e-ISSN: 1309-517X
WhatsApp Groups in Academic Context: Exploring the Academic Uses of WhatsApp Groups among the Students

Diganta Baishya 1, Saurabh Maheshwari 1 *

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 31-46

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The present study explores the uses of WhatsApp groups in the education context. It examines utilities and burdens associated with educational WhatsApp groups. The study also explores how the presence of teachers in the groups can influence the group functioning. In the first study chats of four WhatsApp groups of one year, where two groups were included teacher and two groups were without teachers, were analyzed. In the second study, interviews were conducted with two participants from each group, a total of eight participants. The results of the studies show that the major functions these groups serve are mostly education-related. However, apart from academic uses, students do use this platform for wishing/congratulations, for extra curriculum activities as well as for entertainment purposes. In addition, the results show that the presence of the teacher influences the group conversation significantly. Though students reported that sometimes these WhatsApp groups become burden and take a lot of time, but they also believe that is unavoidable, since these WhatsApp groups not only provide them important information related to class, exam, holidays, etc., but members are also able to connect with others and involve in non-academic activities.