The Covid-19 pandemic had an immense effect on teaching and learning during 2020. The fast shift to online examinations in reaction to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown underlines the significance of motivationally enriched and emotionally supportive instruction during this stressful time. It cannot be assumed that all students have the same access to online assets or to internet-equipped devices such as laptops or tablets. Not all students coped well, as an analysis of student remarks indicated in a qualitative study. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to determine what type of emotions Postgraduate Certificate in Education students experienced during their first fully online examination in order to create motivating and supportive learning environments. A total of 10 of these students from an open and distance learning university were purposefully selected to complete 14 questions related to their learning needs and, in particular, emotional challenges during the lockdown. Theoretical underpinnings include, inter alia, five motivational design principles. The results indicated that all 10 students had access to mobile phones and seven to laptops to participate in online academic activities. The emotions experienced most by the students varied from anxiousness to restlessness. The findings are discussed with reference to supporting students’ motivation and emotions in university courses during these stressful times.