International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


Social Networking as a Tool for Extending Academic Learning and Communication
Prof. Dr. Naeema H. Jabr

Purpose: Despite assumption that the lecture is cohesive and consistent to all attendance, exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge, and expanding understanding is very required outside the classroom boundaries. Here, the part of sharing and cooperating activities among students and between students and the lecturers appear to be very urgent. From this point, social networking sites appear very helpful in building academic groups to achieve better academic learning and communication. It is then, the purpose of this study to provide a better understanding of how students are investing their skills, time, and willingness in using their Social Networking (SN) sites for better academic achievements and to examine factors affecting their use Design and Methodology: A research questionnaire was designed and electronically e-mailed to students at Sultan Qaboos University through the University e-mail server. A response rate of 3% (20) was avoided for missing data and 97% (650) was obtained from 670 respondents. The analyzed data show that students are personally achieving the basic competences required to access SN applications by themselves or through friends while the University highlights the importance of the constantly adapting technologies efforts to improve successful practice and to be engaged with universal knowledge. What students lack is how to think critically about transforming their perspective towards SN sites from merely social purposes to academic and social purposes. Eighty-three percent of the students are willinging to register for moderate, wide-ranging, or completely controlled course by Information Technology (IT). This reflects their willingness to establish systematic training courses regarding the use of SN for better academic communication and learning. Hence, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) needs to take a more interactive role in creating a collaborative learning environment and constructing “communities of practice” among students, faculty, and other staff, rather than just wasting time on unproductive and fruitless communication. Encouraging academic staff is one recommendation. This will lead directly to encouraging group academic communication in a way that will decrease students’ fruitless usage. It will also extend their efforts to learning and problem solving rather than endless youthful social communication and will achieve better utilization of the Internet and other available technologies rather than wasting time and money in unproductive applications, which will eventually affect their commitments to learning.

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