Student-teachers’ perception on the impact of WhatSapp in academic performance

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University of Dar es salaam
This study investigated student-teachers’ perceptions on the impact of WhatsApp in academic performance. Specifically, the study sought to explore the magnitude of WhatsApp usage to student teachers, to examine the extent to which student teachers use WhatsApp in learning process, to determine student teachers perception on effects of WhatsApp use in academic performance and to identify the challenges facing student teachers on WhatsApp in academic performance. The study was conducted in Arusha region in four teachers’ colleges. It used mixed methods approach involving explanatory sequential research design. Participants were obtained through criterion purposive and stratified proportionate technique to obtain 200 student-teachers in four sampled teacher colleges. Questionnaires and focus group discussions were used to collect the data. Quantitative data were analyzed through SPSS version 16.0 by using descriptive analysis tools to develop table and frequencies while thematic analysis procedure was used to analyze qualitative data. The findings revealed that 89 percent of student-teachers used WhatsApp. The findings also revealed that most of the student-teachers used WhatsApp in the sense that, WhatsApp was cheap, easy to access and assist them to get social, academic information and in conducting online discussions. Also the findings revealed that 86(43%) of participants use WhatsApp an average of not less than 12 hours in a day as maximum rate while 16(8%) of participants use WhatsApp in between 1 to 3 hours a day as minimum. Furthermore, student teachers perceived WhatsApp usage to have positive effects and some negative effects on their academic performance. On positive effects, majority of student teachers view WhatsApp generally as enhancing their academic performance. Their perception involves that WhatsApp use does not lead to their drop or failure in examinations (70.5%,31.5%,45.5%) for items 1, 3 and 4 respectively, WhatsApp use enhances the ability to focus on academic matters (49%) for item 2 and its use enable them to complete assignment easily (62%) for item 5. Some 14%, 34% and 22% for items 1, 3 and 4 respective view that WhatsApp use is much related with student teachers’ failures of drop in the examinations. Moreover, there are views that WhatsApp does not assist them to complete assignment easily (13% for items 5), does not provide chance to access subject notes easily (10.5% for item 6) and does not assist them to have better academic coordination (10% for item 7). The study revealed that student teachers were challenged with low internet accessibility and cost for internet bundle. Based on the findings, the study recommended that, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology should ensure that more funds are invested on internet connectivity (free wireless) in all public teachers’ college premises to enable student teachers to have internet link at low cost at the same time supporting teachers’ colleges to grid of negative effects of student teachers’ use of WhatsApp.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF LB1028.3.T34G635)
Technology, Educational technology, Instructional system, Student-teachers, Tanzania
Godlove, E (2020) Student-teachers’ perception on the impact of WhatSapp in academic performance, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.