Analysis of factors that can positively influence the learning of first-year university mathematics through an online social media whatsapp group

Full Paper (Asynchronous) ID: 61172
  1. aaa
    Simon A Tachie
    North-West University, Potchefstroom campus
  2. Daniel Ofori-Kusi
    University of the Free State

Abstract: The current study takes a critical look at how the potential use of an online social media WhatsApp group can contribute positively to mathematics score performance of first-year, under-prepared university students. This study followed a qualitative research approach to divide WhatsApp group discussions into themes. The study is underpinned by the social constructivism and connectivism theory with the population being first-year, under-prepared, mathematics students studying mathematics and using WhatsApp group discussion as one of their learning tools. The sample comprised 192 first-year students purposively sampled from a university in South Africa. The main data-collection instrument was the Online WhatsApp group discussion platform. The study relied on the advanced technology of the Online WhatsApp platform to validate the data collected, and triangulation to check for reliability off the instrument. The main source of data for this study was mainly messages in the form of text, audio, videos and pictures posted by both the students and the lecturer. The data gathered were analysed and grouped into themes. The study found that an online WhatsApp learning platform can be a valuable resource tool that supports for first-year, under-prepared university students in mathematics. In conclusion, the study identifies and recommends factors lecturers should look out for when delivering mathematics lessons.


The objective of the study was to provide further insight into how WhatsApp Social Media messaging can contribute to the transfer of mathematics knowledge and skills in the absence of face-to-face traditional modes of instruction

Topical Outline

New technology ideas.


Not applicable

Experience Level



1. Dr Simon A. Tachie (PhD) 2. Dr D. Ofori-Kusi (PhD)


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