Topic: Effects of Facebook on Students’ Academic performance

Literature review

The research is focused on analyzing the effects of Facebook on students’ performance. There are numerous research studies that analyze this topic under and they are indeed relevant since most of the innovative features offered by Facebook platform in collaboration with other social media forums have been boosted especially with the introduction of revolutionary features and platforms. The majority of these studies chosen have been published in the past four to five years. According to the comprehensive literature review by Ellison (2007), the role of Facebook in higher education is attributed to the creation of virtual classes. The review has analysed massive research database around the world to make this review comprehensive in its coverage for almost all aspects of an endeavor to give an explanation for the diverse roles of Facebook in higher education classes.

The effects of Facebook usage on students’ academic performance

Facebook being a social networking site, provides an online platform on which students create profiles, promote and share information and contents and have interactions with contacts both known and unknown (Kirkpatrick, 2010). Facebook have expanded recently, which have led to its use by people of all generations extensively. Several types of research examine this online platform attraction and its persuasive character and the reason that cause people of every kind and different ages to this community. Other studies show that Facebook extension presence can have effects that are harmful to academic performance. If students spend most of their time on Facebook, their academic performance will reduce and thus their grades (Kirkpatrick, 2010). A day students should spend at least 30-35 minutes surfing Facebook. They actually surf for only three to four minutes on each visit to be updated, but they severally visit Facebook a day. Others spend eight hours on the website. Although students consider Facebook is distracting and consuming a lot of time, they note that they can’t stop visiting the website because they prefer it and use it to contact family members and friends, whether or not encounter them each day.

With this research, Facebook is found to be characteristically popular among other social networking sites as well as among students as indicated by its growing user capacity that has reached over one billion. However, the review has found a mix of opinions attributed to whether Facebook alongside other social networking platforms ought to be integrated into learning processes or not.  Consequently, this literature survey has established many reasons for this mix of opinions. Despite many educational institutions having established infrastructure for the support of Facebook integration into classroom learning, building an effective integration methodology poses a major challenge for the researchers to counter.

In fact, many practitioners have not fully embraced this technology due to lack of proper skills and training in this area. The technological researchers who are in support the integration of Facebook into the educational setup have a perception that conversational procedures that ensure maximum interaction as well as a mix of reflections are made possible through social networking platforms. In the reflection of the impacts of Facebook networking on students’ performance, Tess (2013) argues that there is a variety of correlations that exist in the literature. Other studies though find a significant negative correlation between a student’s performance and use of Facebook while others find no correlations or weak correlations. Only a few studies come up with positive correlations though not with high-level significance. Interestingly, the negative correlations for the Facebook usage and poor academic performance have been associated with personality traits or other behavioral or psychological aspects rather than solely with the use of these platforms.

Other researchers have investigated the effects of using Facebook on academic performance for undergraduate students at the Lulea University of Technology Sweden in relation to their personality traits. The suggested research model examines the effects of Facebook usage on the performance of students with different personality traits. Furthermore, the research endeavors to justify the relationship between the three aspects i.e. Facebook usage, personality traits and academic performance (Ellison, 2007). The comprehensive analysis of 239 students’ data reveals very significant results and establishes that application of Facebook is associated with negative implications on the academic performance of students with extrovert personalities. However, the factor of self-regulation amongst students population magnificently reduces the negative impacts since they are deemed to have high levels of effective self-control with Facebook use. Cognitive absorption, which defines the extent of deep involvement, is another personality factor taken into consideration while undertaking this research.

Many have used Facebook exclusively as their social life outsource and have a feeling that this online platform means allowing it to take over their lives, (Kirkpatrick, 2010) which will lead to them rejecting the platform. Some say that since they started using Facebook, they have become more organized primarily regarding management contact and sharing information. A study by Kirkpatrick (2010) done recently also ask questions on the assumed effects that are negative on Facebook use on the academic achievements of the students and it suggested that this interdependency is significantly moderated by learners interests in the colleges and capabilities of performing many tasks at the same time. These results with controversy, additional to information from Facebook and students’ comments on distinguished groups of Facebook, give an indication that learners with specific profiles aim at the bridging social network, and getting in touch with old contacts and making new friends. Some spent most times on Facebook compare to others; they should have more immersion in tasks related to the many hours they spend surfing Facebook, so they are distracted likely by parallel tasks performed. Learners and other users who are active get involved in discussions that are long on issues trending daily, checking their profiles in Facebook from cell phones and computers.

Effects of Facebook frequency of use on students’ academic performance

Other researchers have successfully made the observation that the extent of cognitive absorption is an essential determinant of the frequency and duration of Facebook use. Also, they add that the level of cognitive absorption is defined by self-control and other personality traits. Although, multitasking skills have little to contribute towards reducing the frequency and use of social media among students, they moderate the effects of Facebook on students’ performance by tuning the cognitive absorption.

Kirkpatrick, (2010) examines the impacts of Facebook as being a social platform that has significant effects on students’ performance in academic courses. His research examines data from 1839 respondents studying degrees in residential institutes of northeastern USA to find trends in the frequency of Facebook visits and activities, time spent on Facebook, time spent on class preparation and academic grades of the students under research. Analysis of the collected data reveals that time spent on Facebook and frequency of visiting Facebook are negatively related to students’ performance in terms of their GPA.

According to Newman, (2013) they get distraction from their studies, and a load of their working memory make it hard for them to have a focus and makes effective preparations of their homework. This will lead to results that are poor and decrease the achievements. Some studies show the attitudes, interests of students to the internet and their activities vary with their sex, personality traits and age. Cultural backgrounds and characteristics differences give the suggestion that there is a need to address the effects of students using Facebook in various settings, which prompts queries about the impact of Facebook on students with distinguished characteristics and in distinguished cultural contexts which is not predictable. Researcher Newman (2013) indicates that the study on whether Facebook use by students affects their academic results, hence doing a theoretical background review and depicted the research model that was proposed before they represented the method adopted to examine it.

From their results analysis, they concluded and made recommendations for further research. Because of computers being popular among students in college many issues on academic performance had to be addressed. There are suggestions that students in college use Facebook in chatting with friends and professors as a way of getting knowledge, be informed, get support and obtain social acceptance that may cause higher levels of their satisfaction with college life and proficiency in performance consequently. However, there is a possibility that Facebook quality is relevant to the effect of the Facebook use on performance in academic. If it is intensively used for the purpose of academic or on communication that is essential with others, there will be a positive impact on academic performance. Elsewhere, if it is used extensively in recreational purposely use for example, playing games and watching video games, there will be a negative effect on the students’ academic performances  However, there is slightly negative correlation between time spent on this widely used social medium and the time spend in studying for class. He further adds that although time spent on social media and academic performance is negatively correlated, this relationship in real world scenarios does not seem to be a major hurdle in academic success.

Also, Ellison (2007) emphasizes on further investigation into the issue to find some more variables like focus and intervention that may be strongly related to academic performance. The negative correlation between Facebook usage and academic outcomes may be justified by some negative academic impacts related to certain ways students use this social medium. He observes that some specific uses of this social media relate to improved academic performance while others contribute to lower academic results. Chand (2012) conducted an investigation on the popularity of famous social media network (Facebook) among university students with a special concern for the gender-based comparison and the effect of the selected social medium on their academic performance. The researcher analyzed the patterns as well as the frequency of using Facebook among college students with a major focus on gender differences and student opinion regarding the impacts that this medium has on academic performance.

The research by Ellison (2007) analyzed a random sample comprising of 384 respondents both male and female. Also, the respondents belong to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs all bearing a mean age of 21 years. The research analysis indicates that Facebook has equal popularity among male and female students of the university under study. From the research, the majority of the users approximately 61% agree that this social medium has adverse effects on their academic performance. Male comprised a majority of the 61% of majority respondents. Additionally, the adverse effects of Facebook on academic performance contribute to the opinion that use of Facebook makes it hard for them to perform the best on their career performance. However, the researcher is optimistic that the later opinion is rather unclear and recommends the need for further investigation.

Facebook used as a learning tool by students to improve academic performance

Hamat & Hassan (2012) conducted a study for the adoption of social networking platforms among undergraduate and postgraduate students of Malaysian institute of higher education. The latter research is a qualitative research that collected data from 638 student respondents by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Later this data was analyzed in a bid to make observations on the use of the Facebook site. Equally, the study collects opinion regarding students and their Facebook impacts on their academic performance. A significant finding from the study is about the use of social networking sites (Facebook) for the purpose of learning. The majority of the respondents agree that they use Facebook as an informal learning tool and that it helps them connect with their friends and peers to get help regarding their studies. However, in the case of interaction with teachers, an equal split of opposite opinions exists. Consequently, the study supports the most common finding of the majority that the use of social networking sites has no significantly negative impacts on the students’ academic performance. Additionally, they consider the possibility of some other factors like Facebook addiction, excessive time spent on the internet and chatting. All these factors associated with the use of internet and more specifically social networking sites could cause poor academic performance.

Other researchers conducted a research study on forty (40) graduate students studying a course in Advance Management Information Sytems (AMIS) in a university in Taiwan to investigate the effect of using Facebook for educational purpose on the academic performance of the students. Students were grouped into 14 teams to discuss various questions based on management information system cases in an online forum specifically set up for the purpose. The students had to establish some summaries of the discussions made on the forum. At the end of the course, data was collected from the forty students on a self-administered questionnaires for the purpose of this particular research. The aim of the study was to find correlations among friendship, advice and adversarial factors and student academic performance. The results of the analysis show a strong correlation between centrality in friendship factor and the academic performance of the students.

Friendship is psychologically associated with companionship which gives individuals a better chance of getting support and information on problems. It can be inferred that promoting friendship among students in a controlled social media environment, can help improve the academic performance of the students. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of Ethiopia at Jimma University between March 2012 and March 2013 to find if any adverse effects of using Facebook on students’ academic performance exist. Like many other studies, this research effort also took Facebook into consideration to establish its findings. In a cross-sectional study of 490 respondents, the research did not find any significant relationship between students’ duration and frequency of use of Facebook and their academic performance.

Two other researchers further investigated if there is any effect of using Facebook while accessing through distinct devices. Among a variety of devices, it was found that the correlation between using Facebook on cell devices and students grades is highly negative as compared to using Facebook on other devices. This adverse effect is explained by the fact that using mobile phones for social networking activities may involve multitasking, and all students are not equally efficient in multitasking skills. The study suggests that students must be encouraged to use social networking sites for educational purposes instead of blocking these platforms in the educational premises.

According to research by Newman (2013) there is indeed specific impact of social media on the performance of students in distance education. This research is more important due to the fact that distance learning is totally dependent on social networking technologies like Facebook. This study is concerned with the respondents’ psychology towards using technology for the purposes of education and identification of suitable tools and technologies to achieve academic goals and objectives. This research analyses responses of 572 students enrolled to study a postgraduate course in management. The course delivery and management is online and utilizes information and communication technologies for this purpose.