4 - 2 - 2 - The Role of WhatsApp in Scientific Education at the College of Applied Medical Sciences at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University

Abstract: 

Objective: To determine how the social networking application of WhatsApp can be used to support and improve student academic performance at the College of Applied Medical Sciences at Imam Abdurrahman bin Faisal University in Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Methodology: This study is based on surveys of students and teachers at the College of Applied Medical Sciences at Imam Abdurrahman bin Faisal University in Dammam in Saudi Arabia. One survey queried the students as to their individual usage of WhatsApp messaging for educational purposes, and requested feedback from each survey participant as to the effects WhatsApp on academic performance. A second survey queried teaching staff about their individual experiences in using WhatsApp as an educational tool. The results of these surveys are the basis for the analysis and conclusions of this research paper. Results: Most of the survey respondents, both students and teachers, confirmed that they do use or would like to use WhatsApp and other social media applications for communications focused on education. The study reveals statistically significant differences in the preference for social media usage between males and females in both student and teacher survey populations. More than two-thirds of respondents (66.5%) stated that they used WhatsApp for personal communications. 73.0%, reported using WhatsApp messaging for educational purposes. Conclusion: In years past, communications between teachers and their students outside of the classroom were minimal and oftentimes non-existent. This new communications technology such as WhatsApp makes student-teacher much easier. As a result, students and teachers are more effective.