Web 2.0 Usage by Saudi Female Students for Information Sharing in Public Sector University a Pilot Study

Web 2.0 Usage by Saudi Female Students for Information Sharing in Public Sector University a Pilot Study

Saqib Saeed (Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia), Hina Gull (Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia) and Sardar Zafar Iqbal (Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2017070106
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Abstract

In this paper the authors explore the usage of Web 2.0 by the Saudi female students for their information and knowledge sharing. The results are based on a survey conducted in one of the public sector universities in Saudi Arabia. Questionnaire is developed to get insight about the usage of social media by female students. The results highlighted that Web 2.0 applications are widely adopted by students for their academic collaboration and information sharing. This pilot study advocates for a more rigorous study to validate the findings across the country.
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Introduction

Web 2.0 (cf. Lauren et al. 2016) is considered as a platform that is meant to facilitate communication and connect many devices independent of their operational system. Web 2.0 has changed the socialization practices of people (cf. Xin et al 2014). Instant, free and wide availability of web 2.0 applications has resulted in enormous presence of masses in these applications (cf. Salamon, 2003). This increased presence of public started using these applications for other than socialization purposes such as to conduct business and academic learning. Social networking and Web 2.0 tools let the user to play with the online content in different ways i.e. user can do posting, collaboration, sharing and communications etc. (cf. Macaskill, 2006). The horizon report describes that user can create online content using web 2.0 tools in collaboration with social networking using mobile phones that has high impact on their education (cf. Horizon Report 2010). Another interesting fact file given by Uzunboylu et al (cf. Uzunboylu 2009) is about the pros of web 2.0. According to them web 2.0 technologies has manifold advantages ranging from cost reduction, instant and easy access, flexibility in choosing of technology to platform independence. Other advantages are low level skill needed by the users, easy sharing of information, resources and experience. They also discuss flexibility, accessibility and many ways of creating digital media as some benefits of using web 2.0 for learning.

According to Freeman et al (cf. Freeman2009), in today’s world government sector organizations can provide better services to their users using more interactive social networking and web 2.0 tools. Danis et al (cf. Danis 2009) argues that governments can use social networking websites to acquire all types of resources they need by creating an effective environment of cooperation. Romsdahl (cf. Romsdahl 2005) is of the opinion that the use of social media and web 2.0 for policy making process by government helps to build a healthy relationship between government and the citizens. A comparative study conducted by an institution Accenture (cf. Bernard, 2014) to assess the use of social media and e-government services in 10 countries showed that about 81% of the users are of the opinion that there should be more e-government services provided to them, while most of them also like to use social media for their communication with public sector institutions.

Bhatt (cf. Bhatt 2008) is of the opinion that scientists are using different social networking tools to exchange knowledge and their ideas. In this way they can provide profound comments and feedback to other researchers.

Another research conducted by DeRosa et. al. (cf. DeRosa 2010) shows that wide range of student is adopting the social networking sites for information sharing and knowledge management especially in university libraries. Researchers mentioned Facebook and MySpace as the most widely used websites for library usage and referencing. Tyagi (cf. Tyagi 2012) conducted a research study in six Indian Universities to investigate the use of web 2.0 technology in the academia for knowledge and information sharing. Survey instrument was used as a tool to gain viewpoint of about 300 respondents (Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors). It was concluded that the use of web 2.0 technologies in these universities of India is still under progress and is facing a lot of obstacles, risks and challenges. But in spite of these facts most of the faculties members are using web 2.0 for majorly three purposes: for web based teaching, research and to keep themselves up to date on related topic of interest. In addition to faculty members, students are also getting manifold benefits in their studies and research by the use of social media. According to Atik K.et al. (cf. Atik 2014) social media usage can boost student’s motivation, help them achieve their academic and educational goals easily and effectively, change and improve the methods of learning and gain of knowledge, easy and time independent access to information, multitasking and collaboration.

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