The Effects of Social Media on Student Performance

Introduction

Effects of social media in education has been discussed and debated by educational researchers and social media researchers since the start of these platforms. Students have been more and more involved in using social media with the passage of time. Parents, teachers, and education researchers have been discussing the advantages and disadvantages of frequency of use and time spent on social media. There are research studies, which find social media useful in the sense that it facilitates teacher-student and student-student interaction and learning improvement. While there are others who are against the use of social media by students as they are of the view that social media wastes the time of students and thus effects their academic performance. The purpose of this research is to investigate about how social media affects the students’ academic performance. Academic performance means the level of achievement of students in their studies. Social media include Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, web 2.0 and many more. Thus, this research tries to find whether using these social media affect the students’ scores in their studies or not and in what way do these affect the performance.

Effects of Social Media on Students’ Performance

The role of social media in education and its effects on students’ performance has multiple dimensions. This research presents the positive and negative effects of using social media on the students’ academic performance.

Research finds different opinions regarding the role of social media in higher education whether that is through virtual or real classes. It is found that using social media either does not effect students’ academic performance at all or if it does, the effects are very slight. The researchers say that different institutions have established facilities to take greater benefits from social media but there is still lack of proper integration of these media into educational setup to gain maximum benefits. Some studies find positive relationship between social media and students’ academic performance, which means that using social media has positive effects on students’ achievement on examinations and assessments. It is also found by the research that it depends upon students’ personality traits whether social media will affect their performance negatively or positively. Some personality traits cause social media to enhance students’ performance while some personality factors cause social media usage to negatively affect students results.

Studying the effects of Facebook on academic performance of undergraduate students at Lulea University of Technology Sweden, Rouis, Limayem & Salehi-Sangari found that those students who have extrovert (friendly) personalities, then their academic performance is negatively affected by use of social media. Again, they argue that extroverts are often good in self-regulation. This characteristic of self-regulation reduces the negative impact of social media usage on their academic performance. They also conclude that the extent of deep involvement (also called cognitive absorption) determines about how much time students spend on Facebook and how many times do they visit Facebook. Thus, this level of deep involvement with Facebook can affect students’ performance. Multitasking is another personal characteristic of humans. Multitasking skills of students control the effects of social media on students’ performance.

Junco in his research done in 2012 found that time spent on Facebook and frequency of visiting Facebook are negatively related to students’ performance. Similarly, they also found that time spent on social media and time spent on homework are negatively related. Junco explained that when students use social media in certain ways, then it has negative effects on their performance. Therefore he suggests that this issue should further researched. He observes that some specific uses of social media improve academic performance of students while other ways lower their performance.

Majority of students from Malaysian Higher Education Institutes say that they use social networks for informal learning and that it helps them to connect to their friends and classmates to get help in their studies. However, half of the students say that interaction with teachers is not very common on social media. Study on these students also reconfirms that use of social networking sites has no significant negative impact on the students’ academic performance.

A survey of 490 students by Negussie & Ketema (2014) finds that there is no negative impact of social media usage on students’ performance. Gupta (2013) studied the effects of social media on the performance of students in distance education. His research also finds that students’ use of Facebook as social medium for academic purposes has no strong relationship with the academic performance of the students. This research suggests that new online tools and technologies must be integrated to promote online interaction and form online social networks to improve learning, students’ achievements, and support. Gupta also observed that teachers perceived that social media does not add any value to students’ academic performance.

Conclusion

The above studies show that research on the role of social media and social networking sites in academic performance of students is still unclear about the results. Most of the researchers have created more questions than finding answers. Despite opposing opinions, majority of research has found social media as useful towards educational infrastructure and students’ social grooming. However, careful investigation is still demanded in this area. Further research must be carried out to establish well-defined ways in which benefits of social media in students’ performance and hence education can be maximized.

 

Citations

Ajjan, H. & Hartshorne, R. (2008). Investigating faculty decisions to adopt web 2.0 technologies: Theory and empirical tests. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(2), 71–80

Gupta, C. (2013). Relationship between social media and academic performance in distance education. Universal Journal of Educational Research,1(3), 185-190.

Hamat, A., Embi, M. A., & Hassan, H. A. (2012). The use of social networking sites among Malaysian university students. International Education Studies,5(3), p56.

Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators: Strategies and best practices. John Wiley & Sons

Junco, R. (2012). Too much face and not enough books: The relationship between multiple indices of Facebook use and academic performance.Computers in Human Behavior28(1), 187-198.

Negussie, N., & Ketema, G. (2014). Relationship between Facebook Practice and Academic Performance of University Students. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (AJHSS)2(2).

Rouis, S., Limayem, M., & Salehi-Sangari, E. (2011). Impact of Facebook usage on students’ academic achievement: Role of self-regulation and trust.Electronic journal of research in educational psychology9(3), 961-994.

Tess, P. A. (2013). The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual)–A literature review. Computers in Human Behavior29(5), A60-A68.