WhatsApp for mobile learning. Effects on knowledge, resilience and isolation in the school-to-work transition


This study investigated the use of instant messaging in the school-to-work transition, a crucial stage of learning and development. Newly graduated health professionals (n = 235) participated either in WhatsApp groups in which moderators shared knowledge and facilitated professional discussions or in the control group. The results show that participants in the WhatsApp groups had markedly higher levels of knowledge, greater resilience as well as lower levels of professional isolation– in comparison with the control group. They also reported less stress when searching for a new job. These findings are affirmed by the qualitative analysis of open survey questions: knowledge acquisition emerged as the main benefit followed by connectedness and professional informational benefits. A further interesting result is that the general, day-to-day use of WhatsApp outside of the intervention was linked to higher levels of resilience. Another finding is that although the actual (measured) and self-reported frequency of participation in the WhatsApp groups correlated highly, these measures did not predict the outcome variables in the regression analysis. This observation questions the frequency of participation as a proxy for the success of engagement.

The Internet and Higher Education