Improving Academics Through Social Media in Higher Education
First, we need to understand what social media is, and what opportunities come with social media. Most of us probably use social media without even thinking what it actually is and the advantage that come with it. Social media is a form of interactive media by which users can communicate with each other through posts, content, photos, and videos(Dean et al., 2012). E-learning, Message boards, Forums, Facebook, WhatsApp, blogs, YouTube and many others are all forms of social media. They are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. The study on social media in higher education fully answers all possible questions. These destinations are not just simple to utilize and simple to get to however definitely, nearly anybody can join. Internet based life stages have turned out to be prominent in Higher Education(Bosch, 2009). The development of the computerized scene has achieved an adjustment in the way of life of the scholarly world. In today’s generation, some if not most of the students find themselves relaying too much on technology for daily use. With simple access to brilliant gadgets, understudies have turned out to be carefully impacted. Recently, many institutions have started tapping into social media to provide better service and assistance to teachers(Alloway et al., 2013). Moreover, the Internet is considered a highly valuable tool. We cannot ignore the fact that social media is one of the biggest element that is present in our lives today, because we can know get any information, talk to anyone in any corner of the world at a touch of a button. The concept echoes Miller (2005) which describes a changed digital environment where the Web is a platform for harnessing collective intelligence, where data is dynamic and abundant. Social media does not merely allow knowledge transfer but it also facilitates students’ collaborative learning to creating understanding among students, discussion with peers, lecturers, increase knowledge sharing and improve research students skills (Lim et al., 2013). Today social network participation among Students and young people are no longer limited to desktop and laptops computers but know access largely through mobile applications and smart phones.
Social Media for Colleges
This study is going to be conducted to understand how students and lecturer could use social media as a platform to enhance learning at the Tshwane University of Technology, TUT is the largest contact University in South Africa, providing quality education to more than 60 000 students every year. Many educational institutions are implementing university social media. has many campuses and the study will only be focusing on one campus that is located in Pretoria Township Soshanguve South. The methodology that will be used is the quantitative research methodology, 100 questionnaires were administered to first year students at the Tshwane University of Technology South campus (TUT) to male and female ICT students to fill out and give back. A survey was also conducted with a group of 15 Second and third level ICT students, the main objective was to talk and discussion what problems students face in the day to day life’s and how social media has help them academically. The findings reveal that students are comfortable with the use of social media as a learning platform, because it enhances their ability to be interactive and it improves their chances of accessing educational information, even when not within the academic environment. Some even pointing out that the use of application like college social media apps WhatsApp had played a greater role than any other platforms that were used at the institution.
This study will also explored the challenges that could arise from adopting social media as a learning platform, as well as measures to manage those challenges.and social media in universities can truly improve the quality of student learning. Do colleges look at social media or how many students use social media in their studies. Our study will use an instructional design framework for authentic learning by (Herrington and Oliver, 2000) using methodology’s guided by the theoretical framework and the nature of the research that follow characteristics like Participation, Openness, Conversation, Community and Connectedness.
Social Media Strategy for Higher Education
First we looked at the platforms that high institutions in South Africa use particularly the ones in effect at the Tshwane University of Technology, to see if they are been utilised efficiently by students and if they were effective. Some student mention that they do use this platforms and others would sometime forget to check my-tutor and EC, because this platforms don’t notify student when new information is posted the students would sometime get information late. So this sets up the stage to find alternative platform that are in regular usage and use those ones to broadcast vital information to students. Social Media in higher education is not without potential risks and limitations. Questions regarding content ownership, privacy are often issues that require consideration. We will look at how we can implement measure to resolve such problems.
This study also revealed some unfavourable result about social media like it could cause distraction to students. Some studies also indicated that students used slang language in communicating on social networks and it affected student writing skills in the classroom. (Alloway et al., 2013) theory supports this, it revealed that the use of Facebook had an effect on the spelling of some of the students. Along the same line of contention, social media network has been cited to distract students from studying and to lead to academic challenges, but when adequate measures are introduced, social media could become an additional means of interaction for students, especially for academic purposes.
The traditional classroom are very effective but providing students with extra learning materials can be very expensive and not every student can afford it. Many university started using traditional blackboard, and e-learning tools to share course information, but these platforms are not been utilized as much by students. Students at Tshwane University of Technology South campus students confirmed to use social media applications like WhatsApp’s and Facebook more regularly then My-tutor or EC which are platforms already there and created with the main objective of assisting students and lectures. Some of the students also mention that they were expected to by books for some of subjects every semester which poses a problem of affordability, because some of the students come from disadvantaged homes and not all them are covered by (NSFAS) National student financial aid scheme. In some cases, students reside far from campuses and some arrive late, others are unable to come to classes due to unforeseen events and they miss out when lecturers puts emphases on what is important for test and exams. So students tend to miss vital information or receive it late. This is cited by many college and university essays about social media. Students also complained that platforms like my-tutor were slow or sometimes not accessible.
Social media platforms can help to bridge the gap in facilitate for those learners who are unable to afford learning materials, caters for students, and lectures who are unable to be physically in classes. We looked at the frameworks that already exist for authentic environments to see where it’s lacking and how to better utilise social media platforms
Goal of the Study/ Objective
This study’s aim is to improve academics by using social media as alternative platform for learning. Education is student focused and it is therefore important to consider how best to help Students and affordability is one of many problems that the students face in High Education. Students are faces challenge of buying and locating books for their course. At the Tshwane University of Technology South and North campuses students indicated that through social media they assisted each other in locating learning material, sharing learning material, answering questions, sharing class notes and information about test dates and more by forming WhatsApp groups for every subject. Students can now use WhatsApp groups in such a way that helps in facilitating the process of knowing more about their registered course and get eBooks, campus facilities, activities and events especially for the freshman students, and ultimately adjusting to university life. You can also explore this in more detail in the essay topics about social media. WhatsApp can be used to pass important information like venue changes or cancellation of classes, because students believe that most of their peers have WhatsApp chat on the mobile devices and information can be received instantaneously. Students mentioned that they were also able to communicate with other students who had previously done those subject and they were willing to take pictures of scrips and notes to post in groups, so the was a network of information flowing between old and new students helping one another in any way they can.
Bosch (2009) Studies showed that students had already been spending a significant amount of time social media platforms, so having the option to check their course related content was welcomed. Despite being known primarily for social networking activity, Facebook is quickly being recognised as a respectable e-learning platform. Roblyer et al. (2010) Found that in higher education, students are more positive about the potential of using Facebook and other similar new technologies for supporting teaching and learning than faculty, who prefer traditional technologies.
Miller et al. (2016) Concluded that university students showed more positive attitudes toward peer interaction and academic achievement through interactive blogs. After identifying the most important characteristics, we implemented a multimedia program to operationalise the critical elements. Social media will bridge the time and place gap that exists High education. Using WhatsApp and Facebook as alternative platforms that enabling communication between lectures and students outside of social media for schools campus.
Significance of study
It is now important for Higher Education to recognise that different media promote different thinking by different people and that this is valuable. This frees higher education from obsessing on knowledge to do more of what it should be good at supporting the creative mind so that it is able to fluently, critically play with, and contribute to knowledge and the development of those that use it. Social media platforms can help to improve collaboration among students and facilitate distance learning. And understand why is higher education important. The Three critical elements that were highlighted are participation, interaction and synthesis (Kumar and Raja, 2018) . Social media integration into higher education will help build support structures and legitimize practices that may have previously been dismissed.
While it is unnecessary to deride our academic tradition, it becomes clear how we now have the opportunity to Improve and democratise the learning environments we use for higher education. Knowledge, as a commodity, is no longer as important as is was (Siemens, 2005). Free or cheap applications dispersed through application stores have offered ascend to a web-based social networking centred culture that is forming how we ought to impart, instruct, and learn.
We can know implementing frameworks to help guide the usage of social media to improve academic , in Herrington and Oliver (2000) findings suggested that the use of the situated learning framework appeared to provide effective instructional design guidelines for the design of an environment for the acquisition of advanced knowledge. Study concluded that there model could reveal new understandings of social media in education, and outline future research directions. Furthermore social media networks in the educational process could help educators to apply the inquiry-based approach and encourage the collaboration between the instructor and the students, thereby encourage engagement. Kumar and Raja (2018) Also talked about some of the benefits of social media. Like Social media as Communication Channel, Social media as Engagement tool and Social media as Collaborative Platforms.
This reinforces the case study that (Laru et al., 2012) did using Web 2.0 tools together students and lectures can perform designed task likely increased students individual knowledge acquisition during the course. The utilization of online networking doesn’t essentially effect on the understudies’ genuine public activity and grades too.Alsaif (2016) Did an investigation that indicated that online networking can demonstrate to be a useful research device for understudies and can help them in their examinations. Overall, the study concluded that, if Social media platforms are appropriately used, then they can prove to be a very useful source of learning, sharing and healthy activities. Gruzd et al. (2016)Study also purpose behind utilizing online life in instructing is to advance a social, cooperative way to deal with learning and more prominent reflection. This reverberates with the viewpoints of arranged learning, connectivism, and information building networks talked about above. Association among students and entertainers in the learning condition is underlined in the viewpoints of shared learning. Kumar and Raja (2018)Showed that affordances are not just limited to the visible senses but can also be felt or heard. In the study William Gaver suggests, ‘affordances are primarily facts about action and interaction, not perception’. Christopher Talked about blended learning associating it with social media and web tools. Typically, they propose to offer an environment that helps to engage students and enrich the quality of the students experience through interactive learning.
Middleton and Beckingham (2015) Mentioned that co-operation is a well-established principle of good teaching in undergraduate education and is evident in most effective university-level courses. ‘The idea of finding value in being together as opposed to being purely satisfied with using books in isolation to acquire knowledge for example. Formally it is found in collaborative methods such as group work’. Mingle et al. (2016) Wrote about a theory online social networking helped strengthen social relationships among students, heighten their self-esteem and boost their learning performance.
The methodology that was adopted in this paper was the quantitative research methodology. Questioners were given to first year ICT student to fill and return, both the convenience and snowball sampling techniques from the Non-probability samples were administered. Up to 20 question were ask in the questioner, the question where made up of 10 multiple choice question, 8 true or false questions and 2 reasoning questions. Because social media has been used before and has not been as effective as intended, this study will follow the deductive approach to see how best we can improve academics by adopting new way to utilise social media. By randomly asking student to participate in the study, a more general hypothesis of the theory was uncovered and the findings showed that students are comfortable with the use of social media as a learning platform, some students also confirmed that though Social media they were able to enhance their ability to be interactive, by regularly communicating with classmates this improved their chances of accessing educational information, even when not within the academic environment.
We have seen that social media plays a big role in today’s youths , as more and more students start using smart phones and the applications that come alone with it like WhatsApp and Facebook. This two applications have the potential to be adopted in higher education as tools that help extend the reach if information to students. Bosch (2009) Theory supports this, when he mentions the technological and economic advantages of web-based learning.