Students Perception Towards Social Networking Sites
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This paper reports on students’ perceptual experiences. experiences and beliefs about the voluntary usage of Facebook in Advertising. Law. Nursing and Creative Industries’ subjects at an Australian University. The research workers conducted in-depth interviews with pupils and the written texts were analysed utilizing the changeless comparing method. This resulted in a figure of emergent subjects. of which six are explored in this paper. The findings suggest that pupils are rather divergent in their responses to faculty members utilizing Facebook in their topics. They do non ever see its relevancy to the topic and are slightly ambivalent about how it facilitates peer-to-peer relationships or a better relationship with the lector. The survey besides identifies subjects associating to cynicism and invasion into societal infinites.
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Students’ perceptual experiences. experiences and beliefs about the usage of Facebook in topics at an Australian University
Background to the Study
In many universities. faculty members are strategically encouraged to integrate new media engineerings into their topics with a position to prosecuting pupils and heightening their acquisition experiences. This is a response to alterations in pupil outlooks about larning environments and inquiries about whether bing instruction patterns and theoretical accounts meet their demands ( Berge. 2008 ) . Therefore. we can anticipate that a bulk of our undergraduate pupils ( or at least those born after 1982 ) are portion of the Millennial Generation ( Wood. Solomon and Allan. 2008 ) . This cohort has been raised with
synergistic communicating engineerings ( ICTs ) such as the Web. and electronic mail. and now with the coming of Web2. 0. a whole scope of new media engineerings for societal networking ( e. g. Facebook. Myspace. YouTube and web logs ) ( Wood et al. . 2008 ) . So what does the Millennial Generation expect in footings of their university educators’ battle with these engineerings and the bringing of meaningful educational experiences?
In chase of an reply. we note that there is limited research available in higher instruction that examines the integrating of new media engineerings into learning and larning beyond the usage of practical universes such as Second Life. Therefore. there is limited counsel on how pedagogues can incorporate societal networking sites ( SNSs ) . such as Facebook. into topics delivered face-to-face to heighten pupil battle in meaningful ways.
To turn to this restriction. this survey explores emerging subjects derived strictly from the students’ perceptual experiences. experiences and beliefs about how and why Facebook was used in their topic in Advertising. Law. Nursing and Creative Industries’ subjects at a metropolitan university in Queensland. Australia. It should be noted that in every topic identified. students’ engagement in Facebook was strictly voluntary and non-assessable. The paper commences with a description of the methodological analysis used. Then the six subjects are discussed together with the available literature. The paper closes with the study’s restrictions and future research waies.
The research involved in-depth interviews utilizing a semi-structured interview format ( Kvale. 1996 ) . Students were recruited through posters on the university’s on-line intelligence boards and the monthly campus newspaper. Theoretical sampling ( Strauss and Corbin. 1990 ) was used to obtain a diverse scope of interviewees. Ten pupils. runing in age from 18 to 47 old ages. were interviewed: four males and six females. There were seven domestic pupils and three International pupils from Advertising. Law. Nursing and Creative Industries. The pupil twelvemonth degrees ranged from first to 3rd twelvemonth. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed to supply the information. which were analysed utilizing the uninterrupted comparing method to develop emerging subjects ( Strauss and Corbin. 1990 ) .
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Hargittai ( 2008 ) states that one should non presume that because people use the Internet. they use all new media engineerings likewise. As pedagogues. nevertheless. we do be given to presume that our pupils ( particularly the younger 1s ) are take parting in new media engineerings. peculiarly SNSs. In fact. non every interviewee had a personal Facebook history at the clip they were enrolled in a topic that uses one:
I wasn’t really a member of the Facebook at the clip so I didn’t interact at that place. [ 001. F. 20 old ages. Domestic ] Facebook in China is non that popular as in Australia. [ 017. F. 25 old ages. International ] You know. it was merely kind of assumed that everyone knew what Facebook was and … they could easy put themselves up an history if they didn’t already have one. [ 018. F. 27 old ages. Domestic ]
I didn’t experience I had clip to develop my personal Facebook so I didn’t join… [ 019. M. 47 old ages. International ]
Why Have Facebook?
In footings of integrating new engineerings into learning and larning. it is of import that the pupils understand its intent in the topic. Students’ apprehension of the intent of Facebook in their topic may hold influenced their determinations about engagement: To acquire us more involved. if we didn’t understand anything … another manner for us to remain in contact. … There was material about work experience. [ 007. F. 19 old ages. Domestic ] … was used by the lector to pass on extra stuffs to assist us with our larning experience. He provided stuffs on Facebook for those wanted extra back uping stuff with respects to instance surveies. [ 08. M. 19 old ages. Domestic ] .
I was non certain of its intent. [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ] As the quotation marks show. non every pupil saw the relevancy or even the intent of Facebook in their topic. This supports Daniels Lee’s ( 2009 ) happening that. in a different context of new engineerings. her pupils were non certain whether the engineering was really relevant for the peculiar topic being taught. Furthermore. merely believing that we are functioning our pupils ‘where they are’ . or utilizing the engineering as ‘a Panacea for making students’ ( Chu and Meulemans. 2008. p. 74 ) . does non intend that pupils understand its intent.
What’s the Buzz?
Since Facebook is so widely adopted by the Millennial Generation. shouldn’t there be some sense of bombilation about the value of being portion of the subject’s Facebook site. possibly when pupils and academic staff run into face-to-face in tutorials or talks? There wasn’t any reference of Facebook in my tutorial. I think if there was it would likely hold made me travel. ‘Oh. possibly I should look into it out’ … You know. like people are utilizing it and they seem manner more knowing than me and they know what’s traveling on and are on top of everything? [ 001. F. 20 old ages. Domestic ] He ( the lector ] kind of briefly mentioned it … . and asked who has a Facebook. And so he kind of got into this thing about Facebook in the topic and that it was an optional thing. [ 010. M. 19 old ages. Domestic ]
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The lector would stop up the usage of it. Like when we went for the first talk … she said she’d made a Facebook page … so on the stations on Blackboard … she’d be like ‘thanks to everyone who’s posted material on Facebook’ … [ 018. F. 27 old ages. Domestic ] .
Can We Be Friends?
SNSs create a sense of connection and designation with peculiar involvement groups or a community of involvement ( Barker. 2009 ; Boyd and Ellison. 2008 ) . In our University. Facebook is used in academic topics to seek to make a sense of engagement for pupils and to increase chances to develop friendly relationships. but these Facebook friends may non needfully develop into or back up face-to-face interactions. as the undermentioned quotation marks suggest: To acquire pupils more involved … another manner for pupils to remain in contact. [ 007. F. 19 old ages. Domestic ]
I made some friends on the Facebook but we did non run into up in real-life… . . It was easier to show my ideas to them in text than seeking to speak. [ 017. F. 25 old ages. International ] I think that Facebook might blow clip with excessively much excess confab and you don’t cognize who they are. [ 019. M. 47 old ages. International ]
Findingss in our survey besides suggest that Facebook can make a sense that learning staff are more accessible in this environment. but non for everyone: Well. his communicating on the Facebook group was a small spot more insouciant than what he would usually depict in his Blackboard or talk communications. … he was on a more insouciant degree so it reduces that professional barrier to a certain grade. [ 008. M. 19 old ages. Domestic ]
I feel the lector is more accessible through Facebook… . I feel more close to the lector but I didn’t experience this in the talk. Through the Facebook we become friends. [ 017. F. 25 old ages. International ]
I think the lector needs to be at the formal degree they’re at. I don’t believe the lector should be your brother. [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ]
The scope of positions expressed in these statements both support and negate Chu and Meulemans’ ( 2008 ) findings that pupils are non peculiarly interested in utilizing an SNS to pass on with their lectors or holding their lectors as friends. Additionally. the quotation mark from 017 suggests that International pupils. who do be given to be quieter in the face-to-face activities of a topic. could happen Facebook a suited avenue for more occupied contact with their teaching staff. Orr et Al. ( 2009 ) found that shy or introverted persons have more favorable attitudes towards SNSs. which may be the instance for this international pupil.
I Am What I Post
Facebook provides agencies for people to post information about themselves. such as textual information and exposure. which is so assessed by others who entree their sites ( Kramer and Winter. 2008 ; Tong. Van Der Heide and Longwell. 2008 ) . When sing the integrating of SNSs into academic topics. we must understand that we are making environments that involve feeling direction or ego presentation. raising concerns about appropriate pupil behavior on the site. This issue has non been addressed in an academic environment. However. a subject associating to issues of self presentation in subjects’ Facebook sites is evident in the informations:
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This is traveling to sound truly bad. but I’d read people’s profiles and [ at ] some point I’d meet and judge them kind of based on what they already had on their profile. [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ]
Sometimes I am non happy – some peoples images truly [ laughs embarrassed ] … from my point kind of similar naked. May because of my civilization or background – in some images the people had truly really little apparels [ barely dressed ] . So I feel abashed sometimes with these images. [ 017. F. 25 old ages. International ] Extraverted participants tend to show themselves in less reticent ways by taking less conservative images to set on their sites ( Kramer and Winter. 2008 ) . Since Australian universities are strongly multicultural. some pupils may show concerns over how other pupils present themselves on a subject’s web site. as the quotation mark from 017 suggests.
However. there is some ambivalency among pupils as to whether the faculty member has a responsibility of attention or a duty for the manner pupils use the subject’s Facebook site for feeling direction or self-presentation when it can be viewed by other pupils: I feel that the responsibility of attention of the lector would likely be to guarantee that favoritism is kept to a minimal … . I believe that their responsibility of attention would be limited to that and that anything [ else ] … would likely be harmful to the personal autonomies and personal looks of the person. [ 008. M. 19 old ages. Domestic ] I don’t believe there’s truly the necessity or the option for it … holding this whole set of regulations on what you can and can’t do is merely another inducement non to screen of pursue it. particularly if it’s optional. [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ]
I don’t believe it’s up to QUT to keep everybody’s manus and to do certain that their Facebook page has the security scenes and that they’re non uploading exposures that person else might see and so do jobs. [ 018. F. 27 old ages. Domestic ]
In our informations there is a grade of cynicism expressed about utilizing Facebook in academe: He said it was kind of to maintain in touch with ‘your generation’ [ said with indicant of quotation mark Markss and grade of scorn ] . [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ]
I merely don’t think universities have to portray themselves as being cool and that’s like what I think this [ utilizing Facebook in a capable ] kind of furuncles down to. [ 018. F. 27 old ages. Domestic ] .
These findings support Chu and Meulemans’ ( 2008. p. 77 ) determination that pupils were slightly doubting about academics’ motivations for utilizing SNSs. such as ‘looking like they are seeking to suit in’ . Additionally. our findings identified a secondary issue related to how pupils perceive that universities are seeking to show themselves to pull the Millennial Generation into their degree plans. This impression of students’ perceived cynicism towards universities’ advancing themselves by utilizing new media engineerings to appeal to this coevals does non look to be considered in the literature.
Intruders in Social Spaces
Further. there were some rather strong sentiments about separating societal infinite and university infinite. and how engineerings are perceived in ways that delineate these infinites: Page 5 of 7 ANZMAC 20095
I think Facebook for me has a sort of societal intension to it … so likely holding something that’s rather educational on Facebook – I don’t cognize whether people would respond to that coming into their societal domain. [ 001. F. 19 old ages. Domestic ] I think Facebook should non be used in the university subjects. I associate Facebook with my personal life and my fun life. like my societal life. It’s societal networking. … when you’re on Blackboard everything is uni. [ 010. M. 18 old ages. Domestic ] These happening support Chu and Meulemans ( 2008 ) . who identified pupil sentiments about utilizing one engineering over another for certain undertakings at university ( for illustration. the usage of electronic mail in penchant to an SNS site to pass on with their lectors ) . Implications. Restrictions and Directions for Future Research Whether faculty members are acute or experience pressured to integrate SNSs or other new media engineerings into their instruction. there is really limited research to steer them. While non a usher as such. our survey captures students’ perceptual experiences. sentiments and attitudes towards such moves.
The findings. while a reasonably brief. supply some utile penetrations to see when believing about integrating SNSs into a topic. However. a comparatively little sample was used that potentially limits generalisability. The findings. nevertheless. represent pupil perceptual experiences from a sufficiently diverse scope of modules and capable countries where Facebook has been used. Therefore. these explorative findings represent a wide position of the issues that arise. Besides. the research was conducted at a individual university. so carry oning similar research across a figure of universities would do the findings more generalisable. The findings suggest a figure of possible waies for future research on the usage of SNSs in academic topics. For illustration. work could be done to capture students’ perceptual experiences of the grade to which a Facebook site creates a sense of community in the topic that has ongoing intending for those involved.
Research could look into the strength of ties developed between pupil ‘friends’ in the SNS that enhances digesting offline friendly relationships with members of their cohort. Additionally. research could be carried out sing self presentation issues in subjects’ Facebook sites to find how different pupils perceive themselves relevant to their pupil equals and how their equals perceive others on the site. Further. research could analyze the grade to which pupils are addressed and treated in their face-to-face activities in a topic. based on how they are perceived through their self presentations on the subject’s Facebook. Finally. farther research could be conducted into how capable SNSs can lend to the first twelvemonth experience. In peculiar. research could concentrate on how this signifier of societal networking can better keeping rates by making a sense of community and battle with ‘virtual friends’ for younger pupils in really big categories. ANZMAC 2009 Page 6 of 76
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