The Challenges and Opportunities of Using ZOOM App in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) During COVID-19 Pandemic: Lecturers’ and Students’ Perspective

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) | Volume VI, Issue VII, July 2021|ISSN 2454-6194

The Challenges and Opportunities of Using ZOOM App in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) During COVID-19 Pandemic: Lecturers’ and Students’ Perspective

Julius Zulu, Patricia Phiri Nalube, Robert Changwe, Simeon Mbewe
Department of Mathematics and Science Education, The University of Zambia, School of Education, Lusaka, Zambia

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closure of various institutions of learning such as: schools, colleges, and universities. Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Web-based information services (WIBS) such as ZOOM app, WebCT, Desire@Learn, Coursework, Atutor and Interact, Google Hangout, Google Meet, Google Classroom, Blackboard, Moodle, Olat, Sakai, Kallidus On Demand, and WebEx are being used by institutions in the teaching and learning of mathematics. ZOOM app allows students and lecturers to share the whiteboard, share the screen, add participants, mute participants in case of noise distortion, and upload lecture notes during the teaching and learning process. The study investigated the challenges and opportunities of using ZOOM app in the teaching and learning of mathematics during COVID-19: lecturers’ and students’ perspective. The study sought to establish challenges lecturers’ and students’ encounter when using ZOOM app in the teaching and learning of mathematics during COVID-19 pandemic and determine opportunities lecturers’ and students’ encounter when using ZOOM app in the teaching and learning of Mathematics during COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty (50) students taking Mathematics courses and ten (10) lecturers who teach mathematics courses at five (5) institutions in the Lusaka district of Zambia participated in this study. A mixed method approach which followed a descriptive survey study design, was used. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and a semi-structured interview schedule. Data was analysed descriptively and thematically. The challenges of using ZOOM app in the teaching and learning mathematics included: ZOOM app has limited capacity to accommodate more participants during the teaching and learning process; lack of good network connection; ZESCO power outages; lack of technological knowledge; high bundle consumption; and lack of devices for online learning such as smart mobile phones, computers, tablets, desktop, and smart televisions. In terms of the opportunities of using ZOOM app in the teaching and learning of mathematics, the study has established that: ZOOM app allows lecturers and students to teach and learn from anywhere; ZOOM app is cost effective than physical learning; ZOOM app facilitates group work; and ZOOM App options are easy to use; ZOOM app allows lecturers to schedule mathematics lessons in advance; and ZOOM app allows participants to join before the host. In view of these findings, it was recommended that government through the Ministry of Higher Education (MoGE) should promote the use of ZOOM app in the teaching and learning of mathematics. It was further recommended that government through the Ministry of Higher Education (MoGE) should ensure that more training should be given to lecturers as well as students in order to reinforce the change and support the new innovation due to COVID-19 to overcome ZOOM app challenges in teaching and learning of mathematics.

Keywords: Mathematics, COVID-19, Web-based information services (WIBS), ZOOM app, challenges, opportunities

I. INTRODUCTION

COVID-19 is a disease which is caused by a virus called corona. It was first detected in Wuhan, China. According to WHO (2019), the common symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, dry cough, tiredness, a loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, muscle aches, chills, sore throat, runny nose, headache, and chest pain among others. The disruption in education due to COVID-19 has been unprecedented.