Utilising m-learning for enhancing student participation at a South African university of technology
Previous studies on the academic utilisation of mobile devices in South Africa have rendered some invaluable insights into the rationale and different ways students utilise mobile technologies in and outside the classroom. However, these studies have addressed issues about social practices of adoption in high schools that emphasise tutor-directed, instant messagingmediated supply of supplementary tuition/training in subjects like science and mathematics. Consequently, insufficient attention has been devoted to understanding the dynamic complexities of implementing mobile learning (m-Learning) projects in tertiary institutions. This research contributes to the m-Learning discourse by exploring a collaborative m-Learning perspective, through the pedagogical application of WhatsApp, a special-purpose instant messaging service implemented at a University of Technology in South Africa. This research paper argues that mobile instant messaging (MIM) may create alternative academic discussion platforms for the students’ collaborative interactions outside the classroom, which implies the transformation of pedagogical delivery. The FRAME model was utilised as the theoretical lens for this study. An interview instrument was developed based on the FRAME model constructs. Face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with twenty participants. The findings suggest improved academic participation, the promotion of collaborative m-Learning for critical thinking, knowledge creation and sharing, as well as fostering effective learning through student-centered approach hence liberal transformation in the lecturer’s mode of instructional delivery.