Record Details

Online learning and peer support: Exploring the use of WhatsApp in first-year mathematics


Field Value
Title Online learning and peer support: Exploring the use of WhatsApp in first-year mathematics
Creator Jacobs, Mark S. George, Frikkie Anga’ama, Daniel
Subject Education, Mathematics mathematics; online learning; peer learning and peer support; procedural and conceptual learning; WhatsApp platform.
Description The outbreak of COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown took the world by surprise, forcing the trimming of the school curriculum and institutions of higher learning to urgently adopt online platforms to continue teaching and learning. This article is a case study that explores the use of a social media platform, WhatsApp, to improve peer learning and peer support in a South African context. The study sought to explore the nature of peer-to-peer learning that took place, and how peer support contributed positively to a student’s conceptual understanding of the mathematics concepts. It involved a cohort of 180 entry-level students of an undergraduate engineering mathematics course. Guided by social constructivism, we analysed the data qualitatively using grounded theory. The results suggest that WhatsApp served as a viable platform for communication and peer-to-peer learning of engineering mathematics concepts. The study also found that the WhatsApp postings peer support alleviated the negative effects of remote learning. Some implications of the study as well as recommendations are suggested.Contribution: This study focuses on peer learning in an online social media context and proposes the use of categories for analysing students’ engagement with critical mathematics topics.
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
Contributor Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Fundani CHED
Date 2023-09-07
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — case study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/pythagoras.v44i1.716
Source Pythagoras; Vol 44, No 1 (2023); 9 pages 2223-7895 1012-2346
Language eng
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Coverage Tertiary field at first year level (South Africa) Covid-19 period 2020 -2021 Age, Gender, nationality
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Mark S. Jacobs, Frikkie George, Daniel Anga’ama