Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Using Social Media as a Tool for Improving Academic Performance through Collaborative Learning in Malaysian Higher Education

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Using Social Media as a Tool for Improving Academic Performance through Collaborative Learning in Malaysian Higher Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

Nowadays, many higher education institutions are still depending on the traditionally-based learning management systems that actually do not use full capabilities of social media in engaging researchers in collaborative learning. Due to recent rise in social media usage, especially among researchers and lecturers of educational institutions, a great deal of research was conducted to explore how to take advantage of social media and use it to improve the researchers 'academic performance through collaborative learning. To achieve this objective, it is important to explore the actual relationship between two variables: social media and academic performance. This study is aimed at examining the relationship between using social media and improving academic performance. A survey was conducted among the research students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and 323 valid responses were received. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the relationship between three constructs: social media, collaborative learning, and academic performance. The results showed a significant effect of social media on the students' academic performance with collaborative learning as the mediating variable. Without good collaborative learning, an education institution cannot take advantage of social media for improving academic performance.

Keywords: social media interactively, collaborative learning, academic performance, higher education, structural equation modeling

1. Introduction

Instead of being merely information consumers, web users have become joint-creators of social information in relation to the surge in social media (SM).Social media is also being more and more used to provide learning activities apart from its extensive use for social communications among the younger generation. The advent of web 2.0 is a result of the numerous efforts that were undertaken to integrate social media into the students' entire learning ecology. The implementation of social media in learning or education where learners are given the power to produce and arrange their own learning activities is behind the concept of E-learning 2.0 (Fredricks, 2002).

Practically, many higher education institutions are still depending on the traditionally-based learning management systems (LMS), which actually do not use full capacity of social media for improving global participation of students in learning through collaborative learning (CL) in social environment (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2011). Based on a study conducted by (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2011), the advent of web 2.0 has caused collaborating technologies to become mode of learning, especially for young generations; however, not many young learners take the advantages of social media in their academic performance (AP). In addition, (Greenhow, 2009) stated that a lot of learners do not actually understand the relationship between social media and their learning capabilities.

Based on the background presented above, the researcher believes that, using empirical analysis, it is necessary to address this gap by exploring the nature and extend of the relationship between social media and academic performance through collaborative learning. We propose a conceptual framework based on literature review and posit that social media positively affects academic performance. To verify the model, we conduct a survey among postgraduate students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia using an adopted questionnaire. In this study, a quantitative approach is applied and the reliability and validity of the scales were tested. In this paper, due to wide scope of higher education, we extended the study previously-conducted by (Li, 2012) who attempted to find out the relationship between social media and collaborative learning. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the hypotheses derived from literature review. Section 3 describes the methodology used in this research, including sampling technique and measurement. …

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