Assessment of Students' Familiarity, Adoption, and Use of Social Media in Bahrain

Assessment of Students' Familiarity, Adoption, and Use of Social Media in Bahrain

Vasileios Paliktzoglou (School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland), Charalampos Giousmpasoglou (University of West London, London, UK) and Evangelia Marinakou (University of West London, London, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2016100105
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Abstract

Social media is used in many higher education institutions for educational purposes in numerous new and innovative ways. However, in Bahrain the number of higher education students who are aware of and use social media is not clear. It was therefore necessary to conduct an empirical study that would investigate the students' use of social media in higher education in Bahrain. Moreover, the actual adoption of social media in everyday learning situations still remain underexplored, especially in higher education settings. This paper describes a study conducted to investigate the influence of social media use by student in Bahrain. The aims of this study are to assess students' level of familiarity, engagement and frequency of use with social media. The data was collected using two questionnaires. The findings indicate that social media has introduce a new culture of learning among students. In addition, social media applications which are on the increase in usage by students for activities that include studying, access of education content, social communication.
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Introduction

Social media tools are used in many higher education institutions for educational purposes in numerous new and innovative ways (Conole & Alevizou, 2010). In order to investigate and gain additional insight into this situation, we carefully studied the experiences of students on Web Media degree at Bahrain Polytechnic. Several studies in other countries have found that social media are commonly used in higher education by students (Davis, Deil-Amen, Rios-Aguilar, & Gonzalez Canche, 2012). However, in Bahrain the number of higher education students who are aware of, and use social media is not clear. It was therefore imperative to conduct an empirical study that would investigate the students’ use of social media in higher education in Bahrain. The aims of this study are to assess students’ level of familiarity, engagement and frequency of use with social media. Based on the above stated aims, the following three research questions were formulated:

  • 1.

    What is the students’ level degree of familiarity in the use of social media?

  • 2.

    What is the students’ level degree of engagement in the use of social media?

  • 3.

    What is the students’ level degree of frequency in the use of social media?

In this study, the primary data were collected from a survey. The participants in this study were a cohort of Web Media students in Bahrain Polytechnic. The survey aimed in finding comparable numbers, evaluate the students’ level of familiarity, engagement and frequency of use of social media and gain additional insights. The three identified objectives of the study had a common denominator a cohort of Web Media students at Bahrain Polytechnic. The first objective of the survey was aimed toward the level of familiarity with social media. The second objective was to investigate the level of engagement with social media. Finally, the third objective was to identify the context of use if social media. This research provides insights to educators seeking to integrate social media in undergraduate programs’ curriculum, for increased inclusion of new technologies in higher education. Finally, we outline the potential implications and recommendations of this study for future implementations.

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