Student Perspectives on WhatsApp Support for Developing School Experience e-Portfolios on Google Sites
This paper sought to reflect on the task of putting together an e-Portfolio of evidence under conditions of imposed emergency remote online teaching and learning with WhatsApp support. Student teachers in one institution had to undergo their school experience and practice teaching under emergency remote online teaching and learning. Further, these students had to produce and submit portfolios of evidence in an electronic format. Given that there were no contact lectures and tutorials during this period, WhatsApp support had to be relied on to assist these students with the development of their school experience portfolios. Informed by the e-learning ecologies framework, this study analysed the affordances of WhatsApp support in the development of e-Portfolios by student teachers in one university. First and fourth-year education students on school experience provided data through a qualitative survey in which their accounts and evaluations of interactions and support through WhatsApp were expressed narratively. Meaning units were extracted through content analysis and allotted to themes and categories suggested by the affordances framework. This study reports on the usefulness of the framework to evaluate WhatsApp support as well as the affordances that are most and least served by WhatsApp support on the development of an e-Portfolio of evidence on practice teaching. Recommendations on the efficacious use of WhatsApp support for e-Portfolio development, the practices that would foster the realisation of all the affordances, and enhancement of e-Portfolio development for the school experience are furnished.