leading provider of multichannel demand generation and customer engagement services for Global 2000 companies and their end customers.