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Using Social Media In Higher Education: Enhancing Students’ Learning And Engagement

Divya Gupta

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Social Media, Engagement, Academic Performance, ANOVA model, Daulat Ram College

PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2018. This article is published with open access at

Social Networking Websites such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook are an important part of college students’ lives. The purpose of this study is to examine how incorporating social media into teaching process can contribute to students’ learning, engagement, and their academic performance. Primary Data is collected through an online pre-test and post-test survey administered to a sample of 90 Daulat Ram College students (45 in the experimental group and 45 in the control group). With the experimental group, social media is used for various types of academic and co-curricular discussions. Engagement was measured using a 24-item scale based on the National Survey of Student Engagement. The two group’s differences in engagement and marks are analyzed using fixed effects analysis of variance (ANOVA) model (using statistical software SPSS).
This study addresses the following Research Hypothesis
H1: Encouraging the use of Social media for educationally relevant purposes has positive impact on marks of students (Academic Performance)?
H2: Encouraging the use of social media for educationally relevant purposes has positive impact on students’ engagement?
This paper investigates the acceptability of social media for collaborative learning and the possibility of using it as an effective teaching tool.


New developments in the digital technology have dramatically changed the way individuals and families communicate and socialize. In fact, a major proportion of total number of users who engage in online social networking activities are the university students. There are 142 million facebook users in India with 69 million accessing it daily.

Incorporating social media in higher education can be beneficial to both students and instructors. Instructors will be able to improve their teaching methods and can stimulate students’ thinking by posting messages or launching dialogs with specific students even after the normal class time. They can design and develop course related online social networking websites to enhance student learning. With such technology, students can discuss the study tips among themselves and with the instructors. Moreover, they can communicate and extensively share knowledge among the peers. Improvement in students’ learning and academic performance can be expected through such kind of intensive communications and knowledge sharing between faculty members and students, and among the diverse group of students.

Social media can provide the means to learn and apply the theory. It can be used for improving the teaching and learning processes. It encourages collaborative learning, group studies. Today eBooks and online videos are very good source of learning. They prove to be so knowledgeable. Social media helps in the sharing of great ideas related to studies and education as well. It helps like-minded people to get together and plan their studying schedule. The best part is that social media can be used as per our own convenience. People can access study material on social media as per our own convenience. There are no restrictions. Also, Social Media can prove to be great for the students who hesitate to speak in class.

Thus, Social media can act as a great tool for uplifting the educational standards of the society. The classroom teaching methods of lectures, pin drop silence in class and continuous staring at books would be replaced by long hours of carefree interactions among students and teachers and creation of a cheerful and knowledgeable environment. These websites can be accessible almost everywhere in the world which is the advantage of inculcation of social media in education. It can help children to learn the benefit that technology provides in their education and learning process. Even those students who show lack of interest in offline studies may achieve great heights through online education. The interaction among students will increase and even the shy ones start to become extrovert.

The benefit of using social media for education purposes is not only limited to instructors but in fact a greater part of benefit lies with the students. Social media allows both the academic and co-curricular engagement of the students, which are powerful forces in students’ psychological development and academic success. It provides a medium to extensively communicate and share knowledge among the peers and teachers. This allows students to improve their knowledge acquisition process and their academic performance. Continuous discussions among the students allow dissemination of knowledge and development of critical thinking skills. There is a move from rote learning which has been prevailing in India since ages towards creative learning and better understanding of subjects. Social media can prove to be a powerful medium to improve communications skills of the students. Students who are too shy are much more comfortable to voice out their opinions by using this new form of communication.

Page(s) 29-39
ISSN Print : 2320-7655, Online : 2320-8805

The aim of this study was to examine whether it is effective to utilize online networking sites to design collaborative learning activities, e.g., exchange of project information, to increase interactivity and learning among individual students, and develop a rich environment for socialization. This study provided the experimental evidence that using digital technology in educationally relevant ways can increase student engagement and that social media can be used as an educational tool to help students collaborate and facilitate their learning. The world of education is currently undergoing a massive transformation as a result of the digital revolution and social media can play an important role. New technologies create learning opportunities that is taking their education out of school into homes, libraries, Internet cafes, where they can decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn, and how they want to learn. As there is continuing growth in the use of social media by college students and faculty, it is hoped that this study will motivate further studies in the field of education to optimally use emerging technologies for educational purposes.

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