Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa ...

QUANSAH Joseph Yaw Dwamena, FIADZAWOO Jonas Kwabla, KUUNAANGMEN Collins Kanyir

American Journal of Educational Research

Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa Nursing Training College

QUANSAH Joseph Yaw Dwamena1,, FIADZAWOO Jonas Kwabla2, KUUNAANGMEN Collins Kanyir3,

1Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale

2Department of Development Education Studies, Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale

3Nurses Training College, Wa


Scholars have different views on the use of social media and its effects on teaching and learning. This study looked at students’ engagement in social media and its significance for their academic performance. The study was a cross sectional survey. Questionnaire (based on 4-Likert scale) and observation were used for data collection. Hundred and ten (110) student-nurses were conveniently sampled for the study. A section of the participants were observed in the Information and Communication Technology Laboratory during their computer lessons. The results which were processed with SPSS version 20 indicate that the student-nurses engaged mostly in Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google+, YouTube and Twitter. Participants used social media largely for learning, socialization, and entertainment. Majority specified that social media influence their academic performance positively. It is recommended that Interactive Social Networks should be developed by Health Training Institutions (HTIs) for teaching and learning purposes in the country.

Cite this article:

  • QUANSAH Joseph Yaw Dwamena, FIADZAWOO Jonas Kwabla, KUUNAANGMEN Collins Kanyir. Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa Nursing Training College. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 4, No. 13, 2016, pp 961-969.
  • Dwamena, QUANSAH Joseph Yaw, FIADZAWOO Jonas Kwabla, and KUUNAANGMEN Collins Kanyir. "Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa Nursing Training College." American Journal of Educational Research 4.13 (2016): 961-969.
  • Dwamena, Q. J. Y. , Kwabla, F. J. , & Kanyir, K. C. (2016). Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa Nursing Training College. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(13), 961-969.
  • Dwamena, QUANSAH Joseph Yaw, FIADZAWOO Jonas Kwabla, and KUUNAANGMEN Collins Kanyir. "Students' Engagement in Social Media and Its Mainstay for Teaching and Learning. The Case of the Wa Nursing Training College." American Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 13 (2016): 961-969.

Import into BibTeX Import into EndNote Import into RefMan Import into RefWorks

1. Introduction

In recent times, the online world has changed significantly. Both the youth and adults exchange ideas, feelings, personal information, pictures and videos at a truly astonishing rate as a result of the invention of the social media [48]. According to Aghazamani (2010), social networking sites have become the most modern and attractive tools for connecting people throughout the world. This phenomenon has buttressed the assertion of Marshall McLuham in Marchand [31] that the world has become "the global village" and "the medium is the message". Oberst [35] observes that 73% of wired American teens now use social media websites. However, Schill [43] notes that the social media sites encourage negative behaviors for teen students such as procrastination, viewing of pornographic materials and drug use. Many students spend countless hours immersed in social media, such as Facebook, MySpace, World of Warcraft, Sim City, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google plus, Skype, Tango, Telegram, and Viber. Wang et al. [48] specify that at first glance, social media use may seem like a waste of time; however, it also helps students to develop important knowledge, social and basic skills (reading and writing), and be active citizens who create and share content. Shen [42] observes that students’ reading habits have now shifted from paper-based to internet-based reading. Likewise, Yunus et al [53] maintain that students gain more vocabulary and improve their handwriting skills as a result of their participation on social media networks and by so doing they equally enhance their reading skills. In addition, Social media such as Facebook, Ning, and MySpace, have been popular and widespread across multiple age groups in different educational institutions over the past few years. This widespread of Social media has created platforms not only for users to meet strangers but also enable them to articulate and make visible their social networks, reinvent their personalities, and showcase their social lives [2]. This implies that, at present, whether social media is favorable or unfavorable, many students utilize these sites on daily basis to develop various skills that aim at enhancing their socio-economic and educational wellbeing.

However, headlines like: “Students spend more time on Facebook than in class or studying”; “Student suspended for threats made on Twitter”; “Faculty fired for Facebook” skew our thinking about social media and its effect on students’ academic performance. Moreover, frequent comments about our students wasting time on social media add fuel to the fire. The most recent assertion about the adverse effect of the use of social media on students’ performance cited by Mingle and Adams [32] was the interview granted by the Chairman of Kumasi Polytechnic Teachers Association (POTAG) to the Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper on December 6, 2013. The Chairman lamented about the falling standard of the students’ spelling of the English Language due to the use of the social media. “Students spell words raw, as they hear them contrary to the prescriptions of the dictionary” ([35]:5). In spite of the aforementioned odds about the use of social media, it should also be argued that these sites help students to establish and maintain very positive interactions and social connections. Students can share links, answer questions from the instructors, and even pose questions to fellow students by means of social media. Therefore, even if it is assumed that the negative happenings on social media world are true, one may argue, is there not the need to find out the potentials of the use of social media and develop them for the sake of students and their future workforce colleagues?

2. Literature Review

2.1. The Concept of Social Media

The term “Social media” has been defined differently from various perspectives. According to Bryer and Zavatarro ([4]:327), “Social media are technologies that facilitate social interaction, make possible collaboration and enable deliberation across stakeholders”. These technologies, according to them, include blogs, wikis, media (audio, photo, video, text) sharing tools, networking platforms (including Facebook), and virtual worlds. This suggests that social media are not only a network of people but also an established network of different people and through this network, individuals and organisations create profiles, share and exchange information on various activities and interests. Kaplan and Haenlein [25] also define social media as the collections of Internet websites, services, and practices that support collaboration, community building, participation, and sharing. It is a form of technology which embraces blogs, wikis, media (audio, photo, video, text) sharing tools, networking platforms (including Facebook), and virtual worlds [4, 21, 23]. Davis et al. [10] refer to social media technology as a web-based and mobile application that allow individuals and organisations to create, engage and share new user-generated or existing content, in digital environments through multi-way communication. On the other hand, Martin (2008) suggests that social media refer to Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. Among these, Facebook is the most used social network by college students, followed by YouTube and Twitter [48].

Nielsen Media Research’s study in June 2010 indicates that almost 25 percent of students’ time on the Internet is spent on social networking websites [18]. Moreover, Facebook alone now has 500 million active users, 50% of this population log on every day [48].

2.2. Social Media in Higher Education

One positive aspect of online communities is that the youth can utilize them for academic assistance and support [29]. Due to its ability to enhance connections by making them easily accessible, social media can yield many benefits for the youth including providing a virtual space for them to explore their interests or problems with similar individuals, academic support, while strengthening online communication skills and knowledge. According to Brydolf [3], students who may be reluctant to speak up in class are participating in book discussion blogs and writing for real audiences. There are new Web tools emerging all the time that are enhancing learning. Jacobsen and Forste [18], however, indicate that electronic media use is negatively associated with grades. The multitasking nature of social media likely increases distraction and can sometimes be detrimental to students’ performance. As social media websites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter gain popularity, they are also becoming increasingly dangerous as they create modes to procrastinate while trying to complete homework. In a survey of 102 students, 57% of the participants stated that social media have made them less productive [24]. About the relationship between social media and grades, Kalpidou, et al. [24] reveal that college students who utilize Facebook spend less time on studying and have lower grades than those who do not use the popular social networking. Moreover, Kirschner and Karpinski [27] reiterate that college students who use the 500 million member social network have significantly lower grade-point averages (GPAs) than those who do not.

With regards to how social media affect inter-personal relationships, findings indicate that Social Networking Site (SNS) use and cellular-phone communication facilitate offline social interaction, rather than replace it [18]. Oradini and Saunders [36] observe that students commonly comment that Connect (a social network) is invaluable for making friends and supporting each other, especially within the first few weeks after arriving at the university. Furthermore, Kalpidou et al. [24] are of the view that the relationship between Facebook and well-being of students appears to become positive over the college years, possibly because upper-class students use Facebook to connect socially with their peers and participate in college life. Brydolf [3] further states that when it is used in a positive way, Facebook can be an extraordinary tool for the betterment of students’ well-being.

Wong et al, [50] attempt to adopt one of the most popular social media - Facebook - to implement the WIRE model, a teaching and learning strategy which aims at closing the cognitive gap of classroom lessons between students and teachers before class, and links up learning experiences from inside to outside of classroom. A quasi-experiment was performed to study the learning effect according to the achievement, motivation, and interaction and the results was positive.

How does the social media use in Higher Education influence learning? With the explosion of social media and its effects on communication, there is growing evidence that video and multimedia content, tools, and streaming capabilities are successfully engaging students in new forms of learning. Online social networking has become an integral space for many of students to live out their daily personal interactions. A large percentage of students use social media from the moment they wake up [30]. In general, social media allow people to create personal social networks and the groups that have common interests. A wide variety of tools are provided in social media for attracting people to interact with their friends, such as message push, discussion tool, blogs, media sharing, third-party plug-ins. Most users of social media are youngsters, who according to Prensky [38], are named ‘Digital Natives’; the majority are especially, students in higher education. These students often use social media to stay in touch with their offline friends or bolster existing connections rather than to make new relationships [11, 28, 46]. This reveals that social media could be a potential medium to gain more popularity for teaching and learning than the traditional e-Learning platform if their activities are well designed and coordinated to meet the contemporary teaching and learning standards. However, Kennedy et al. [26] are of the view that elaborately designed activities in instructional plans must be made prior to the adoption of social media in classroom since not all ‘digital natives’ are eager to have such skills of using these technologies. Most digital natives rarely use social media for educational purposes but entertainment and friendship (Murray, 2008). What should therefore, be the way forward, looking at the potentials that social media could offer students who have already engaged in their use?

Cheung and Lee [7] suggest that social networking has the potential to increase social connectedness and that students, secondary and university, spend a great deal of time plugged in to all manner of internet services. The challenge for educators is how to use social media which is, after all, social to enhance learning outcomes. According to Cheung and Lee ([7]: 24), in conjunction with high-speed internet access, “Web 2 applications have created a new world of collaboration and communication”. Facebook which has its origins at Harvard University, is expected be looked at to by teachers, students and management alike as a potential delivery and communication system [13]. It is believed that Facebook is reminiscent in structure of a more concrete university environment. With walls to write on, and party invitations to distribute and perhaps, its impressive membership, it is not astonishing that researchers have been propelled by their desire to investigate the potential of Facebook-based social networking to enhance learning [5]. Facebook seems to be privileged as the “social site” to which educators turn to, to develop social connectedness with their students. Roblyer et al. 2010 think Facebook is a presumed face-to-face teaching, enhancing links built in a physical or actual place. Thus, the sense of community being formed through Facebook is enacted on- and off-line.

Many studies identify great potential for the widening of student networks through the use of Facebook. Subrahmanyam et al. [46] have suggested that a student’s Facebook community is a pre-established peer-groups. Thus, students friends online are known off-line. In the broader context of a push toward flexible learning, Facebook as a learning tool and a learning environment seems to offer a win-win. It would allow institutions to offer dual-mode courses across on- and off-campus cohorts, and develop learning communities that facilitate positive learning outcomes. As Yu, Tian, Vogel and Kwok ([52]: 1494) note, “students’ social networking, especially when the networking increasingly shifts to online, is more likely to be self-initiated learning, in which individuals create a system of information and support by building and nurturing personal links”. In other words, social networking helps establish peer-to-peer, self-motivated learning. Therefore, new social media applications and a proliferation of new devices must be integrated into teaching to engage students. Rosen and Nelson [41] describe a generation of students who are comfortable with and enthusiastic about using collaborative technologies to participate in the World Wide Web as creators rather than consumers. They come into the lecture halls with all manner of sophisticated mobile phones, tablets ipads etc, and sit in lectures and are connected to friends in other countries via social media platforms. This calls for a proper direction and control of social media use in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning.

2.3. Social media in Ghana

Social media use is very prevalent in Ghana; however, in terms of literature, not much study has been done on its effect on students’ academic performance. However, Mingle and Adams [32] conducted a study which revealed that majority of students used Whatsapp and Facebook for making friends and chatting. In addition, majority of participants who were from four Senior High Schools (two public and two private) experienced negative effects such as poor grammar and spelling, late submission of assignments, less study time and poor academic performance due to the heavy participation on social media networks. It is also revealed that there is a high addiction rate among students in the usage of social media networks. The result of this study supports Ndaku [33] who discovers that students spent a lot of time on social networking sites than in their academic activities and this affect their academic performance. Nevertheless, Mingle, et al. [32] further reveal that there are cases where students experience improvement in their readings skills as a result of participation on social media networks. Also, some participants state that they share ideas, discussed and share examination questions among themselves on social media networks.

Yeboah and Horsu [51] also examined the familiarity and usage of social media technology among teachers in Cape Coast, Central Region of Ghana. The teachers were randomly selected from ten schools and pretested questionnaire was administered to them on the use of social media in teaching. The study suggests that majority of the teachers are familiar with social media technology and are using one or more of these social media sites. It is further discovered that teachers access the social media sites through their smart phone as a preferred mode of internet device. The social media platforms which emerged as most frequently used are Facebook Wiki followed by YouTube, Instagram Web-blogs Slideshare and LinkedIn. Facebook and YouTube are the most used media sites among the teachers with the percentage of 96.4% and 93.9% respectively [51]. The teachers stated they use over 22 hours a week on the sites for several purposes including personal and professional development. However, over 76% of the teachers stated they do not utilise the social media for instructional purposes in the classroom. This means, students’ benefit from the use of the social media by their teachers is less. However, few of the teachers stated that they occasionally share academic and useful information with their students through social media. Some of the reasons which were given for not using the social media tools for instructional purpose include, fear of privacy violation, not part of the curriculum, cyber abuse, distraction of students’ studies and infrastructural problems. Therefore, to enhance the use of the social media to facilitate teaching and learning in Ghana, there should more infrastructural development in Information technology and more education to allay the fear or the negative thoughts on the mind of teachers about the use of social media.

It can therefore be concluded that despite its widespread among students and teachers, social media are not much explored for teaching and learning purposes in Ghana. However, social media have come to stay. The desire of tutors, parents and other stakeholders in education is that social networks should be used responsibly by students. Responsible usage means that social media should not impede students’ academic performance, but rather, should improve it. It is therefore, important to find out the significance of social media on students’ academic output.

This study is based on students in the Wa Nurses Training College. The College is situated in the Wa Municipality, the capital city of the Upper West Region of Ghana. The school was first established as a Health Assistant (Clinical) Training Programme in November 6, 2006 (Students’ Handbook, 2014/2015) and was later upgraded to the Nursing Training College. Since its establishment, the school has produced competent nurses who are able to provide nursing care to contribute to the improvement of staffing situations in the clinical service areas in all parts of Ghana. It also contributes to sustaining the high health service coverage and access for high quality health service delivery. It was chosen for this study because it is a model college which other colleges in the region emulate. The college has chalked one hundred percent a number of times in the Licensure Examination conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana. This implies that the school is comparable to any other nursing colleges in the country.

3. Research Questions

The following research questions are used to guide the study:

1. Which types of social media do students of the Wa Nurses Training College engage in?

2. What is the perception of student-nurses on the use of social media?

3. What is the significance of social media on students’ academic performance?

4. To what extend are some student-nurses hooked to the use of social media?

4. Methodology

4.1. Research Design

The study used the cross-sectional survey method to find out how social network participation affects academic performance of the students. A survey design provides a quantitative description of some fraction of the population that is sampled through the data collection process [12]. Frankel and Wallen [12] suggest that obtaining answers from a large group of people to a set of carefully designed and administered questionnaire lies in the heart of survey research. Cohen and Manion [8] reiterate that data in a survey research are usually collected through the use of self-completion or postal questionnaire interviews (structured or semi-structured), standardized tests of attainment or performance, attitude scales, and observations. This study employed the questionnaire as the data collection instrument. Also, samples of the students were observed while they interact with the social media tools in their Information Communication Technology Laboratory.

4.2. Participants

The participants were student nurses and they were hundred and ten (110) in number. At the time of collecting the data, the total population of student nurses at the NTC, Wa was about three hundred (300) while the total number of tutors was ten (10). Nwana [34] argues that with a population of few hundreds, about 40% or more sample size would be a fair representation. The participants were selected by the use of convenience sampling. Convenience sampling is a sampling technique which the researchers have an established relationship with those who responded to a request for or volunteered to participate in the research [44]. This sampling technique facilitated the collection of data by the researchers since the participants willingly responded to the questionnaire distributed to them. The number of the participants according to their year of study is shown in the Table 1.

Table 1. Participants and Year of study

Year one students (Registered General Nursing-RGN and Health Assistant Clinical-HAC) were 95(86.4%), year two (HAC) were 14(12.7%), and 1(0.9%) student did not indicate level of study. This is shown in Table 1 Above.

The result is an indication that the ratio of female students in the college in terms of numbers is higher than that of males.

4.3. Data Analysis

The results were processed by the use of SPSS version 20 programme. The programme was used as a device to describe, organize and summarize the data in the form of frequency distribution tables. Creswell [9] states that analyzing and interpreting data involves drawing conclusions about it and explaining the conclusions in words to provide answers to your research questions. The responses of the questionnaire items were read and crosschecked to find out the common and divergent views in order to do proper categorization of responses according to key themes in the research questions. For easy analysis of the questionnaire, the ratings, strongly agree (very high) and agree (high), were combined whiles strongly disagree (very low) and disagree (low) were also combined. Best and Khan ([1]: 24), state that “if a likert scale is used, it may be possible to report percentage responses by combining the two outside categories”. Notes taken during the observations were either used to confirm or reject findings which emerged from the questionnaire developed.

5. Results and Discussion

The results are discussed as show below:

Types of media use

Research Question 1: Which types of social media do students of the NTC, Wa engage in?

First of all, the researchers wanted to find out the types of social media students engage in. Table 3 displays the frequencies and percentages of responses of the participants.

Table 3. Types of social media students engage in

Table 3 above presents the questionnaire items and responses of the participants on the type(s) of social media they engage in. In response to the question: “Which type of social media do you engage in?”, hundred (90.9%) of the participants indicated they use Facebook, 76(69.1%) use Google+, 75(68.2%) use WhatsApp, 27(24.5%) use twitter, 25(22.7%) use Viber, 13(11.8%) engage in Skype, 11(10.0%) use ChatOn, 8(7.3%) use Tango, 6(5.5%) use Telegram, 4(3.6%) use MySpace, and LinkedIn was the least used with 1(0.9%) participant response. The finding agrees with Junco & Cole‐Avent [22] which stipulates that today’s college students, the Net generation, have woven technology into their everyday repertoire of communication and connection tools.

Frequently used media

With regards to the social networks frequently used by students, Table 4 displays the response given by the participants.

Table 4 shows the response to the question: “Which of the social media do you frequently use?” As indicated by the participants, 48(43.6%) use Facebook followed by WhatsApp 42(38.2%), and Google+ 20(18.2%). This result corroborates the research by Yeboah et al [51] which indicates that the most familiar social media site which students emerged in was the Facebook and the least was the LinkedIn. The result further agrees with Sturgeon and Walker [45] who indicated that since its creation in 2004, Facebook has become one of the most frequently visited websites on college campuses.

Research question 2: How do students of the NTC, Wa use social media?

To find answers to how students of the NTC, Wa use social media, the question posed was: “How do you use social media/what do you use social media to do?” The following responses were provided by the participants:

The responses above show that the students already know how to use social media platforms for various things. It is also clear that entertainment, socialization and learning are some of the major activities students engage in on social media networks. The above responses quite agree with Murray (2008) that most digital natives rarely use social media for educational purpose but rather for entertainment and friendship; a challenge which needs to be tackled.

Research question 3: What is the perception of students about social media?

To uncover the perception of students about social media use, the participants were asked to tick strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree to the following statements:

• I think social media is good

• I think the use of social media by students should be encouraged

The responses below are given by the participants:

The majority of the participants, 92(88.2%) agreed that they perceive social media as good, while 13(11.8%) disagreed with the statement. This is displayed in table 5. With a very high rate of acceptance for social media by students, it will be a great medium through which tutors can disseminate knowledge to students. Since majority of the students perceive social media to be good, tutors can harness the assertion by Rhoades et al. (2008) that with Internet usage in an all‐time high, information technology use in education has continued to increase. According to Prensky [38], most users of social media are youngsters who are named ‘Digital Natives’. This could be as a result of the fact that most of them see social media to be good.

With regards to whether the use of social media by students should be encouraged or not, table 6 displays the frequencies and percentages of responses by participants.

Table 6. The use of social media by students should be encouraged

Most of the participants, 81(73.6%) agreed to the statement that, “The use of social media by students should be encouraged”, while 29(26.3%) participants disagreed. It is, therefore, an indication that students like engaging in social networks. It also implies that students agree that using social media for educational purposes can be beneficial to them. This supports the assertion that social media can aid in the achievement of both general and content specific student learning outcomes [6, 20]. Therefore, overall student learning can increase when educators incorporate social media into academic course content.

Research question 4: What is the significance of engagement in social media on academic performance?

To unearth, whether or not, social media have any significance on students’ academic performance, the participants were asked to tick strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree in response to statements posed. These statements were;

• Social media has made a positive influence on my academic performance

• Since I began to engage in social media, I still study the same way as I use to study when I was not into the use of social media.

With regards to whether or not social media have made positive influence on students’ academic performance, table 8 displays the frequencies and percentages of responses given by the participants.

Table 7. Positive effect on academic performance

Most of the participants, 81(73.6%) agreed to the statement that social media has made a positive influence on their academic performance, while 29(26.4%) participants. The response as indicated supports the contention by Wang & Braman [49] that, students who participated in the Second Life (a social network) activities in a case study showed higher learning motivation and better performance.

On whether or not academic performance improved after coming on social media networks, table 8 displays the frequencies and percentages of responses by the participants.

Table 8. Academic performance improved after coming on social media platforms

Table 8 displays students’ responses to the statement “I now have better grades since I started to engage in social media”. 64(58.2%) disagreed to the statement while 45(40.9%) agreed to it. The results agree with the revelation by Mingle et al [32] that majority of the students experienced negative effects such as poor grammar and spelling, late submission of assignment, less study time and poor academic performance due to the heavy participation on social media networks. Moreover, it was observed that some students use much time on social media platforms, but did not realize this indulgence, at long run, may be detrimental to their studies if the uses are not for academic purposes.

Negative effects of social media on academic performance

With regards to whether social media has a negative influence on their academic performance, the frequencies and percentages of responses by student respondents are shown on the table below:

Table 9. Negative influence of social media on academic performance

Most of the participants 80(72.7%) disagreed with the statement that social media have negative influence on their academic performance; while 30(27.2%) participants agreed to the statement. This result as shown in Table 9 is divergent to the findings of Jacobsen, & Forste, [18] which indicate that, electronic media use is negatively associated with grades. Kirschner and Karpinski [27] addressed the relationship between social media usage and academic performance established that Facebook users had significantly lower GPAs compared to non-users. This study did not suggest a direct causal relationship; therefore, it should be suggested that further research on the impact of social media on academic performance needs to be done. The gap between social media and the lack of research to support students’ networked learning indicates that researchers should consider how students and instructors can be encouraged to use these technologies and how to infuse social practices into learning activities using sound pedagogical practices.

Research question 5: To what extent are some students addicted to social media?

To unearth the extent to which some students addicted to social media, some statements were presented to the student respondents to choose very high, high, low, or very low.

Displayed below are the responses on whether or not, students often visit social networks even when not intended to:

Table 10. Often visit social networks even when not intended to

Table 10 shows responses to the statement “I often visit a social network site even when I do not want to”. Eighty seven (87) participants representing 79.1% responded ‘low’ to the statement while 23(20.9%) chose ‘high’. This finding shows that the majority of the students are not coerced by any inward or outward force or drive beyond their control which compels them to visit social media cites even when they do not feel like doing so. This implies that students are not totally addicted to social media use. This is converse to the view of Chen & Bryer, (2012); Hurt et al. [16]; Patera et al. [37] that, educators need to recognize the potential for distractions and overstimulation that is associated with certain types of social media.

6. Over All Findings

The results of the study revealed that students of the Wa NTC engage in the use of the following social media networks; WhatsApp, Facebook,Viber, Telegram, Tango, Google+, MySpace, Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter and ChatOn. It is further revealed that the frequently used social media by students of the Wa NTC, are Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google+. The majority of the students of the NTC, Wa engage in the use of the social media for different purposes. They use the social media largely for socialization, communication, entertainment, and for information. Most of the of participants perceive social media as good and believe that the use of it does not have much negative influence on their learning but rather it has improved it considerably. Students’ addiction to social media is also minimal. Most of the participants agree that they spend a lot of time on social media. However, the majority of them disagreed with the fact that they are coerced by their inward or outward force or drive beyond their control to visit social media cites even when they do not feel like doing so. This means that the participants are not addicted to the use of the social media.

7. Conclusion

Based on the findings, the following conclusions can be drawn: (a) since Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google+ are the social media networks mostly used by the students, they can be adopted to facilitate teaching and learning as most of students can be found on these platforms; (b) these networks can be good platforms for group discussions and it will be easier to channel teaching and learning through them; and finally, (c) once the majority of the student population perceive social media as good, it will be easier for them to accept social networks that support teaching and learning and that can minimize any negative influence that the use of social media have on their study and (d) finally, interactive social networks should be developed by Health Training Institutions (HTIs) and Ministry of Health (MoH) for teaching and learning. This will take teaching and learning to the social media platforms where the modern day student will like to be. Notwithstanding, students should be encouraged to engage in social media with caution, and in a positive manner as over indulgence in the use of it can lead to addition, waste of time and worse of all adverse academic performance.

It is, however, admitted that this study focused on relatively small sample of participants at the Wa Nursing Training College. It is recommended that more extensive studies be conducted using different designs such that the findings can be generalized to the entire Health Training Institutions. Moreover, in as much as there is evidence that social media enhances student learning [6, 14, 20], future research needs to build on this finding, specifically addressing assessments of social media use in particular courses/subjects (e.g. Computer Skills, Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, Communicative Skills and language courses: English, French and Spanish).


[1]  Best, J.W. & Khan, J.V. (1998). Research in education (8th Ed.). New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India Private Limited.
In article      
[2]  Boyd, D. and Ellison, N. B. (2007). ‘Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship’. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13/2: 210-230.
In article      View Article
[3]  Brydolf, C. (2007). Minding MySpace: Balancing the benefits and risks of students' online social networks. Education Digest, 73(2), 4.
In article      
[4]  Bryer, T. and Zavattaro, S. (2011). Social media and public administration: Theoretical dimensions and introduction to symposium. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 33(3), pp.325-340.
In article      View Article
[5]  Burt, S. (2010). Always On. London review of Books, 32(11), 21-22.
In article      
[6]  Carini, R. M., Kuh, G. D., & Klein, S. P. (2006). Student engagement and student learning: Testing the linkages. Research in Higher Education, 47(1), 1-32.
In article      View Article
[7]  Cheung, C. M. & Lee, M. K. (2010). A theoretical model of intentional social action in online social networks. Decision Support Systems, 49, 24-30.
In article      View Article
[8]  Cohen, L., Manion L. (1989). Research methods in education. (3rd Ed), London: Routledge.
In article      
[9]  Creswell, J.W. (2005). Education research. Berkely: Carliste Communication Limited.
In article      
[10]  Davis, C.H.F., Canche, M. S. G., Deil-Amen., Rios-Anguilar, C. (2012). Social media in high education. A literature review and research directions.Arizona: The Centre for the study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona and Claremont Graduate University.
In article      
[11]  Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends”: Social capital and college students' use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 1143-1168.
In article      View Article
[12]  Fraenkel, J.R. & Wallen, N.E. (2002). How to design and evaluate research in education (5th Ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.
In article      
[13]  Freeman, J. (2009). Shrinking the World: the 4000-year story of how email came to rule our lives. Text: Melbourne.
In article      
[14]  Heafner, T. L., & Friedman, A. M. (2008). Wikis and constructivism in secondary social studies: Fostering a deeper understanding. Computers in the Schools, 25, 288-302.
In article      View Article
[15]  Higher Education Research Institute (2007). College freshmen and online social networking sites (HERI research brief). Retrieved May 21, 2010, from
In article      
[16]  Hurt, N. E., Moss, G. S., Bradley, C. L., Larson, L. R., Lovelace, M. D., Prevost, L. B., Camus, M. S. (2012). The ‘Facebook’ effect: College students’ perceptions of online discussions in the age of social networking. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(2), 1-24.
In article      View Article
[17]  Internet World Statistics. (2014). Retrieved from Usage and population statistics. l. htm.
In article      
[18]  Jacobsen, W. C., & Forste, R. (2011). The Wired Generation: Academic and Social Outcomes of Electronic Media Use Among University Students.
In article      
[19]  Junco, R. (2012a). The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Computers & Education, 58, 162-171.
In article      View Article
[20]  Junco, R. (2012b). Too much face and not enough books: The relationship between multiple indices of Facebook use and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 187-198.
In article      View Article
[21]  Junco, R. (August, 2014). Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs. 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.
In article      
[22]  Junco, R., & Cole-Avent, G. A. (2008). An Introduction to Technologies Commonly Used by College Students. New Directions for Student Services (124), 3-17.
In article      View Article
[23]  Junco, R. and Mastrodicasa, J. (2007). Connecting to the net generation: What higher education professionals need to know about today’s students. Washington, DC, NASPA.
In article      
[24]  Kalpidou, M., Costin, D., & Morris, J. (2011). The relationship between Facebook and the well-being of undergraduate college students. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 14 (4), 183-189.
In article      View Article  PubMed
[25]  Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
In article      View Article
[26]  Kennedy, G., Dalgarno, B., Gray, K., Judd, T., Waycott, J., Bennet, S., Maton, K, Krause, K.-L., Bishop, A., Chang, R. & Churchward, A. (2007). The net generation are not big users of Web 2.0 technologies: Preliminary findings. Paper presented at the Proceedings Ascilite Singapore, Singapore.
In article      
[27]  Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1237-1245.
In article      View Article
[28]  Lampe, C., Ellison, N., & Steinfield, C. (2007). A Face(book) in the crowd: Social searching vs. social browsing. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. 434-444.
In article      
[29]  Lusk, B. (2010). Digital natives and social media behaviors: An overview. Prevention Researcher, 173-6.
In article      
[30]  Mashable. (2010). Retrieved 1/15/11.
In article      
[31]  Marchand, P. (1998). Marshall Mcluhan: the Medium and the Messenger. Cambridge: MIT Press.
In article      
[32]  Mingle, J. & Adams, M. (2015). Social Media Network Participation and Academic Performance In Senior High Schools in Ghana. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Paper 1286.
In article      
[33]  Ndaku, A.J. (2013). Impact of social media on students’ academic performance. A study of students of university of Abuja. Unpublished B. Sc. dissertation: Department Of Mass Communication Management and Social Sciences. Caritas: Enugu.
In article      
[34]  Nwana, C. (1992). Introduction to educational research. Ibadan: Heinneman Educational Books Nigeria PLC.
In article      
[35]  Oberst, L. (2010). The 6S Social Network., on 20/07/13.
In article      
[36]  Oradini, F., Saunders, G. (2007). Introducing e-portfolios across a paper dominated university. Available from: [Accessed October 11 2014].
In article      
[37]  Patera, M., Draper, S., & Naef, M. (2008). Exploring Magic Cottage: A virtual reality environment for stimulating children’s imaginative writing. Interactive Learning Environments, 16, 245-263.
In article      View Article
[38]  Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9, 1-6. Retrieved 17 May 2010, from - Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - Part1.pdf.
In article      
[39]  Rhoades, E. B., Irani, T., Telg, R., & Myers, B. E. (2008). Internet as an Information Source: Attitudes and Usage of Students Enrolled in a College of Agriculture Course. Journal of Agricultural Education, 49 (2), 108-117.
In article      View Article
[40]  Roblyer, M. D., McDaniel, M., Webb, M., Herman, J. & Witty, J. V. (2010). Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses and perceptions of social networking sites. Internet and Higher Education, 13, 134-140.
In article      View Article
[41]  Rosen, D. & Nelson, C. (2008). Web 2.0: A new generation of learners and education. Computers in the Schools, 25(3), 211-225
In article      View Article
[42]  Shen, L. (2006). Computer technology and students’ reading habits. Chia-nan Annual Bulletin, Vol. 32, pp 559-572.
In article      
[43]  Schill, R. (2011). Social Networking Teens More Likely to Drink, Use Drugs, Study Finds. finds/20713.
In article      
[44]  Somekh, B. & Lewin, C. (2006). Research methods in the social sciences. London: Sage Publications.
In article      
[45]  Sturgeon, C. M., & Walker, C. (2009). Faculty on Facebook: Confirm or Deny? Paper presented at the Annual Instructional Technology Conference, Lee University, Cleveland, TN.
In article      
[46]  Subrahmanyam, K., Reich, S. M., Waechter, N., & Espinoza, G. (2008). Online and Offline Social Networks: Use of Social Networking Sites by Emerging Adults. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29 (6), 420-433.
In article      View Article
[47]  The Students’ Handbook (2014/2015). Nurses Training College, Wa.
In article      
[48]  Wang, Q., Chen, W., & Liang, Y. (2011) "The Effects of Social Media on College Students" (2011).MBA Student Scholarship. Paper 5.
In article      
[49]  Wang, Y., & Braman, J. (2009). Extending the Classroom through Second Life. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20 (2), 235.
In article      
[50]  Wong S. L. et al. (Eds.) (2010). Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computers in Education. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.
In article      
[51]  Yeboah, S.T., Horsu, E. N. (2015). Familiarity and Usage of Social Media Technology: An Exploratory Study of Teachers in Ghana. Science Journal of Business and Management. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, pp. 50-59.
In article      View Article
[52]  Yu, A. Y., Tian, S. W., Vogel, D., & Kwok, R. C. (2010). Can learning be virtually boosted?: An investigation of online social networking impacts. Computers & Education, 55, 1494-1503.
In article      View Article
[53]  Yunus, M., Nordin, N., Salehi, H., Embi, M. A, Salehi, Z. ((2013). The Use of Information and Communication Technology in Teaching ESL Writing Skills. English LanguageTeaching, 6 (7), 1-8.
In article      View Article
  • CiteULikeCiteULike
  • MendeleyMendeley
  • StumbleUponStumbleUpon
  • Add to DeliciousDelicious
  • FacebookFacebook
  • TwitterTwitter
  • LinkedInLinkedIn