A Survey of WhatsApp as a Tool for Instructor-Learner Dialogue, Learner-Content Dialogue, and Learner-Learner Dialogue

Thanks to the development of online technology and social networks, people are able to communicate as well as learn. WhatsApp is a popular social network which is growingly gaining popularity. This app can be used for communication as well as education. It can be used for instructor-learner, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions; however, very little knowledge is available on these potentials of WhatsApp. The current study was undertaken to investigate university students’ perceptions of WhatsApp used as a tool for instructor-learner dialogue, learner-content dialogue, and learner-learner dialogue. The study adopted a survey approach and distributed the questionnaire developed by Google Forms to 54 (11 males and 43 females) university students. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. The result of data analysis indicates that students have positive attitudes towards WhatsApp as a tool for Instructor-Learner Dialogue: it easy to reach the lecturer (4.07), the instructor gives me valuable feedback on my assignment (4.02), the instructor is supportive during course discussion and offers continuous support with the class (4.00). Learner-Content Dialogue: WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with lecturers anytime, anywhere (4.00), it helps to send graphics such as pictures or charts directly to the students (3.98), it also provides out of class, extra learning materials and homework (3.96), and Learner-Learner Dialogue: WhatsApp is a good tool for sharing knowledge with others (4.09), WhatsApp allows me to academically engage with peers anytime, anywhere (4.07), and we can interact with others through the use of group discussion (4.02). It was also found that there are significant positive correlations between students’ perceptions of Instructor-Learner Dialogue (ILD), Learner-Content Dialogue (LCD), Learner-Learner Dialogue (LLD) and WhatsApp Application in classroom. The findings of the study have implications for lectures, policy makers and curriculum developers.

WhatsApp as Part of a Blended Learning Model to Help Programming Novices

Programming is one of the challenging subjects in the field of computing. In the higher education sphere, some programming novices’ performance, retention rate, and success rate are not improving. Most of the time, the problem is caused by the slow pace of learning, difficulty in grasping the syntax of the programming language and poor logical skills. More importantly, programming forms part of major subjects within the field of computing. As a result, specialized pedagogical methods and innovation are highly recommended. Little research has been done on the potential productivity of the WhatsApp platform as part of a blended learning model. In this article, the authors discuss the WhatsApp group as a part of blended learning model incorporated for a group of programming novices. We discuss possible administrative activities for productive utilisation of the WhatsApp group on the blended learning overview. The aim is to take advantage of the popularity of WhatsApp and the time students spend on it for their educational purpose. We believe that blended learning featuring a WhatsApp group may ease novices’ cognitive load and strengthen their foundational programming knowledge and skills. This is a work in progress as the proposed blended learning model with WhatsApp incorporated is yet to be implemented.

Omani Community in Digital Age: A Study of Omani Women Using Back Channel Media to Empower Themselves for Frontline Entrepreneurship

This research article presents the changing role and status of women in Oman. Transformation of women’s status started with the regime of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said in 1970. It is always desired by the Sultan to enable women in all the ways for the balance growth of the country. Forbidding full face veil for women in public offices is one of the best efforts for their empowerment. Women education is also increasing rapidly. They are getting friendly with new information communication technology and using different social media applications such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook for interaction and economic growth. Though there are some traditional and tribal boundaries, women are infused with courage and enjoying fair treatment and equal opportunities in different career positions. The study will try to explore changing mindset of young Omani women towards these traditional tribal boundaries, cultural heritage, business and career: ‘How are young Omani women making balance between work and social prestige?’, ‘How are they preserving their cultural values, embracing new technologies and approaching social network to enhance their economic power.’ This paper will discover their hurdles while using internet for their new entrepreneur. It will also examine the prospects of online business in Oman. The mixed research methodology is applied to find out the result.