The technological innovations of the 21st century brought with them new ways of communication and interaction. Among students of higher education, social media has escalated from being used for leisurely activities dealing with personal and social life to a major tool monitoring educational achievement. Many wonder about the impact, good or bad, of social media on their academic performance. The studies discussed in this literature review have proven that the networks are recognized to have both positive and negative effects in this area (Kolan & Dzandza, 2018).
Kolan and Dzandza (2018), studied the relation between the use of social media and its consequences on the academic performance of students in Ghana. The statistics were acquired by using the method of simple random sampling whereby the researchers selected students in a random fashion among a sample of 200 from a population that totalled 38,000 students. The analysts grouped the population’s total into clusters which depended on their halls of residence. There were 8 halls of residence which were selected by random fashion amidst the 16 halls that belonged to the University of Ghana. A questionnaire was also disbursed to the first 25 participants of the research within each cluster. Resulting from the research, 197 questionnaires had been accumulated with statistics of a descriptive nature having been adopted so as to profile the answers of the respondents. The results determined that the students had been well exposed to the social networking platforms since each respondent had used a minimum of one social media network. Most of the study’s participants appeared to have been using social media for over two hours daily, with 165 of the respondents demonstrating their main purpose for using social media to have not been academic, which suggests that it has no benefit on their academic careers. 87 students out of the 197 had also responded that they agreed and 15 responded that they strongly agreed to the fact that the use of social media distracts them from their academic responsibilities. The research allowed for the conclusion to be reached that while social media has the ability to be an advantageous resource, it may also have grave consequences of a negative nature on students’ academic performance (Kolan & Dzandza, 2018).
Lahiry, Choudhury, Chatterjee, and Hazra (2019) studied the relation between the usage of social media and its effects upon the personal relations and academic results of students studying medicine in Eastern India. The research was accumulated by allowing the study’s 650 participants complete a survey online that determined their patterns of usage of social media networks and their perspective relating to its consequences on their grades and interpersonal relationships. The participants were required to be minimum 18 years of age and appertained to a population size of 2000 people having a 50% response distribution. The analysts adopted a statistical analysis method which consisted of using Pearson’s correlation coefficient quantifying the correlation between the participants’ self-perceived academic success, and their prosperity in the physical and social aspects. The results determined that the response rate that was valid amounted to 55.23%, with the mass of participating students being undergraduates of the ages 18 to 24 (57.3%). 88.58% of the student respondents validated having been social media users chiefly for academic purposes. The research also concluded that 60.87% of the participants contemplated social networks to have had positive impacts on their academics so as to have resulted in their amelioration. The recognized influence on their interpersonal relationships was dually parallel in favourable and unfavourable aspects thus having inconclusive results. The analysts were however able to conclude that, amidst students studying medicine, the utilization of social networking for academic purposes is common and that they profit from using it while also having an awareness of the positive as well as the negative consequences it has on their interpersonal relations (Lahiry et al., 2019).
A research study conducted by the University of Alberoni in Afghanistan evaluated the negative and positive effects of the use of social media among undergraduate students. The purpose of the research was to evaluate if social media would have any effect, positive or negative, on students’ academic performance. For this quantitative research, 371 undergraduate students ages 18 and over were randomly chosen from the nine faculties. Among the 371 students, 236 (63.6%) were males and 135 (36.4%) were females, 187 were ages 18 to 20 years old, 169 were 21 to 25 years old, and only 15 participants were over 25 years of age. Researchers designed a survey questionnaire which was distributed among these respondents. After collecting the data, they used “SPSS software computer, One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and descriptive tests” (Mushtaq & Benraghda, 2018, p.5) for its analysis. 342 respondents qualified their academic achievement between good and excellent whereas only 29 participants qualified it as medium. The positive findings of the study demonstrated that most students use social media as a tool to communicate with their peers, to access lectures during courses and to help them in their academic success. Conversely, it demonstrated that a small portion of respondents had a decrease in their academic performance with the use of social media, a negative consequence. Overall, social media is very useful in the lives of undergraduate students at Alberoni University as it helps them in their academic achievement, it allows them to increase their knowledge and to have easy access to information. (Mushtaq & Benraghda, 2018).
Prior research has demonstrated that multitasking impairs leaning capacities by limiting an individual’s information processing channels and attention processes, resulting in reduced room for knowledge (May & Elder, 2018, p. 2). Smart phones and laptops are the two most common electronics used by college students. These devices can be used for productive and un-productive purposes resulting in possible engagement in both during lectures, making it difficult for students to stay focused (May & Elder, 2018, p. 7). In May and Elder (2018), an experimental study was conducted to observe the effects of multitasking on note taking and retention of information (p. 5). Participants were put in three different control groups; non-multitasking, low-distraction, and high-distraction and were instructed to take notes during a video-recorded lecture (May & Elder, 2018, p. 5). The study demonstrated that the non-multitasking control group had 62% more notes when compared to other participants (May & Elder, 2018, p. 5). In contrast, a handful of students in the low-distraction and high-distraction groups sent text messages relating to lecture content. As a result, they received 10-17% higher scores when quizzed, were able to retain 70% more information and took 50% more notes when comparing to participants who sent texts that were unrelated to the lecture content (May & Elder, 2018, p. 5). The results of this study imply that students can achieve higher scores if using their devices for academic purposes. Otherwise, students may be subjected to the negative effects of multitasking (May & Elder, 2018, p. 5).
The studies previously discussed will be helpful for the final research report as they each thoroughly examine the relationship between social media use and the academic performance of students in higher education, which is similar to the topic of the final report. This will allow for the research to be conducted effectively as a better understanding of the topic can be obtained, as well as for a hypothesis to be reached through this literature review. Each article has a similar conclusion which could be compared to the findings of the final research report, being that they all recognize the benefits of social media on academic performance while also understanding that it could have serious negative consequences. This will further aid students in finding the most effective ways to use such technology for the benefit of their education, given that social media is a vastly used resource in modern society (Kolan & Dzandza, 2018).
- Kolan, B. J., & Dzandza, P. E. (2018). Effect of social media on academic performance of students in Ghanaian universities: A case study of University of Ghana, Legon. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3511/c0b4ef9b0289ed0a7622f89c0bcaf9477bd3.pdf
- Lahiry, S., Choudhury, S., Chatterjee, S., & Hazra, A. (2019). Impact of social media on academic performance and interpersonal relation: A cross-sectional study among students at a tertiary medical center in East Asia. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 8(73). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6512220/
- May, K. E., & Elder, A. D. (2018). Efficient, helpful, or distracting? A literature review of media multitasking in relation to academic performance: Revista de universidad y sociedad del conocimiento. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15(1-17). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41239-018-0096-z
- Mushtaq, A. J., & Benraghda, A. (2018). The effects of social media on the undergraduate students’ academic performances. Library Philosophy and Practice, 1. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/2166025779?accountid=44391