WHATSAPP AS A SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA (CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT)
Whatsapp is getting to be one of most tools for communication among people, where everyone can exchange, share, comment, discuss and create information and knowledge in a collaborative way. With the increase in Social media rapidly changing the communications landscape, it emergence has impacted significantly how students learn and the way instructors teach. In today tertiary institution settings, lecturers, students and others collaborate on the tasks of knowledge construction. The definition of social media is "the connections that exist between network of individuals" The impact of social media on teaching and learning condition is growing every year and its applications can fortify class materials, positively influenced exchanges, collaborative work and community oriented work, etc. The lecturers and students testing the use of social media technologies to stimulate collaboration, information developments, knowledge constructions and thinking skills. The main aim of the research is to discover the hole of knowledge in adoption of whatsapp in teaching and learning process in formal sites that can efficiency applied in educational system.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The emergence of Whatsapp has revolutionized communication and facilitating teaching and learning activities in recent years. Social networking has blended learning and has become one of the most significant communication tools among young people; and is generally applied to the practice of using both and in-person learning experiences when teaching students. In a blended learning course, students might attend a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, while also independently completing online components of the course outside of the classroom. In this case, in-class time may be either replaced or supplemented by online learning experiences, and students would learn about the same topics online as they do in class, that is, the online and in-person learning experiences would parallel and complement one another (Edglossary, 2016). Applying Social Networking Sites (SNSs) in teaching and learning offer a positive impact on the adoption of SNSs and open the door to the new days of learning and teaching. Whatsapp is a mobile application that allows users to communicate with them using mobile gadget and computer. Whatsapp can be used for teaching and learning for the following reasons:
Compatible file format: jpg, audio, movie, pdf, excel, word, PowerPoint.
Large files transfer.
Grouping facilities: 250 members, access to old/past messages, members add members.
Better storage capacity and management
Better memory system and management
Better security with the encryption.
Whatsapp can also be accessed on the web and can be run easily run on a laptop, which can be used to engage students as a means of innovative learning mode and flipped learning mode. All messages, both incoming and outgoing are sent by the users (students) and can be displayed on multiple platforms concurrently. Whatsapp can also be used to conduct a flipped learning mode before the class meeting, as a means of passing information to students, and after the class lecture.
Selamat (2015) noted that whatsapp can be used to solve the following reasons and also used for blended learning:
Announcement 2. Forum i.e. whole class discussion 3. Quizzes 4. Open ended question 5. Group project report 6. Listening practice 7. Pronunciation practice 8. Speaking practice 9. Writing practice 10. Audio input/feedback 11. Video input/feedback 12. Problem solving 13. Content/materials sharing 14. PowerPoint presentation.
Heba (2015), opined the following advantages of whatsapp usage in 21st century education:
1. It has a high security feature as it provides more security than other messenger app across the social media circle, and messages sent are always encrypted for security and privacy.
2. Another advantage of whatsapp is that it provides extremely fast messaging service;
3. It has no ads, and it is completely free.
4. It has unlimited cloud storage.
Whatsapp is considered a student-centered asynchronous teaching app that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing beyond the constraints of time and place among a network of people. Asynchronous learning is based on a student-centered approach that emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer interactions. This approach combines self-study with asynchronous interactions to promote learning, and it can be used to facilitate learning in traditional on-campus education, distance education and continuing education (Denysiuk, Plavutska & Fedak, 2018)
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Whatsapp is a powerful social media app for many other objectives other than education. It enables many business companies advertise their business companies to promote and create awareness on products and services, and get feedback from customers. The challenge of whether whatsapp improves or decreases a student’s academic performance is often expressed in larger issues identified with it overall usage (e.g., privacy and safety concerns; its psychological effects; individual self-discipline and self- regulation concerns; human adaptability concerns). Another major challenge affected by the usage of the app. This tool can be used by people for collaboration, networking, and production purposes: but they can also be used for less worthy objectives. Therefore, this research investigate whatsapp as a powerful social media tool for teaching and learning.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the research is to investigate Whatsapp as a social media tool for teaching and learning in tertiary Institution across Nigeria. With the following objectives:
Examine students’ perception on the use of whatsapp for teaching and learning in tertiary institutions across Nigeria.
Effective assess usage of whatsapp for teaching and learning to improve academic performance among students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. What are students’ usage of Whatsapp for teaching and learning in Universities?
2. What are students’ perception on the use of Whatsapp for teaching and learning?
3. Do students’ have access to data to visit Whatsapp regularly?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. There are no significant differences in whatsapp usage among students in universities.
2. There is no significant relationship between usage of whatsapp and perception of students.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Whatsapp: WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging application that allows iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphone users to exchange text, image, video and audio messages for free.
- Students: a person who is studying at a school or college.
- Social media: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
- Encrypted: convert (information or data) into a cipher or code, especially to prevent unauthorized access.
-JPG: is a file extension for a lossy graphics file
-PDF: a file format that provides an electronic image of text or text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.
- Asynchronous: of or requiring a form of computer control timing protocol in which a specific operation begins upon receipt of an indication (signal) that the preceding operation has been completed.