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      Factors Affecting the Teaching–Learning Process Through the Use of Social Media: Comparative Analysis of Students from Rural and Urban Environments at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe

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        1 ,
      UNISA Press
      social media, academic exclusion, teaching and learning platform, mitigation measure, smart gadgets


            The use of social media as a teaching–learning platform was necessitated by the outbreak of COVID-19. The disease was declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization and when it spread to more than 100 countries within weeks it was inevitable for countries to take measures to curb the spread of the disease by shutting down schools and enforce movement restrictions. Zimbabwe also implemented these measures through a series of statutory instruments, which saw students and teachers confined to their homes. As mitigation measures, schools had to come up with solutions to enable teaching and learning, and social media emerged as one of the most common methods of teaching and learning. Students from different localities and economic backgrounds had to use the same methods of learning which were part of the open distance learning platform. In this paper, I argue that although social media was one of the best methods at hand to deal with teaching and learning challenges caused by the movement restrictions brought about by COVID-19, students from different communities and economic backgrounds were affected differently by the teaching–learning platform, with consequent unequal access to the learning platform. In the paper, I recommend that stakeholders in schools, colleges and universities emphasise the use of other means of open distance learning such as Moodle which keeps information permanently. In addition, institutions of higher learning can liaise with internet service providers for affordable data bundles to eliminate exclusion of students on the basis of geographical location.


            Author and article information

            UNISA Press
            27 July 2022
            [1 ] Catholic University of Zimbabwe
            Author notes

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
            Social & Behavioral Sciences,Arts
            academic exclusion,mitigation measure,teaching and learning platform,smart gadgets,social media


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