SNS & student engagement & achievement


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A literature review of the impact of online social neyworking sites on student engagement and achievement; as partial completion of the Masters of Education program at menorial Univesity of Newfoundland.

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SNS & student engagement & achievement

  1. 1. Online Social Networking Sites:Student Engagement&Student AchievementElizabeth M. Power
  2. 2. Online Social Networking Sites:Student Engagement&Student AchievementSubmitted To: Prof. Robert KellyIn partial fulfillment of the requirements for Ed. 6590Faculty of Education, Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’s, Newfoundland and LabradorJuly 31, 2012
  3. 3. ABSTRACT Key words: social networking sites, student achievement, student engage  This paper reviews the available literature on the relationship and impact online social networking sites have on student engagement and achievement. Online social networking sites are plentiful, varied and easily accessible to students and teachers alike.  The potential for using these SNSs to further the goal of education is immense, and teachers are making the foray into the world of online social networking for educational purposes. However, educators cannot presuppose that because SNSs are a timely technology, they will necessarily engage students and improve student achievement. In fact, the research is inconclusive.  This paper will review literature which has reported finding positive impacts of SNSs on student engagement and achievement, and other literature which finds a negative correlation, or at best, no conclusive proof that there is any kind of a link between the two.  Aspects of online social networking such as engagement, collaboration, creativity, distraction, grade point average and academic achievement are considered in the literature. Results of this review will indicate that, while there are many instances of research reporting positive and negative results, there is no conclusive evidence either for or against the impact of SNSs on engagement and achievement.  Generally, participation in online SNSs has a positive connection to student
  4. 4. ContentsIntroduction•Research Question and Rationale•Background•DefinitionsReview of Related research and Literature•Positive impact of SNSs on student engagement and achievement•Negative impact of SNSs on student engagement and achievement•Neutral impact of SNSs on student engagement and achievementSummary of Findings•Summary•Discussion of Implications for Further ResearchReferences
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, Cloudworks, Twitter, Ning People of all ages --- by the millions Facebook - 901 million monthly active users - 125 billion friend connections - March, 2012 1.
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION Educators are set to take advantage of- multiple collaboration tools- discussion opportunities provided by SNSs, 2, 3 Teachers, always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to try to motivate students and improve student achievement are looking towards social networking for inspiration.
  7. 7. RESEARCH QUESTION AND RATIONALE “the benefits of Facebook’s networking and social communication capabilities can benefit both the instructor and the student by tapping into a greater number of learning styles, providing an alternative to the traditional lecture format, creating an online classroom community, and increasing teacher-student and student-student interaction.” (p. 9). 35
  8. 8. RESEARCH QUESTION AND RATIONALE The research question, then, that begs to be asked is ... “Does online social networking have an impact on student engagement and achievement?”
  9. 9. ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES web-based services that permit individuals to create a public or semi public profile, display a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and navigate through their list of connections and those made by others within the system 17. Friends, families, neighbourhood, world 18.
  10. 10. ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES Mobile connectivity Blogs Photo/video sharing Cross-posting Non-academic Social19
  11. 11. SNSS IN EDUCATION Three possible approaches: learning about SNSs (including understanding and identifying the knowledge, skills, dispositions and learning involved), learning from SNSs (to understand and appreciate the kinds of learning a social networking site can support), and learning with SNSs (making use of the student’s existing SNSs to support and extend curriculum-based work), 18, p. 16.
  12. 12. SNS IN EDUCATION Quality relationships Connectedness Modelling positive behaviours Sharing information25
  13. 13. BACKGROUND 95% of 18 and 19 year olds using Facebook 5 Few democratic differences between users and non-users 6 Frequently and extensively 36
  14. 14. BACKGROUNDWhile initially designed by Mark Zukerberg as ameans by which students could communicate withpeers at the University level 7 the popularity ofFacebook and other SNSs is growing to includeapplications in formal and informal educationalsettings.
  15. 15. BACKGROUND SNS use in Education is Underdeveloped – 30% college students using SNS in courses 5 Students rarely use Facebook for educational purposes 37 Students view SNSs differently for social purposes and educational purposes
  16. 16. EDUCATIONALPOTENTIAL OF SNS Instructors, learners, system designers & decision makers 3 Students by their own initiative 8 Use social networking sites for educationally related activities, including significant educational innovations such as interactive and collaborative learning 9 Knowledge sharing, creative production personal sense-making, reflection 38 “Social networking is a tool, with both its advantages and problems for usage in teaching and learning”
  17. 17.  Griffith and Liyange - Exploring SNS  positive aspect of SNSs The National School and their use is starting Board Association – to be seen, recognizes the potential  students are using SNSs value of using SNS in the in their academic studies classroom, for group and team- based work 12, recommending that school board members  SNSs in various find ways to harness the academic activities - educational value of communicating with social networking, chat faculty and lecturers, and rooms and collaborative discussing academic online journals 11. issues with classmates 13.Ajjan and Hartshorne - SNSs could be used toestablish a series of academic connections, or tofoster collaboration and cooperation in the highereducation classroom. 15
  18. 18. Should we exploit SNSs for education? “Social networking  Despite the is a tool, with both potential benefits its advantages and they have problems for usage identified, harnessi in teaching and ng social learning” 2 technologies offers both opportunities and challenges. 39
  19. 19. BACKGROUND Despite being a timely question, research on social networking sites and student achievement is limited when compared to studies of SNSs relating to other issues such as student privacy, safety, social capital, and psychological well-being . 4  What then, does the research say about online social networking sites and student engagement and achievement?
  20. 20. Definitions
  22. 22. ENGAGEMENTStudent engagement 22, 41, 23 Student achievementNing - individual over class - students saw + advantages - instructors saw + effects of engagement 14 - + impact on motivation and achievement 2Facebook - + predictive of student engagement 24Twitter - + potential for improving engagement 22
  23. 23. ACHIEVEMENT - POTENTIALcollaborative nature of SNSs + effect on civic development 27Twitter – improve grades in educationally relevant ways 3provide significant e-learning benefits 14enhance language learning, particularly ESL 44
  24. 24. ACHIEVEMENTSNS - Students report a + impact 13 - higher scores in verbal & visuo-spatial 42 - improved psychological well-being, skill development, learning outcomes 43Ning – Students report a + impact on achievement, collaboration, information exchange 14
  26. 26. Internet in general causes difficulties 28Negative correlation between Facebook & student achievement – users having a lower GPA; fewer hours studying; procrastination 29Negative predictors of lower GPA – chatting, checking, posting 24 “Specifically, large increases in time spent on Facebook relate to lower overall GPAs” (p. 194).24
  27. 27. Negative impact on studies & homework completion 45Negative impact; attention deficit 46, 30 “there is a significant negative association between social networking site exposure and academic performance” (p. 278).31No A 4 U – students’ continued multitasking despite known negative consequences
  28. 28. Effect of using SNSs on study habits and differences in academic performance on basis of time spent in SNSs ......Found – SNSs “significantly [negatively] affect the studying habits of the students and eventually their academic performance” (p. 156). {self-reported} 33
  29. 29. Students report – more time on SNSs = lower gradesSNSs ranged from “mere distractions” to “obsession” 47Time and accessibility issues with using Ning; preference with face-to-face over Ning 14Facebook has only a limited role to play in student engagement or achievement 22
  30. 30. Relationship between SNSs and academic performance is inconclusive 45SNS use not significant enough to negatively affect performance 19Insufficient evidence to suggest Ning directly impacted student achievement 2No association between Facebook users and nonusers, and GPA 48“Coin has two sides!” (P. 1501) 43
  31. 31. Do online social networking sites impact student engagement & achievement? Positive Negative NeutralResearch Research Research
  32. 32. “Does online social networking have an impact on student engagement and achievement?” Relativel y new (7) Online Growing SNS in popularit Being Is .... y considere 1,5,6 d by educators 14,11,361
  33. 33. SNSs (positive) Student Engageme nt (14,22,24) Cognitive Skill StudentAchievement Skills Developmen (14,2,13) (42) t (43) Civic Language Twitter Ning engageme Learning nt 27 44 3
  34. 34. SNSs (negative) Student Achievement Affects Affects Distraction academic from Studies Affects GPAstudy habits (24,32,30,45,36) performance (24,29) (33,47) (31,32, 46)
  35. 35. SNSs (neutral) No Not a No connection Insufficient conclusive significantconnection (45) (26) evidence (2) impact (19)
  36. 36. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES HAS BEEN THE FOCUS OF THIS REVIEW. Student achievement Student engagement SNSs can improve engagement and thereby student achievement more conclusive evidence relating to improved engagement, less evidence of actual increases in student achievement.
  37. 37. Conclusions drawn from the body ofresearch analyzed lean towards indicating a negative or neutral correlation between online social networking sites and their impact on student achievement.
  38. 38. The detrimental effect of time on academic studies indicates that students are using social networking for social reasons rather than educational reasons.Despite the reported potential of online social networking sites in education, opening/viewing of sites will often lead to distractive behavior, updating status, chatting, checking photos, etc. rather than attending to the preferred academic behavior 24
  39. 39.  encouraging correlations reported potential for social  The potential for the networking sites very popular social having a positive networking sites impact is evident bodes well for the direct teachers interested contribution of in exploiting this participation in online technology for social networking educational gain in sites to student the classroom achievement remains to be proven 2
  40. 40.  the direct contribution of  While this data gives an participation in online overview of impressions social networking sites to by the subjects, a more student achievement valid result may be remains to be proven 2 obtained by looking at quantitative data such as more research in this changes in grade point area is warranted average. conclusion “Future  for further investigation research needs to look into the types of online more closely at student social networking sites practices in online that will enhance environments, and we learning, as well as must go beyond grades matching these sites to and GPA to include the appropriate types of different forms of courses and applications 46 assessment” (p. 1155). 49  researchers should focus on a variety of popular social networking sites
  41. 41.  Despite inconclusive or neutral attempts to determine the impact of social networking sites on student performance, there is a general agreement that there are a myriad of educational benefits to be derived from SNSs. SNSs provide a viable alternative for educators, that training and support should be provided 14 Advantages of SNSs should be monitored and encouraged by students, teachers, and parents alike, to enhance the educational performance of students. 33
  42. 42.  “When technology supports an affirmative, constructivist learning environment and contributes to successful pedagogical strategies without distracting from essential objectives for development of knowledge and skills, the result of formative evaluation of social networking potentials for distance learning is positive” (p. 98). 2
  43. 43.  With knowledge that there may be negative associations between SNSs, but that researchers are excited about the potential of SNSs, educators developing curriculum connections with social networking sites should be able to observe positive impacts of social networking sites on student engagement and achievement. The research findings that social networks such as Facebook provide a distraction that takes time away from academic pursuits is no surprise to this writer (as a student and a parent), but the positive reports of enhanced engagement through the use of SNSs is something that educators will have to explore.
  44. 44. In this age of 24/7 online connectivity, any aspect of technology which engages students should be fully explored for possible inclusion in the curriculum, and potential increases in student achievement.
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