Leveraging MoyaMA, WhatsApp and Online Discussion Forum to Support Students at an Open and Distance e‑Learning University
Keywords:ODeL, online learning tools, mobile learning tools, Moya Messenger App WhatsApp, myUnisa’s ODF
AbstractThis paper reports on a study that integrated two instant messaging applications (Moya Messenger App and WhatsApp) and a myUnisa’s online discussion forum (ODF), and utilised them as tools to support student learning at an open and distance e‑learning university in South Africa. The participants in this study were 41 undergraduate education students enrolled for an undergraduate English Studies module. Employing a case study research design, the study utilised voluntary sampling to select its participants, and set out to answer three research questions. Data were collected through the three afore‑mentioned tools. To this effect, the study made the following observations. First, both the instructor and students were able to engage in asynchronous and synchronous scaffolding using Moya Messenger App. This included engaging in features of scaffolding such as orientation, coaching, conceptual scaffolding and meta‑cognitive scaffolding, largely by the instructor. Second, the instructor used Moya Messener App to engage in presence teaching, while students utilised it to engage in presence learning. Third, students utilised WhatsApp to produce short synchronous formal essays based on a compare and contrast essay writing activity. Fourth and last, students used myUnisa’s ODF to produce meta‑content reflective writing about the module.
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