This quantitative study explored what a group of tertiary students perceived about WhatsApp usage a learning tool. Specifically, it investigated the extent to which students integrated WhatsApp into their learning processes; how much confidence students had in WhatsApp as a reliable and effective learning platform; perceptions about the usefulness of learning with WhatsApp and the benefits students derived from the use of WhatsApp for academic purposes. Results were that most respondents regularly used and relied on WhatsApp for academic purposes. In doing so, they shared educational resources, engaged in group discussions and studies, retrieved educational resources, respectively. Other minor activities performed with WhatsApp for academic purposes were taking of assignments and communicating change in class schedule. Perceptions about usefulness, reliability and importance of WhatsApp in education were generally positive. Challenges that militate against WhatsApp group learning were: diversion from subject matter and aim of the platform; non-participation of members; poor network connectivity; insufficient data bundle and battery power; inability to get convenient time for all participants; disruption from other WhatsApp messages and; disorderliness in the presentation of ideas. To ensure participants stick to the aim of WhatsApp group learning platforms, respondents suggested setting out rules and regulations and ensuring strict adherence. They also suggested that group participants be informed and motivated about the importance of the platform aside being tolerant of the views member and regarding every contribution as valuable in order to enhance participation.
WhatsApp Learning, Pedagogy, Perception, Instant Messaging, Communication Platform
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey
I am a lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra in Ghana with great interest in research and career development.I am also a doctoral student with the University of South Africa. My core research interests are in the area of new media technologies and its appropriation, media influence and public relations. I am an open-minded person and happy to find myself in the company of critical thinkers. I am interested in this conference because I believe it will help me build up a strong research experience which will enhance my teaching and academic profile.