THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Joosten (2012) describes social media as technological systems that are broadly meant for the purpose of collaboration and communication within a community. Web blogs, Wikipedia, virtual game sites, multimedia platforms, and virtual social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Badoo etc. are typical inclusions of social media (McEwan, 2012).
Social media has been constantly changing in its features and facilities it provides. Due to the continuously ongoing development activities in the field of social media and social networking sites to meet the user demands, the definition and description of social media is challenge in itself. Some social media platforms are custom-made with specific features to meet the requirements of a particular niche of users. Dating websites are common examples of social media platforms specifically designed for a particular niche.
Ning is a platform for users who want to create their own social networks. Facebook represents almost all capabilities of social networking sites (SNS’), where a user can enjoy almost all features of what can be included in the definition of socializing (Haase, 2010).
Emergence of Web 2.0 boosted the value of social media. The internet evolution makes us cognize the development of this participatory podium that conceptualizes the importance of production, distribution and democratization of information. Social media is rightly characterized by conversation, connectedness, community, openness, and participation (FKII Josayeongu Team, 2006: 53).
Social media in the educational field has been a debatable topic among educators, education researchers, and social media researchers. Several researches highlight the importance of social media technologies for a well-controlled and efficient resource utilization complementing the educational activities inside and outside the classroom. They justify that use of these technologies not only facilitate teacher-student and student-student interaction but also improve student learning, help develop their skills and competencies, and their level of satisfaction into new learning paradigms (Ajjan & Hartshorne, 2008).
Seamean & Tinti-Kane (2013) find blogs and wikis to be the most used social media for educational purposes like content creation, comments addition, and completing individual assignments (Seamean & Tinti-Kane, 2013). Blogs not only support E-learning, but also promotes social interaction among teachers and students for information learning experiences (Lara, 2005).
While ranking different social media platforms, research finds Facebook to be at the top in popularity and user base. It crossed user base of 35,000,000 in the year 2012. MySpace is found to be the second most popular social networking platform followed by Linkedln at the third position. However, when it comes to researching the impacts of social media in education, most of the research has been focusing the most popular social network i.e. Facebook (Tess, 2013).
The role of social media in education has been a hot area of research for years now. The question of whether social media plays a positive or negative role in academia is still debatable among social media and education researchers. However, this issue is multifaceted and the answer is not that simple. The purpose of this research is limited to study and investigate the effects of social media on students’ performance.
One of the independent variables is whether a student uses social media platforms or not. Another independent variable can be the amount of time spent on these social media. The dependent variable will be the students` performance on some courses. The major questions to be answered by this research are the following:
- Does use of social media has any negative impact on students’ performance?
- Does use of social media has any positive impact on students’ performance?
- How do social media affect the students` performance?
- Is there any difference in performance on a particular course between students who use social media and those who don’t?
Definition of Terms:
- Social Media: Websites, blogs, content management systems and web and mobile applications that enable users to connect to peers and other users, create and share content and/or participate in social networking
- Student Performance: student performance or academic achievement is the extent to which a student has achieved his/her educational goals and objectives usually measured through examinations and continuous assessment.
- Social Networking Site (SNS): is a platform to buildsocial networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.
The next chapter discusses and summarizes the previously published research efforts related to effects of social media on students’ performance.