Insights into Undergraduate Students’ Experiences of Emergency Remote Learning during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Phenomenology Study

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Vina Marie Pitogo
Kier Ecle


One of the most affected sectors when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world is education. The abrupt transition in the educational paradigm has prompted educational institutions to adopt the Emergency Remote Learning (ERL). Because of the sudden and unexpected changes, issues on remote class engagement surfaced. This phenomenological study investigated the benefits of remote learning, determined the remote learning activities that made students engaged and unengaged, and it also described the barriers they experienced in remote learning. In this study, data were gathered from sixteen participants through an in-depth focus group discussion (FGD). FGDs were transcribed and thematically examined after they were recorded online and the data gathered were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. The collected data revealed that there were still students who prefer remote learning for they can review pre-recorded discussions after their synchronous classes; however majority of the responses did not favor remote learning because they felt discouraged, unmotivated, and disconnected. Further, synchoronous and asynchronous online activities that are characterized with student-centered or active learning approaches are some of the remote learning activities that made students to actively engage in online class. Moreover, respondents also identified three major barriers in remote learning, which were infrastructure factors, poor learning environment, and nature of content/academic barriers. Several implications to this study have been formulated for both students and instructors/professors so that remote learning will be carried out systematically if this dilemma we are facing continues.

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Pitogo, V. M., & Ecle, K. (2021). Insights into Undergraduate Students’ Experiences of Emergency Remote Learning during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Phenomenology Study. Asia Research Network Journal of Education, 1(2), 77–95. Retrieved from


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