Investigating the Impact of Social Media Use on Student’s Perception of Academic Performance in Higher Education: Evidence from Jordan

Ahmad Samed Al-Adwan, Nour Awni Albelbisi, Shadia Hasan Aladwan, Omar Horani, Amro Al-Madadha, Mohammad Hamdi Al Khasawneh
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 19  •  2020  •  pp. 953-975

The main objective of this study is to explore students’ beliefs with regard to social media use (SMU) in higher education and the consequences of such use on the perception of their academic performance. Additionally, the study aims to determine the major influential factors with regard to SMU in student learning settings as a means of enhancing their performance. To achieve these objectives, drawing on the literature related to SMU in higher education settings, a research model has been developed.

Social media platforms have led to a significant transformation with regard to the communication landscape in higher education in terms of offering enhanced learning and improved teaching experience. Nevertheless, little is known, particularly in developing countries such as Jordan, as to whether or not the use of such platforms by students in higher education increases the perceptions of their academic performance. Therefore, this study has developed a model to examine the perceptions of higher education students with regard to social media use and its effect on their performance.

The Structural Equation Modelling approach is used to analyze data collected via an online survey in the form of a questionnaire to examine the use of such a model. The study sample is drawn from undergraduate and postgraduate students from three universities (one public and two private) in Jordan. Convenience sampling is used to collect data. Out of 730 sent questionnaire, 513 responses were received, of which 403 were deemed qualified to be part of the data analysis process.

This study contributes to the literature on social media in higher education by enhancing our understanding of the perceptions of higher education students on the use of social media in their learning. The tested model can be used as a benchmark for other studies that target the impact of social media on student performance in higher education.

The results reveal that perceptions of (1) usefulness, collaborative learning, enhanced communication, enjoyment, and ease of use of social media have a positive effect on the use of such media in student learning; (2) resource sharing has an insignificant effect on social media use in student learning, and (3) social media use has a positive influence on students’ perceptions of their academic performance.

Senior management and policy makers in higher education institutions will have to train faculty members on effective strategies and methods in order to effectively integrate social media into education. This would equip faculty members with the necessary digital skills needed to help them to be fully informed regarding the benefits of social media and its tools in learning and teaching activities and would also allow them to avoid any possible drawbacks. Furthermore, faculty members should reconsider their current techniques and strategies, and adopt new methods in their teaching that encourage students to use social media platforms as part of their learning. For example, they can regularly post discussions and assignments on social media platforms to inculcate the habit of using such platforms among students for educational purposes. Students, on the other hand, should be aware of the implications and potential advantageous aspects of SMU in their learning. This could be done by conducting regular workshops and seminars in the various faculties and schools at universities.

Researchers are encouraged to investigate additional factors that might influence the use of social media by students as well as faculty members. Specially, an emphasis should be given to identify any potential obstacles that might hinder the use of social media in higher education.

Social media is not only useful for socializing, but also it can be an effective educational tool that enhance students’ performance in higher education.

Although the collected data support the research model, this study is subjected to various limitations that need to be tackled by further studies. This study is based on the principles of quantitative research design. Data for this study was collected via survey questionnaires. Accordingly, future studies may consider a qualitative research design in order to uncover additional factors that may impact the use of social media on the part of higher education students. This would allow researchers to generate in-depth insights and a holistic understanding of SMU by higher education students. A convenience sampling method was employed to select respondents for this study. The respondents who participated in this study were from three universities (one public and two private) in Jordan. Accordingly, future research is deemed to be necessary to achieve a degree of generalizability regarding the findings of this study.

social media, enjoyment, TAM, higher education, usefulness, collaborative learning, student performance
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