Online Learning in 280 Characters: Analysing Public Sentiment on Online Learning During COVID-19


  • Anas Alsuhaibani Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University
  • Mohammed Almotrafi
  • Faisal Alossaimi
  • Ahmad Alhassan
  • Mohammed Alaklabi



Emotional Analysis, online learning, Twitter, COVID-19


The global COVID-19 pandemic forced a seismic shift towards online learning, replacing conventional in-person education in response to the inherent health risks. This transformation showcased the resilience of educational systems and the transformative potential of technology in breaking geographical barriers and delivering accessible learning opportunities. Despite the pandemic's challenges, it expedited online education developments, heralding a more adaptable, inclusive educational paradigm poised to outlast the pandemic's immediate effects. This study investigates public sentiment and perspectives concerning online learning in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic, using Twitter as a primary data source. By scrutinising tweets and interactions, this study aims to unearth insights into the challenges, advantages, and overall perceptions of online learning amid the pandemic. The analysis of the collected dataset revealed a prevalent negativity at 37.19%, contrasting with 29.37% positive sentiments and 33.43% neutral viewpoints. The primary cause for negative perceptions lies in the difficulties encountered during the shift to online learning, leading to strain on platforms. Nevertheless, positive feedback highlights the efficacy of the online learning system, viewing it as an opportunity for educational development. Neutral tweets often mention platform names, reflecting the nature of the data collected. Key themes in online learning discourse during the pandemic included technological challenges, student engagement, equity, teacher support, and assessment. The study emphasises the potential of Twitter data in identifying obstacles, gauging sentiment, and improving online learning strategies by sharing best practices and tailoring interventions.