INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING ON ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ IN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA

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INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING ON ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ IN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1         Background to the Study

 

Nigeria is a country in West Africa and one of the largest in the sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest black population in the world, with an estimated population of over 170 million people. This explains her diversity as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural entity. The country operates a federal system of government which consists of the federal government and thirty six states including Abuja the federal capital and seat of the federal government of Nigeria. Each of these states has a federal university and in some states two, this is to show the involvement of government in educational resource delivery. Out of these universities, ten of them run the business education programme and this is the concern of the study.

 

As a knowledge economy, Nigeria is a nation that attaches so much importance to education. Despite the number of federal universities, it is discovered that they cannot admit all the qualified students and to curb this situation, licenses are given to states to establish their own universities. Licenses are also given to groups and individuals by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to establish private universities. The National Universities Commission (NUC) is the body empowered by law to regulate the operations of Nigerian universities both public and private.

 

The world has in the past decades, experienced an unprecedented advancement in technological development resulting in a revolution especially, in information technology. This revolution invariably, has given birth to the internet and by extension a constellation of social networking sites. Technological changes have always been seen as strong revolutionary force but the advent of the internet is something that has affected almost all spheres of personal, social and professional human life (Ishfaq, and Tehmina, 2003). Ishfaq and Tehmina (2003) further stated that right from the mere ways of interaction to the running of huge systems; the world is utilizing the conveniences provided by the existence of internet and developments made in the internet applications are beyond imagination.

 

Social networking sites are part of the development in internet technology and they are forms of electronic communication platforms which facilitate interaction among users. Communication and whatever interaction there is among persons on social networking sites, is achieved through the use of social media, which includes web and mobile technology. Kaplan and Haenlein (2003) defined Social networking sites as a group of internet based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content.

There is a compendium of social networking sites, among which are Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Skype, 2go, MySpace, Whatsapp, Bing, Google, Ask, Aol mobile, callwave, world Warcraft, and Blogtalkradio. A common phenomenon in Nigeria is that Facebook, twitter and Whatsapp seem to become the most popular social networking sites used by young people and adults alike. The general trend is that all over the world, young people perhaps seem to be the major users of social networking sites and can afford to explore these sites at the detriment of other important activities. To most youth, it is fun being on social network because it accords them a variety of usage, ranging from chatting with friends, making new acquaintances, updating their profiles, entertainment, watching video, downloading films, playing games, listening to music, etc. Social networking has both negative and positive sides depending on what purpose the individual uses it for.

 

In Nigeria, mobile phone is a fashion and one becomes out of fashion when you don‘t have one and young people must do anything to get a mobile phone. This experience is a phenomenon shared by all countries. A research conducted by TwinePine in 2014 revealed that, there were 139 million social networking sites users in Nigeria, 75 million use SNS for business and 64 million for social activities. The study found out that youth form the majority of people who do social networking for social activities. This over indulgence with social networking includes in the band wagon, business education students in federal universities in Nigeria. These young people spend a large amount of their precious time surfing the internet for activities mostly ignoble, this to most concerns is a phenomenon that is worrisome. It is also true that some students may use social networking to optimize their academic activities, such as class attendance, personal studies, group project work participation, participation in tutorials and research activities, through communicating with fellow students and lecturers on academic matters. Arguments have been put forward as to whether or not indulgence with social networking affects students‘ academic activities. While some people believed it negatively affected students‘ academic activities, others believed it helped optimize these activities, as such it is a good omen.

 

Social networking is a phenomenon that has attracted a myriad of interest and there are divergent opinions with regards to its importance or the lack of it as far as students‘ learning is concerned. The internet is an important element of life which cannot be ignored, being that it has brought enormous transformations which affect every facet of man‘s activities. The Internet is used for educational purposes, unfortunately, there are youths and teenagers who use Internet for only social networking (Boyd, 2006). Trusov, Bucklin and Pauwels (2007) explained that social network is a web-based facility which allows individuals to build a profile identity and generate subjective associations and connections among themselves and communicate them through a central location. According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2007), social network sites attract the attention of students and gradually, divert it towards non-educational and inappropriate activities including aimless chatting. It can therefore, be said that social networking may negatively, affect the academic life and learning experiences of students. Liccardi, Ounnas, Massey, Kinnunen, Lewthwaite, Midy, andSakar, (2008) believe that students are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics through social network.

 

1.2         Statement of the Problem

 

The goal of every educational institution is the attainment of educational excellence; this is in terms of instructional inputs and learning outcomes emanating from the process. The concern of school managers, stakeholders and planners in education, is to provide all that it takes to ensure excellent performance on the part of students. Fundamental to school goal attainment, is the fact that there be capacity building in areas of provision of conducive learning environment, presence of instructional and learning materials, good management of school system and resources, good quality teaching/non-teaching staff and potency of instruction. In addition to all these, came the rapid development in Information Technology, resulting in the emergence of the World Wide Web and the internet which further gave birth to a symphony of social networking sites. Supposedly, this ought to provide easy avenue for facilitating learning because of the enormous amount of information students can access from different databases and life interactions using real-time, video conferencing and skype.

 

However, the reality seem to be different, this is because the overindulgence by students with social networking as revealed by investigation by the researcher, that majority of business education students tend to indulge in the social media to the extent that they do not do without them and they commit more hours of the day surfing and blogging the social networking sites to update their profiles, open new accounts, chat with old friends and make new acquaintances and watch videos. Business education students commit more time to social networking and one wonders, if they ever had time for their academic activities. Cain (2009) stated that although, social networking can be practiced for good determinations but they are usually used for involvement of digital snapshots and information, exposing securities, and conducting online conversations because many other communities inside social networking websites motivate users for this kind of inappropriate actions. Empirical results on social networking revealed that, the development of social networking sites had both positive and negative influences. Since the advent of social networking sites in the 1990s, it was assumed in some quarters that students‘ academic activities faced neglect and challenges because of the students over-indulgence with social networking for purposes not educational. Suhail and Bargees (2009) found that excessive social networking causes psychological, physical, interpersonal and educational problems to users.

 

There are various arguments that students‘ engagement with unserious networking activities can lead to poor performance in their academic. It is based on this premise that the researcher carried out an investigation on influence of social networking on academic activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

1.3         Research Objectives

 

The main objective of the study is to investigate the influence of social networking sites usage on academic activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria. The specific objectives were to:

 

  1. determine the influence of social networking on class attendance of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. investigate the influence of social networking on personal studies of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. ascertain the influence of social networking on participation in group project by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. determine the influence of social networking on participation in tutorial by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. establish the influence of social networking on research activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Determine the influence of time spent on social networking on academic activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

1.4 Research Questions

 

The study sought answers to the following research questions:

 

  1. What influence does social networking have on class attendance of business education students in Nigerian federal universities?

 

  1. What is the influence of social networking on personal studies of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria?

 

  1. What is the influence of social networking on participation in group project by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria?

 

  1. What is the influence of social networking on participation in tutorials by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria?

 

  1. What is the influence of social networking on research activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria?

 

  1. What is the influence of time spent on social networking on academic activities of business education students‘ in federal universities in Nigeria?

 

1.5         Null Hypotheses

 

  1. Social networking has no significant influence on class attendance of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking has no significant influence on personal studies of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking has no significant influence on participation in group project by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking has no significant influence on participation in tutorials by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking has no significant influence on research activities of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Time spent on social networking by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria has no significant influence on their academic activities.

 

1.6         Significance of the Study

 

The research finding would be beneficial to the government, educational planners, curriculum developers and planners, academic planning units of universities, students and researchers.

The findings of this research will be of immense importance in assisting government to come up with strategic policy framework on the need to either implement social networking technology in every facet of the nation‘s educational delivery or to discourage the use of it if found to be hazardous to students learning.

The study would be of benefit to students if results reveal that social networking can be a learning enhancing tool or be discouraged if it is found to hamper students learning.

 

The findings of this study would be of help to educational planners on the need to include social networking when planning the country‘s educational delivery. To curriculum developers and planners, the research findings would help them to integrate social networking in the nation‘s educational content and curriculum at all levels if findings reveal that social networking technology can enhance students learning.

The findings of this study would be of immense importance to academic planning units of Nigerian universities, as it would provide a basis for advising university authorities on whether or not students should use social networking to support their learning.

The research findings would be relevant in assisting students on the importance of using social networking as an avenue for expanding the frontiers of learning. This would be realized when students explore diverse avenues for information pertaining to their learning.

To researchers, findings of this study will serve as baseline from which further studies on students‘ academic activities would be carried out.

 

1.7                 Basic Assumptions of the study

 

In this study the following assumptions were made.

 

  1. Social networking may influence class attendance of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking may influence personal studies of business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking may influence business education students‘ participation in group project assignment.

 

  1. Social networking may influence participation in tutorials by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria.

 

  1. Social networking may influence business education students‘ research activities.

 

  1. Time spent on social networking by business education students in federal universities in Nigeria may influence their academic activities.

 

1.8 Delimitation of the Study

 

The study was delimited to ten federal universities in Nigeria running business education programme. The reason for selecting these universities was that they are public institutions belonging to the federal government and they run the business education programme. The fact that these universities share common similarities would make generalization of findings easier. The study was also delimited to determining the influence of social networking on academic activities of 400 Level business education students‘ in these universities. The choice of 400 Level students for the study stems from the fact that these students have the same characteristics, in the sense that federal universities are owned and funded by the federal government of Nigeria; this therefore, presents a scenario of equity among these universities in terms of admission policy, programme delivery, curriculum and instructional materials availability, quality of lecturers and adherence to NUC benchmark minimum academic standard.

INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING ON ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ IN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA

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