Social Networking Sites as Communication, Interaction, and Learning Environments: Perceptions and Preferences of Distance Education Students
Keywords:Social Networking Sites (SNSs), distance education students, distance education, social communication, social learning.
The advent of Web 2.0 technologies transformed online networks into interactive spaces in which user-generated content has become the core material. With the possibilities that emerged from Web 2.0, social networking sites became very popular. The capability of social networking sites promises opportunities for communication and interaction, especially for distance education students who are separated from their teachers, learning resources and other students in terms of time and/or space. Within this perspective, the aim of the study is to investigate distance education students’ perceptions and preferences regarding use of social networking sites for communication and interaction purposes. In this context, the study employed a quantitative cross-sectional methodology. Research findings were derived from a sample of 2065 distance education students and the data were gathered through an online questionnaire. The research findings indicate that social networking sites (SNSs) can be used to support social learning processes.
Aaen, J., & Dalsgaard, C. (2016). Student Facebook groups as a third space: between social life and schoolwork. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(1), 160-186.
Adamic, L. A., & Huberman, B. A. (2000). Power-law distribution of the World Wide Web. Science, 287(5461), 2115-2115.
Alloway, T. P., Horton, J., Alloway, R. G., & Dawson, C. (2013). Social networking sites and cognitive abilities: Do they make you smarter?. Computers & Education, 63, 10-16.
Al-Mukhaini, E. M., Al-Qayoudhi, W. S., & Al-Badi, A. H. (2014). Adoption of social networking in education: A study of the use of social networks by higher education students in Oman. Journal of International Education Research, 10(2), 143.
Anadolu University. (n.d). Anadolu at a glance. Retrieved from https://www.anadolu.edu.tr/en/aboutanadolu/institutional/anadolu-at-a-glance
Andrews, T., Tynan, B., & Backstrom, K. (2012). Distance learners' use of non-institutional social media to augment and enhance their learning experience. In Ascilite 2012: Future Challenges, Sustainable Futures, 25-28 Nov 2012, Wellington, New Zealand.
Argyle, M., & Dean, J. (1965). Eye contact and distance affiliation. Sociometry, 28(3), 289-304.
Bicen, H., & Uzunboylu, H. (2013). The Use of Social Networking Sites in Education: A Case Study of Facebook. J. UCS, 19(5), 658-671.
Bosch, T. E. (2009). Using online social networking for teaching and learning: Facebook use at the University of Cape Town. Communication: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research, 35(2), 185-200.
Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
Bozkurt, A. & Tu, C-H. (2016). Digital identity formation: Socially being real and present on digital networks. Educational Media International, 53(3), 153-167.
Bozkurt, A., Karadeniz, A., & Okur, M., R. (2015). Online social networks as communication and learning environments: Post-graduate students' attitudes and preferences. In, Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies Conference (EDULEARN15), 6th-8th July 2015 (pp. 4686-4694), Barcelona, Spain.
Brady, K. P., Holcomb, L. B., & Smith, B. V. (2010). The use of alternative social networking sites in higher educational settings: A case study of the e-learning benefits of Ning in education. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(2), 151-170.
Callaghan, G., & Fribbance, I. (2016). The use of Facebook to build a community for distance learning students: a case study from the Open University. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(3), 260-272.
Cheikh-Ammar, M., & Barki, H. (2016). The influence of social presence, social exchange and feedback features on SNS continuous use: The Facebook context. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing (JOEUC), 28(2), 33-52.
Cheung, C. M., Chiu, P. Y., & Lee, M. K. (2011). Online social networks: why do students use Facebook?. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(4), 1337-1343.
Chugh, R., & Ruhi, U. (2017). Social media in higher education: A literature review of Facebook. Education and Information Technologies, 1-12.
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson Education.
Dahlstrom, E., Grunwald, P., de Boor, T., & Vockley, M. (2011). ECAR National study of students and information technology in higher education, 2011. EDUCUASE Center for Applied Research. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERS1103/ERS1103W.pdf
Daniel, J. S. (1998). Mega-universities and knowledge media: Technology strategies for higher education. Psychology Press.
DeSchryver, M., Mishra, P., Koehleer, M., & Francis, A. (2009). Moodle vs. Facebook: Does using Facebook for discussions in an online course enhance perceived social presence and student interaction? In, Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 329–336). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2009a). How the crowd can teach. In S. Hatzipanagos & S. Warburton (Eds.), Handbook of research on social software and developing community ontologies (pp. 1–17). Hershey, PA: IGI Global Information Science.
Duggan, M. (2015). Mobile messaging and social media 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/
Duggan, M., & Brenner, J. (2013). The demographics of social media users – 2012. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://socialmarketing.blogs.com/r_craiig_lefebvres_social/2013/02/demographics-of-social-network-siteusers-2013.html#sthash.Ax4nRhmH.dpuf
Duncan, D. G., & Barczyk, C. C. (2013). Facebook in the university classroom: Do students perceive that it enhances community of practice and sense of community. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(3), 1-14.
Faculty Focus. (2011). Social media usage trends among higher education faculty. Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/free-reports/social-media-usage-trends-among-higher-education-faculty/
Fisher, R. A. (1922). On the interpretation of chi square from contingency tables, and the calculation of P. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 85, 87–94.
Garcia, E., Elbeltagi, I. M., Dungay, K., & Hardaker, G. (2015). Student use of Facebook for informal learning and peer support. The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 32(5), 286-299.
Gaskell, A., & R. Mills. (2010). Can we really learn from mobile handheld devices? Paper presented at the PanCommonwealth Forum on Open and Distance Learning, Cochin, India.
Greenhow, C. (2011). Online social networking and learning. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 1(1), 36–50.
Gregory, P. Gregory, K. Eddy, E. (2014). The instructional network: using Facebook to enhance undergraduate mathematics instruction. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 33(1), 5-26.
Hormes, J. M. (2016). Under the influence of Facebook? Excess use of social networking sites and drinking motives, consequences, and attitudes in college students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(1), 122-129.
Hormes, J. M., Kearns, B., & Timko, C. A. (2014). Craving Facebook? Behavioral addiction to online social networking and its association with emotion regulation deficits. Addiction, 109, 2079–2088.
Iordache, D.D., Lamanauskas, V. (2013). Exploring the usage of social networking websites: perceptions and opinions of Romanian university students. Informatica Economică, 17(4), 18-25.
Junco, R. (2015). Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 18-29.
Juran, J. M. (1975). The non-Pareto principle; Mea culpa. Quality Progress, 8(5), 8-9.
Kenney, J., Kumar, S., & Hart, M. (2013). More than a social network: Facebook as a catalyst for an online educational community of practice. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 1(4), 355-369.
Khan, T., Kend, M., & Robertson, S. (2016). Use of social media by university accounting students and its impact on learning outcomes. Accounting Education, 25(6), 534-567.
Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). Social networking sites and addiction: Ten lessons learned. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(3), 311.
Lambić, D. (2016). Correlation between Facebook use for educational purposes and academic performance of students. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 313-320.
Lee, M. J. W., & McLoughlin, C. (2010). Beyond distance and time constraints: Applying social networking tools and Web 2.0 approaches to distance learning. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emerging technologies in distance education (pp. 61–87). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
Li, J., Lai, J., & Zhang, G. (2015, July). Investigating the reasons of hiding personal relationships in SNS. In Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Social Media 2015: ECSM 2015 (p. 278). Academic
Li, X., Ganeshan, K., & Xu, G. (2012, October). The role of social networking sites in e-learning. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2012 (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
Liu, M., McKelroy, E., Kang, J., Harron, J., & Liu, S. (2016). Examining the use of Facebook and Twitter as an additional social space in a MOOC. American Journal of Distance Education, 30(1), 14-26.
Maleko, M., Nandi, D., Hamilton, M., D'Souza, D., & Harland, J. (2013, March). Facebook versus Blackboard for supporting the learning of programming in a fully online course: the changing face of computing education. In Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE), 2013 (pp. 83-89). IEEE.
Manasijević, D., Živković, D., Arsić, S., & Milošević, I. (2016). Exploring students’ purposes of usage and educational usage of Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 60, 441-450.
Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016b). Facebook and the others. Potentials and obstacles of social media for teaching in higher education. Computers & Education, 95, 216-230.
Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016a). Is Facebook still a suitable technology-enhanced learning environment? An updated critical review of the literature from 2012 to 2015. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32(6), 503-528.
Mazman, S. G., & Usluel, Y. K. (2010). Modeling educational usage of Facebook. Computers & Education, 55(2), 444-453.
McCann, K. H. (2009). Virtual communities for educators: An overview of supports and best practices. Proceedings from Technology, Colleges, and Community Conference (pp. 137-142). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
Meishar-Tal, H., Kurtz, G., & Pieterse, E. (2012). Facebook groups as LMS: A case study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(4), 33-48.
O'neil, S. M., & H. Wels. (2016). Facebook: A tool to enhance teaching and learning for postgraduate research students. Journal for New Generation Sciences, 14(3), 91-110.
Pearson, K. (1900). On the criterion that a given system of deviations from the probable in the case of a correlated system of variables is such that it can be reasonably supposed to have arisen from random sampling. Philosophical Magazine, 50(5), 157–175.
Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A., & Calvert, S. L. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(3), 227-238.
Pimmer, C., Linxen, S., & Gröhbiel, U. (2012). Facebook as a learning tool? A case study on the appropriation of social network sites from mobile phones in developing countries. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5), 726-738.
Ractham, P., & Firpo, D. (2011, January). Using social networking technology to enhance learning in higher education: A case study using Facebook. In System Sciences (HICSS), 2011, 44th Hawaii International Conference (pp. 1-10). IEEE.
Rainie, R., Brenner, J. & Purcell, K. (2012). Photos and videos as social currency online. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/09/13/photos-and-videos-as-social-currency-online/
Rap, S., & Blonder, R. (2017). Thou shall not try to speak in the Facebook language: Students' perspectives regarding using Facebook for chemistry learning. Computers & Education, 114, 69-78.
Roblyer, M. D., McDaniel, M., Webb, M., Herman, J., & Witty, J. V. (2010). Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses and perceptions of social networking sites. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 134-140.
Rodríguez-Hoyos, C., Haya Salmón, I., & Fernández Díaz, E. M. (2015). Research on SNS and education: The state of the art and its challenges. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 100-111.
Rodriguez, J. E. (2011). Social media use in higher education: Key areas to consider for educators. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(4), 539-550.
Schroeder, A., Minocha, S., & Schneider, C. (2010). The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of using social software in higher and further education teaching and learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(3), 159–174.
Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications. London: John Wiley & Sons.
Tess, P. A. (2013). The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual)–A literature review. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(5), A60-A68.
Times Higher Education. (2017). The world university rankings. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/anadolu-university
Veletsianos, G., & Navarrete, C.C. (2012). Online social networks as formal learning environments: learner experiences and activities. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), 144-166.
Wang, J., Lin, C.F. C., Yu, W.C.W., & Wu, E. (2013). Meaningful engagement in Facebook learning environments: merging social and academic lives. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(1), 302-322.
Wang, Q., Woo, H. L., Quek, C. L., Yang, Y., & Liu, M. (2011). Using the Facebook group as learning management system: An exploratory study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(3), 428-438.
We are social Singapore. (2016). Digital in 2016. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/digitalin-2016
Webb, E. (2009). Engaging students with engaging tools. Educause Quarterly, 32(4), 1–7.
West, R., Waddoups, G., & Graham, C. (2006). Understanding the experiences of instructors as they adopt a course management system. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(1), 1–26.
Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P., & Wheeler, D. (2008). The good, the bad and the wiki: Evaluating student-generated content for collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 987–995.
Whitworth, A., & Benson, A. (2010). Learning, design, and emergence: Two cases of Moodle in distance education. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emerging technologies in distance education (pp. 195–213). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
Wiener, M., & Mehrabian, A. (1968). Language within language: Immediacy, a channel in verbal communication. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
WorldAtlas. (2017). Universities with the largest enrollments in the world. Retrieved from http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/universities-with-the-largest-enrollments-in-the-world.html
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).