NEW MEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE AMONG STUDENTS OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA, NIGERIA.

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NEW MEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE AMONG STUDENTS OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA, NIGERIA.

Abstract:

This research examines the relationship between Social Media usage and its educational and social influence on the undergraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. The research explores both the negative and positive dimensions of Social Media within the larger framework of New Media and higher education. Students have generally been using Social Media to connect with friends. However, the increased use of Social Media has in turn led to the utilization of Social Media inside and outside the classroom, based on the real and theoretical potential benefits to educational institutions. The potential benefits include enhancing the overall college experience (Banaria, 2004) expanding educational opportunities (LaRose 2010), library services (Kaplan, 2010). The problematic remains that both in the developed world, and in a developing country like Nigeria, the full benefits or otherwise of New Media in the education arena is still conjectural. This study helped to provide further clarification on the benefits or otherwise of Social Media in education, by exploring what is obtainable within the context of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria. Participatory Communication theory was used as a framework for the study. The study used a three-phased approach with questionnaire, on-line forum and focus group methods to collect data, and then the data was analyzed using a concurrent convergent method. Based on the findings of the research, Social Media use in education will continue to increase because participants felt that Social Media is not only a matter of personal choice but also a societal expectation. The overall attitude of respondents and participants was positive towards Social Media and its use in academic settings. While the larger use of Social Media in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria is for socialization, the percentage use for academic purposes is also considerable. In addition to the issue of blurring of boundaries between their personal and academic lives, the most significant challenges presented by the use of Social Media as identified by this research among Ahmadu Bello University undergraduate students are; plagiarism, Social Media as a distraction to academic pursuit and the posting of inappropriate online content.

NEW MEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A STUDY OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE AMONG STUDENTS OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA, NIGERIA.

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