Prospects and Challenges of Using Social Sites in Higher Education

Afifa Khanam, Uzma Quraishi, Shabana Kausar

Abstract


Social networking is a virtual thread of grouping individuals. The present study has explored the prospects and challenges of using social sites in higher education. The study involved mixed method for collecting comprehensive information about the issue. A survey was conducted to randomly selected 21 university teachers and 279 university graduate and post graduate students. A significant difference was found between the perceptions of students having technological facilities in their universities and those having no facilities in higher education. Most of the participants supported the statements related to utility and possibility of using social sites for disseminating course schedules, outlines of courses, reading materials (audio, video, photofigures, print), discussing course problems, exchange of educational ideas and looking for better opportunities of admissions and career. The qualitative part of the study employed a series of focus group discussions conducted with students and teachers of graduate and post graduate level to highlight the opportunities and issues involved in disseminating instruction through social sites. Participants opined that social sites could provide flexible, versatile, attractive and creative educational activities. The major concerns came to light were publicity distraction, irregular use of social sites and extinction of specialized curricula by the universities. It was recommended that universities should take well planned initiatives with specially designed courses and generate interactive communities for class communication to ensure the use of social sites for educational purposes.

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References


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