ABSTRACT to involve in the learning process. Hence

ABSTRACT

Social media has become
a popular channel for communication and beyond in various fields. The exposure
of social media has created imaginative ways of communication for businesses. Though
social media has its gain and pain, it is still very powerful since many
organizations design strategies to accommodate resources to handle social media
platform. Higher education is expected o alter in future with this concern towards
social media since the orientation of education today has made students
centered learning mechanism to deliver holistic learning experience. Social
media is understood to be an innovative and an effective tool for students to
involve in the learning process. Hence it is a need of the day to investigate
students’ and teachers’ perception towards social media as a pedagogical tool
to create a virtual learning environment that is expected to enhance the
overall learning experience. To achieve the state of implementing social media with
the traditional pedagogical approach, the research investigates the preferences
of students and teachers in social media for a mutual learning in the context
of higher education as an educational platform. A descriptive survey method is
implemented in this research to analyze the above agenda of the paper. The
result demonstrates that social media is being preferred in higher education so
as to actively engage students with learning process and create a flexible
environment for students and teachers in the universities.

Keywords:
 Social Media,
pedagogical, academics, Students centered learning, virtual learning, Social
Media technologies

 

INTRODUCTION

The collaboration of IT
and social media services in higher education has proved to establish a substantial
change in the attitude of both students and instructors approach towards study,
teach and learn 1, 2, 3. Based on these facts on the literature works
related to this objective a survey of students’ and instructors’ social media
usage habits and preferences has been conducted at Ibra College of Technology in
2018. This survey is mainly designed to measure the extent of media services being
used in learning and teaching as well as to create a user-friendly ambience for
students and instructors in the university. The survey primarily focuses on the
media usage preferences of students and instructors of the Ibra College of
Technology. The respondents were scaled based on the way media is being used by
the individual in relation with academic education like studying and teaching. The
identification of the results aim to act as an evidence upon which more
reliable predictions can be made for future trends of media usage in higher
education. The basic idea behind this research based survey is that current
academic education is utilizing a traditional approach like text books and journals.
A combination of traditional and media based learning (Google, Wikipedia and
other educational sites) can create a better educational system that is
efficient and effective. The actual situation already has some former media
usage habits that can be changed with the introduction of new media. The
questionnaire is designed to derive partial results that involve instructors
and students only from the Ibra College of Technology. There are several other
focused surveys exclusively on mobile learning approaches and m-learning methods
that are released in papers 5, 6, 7. In case of short-term academic
education the level of satisfaction of media usage habits depends on the
duration of the study 8, 9. This media usage survey defined in this paper will
be helpful for educational researchers with an in depth and detailed understanding
of students’ and instructors´ technology usage in learning and other
demographic factors that can influence the usage. This survey is designed to
involve all the spectrums of media services with the below objectives: 

·        
To evaluating social media use in terms
of education that involves media use frequency, acceptance of both internal or
university-provided and external services, satisfaction, print media, social
media, electronic text, e-learning services, information technology,
communication media and IT hardware. 

·        
To determine the factors that influences
media use in learning. This involves cultural differences, sex, age, and
academic level as well as to identify the similarities among student media
usage. 

·        
To create a knowledge base for
universities to have a better understanding on the media usage of students and
instructors.

·        
To assess the prospective in media
trends so as to define media development strategies for universities. 

·        
To evaluate user satisfaction so as to
evaluate the quality of the media being used by the students and instructors.

 

Background

Technology has changed
the way people think, react and interact. Internet is now an easy thing to be
used with the help of mobile phones that costs a minimal amount for usage.
Service providers also play a helpful role for the easy access of internet by extending
their support a step further with special offers. It is been analyzed that youth
create a huge demand for the growth of social media. These communication
channels are termed as Social Networking Sites (SNS). Recently held reports claim
that youth spend around 10 hours per day using some form of technology over the
socially networked media (Rideout, Foehr & Robert 2010).

Neelamalar & Chitra
(2009), define that the members involved in social sites form groups called as
communities to share their thoughts and opinions among themselves.  The research proposed in this paper shows the impact
of social network on Indian youth. The results show that 95% who are members in
social networking sites tend to spend an hour to five hours every day in social
networking sites. It is also analyzed that 95% of the youth use social
networking sites as a platform to reconnect with lost friends, share knowledge
and maintaining existing relationships.

Moreno & Kelb
(2012) find that in case of adolescents social networking sites play an
important medium to establish communication with friends and self-expression. They
further observed that 22% of teenagers log on very frequently to their favourite
social networking sites for more than ten times in a day. This study also
conveyed a shocking observation about adolescents that they believe social
networking sites reference is true and accurate and this can influence their
own perception and actions (Moreno & Kelb: 2012).

Sunitha and Narayan
(2010) made a point that social networking has almost become a part of the
daily life experience or in other words as a daily habit for an increasing
number of people. They made their study based on United States and other
countries around the world and stated that the rapid adoption of social network
sites by the youth has raised some serious concerns to be answered. Ahn (2010) states
that while teenagers are so much engaged with technology they fail to realize
the importance of schooling in their lives. No one can deny that youth use
these technologies only to communicate with the world but they also go beyond
to implement them in learning and studying process as well (Lenhart et al.,
2007b).

We know that several learning
institutions have blocked access to SNS in their premises but it is important
to understand that students use their own gadgets at home. Therefore it is a
must for both educators and parents to realize the fact that there is high
usage of SNS by students and it is important to find the effects of these social
media sites on students’academic performance.

Literature
review:

A.
The Impact of WhatsApp in Teaching to Iranian EFL Learners at a Junior High
School

This paper by Azizeh
Chalak and Sanaz Jafari of Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran present a
study based on the application of WhatsApp in the vocabulary learning
improvement of students who belong to the Iranian junior high school EFL. A
pre-test and post-test was performed and the results of the work proved that
WhatsApp had a significant role in vocabulary learning of the students.9

B.
Distance Learning and Facebook’s Usage: Students? Attitude

Vilmant?
Kumpikait?-Vali?nien? studied the role of Facebook in the study process. This
paper states that Facebook should be implemented into the study process for the
upcoming decades. It is been observed that this approach gets more attractive when
merged with Skype. But the Lithuanian students are very critic in applying
Facebook in the study process since it is most commonly used during leisure
time and not prefer to use the same medium of social media as a pedagogical
tool 10.

C.
Learners’ Views on the Use of Social Networking Sites subjected to Distance
Learning

This work was proposed
by At?c? and Özmen of the Firat University, Turkey. In this study, they demonstrated
the application of learning management systems that was supported by social
networking sites in case of distance education and to understand the concern of
learners regarding these platforms. A semi-structured interview was conducted with
open-ended questions to collect data required for the case study. Content
analysis was implemented in the analysis of data. The results pointed that students
have positive attitude towards social networking sites in distance education
and these applications have greatly improved the quality of communication
between the instructors and the students 11.

D.
Whether to use Social media in higher education in developing Countries.

Mohamed A. Moustafa, Abu
Elnasr E. Sobaih , Parvis Ghandforoush and Mahmood Khan proposed the concept of
social media in higher education. This paper speaks on global terms of using social
media in education by students. It helps to bridges a gap in knowledge with
respect to the value and the use of social media as a pedagogical tool for
teaching and learning in higher education in developing countries. This paper
identified several barriers among the social media usage for higher education. The
research concludes stating that the faculty needs to clear these barriers so as
to make social media an innovative and effective tool for teaching and
learning. The implications for the researchers and the policy makers are
discussed in the paper.

C.
Effect of Social Media for academic collaboration

Previous literature
works with respect to this subject has concluded saying social media has played
a very vital role in enhancing student’s academic performance. It was evaluated
that the complex features of social media can actually help students to improve
their learning skills by engaging with other people online 8. The research work
done by Wohn, Khan & Ellison 9 implemented the quantitative methodology
to examine the aspect of social media in increasing students’ academic
performance.

SOCIAL
MEDIA AN EDUCATION TOOL

As we know that most of
the social networking sites have abundant data with it and also has the
potential to collect more data. In order to have social networking medium as an
educational tool and make it qualitative by implementing appropriate data
mining techniques are to be used. Mining must be performed effectively so as to
refine data and make it secure for creating a socio-academic environment. A classroom
environment with learning communities can increase the overall social performance.
Many researches show that these integrations in classroom are knowledgeable but
failed to be expressive. The conventional teaching methods and the learning
pedagogies have to undergo some refinement to make use of these socio educational
tools.

Social media can enhance
the personality of an individual. Apart from this social media is also a great
catalyst for a solid education. A click is enough and you get what you need to
know. It’s simple, easy and affordable too. A peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge
is made simple with social media. Time is no more a constraint and we can do
anything even during your off hours. Student- teacher interaction is more
frequent with social media and also interactive without much hesitation.
Question and answer sessions are more realistic providing a quality and
successful education system. Instant feedback is possible from peer. Audio-visual
learning is feasible and creates an attractive learning environment.

Social
Networking Sites

With the increase of
technology being used just to communicate with people- Social Networking has reached
its height and fame with sites like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster,Whatsapp,
Bebo and Xanga (Coyle et al., 2008).

Paul, Cochran and Baker(2012),
in their research work study on the effect of online social networking on
students’ academic performance and found that there is statistically a significant
negative relationship between time spent on online social networks and their
academic performance.

The study that
concentrated on adolescents’use of SNS observed that their profiles contain all
personal information in the social sites that can cause them a wide range of
social issues. According to Merten and Williams (2008), the university students
are often obsessed with their Twitter page or Facebook profile.

Trusov, Pauwels and Bucklin
(2009) defined in their study that Internet is indeed an evolution of
technology but it causes an unsafe space for teenagers in social networks.  

 

2.2
Social Networking Sites and Academic Performance

Ahn (2011) has well argued
in his paper on the debate surrounding youth, SNS and educational achievement.
A conference paper held by Karpinski (2009) attracted much of attention as its findings
state that college Facebook users have lower GPAs than students who are not
users of the site.

Karpinski has made several
hypotheses in the paper. For example, the hypotheses on Facebook users spending
too much time online and less time studying. But the author failed to rigorously
examine the counter hypotheses and remains a rather exploratory, basic attempt
to understand the effect of SNS on learning (Khan, 2011).

Shankar and Kuppuswamy
(2010) argue in their research paper that social network websites grab more attention
of students and tend to divert them towards non-educational and inappropriate actions
that include useless chatting, random searching and not doing their concerned
jobs. However, there are many research papers that found a positive association
between use of internet and SNS and academic performance of the student users.

Sisson and Wiley (2006)
argued that the earlier studies related to the subject have found that more
than 90% of college students use social networks. In a similar way Steinfield,
Ellison and Lampe (2007) found that students use social networking websites for
around 30 minutes throughout the day as a part of their daily routine life.

Benzie (2007) observed
that the Canadian government restricted employees from Facebook.com. In a
similar way Ellison and Boyd (2007) also stated that the U.S. Congress has
proposed legislation to ban youth from accessing social networking websites in
schools and libraries.

Charlene Li et al.,
(2007) analyzed and stated that students are more likely to use social
networking websites; with 47% of teenagers (12 to 17year olds) and 69% of young
adults (18 to 21year olds) and 20% of adults (18+) use social networking sites,
and only 20% use them to contact other people.

According to Charlene
Li et al (2007) student activity on social networking sites were primarily to
communicate with each other. But Khan (2012) in his research paper states that
the most popular activities done by students and users on social networking
sites is to look at profiles of one another, search for someone or some
contact, or update one’s own profile, eavesdropping (sensing others activities
on social networking websites and analyzing their posts). All the above
scholarly articles point to one thing, students spend much study time on these
social networking sites to just interact with others other than doing their
school work.

Ahn (2011) states that
research on social capital, SNS and psychological well-being paves an
additional link to student learning through the mechanism of academic
engagement. The concept of engagement can be defined in emotional, behavioural and
cognitive terms (Blumenfeld, Fredericks &Paris, 2004).

Behavioural engagement relates
to participation in social, academic or extracurricular activities. Emotional
engagement defines the positive and negative feelings that students have
towards peers, teachers and the broader school community. Cognitive engagement shows
the idea that a student is ready or willing to expend the energy to comprehend difficult
concepts and learn new skills. As stated earlier much of the researches based
on SNS suggest that as students more frequently interact with their network and
create higher quality relationships with others.

Education researchers
who are responsible to examine the social context of learning in areas like
extracurricular activity, out-of-school time and classroom climate also found a
connection between students’academic engagement, high-quality relationships  and achievement (Templeton and Eccles, 2002;
Feldman & Matjasko, 2005; Dowson & Martin, 2009). A major hypothesis
among education researchers states that youth participation in extracurricular
and school activities increases their social connectedness with teachers and also
with peers (Eccles& Templeton, 2002; Feldman & Matjasko, 2005). Ahn
(2011) further informs that this connectedness is related to increased
engagement with school and academics.

 

MAIN
FOCUS OF THE ARTICLE

Since the main
objective of this paper is to find an accurate and trustable representation of
the perceptions and challenges in using social media as a pedagogical tool in
universities. A descriptive research design was implemented to establish the
research work as was it was the most suitable approach. The research is
designed with a survey research methodology that implements a questionnaire based
survey as the main research tool. The questionnaire includes demographic
details, perceptions and challenges. The respondents were considered from the
department of Math, ELC, IT, Business and Engineer from the Ibra college of
Technology. Both instructors and students were asked to answer the
questionnaire with random sampling approach. The completed questionnaires were
used to analyze the weight or the importance of each perception and challenge. The
questionnaires were distributed to students and lecturers as hard copies.

 

CONCLUSION

To conclude, the
research finding shows that the level of satisfaction among respondents in
concern with social media as a pedagogical tool is high and that social media
has helped them to socially be strong. Around 70 per cent of the population
state that social media has greatly helped them academically improve. Overall social
media usage is a good thing to go about in the education system.

The report also takes
the responsibility to highlight the challenges as well of using digital
technologies and for both students and educators. It also brings some important
questions for universities where the educators might benefit better than
student’s use of social media in terms of educational objectives and learning
experiences. This survey helps in providing a tentative step to explore the
online activities of the university students and provide them with better comprehensive
insights. The analysis shows high levels of online usage on a daily basis in particular
with social and entertainment category. It was also found that a major
proportion of the respondents use smart phones on a daily basis in the college.
Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are the popular
internet platforms accessed frequently and widely.

The report did uncover
the important aspects of having social media as a pedagogical tool for
university students. The survey did find a significant pattern in which social
media was being used for some academic works like performing collaborative work
with peers, using academic search tools for research purposes and downloading
reading materials. It is transparent that students and educators prefer a
social communication forum like instant messaging as an important tool for
their daily college life. Both students and educators are digitally literate
and trust on social media. It is a must to mention that a significant population
of the survey do agree that they are concerned about balancing the time spent
on college work with the time spent on devices.

Our findings can act as
an objective for future research regarding universities considering social
media a pedagogical tool for their education system and utilise social media as
a major tool for education.