Original Research

Postgraduate mathematics education students’ experiences of using digital platforms for learning within the COVID-19 pandemic era

Jayaluxmi Naidoo
Pythagoras | Vol 41, No 1 | a568 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v41i1.568 | © 2020 Jayaluxmi Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2020 | Published: 30 November 2020

About the author(s)

Jayaluxmi Naidoo, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Education, School of Education, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Within the digital era, as global society embraces the fourth industrial revolution, technology is being integrated swiftly within teaching and learning. Within the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic era, education institutions are preparing robustly for digital pedagogy. This article reports on a study focusing on 31 postgraduate mathematics education students’ experiences of using digital platforms for learning during the COVID-19 pandemic era. The study was located at one teacher education institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The research process encompassed three interactive online workshops and two online discussion forums, which were conducted via different digital platforms (Zoom, Moodle and WhatsApp). The study was framed using the theory of Communities of Practice, which denotes a group of people who share an interest which is enhanced as group members support and interact with each other. Qualitative data generated during the interactive online workshops and discussion forums were analysed thematically. The results exhibit challenges and strengths of using digital platforms as experienced by the participants. The results of this study suggest that before using digital platforms for mathematics learning, it is important for students to be encouraged to practise and engage collaboratively within digital platforms. The study adds to the developing knowledge in the field concerning using digital platforms for learning mathematics within the COVID-19 pandemic era.


COVID-19; digital platform; fourth industrial revolution; mathematics; Moodle; technology; WhatsApp; Zoom


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