Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Using Social Media Websites in Enhancing Learning and Interactions at Post Graduate Level

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Using Social Media Websites in Enhancing Learning and Interactions at Post Graduate Level

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the present age of technology, technological advances are revolutionizing the world. For many, social media websites have become an essential aspect of our lives. Social media websites are taken as all types of online technologies through which people interact with each other (Media Rating Council, 2015). In views of Colin et al. (2011), social media is defined as applications of web based and mobile technologies to convert interaction into a dialogue. It can be defined as any type of device which is used to generate information, share ideas and develop learning and interaction among people in virtual communities. By the types of media, social media falls within the area of electronic media. In views of Jones and Uribe-Jongbleod (2013) social media is a type of online media. This provides opportunities to its users to interact, exchange ideas, discuss and comment online.

In the past, people used to communicate with others using letters, cards, telegraph and telephone. Today, world has much changed and people correspond with others through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. (Millanovic, 2015). The internet has made the world smaller and information is only as far away as a single click. With social media websites, we have even more access to news and opinions than ever before.

Social media is being used for interacting others not only for business purpose but also for entertainment, educational and even sharing information to unknown persons. Educationists and students are also using it to disseminate and receive academic information with one another. They have awareness about effective role of social media in developing interactions and improving learning. Much literature on the topic is available in result of research in the field.

Markovic (2010) noted that institutes of higher education are making use of online learning or e-learning. Sabol and Pianta (2012) are in view that interaction between students and their teachers is important to enhance interaction with each other that is important for academic and personality development of students. Therefore, Barczyk, and Duncan (2013) observed that many teachers consider use of a social media websites like Facebook as a tool to enhance learning and interaction among students and teachers. Roblyer, Marsena, Witty, and Roblyer (2010) revealed that 297,000 teachers are Facebook members and it is not only a means of social interaction but also a source of exchanging educational material among students and teachers.

Mazer, Murphy and Simonds (2007) has reported the use of social media as an important tool to improve rapport and enthusiasm among students and teachers. Colin et al. (2011) see social media websites being of value in delivering educational outcomes, as well as encouraging supportive relationships, identity formation, and promoting a sense of belonging and self-esteem among users.

Yamamichi (2011) noted the two-way interaction aspect that is possible though use of social media, very different from books and papers. By using forms of social media, students get opportunities to verify information and share with friends and teachers on the basis of give and take. They develop their interaction with people that are not near to them. Sometimes they interact to those whom they have not ever seen or met. On the other hand, they learn to analyze materials found from different sources. These develop habit of discovering correct information and learn by trial and error. This is not possible by just attending classes in the institution or by reading course books.

Introvert students feel confident to communicate while using the social media websites. Moody (2010) suggested that more introvert and shy students might make use of social media websites. Curtis (2014) argued that teachers should interact with students via a social media group without exposing private information. Therefore, a site like Facebook helps in academic discussion through group formation among students and teachers. …

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