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ERIC Number: EJ1247624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2073-7904
Mobile Instant Messaging: New Knowledge Tools in Global Health?
Pimmer, Christoph; Lee, Amy; Mwaikambo, Lisa
Knowledge Management & E-Learning, v10 n3 p334-349 Sep 2018
Despite the proliferation of Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) platforms, such as WhatsApp, studies that examine their role for learning and knowledge sharing are still rare. Using the context of global health, this study seeks to examine the ways in which MIM platforms are being used for learning and knowledge sharing and identify associated potentials and constraints. A survey with open- and closed-ended questions was administered and the experience of 40 respondents from 44 different project settings was gathered and analyzed. The findings indicate that MIM, and particularly WhatsApp, are used in a boundary-crossing manner, i.e., involving various groups of health professionals, students, and patients from across a range of low-income countries, particularly from Sub-Saharan Africa. MIM platforms are used in informal learning settings for knowledge creation and sharing, supervision, enacting social presence and collaborative problem solving, and for the support of formal education. In addition to enhancing communication efficiency and responsiveness, MIM was also used to bridge geographical (e.g., central-local and urban-rural) and social divides (e.g., professional rankings). Despite technical and socio-behavioral constraints, the use of MIM was reported to significantly benefit distributed global health work and to enhance learning and knowledge sharing in "distributed" networks of practice.
Laboratory of Knowledge Management & E-Learning. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Asia; Europe; South America; North America
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A