ISSN: 0799-1487

Science Students' Perceptions of the Use of WhatsApp, Read Aloud, and Tutor Scaffolding for Self-initiated Learning in a Discipline-specific Writing Course

Carmeneta Jones

Since 2009, WhatsApp has attracted approximately 400 million users per month, including university students. However, these students do not necessarily use such applications for academic purposes. This article focuses on a semester-long action study which garnered 32 science students’ perceptions of the use of peer WhatsApp networking, read aloud and solicited tutor scaffolding as means of self-initiated learning in their foundation writing course. Principles of constructivism and connectivism consistent with students’ transactional engagement in their writing development were applied to the research. Although some students believed that engaging with peers via WhatsApp groups was useful, the majority thought that reading aloud and self-correcting their writing in the presence of their tutor proved more advantageous. University writing facilitators should recognise that not all modern students’ preferred mode of communication for educational purposes is via digital applications such as WhatsApp. Therefore, for best learner outcomes, they should consider balance when implementing innovative strategies.
Section: Articles
Issue: Number 24