A Survey Study on the Potential Educational Value of WhatsApp in the Iranian EFL Settings

Maria Shobeiry


This study investigated the main motives of using WhatsApp and the potential educational value of it in the Iranian EFL contexts in comparison with institutional e-learning platforms, Big Blue Button, and Google Meet since there was no studies in the literature of Iranian EFL contexts to investigate the various motives of WhatsApp in general and its diverse educational value in particular. A total of 301 male and female advanced EFL learners answered a questionnaire which was a combination of Sheldon's (2008) and Jong, Lai, Hsia, Lin, and Liao's (2014) questionnaires. Several one-way ANOVA and Post Hoc Test performed on the respondents' ranking scores revealed that WhatsApp was the first preferred platform for the facilities of a) being immediately informed on the educational materials b) educational online group discussion, and c) convenience of sharing and reviewing educational materials. The institutional e-learning platform was the second favorite and Google Meet and Big Blue Botton were the least popular platforms. The highest motives for using WhatsApp included relationship maintenance and educational peer discussions. These results illustrated WhatsApp as a high-valued popular educational medium, especially for extrovert and low-motivated EFL learners, which should be considered as a treasured platform in the Iranian EFL contexts. 


institutional e-learning platforms; cultural issues in e-learning; immediacy of exchange of knowledge; group work in e-learning; extrovert e-learners

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