THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN MAKURDI METROPOLIS

ABSTRACT

This study is set to examine the effect of social networking sites on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in Makurdi metropolis scrutinizing significantly on the effects of good educational practices such as note taking, completion of assignments and their concentration during classes. And also how these social networking site such as Facebook, internet and Whatsapp influences these activities. The area of this study is Makurdi metropolis. The research design adopted for this study is the survey method in data collection. It is used to obtain the peoples opinion through the questionnaire.  A total number of five (schools) was purposively selected and a sample size of 150 students (30 from each school) was drawn out from the selected schools. The sampling technique adopted for this research is purposive sampling technique. The result revealed that 94 (62.7%) respondents agreed and 56 (37.3%) respondents disagreed that they have shared information/chat with their classmates/friends on Whatsapp while the teacher is teaching and this has reduced their level of concentration. Also, 62 (41.3%) respondents agreed and 88 (58.7%) respondents disagreed that WhatsApp has influenced their concentration during classes and this has improved how they performed in most subjects academically.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

 Addiction to the usage of social network has greatly increased in contemporary times. The risk of its effects on the academic performance of the so many students that are involved in it is disturbing. In views of Karpinski and Duberstein (2010), academic performance which is depicted by the grades of students is a great concern to senior secondary schools. Students that spend much of their time on social networks become reliant on it; it is believed that their academic performance will be at a decreasing rate. It has been noticed (Moon, 2011) that school academic performance is devaluated when students engage themselves much in tweeting and using facebook messenger while class lessons are going on.

Furthermore, most students fail to do their assignments given to them by their teachers and instead engage themselves in their electronic gadgets chatting with their friends on the internet. They also show no concern about reading and studying of their various lesson notes after school as they find it less important and less interesting than spending their time on the internet. This is continuously dwindling their academic performance in school. According to research findings (Jomon, 2012; Moon, 2011; Oye, 2012; Shana, 2012; Young, 2006; Yoon, 2000; Jeong, 2005 and Englander, 2010) statistically significant negative relationships exist between time spent by students on social networks and their academic performance. This has taken over the ancient culture of reading all through the night.

Junco, Helbergert, and Loken (2011) are of the view that social media, internet-based tools that promote collaboration and information sharing, can be used in academic settings to promote student engagement and facilitate better student learning. They emphasize that student engagement represents the time and effort that students invest in collaborative and educational activities and is often linked with the achievement of positive student learning outcomes, such as critical thinking and individual student development.

In another study, Nalwa and Anand (2003) show that students like to use internet for their own responsibilities and this affects their academic performance. This study is further elaborated by Karpinski (2009), where it was found that social networking sites users had lower grade rankings than students who never engaged in social interactions.

               Note-taking is the process of recording information captured from another source or transient source, such as an oral discussion at a meeting, a lecture or lesson, in which case, the notes may be the only record of the event. It is also a form of self-discipline. Most students have formed the habit of not taking down notes while lesson is going on in the classroom due to the influence of these social networking sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and twitter. These social networking sites are current messaging applications running on the background of various communication electronic devices. Some of these communication electronic devices include smart phones and ipads. These habits of twitting, facebooking, among other things, lead to lack of concentration and no important point from the lesson is jotted down by the students which will lead to reduction in the assimilation of the lesson being taught and inversely affecting their academic performance. It is perceived that running a social networking site when studying or doing homework could lower a student's grade.

            According to Enriquez (2010), students who multi-task between social networking sites and homework are likely to have 20% lower grades than students who do not have a social networking site in visual range. Napoleon (2014) opines a continuing drop of grades among student users of social networking sites. The rapid adoption of social network sites by students in Makurdi metropolis raises some important questions on the influence of using it on the academic performance of students that use these sites. Kirschner and Karpinski (2010), report that students who are Facebook users have lower Grade points average and spend fewer hours per week studying than nonusers.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            Since the inception of social networking sites in the 1990s, it is perceived in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing enormous challenges. There is deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work.  Scholars (Oluwa and Seni, 2012; Englander, 2000; Aamo and Ode, 2014) have observed that students devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies. Therefore, the question this research work is out to answer is: how do social networking sites influence the academic performance of senior secondary school students in Makurdi Metropolis?

1.3       Purpose of the Study

            The purpose of this research is to determine whether the social networking sites affect the academic performance of secondary school students. The specific objectives of this research are to determine the influence of:

        i.            the internet on senior secondary school students’ attitude to note-taking

      ii.            Facebook on students and their attitude towards assignments.

    iii.            WhatsApp on students’ concentration during classes.

1.4       Research Questions

            This research was carried out to answer the following research questions:

  1.         i.            How does the internet influence students’ attitude towards note taking?
  2.       ii.            How does Facebook influence students’ attitude towards doing assignments?
  3.     iii.            How does WhatsApp influence students’ concentration during classes?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated for the study:

        i.            There is no significant effect of internet on student’s attitude towards note taking

      ii.            There is no significant effect of Facebook on student’s attitude towards assignments

    iii.            There is no significant effect of WhatsApp on student’s concentration during class

1.6       Significance of the Study

            This study is significant to the researchers, students, teachers, parents and also the society at large. It is essential to the researchers as it will lead to the award of a degree in Statistics and Computer Science Education. It will also provide the researchers insights into the influence of social networking sites on academic performance so as to enable them guide those around them as regards prevention of the negative effects. The result from the research will help the students to be conscious of the time they spend on social networking sites in proportion to the time they commit to academic activities and also, it will help them to know the negative effect on their studies. This can be achieved by communicating the result from this research to the students, teachers and parents through seminars and also various Parents Teachers Associations (PTA).

            The result from the research will also provide insight for the parents into how much the internet and Facebook has diminished the academic performance of their children, and also how they can guide them to focus more on their academic activities at home. It is also of significance to the teachers as the result from this study would allow them to understand why some students perform poorly in their academics and also how to overcome such problems. The result from this research will be communicated to the students, teachers and parents through seminars and also various Parents Teachers Associations (PTA) of secondary schools. It will also provide relevant materials for students and other researchers undertaking similar research.

1.7       Scope of the Study

This study has been narrowed down to Special Science Senior Secondary School, North-Bank, Heritage Group of Schools, North-bank. Makurdi International School, High-level, Makurdi, Community Secondary School, Wadata, and Government College all in Makurdi metropolis.

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

The following are key terms used in the Research Work:

  1. 1.      Social Networking Sites – A website where people put information about themselves and can send to others.
  2. 2.      Social Networking – The use of internet to make information about yourself available to other people especially people you share an interest with to send messages to them.
  3. 3.      Mass Media – Are all those media technologies that are intended to reach large audiences.
  4. 4.      Computer – A computer is an electronic device that accepts data, process the data and gives output which can be stored for further use or reference.
  5. 5.      WhatsApp- A chart application usually that works with smart mobile phones; messages can be sent in the form of text, pictures, videos or links.
  6. 6.      Facebook- A social networking site that allow users meet old friends and family, while sharing pictures texts and articles.
  7. 7.      Electronic gadget/devices – these include mobile phones, laptops, notepads, Tablets, etc used in accessing different social networking sites.

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