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To what extent do university students in Saudi Arabia find a social media tool (Twitter) useful in their respective learning environments?

ALMANKORY, ABDULLAH,ZAID (2019) To what extent do university students in Saudi Arabia find a social media tool (Twitter) useful in their respective learning environments? Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This research examines and evaluates students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of social media (Twitter) in their learning environment. The investigation was conducted in a university located in Saudi Arabia. Twitter was integrated into the learning environment to precisely examine the potential of social media in education. The study attempts to address the research topic from several aspects: examining the challenges that students face during the integration, evaluating and discovering possible pitfalls associated with social media and education, evaluating the positive capacity of Twitter in learning and as a pedagogical tool, and investigating students’ educational engagement through the social media platform.

A mixed-methods approach was conducted for data collection, including quantitative (online questionnaires) and qualitative (face-to-face interviews) methods. The obtained data were analysed quantitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics analysis, including exploratory factor analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), and qualitatively through thematic analysis.

The analysis of students’ perspectives revealed that they had positive Twitter experiences, and they expressed that utilising Twitter can facilitate and improve their educational activities, including knowledge sharing, communication, interaction and collaboration, questioning, and finding answers. The analysis also revealed that they believed that Twitter is a supportive tool that ‘often’ increases students’ engagement in educational activities, such as being involved in discussions and asking questions.

In relation to some of the students’ preferences, it was revealed that there were few concerns related to privacy. In addition, interviews revealed there was a small amount of non-academic interaction via Twitter as well as difficulties in accessing the platform, including the internet services.

The study highlights the process of integrating Twitter in learning, as this could increase its positive impact; the process includes the provision of a general induction, an explanation of the purpose, and how students might achieve their goal.

The study is important as it provides an overall picture of the use of social media in higher education. It also assists in the development of integrating social media, particularly Twitter, in general academic practice or in the learning environment.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Aug 2019 11:35

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