In this study, the effectiveness of using a smartphone instant messaging (IM) app (WhatsApp) for academic discussion for a first year half-credit Chemistry course in SUTD was examined. Academic discussion during and after instructional teaching is an integral part of learning. However, only 32% of the student participants had used online platform, such as Piazza and forums in Learning Management System (LMS), for after-class academic discussion with their instructors and peers. At the end of this study, over 83% of the participants felt that WhatsApp was a more effective platform compared to other online forum. The study also looked at the challenges of using WhatsApp for academic discussion and its effect on face-to-face interaction between instructors and students. In conclusion, the use of IM platform for academic discussion was desirable for the students, but it should not be the only channel as face-to-face consultation and online forum for lengthy discussion are still important for after-class learning of students.
Mei Xuan Tan, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Eng Ying Bong, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Stream: Higher education
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