Making Virtual Discussions Engaging, Effective and Equitable: Reflections from Ghana

Authors

  • Bernard Wiafe Akaadom University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Edem Ahialey University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54536/ajsts.v3i2.2957

Keywords:

Virtual Discussions, Equity, Engagement, Non-Verbal Communication, Efficiency

Abstract

This study investigated students’ engagement and perceptions of virtual discussions in Ghanaian higher education. As courses have increasingly moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding how to make virtual discussions effective is crucial. However, little research exists on this topic within the African context. This study aimed to address this gap by exploring student engagement and the challenges and/or benefits of virtual discussions according to Ghanaian university students. A questionnaire was administered to 215 undergraduate students at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, from various academic programs and levels. The survey included questions on digital equity. Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative items. Results showed that while students felt comfortable participating in virtual discussions, building relationships and non-verbal communication remained challenging. Face-to-face discussions were preferred due to higher efficiency, though opinions varied on productivity and engagement levels between modes. Ensuring digital access and equity emerged as an important factor. This study provided valuable insights into enhancing virtual discussions in Ghanaian higher education. Strategies are needed to address relationship-building and equity concerns when discussions move online. Further research could explore different pedagogical approaches and under-represented student populations.

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Published

2024-07-02

How to Cite

Akaadom, B. W., & Ahialey, E. (2024). Making Virtual Discussions Engaging, Effective and Equitable: Reflections from Ghana. American Journal of Smart Technology and Solutions, 3(2), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.54536/ajsts.v3i2.2957