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WhatsApp use among African international distance education (IDE) students: transferring, translating and transforming educational experiences

Madge, Clare; Breines, Markus Roos; Dalu, Mwazvita Tapiwa Beatrice; Gunter, Ashley; Mittelmeier, Jenna; Prinsloo, Paul and Raghuram, Parvati (2019). WhatsApp use among African international distance education (IDE) students: transferring, translating and transforming educational experiences. Learning, Media and Technology (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2019.1628048
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Abstract

Much of the research on how social media is embedded into the educational practices of higher education students has a Western orientation. In concentrating on a case study of the varied ways in which African International Distance Education (IDE) students actively use social media to shape their learning experiences, we discuss an under-researched group. The paper draws on analysis of 1295 online questionnaires and 165 in-depth interviews with IDE students at UNISA, South Africa, one of the largest providers of IDE globally. WhatsApp emerges as ‘the’ key social media tool that opens up opportunities for IDE students to transfer, translate and transform their educational journey when studying ‘at a distance’. Although WhatsApp does provide a ‘space of opportunity’ for some students, this is framed through socio-technical marginalisation, itself a reflection of demographic legacies of inequality. Exploring social media practices though the case of African IDE students places these students centre stage and adds to the awareness of the multiple centres from which international education is practiced.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 1743-9884
Keywords: African international distance education; social media; WhatsApp; South Africa
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Sociology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Item ID: 62385
Depositing User: ORO Import
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2019 08:09
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 04:31
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/62385
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