The study assessed the relationship between social media utilization and academic achievement of undergraduate students in north-western Nigeria. The study had nine specific objectives, nine research questions, and five null hypotheses which were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. A correlation type of descriptive research design was adopted for this study. The population of the study was 9752 of 200 level students who were in 2016/2017 academic session in five federal universities in North West, Nigeria. Two hundred and seventy two students constituted the sample size for the study using simple random sampling technique. The instruments used to generate data for the study was a researcher-constructed social media utilization questionnaire (SMUQ). The drafted questionnaire was validated by the two researchers‘ supervisors and two experts in research and methodology ,pilot tested at E with an estimated reliability of 0.78 which was obtained using Cronbach Alpha Correlation Coefficient Formula.
Mean and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to test null hypotheses one to four, and t-test statistic was employed in testing null hypothesis five. The findings of the study showed that there was no significance relationship between social media utilization and the rate of usage of social networks and undergraduate students academic achievement in north-western universities in Nigeria and gender showed a significant difference in the opinion of male and female students in the use of social media .Based on the findings, it was concluded among others that, social media utilization, and the rate of usage had no significance relationship with undergraduate students‘ academic achievement in North western Nigeria. One among the recommendations given was that Teachers should endeavor to ensure that they incorporate the use of social networks‘ in teaching and learning process so as avoid the menace of the negative influence of these sites on students‘ achievement.
1.1 Background to the Study
The internet revolution changed the information world with regard to sharing, speed, storage and retrieval of information in whatever form regardless of the person‘s location. Through the internet, a number of web technologies emerged, and one technology that is making waves with regard to information sharing and communication are the social media networks. The evolution of social media has cut across all facets of society (education inclusive) with its positive and negative impacts. Social media has transformed and impacted on communication, learning, research and education in general. Among the vast variety of online tools which are available for communication, social networking sites (SNS) have become the most modern and attractive tools for connecting people throughout the world (Aghazamani, 2010).
Social media technology (SMT) refers to ―web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new user-generated or existing content, in digital environments through multi-way communication‖ (Davis, 2012;). Through this platform, individuals and organizations create profiles, share and exchange information on various activities and interests. An interesting aspect of social media is that it is not limited to desktop or laptop computers but could be accessed through mobile applications and smartphones making it very accessible and easy to use. Examples of these social media platforms both on the web and mobile application include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, blogs etc. These sites are used to interact with friends, peers, and others that are found in groups on these sites. The sharing of information ranges from news, debates, gossips, feelings or statement of mind, opinions, research and other academic works in universities and colleges. The Internet usage statistics for the world reported that, there were 7,517,028,970 estimated Internet users with a penetration rate of 100% as at 31st March, 2017 in the world. Also, the estimated population of African internet users were was 1,246,504,865 as at 31st March, 2017. Out of the total Internet users in Nigeria which make accounts for about 16.6% of internet users in Africa, 16,000,000 Nigerian internet users were on Facebook which mark the country at 2nd position after Algeria with 17,000,000 Facebook users (Internet World Statistics, 2017). A report by the National Communications Commission (2017) indicated that mobile data subscribers in the country have increased exponentially with a penetration rate of 90, 003, 101 as at 31st March, 2017 reaching to almost 89.3% and expected to reach up to 92million. the report stated that internet users in Nigeria have increased by 151, 636 in the of June, 2017 The statistics indicate that as more people subscribe to the Internet and mobile phone, the more the increase in data subscriptions. This data subscription is used to access the Internet which in effect is used more to participate on social networks. The driving factors for adoption of social media are the progressively ubiquitous access, convenience, functionality, and flexibility of social technologies. Today, students in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria in which ABU Zaria and Federal University Gusau is inclusive have emerged into utilizing social media networking for social activities. There has been various overview and opinions which recognized four major advantages of social media use in higher education. These include enhancing the relationship, improving learning motivation, offering personalized course material, and developing collaborative abilities. This means that social networking activities have the possibility of enhancing student contact and used to improve their participation in class, particularly where introverted students are involved. Students can function in online group learning, with less or no anxiety of needing to raise questions before peers at school.
Teenagers and young adults in Northwestern universities have embraced social media utilization as a way to connect with their peers, share academic information and showcase their social lives in schools. Social networking utilization became popular between 2004 and 2006 after Facebook and MySpace were created. Social media has about 555 billion users as at September 2016, Facebook has surpassed with 1.71 billion registered accounts and WhatsApp has 1.0 billion users indicating about 81% of undergraduate students, Facebook and Whatsapp users (Global Media Statistics, 2016). Global Digital Media Users (2016) reported that, between 2013 – 2016, Nigeria has 57.7 million social media users, and are expected to hit 76.2 million social media users (84.3%) by 2019. This is not only true for Facebook numbers for YouTube users closely follow as well (University of New Hampshire, 2009). This has shown how undergraduate students embrace the use of social media in universities like ABU and Federal University Gusau students were using mobile handsets, smartphone, and laptops in almost every hour of a day, most of whom concentrate on chatting using either of popularly known social media sites. Hence, indicating how social media is related to academic works of undergraduate students in northwestern universities.
Social networking websites provide tools by which people can communicate, share information, and create new relationships. With the popularity of social networking websites on the rise, our social interaction both in school and outside is affected in multiple ways as we adapt to our increasingly technological world. This includes students‘ engagement on social media sites to ask questions concerning daily school work, posting school work-related-problem questions, tapping assignment questions and creating discussion avenues for school matters. So, such an engagement use to affect the students‘ writing and speaking ability and at the same time enhance their academic commitment. On the other side, they engage on social chatting with friends and families for there freshment of the brain which eventually leading the undergraduate students to deepen into socially connected sites only for pleasure. Like other university students, students in Ahmadu Bello University and Federal University Gusau are observed to have such feature.
A number of studies have been conducted to find out the impact of social media on the academic performance of students. Ito, Baumer, Bittanti, Boyd, Cody and Herr-Stephenson (2009) found that, teens use these technologies for a number of positive activities, which include delving deeper into interest-driven communities and participating in various activities. Ahn (2011) adds that ―Social Network Sites (SNS) provide a platform for the youth to participate in communities that help them to learn, and practice skills within a particular knowledge area.
Conversely, Banquil (2009), found a continuing drop of grades among students who use social networking sites. This was supported by Kirschner and Karpinski (2010), who found a significant negative relationship between Facebook use and academic performance. They concluded that students who use Facebook spend fewer hours per week studying on an average than Facebook nonusers and this resulted in lower mean grade point averages (GPAs). Junco (2012), examined the relationship among numerous measures of frequency of Facebook use with time spent preparing for class and overall GPAs. Hierarchical linear regression analysis from the study by Junco (2012), indicates that time spent on Facebook was strongly and significantly negatively correlated with overall GPA. It is against this background that it has become necessary to conduct this research aimed at assessing the relationship between social media utilization and academic achievement of undergraduate students in North Western Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The rapid advancement of media technology has had a great impact on the way people communicate on a daily basis. The growing dimension of the use of the social media among the youth of today cannot be overemphasized. Social networking among students has become more and more popular. The potential risks facing undergraduates students, as they engage in online social networking to cater or prepare for their social information needs rather than oral or face-to-face communication. The researcher observed that the convenience the social networking sites give undergraduates students to communicate to one another may directly or indirectly affect their interpersonal communication positively or negatively. Also, the purported wrong usage of grammar, spelling and texting language in social media are among the factors that affect undergraduate students‘ academic achievement.
Also the researcher observed that the addiction to social media networking sites by undergraduates‘ students is due to the information availability of vast information which has been made common for users‘ access. With this vast information available, it has become worrisome that students who constitute a large population of daily users can be influenced by irrelevant information which can distract students‘ attention from relevance information of academic significance. Hence, the persistent rate of increase of such problems might be affecting some of north western universities undergraduates‘ academic performance. Based on these problems, therefore, the researcher conducted this study relationship between social media utilization and academic achievement of undergraduate students in North Western Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study was to assess the relationship between social media utilization and academic achievement of undergraduate students in Northwestern Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to:
- Find out the extent of social media utilization among undergraduate students in North-west Nigeria;
- Determine the types of the social media sites utilized by undergraduate students in North-West Nigeria;
- Find out the rate of usage of social media sites by undergraduate students in North-west Nigeria;
- Determine the influence of social media utilization by undergraduate students in North-west Nigeria.
- Determine the relationship between social media utilization by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest universities in Nigeria.
- Find out the relationship between social network sites utilized by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest Universities in Nigeria.
- Determine the relationship between the rate of usage of social media sites by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest universities Nigeria.
- Find out the relationship of the influence of social media utilization by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest Universities Nigeria.
- Compare the difference in the opinion of male and female undergraduate students‘ on the use of social media in Northwest University in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The Following research questions were raised to guide the study;-
- What is the extent of social media utilization among undergraduate students in North-West Nigeria?
- What are the social media sites utilized by undergraduate students in North-West Nigeria?
- What is the rate of usage of social media sites by undergraduate students in North-West Nigeria?
- What is the influence of social media utilized by undergraduate students in North-West Nigeria?
- Is there any relationship between the use of social media by students and their academic achievement in Northwestern universities in Nigeria?
- Is there any relationship between social network sites used by students and their academic achievement in Northwestern Nigeria?
- Is there any relationship between the rate of usage of social media sites by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwestern Universities in Nigeria?
- Is there any relationship between the influence of social media utilization by students and their academic achievement in Northwestern Universities in Nigeria?
- Is there any difference in the opinion of male and female undergraduate students on the usage of social media sites in North-western Nigeria?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated in order to guide the study:
- There is no significance relationship between social media utilized by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest universities in Nigeria.
- There is no significance relationship between social network sites utilized by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest Universities in Nigeria.
- There is no significance relationship between the rate of usage of social media by undergraduate students and their academic achievement in Northwest Universities in Nigeria.
- There is no significance relationship between the influence of social media utilization and academic achievement of undergraduate students in Northwest Universities in Nigeria.
- There is no significance difference between the opinion of male and female undergraduate students on the usage of social media in Northwest Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study was expected to benefits students, parents and guardians, lecturers, school administrators and National University Commission (NUC) among others. The study might be most beneficial to students who need to learn to manage and balance their time so as to be greater contributors to the development of the society. The study may also help the students to know how to use their time wisely and effectively, that is to use social media for academic purposes, like reading books, assignment, collaborative learning and so many things that will help them to achieve academically.
It might equally benefit parents and guardians as they need to wake up to their roles of monitoring their children and wards. The findings from this study might help them to pay more attention to their studies rather than irrelevant social networking sites. When parent understand how best their children can use social media, they would be encouraged to procure phone or laptop computer to improve their learning.
This study might also be of significant to lecturers as they might be able to harness the potential of social media to enhance effective instruction in teaching and learning process. As a result, students‘ performance is expected to increase and this might gladden the lecturer because they have achieved the aims or goal of enhancing students‘ performance and creating positive change in the behaviour of the learners. Also, the study might help the lecturers to understand the influence of social media on their students, to assist them to enlighten and create awareness to the students‘ level of using social media without jeopardizing their academic performance.
It is expected that the output of this research might benefit the administration of tertiary institutions of North Western Nigeria as it will enable them to harness the potential of social media to facilitate students‘ performance which will uplift the standard of the schools and the community. This can make many students from across the region and other regions in Nigeria to yearn for schooling in the region. This work might be of immense benefit to further researchers particularly in the field of Instructional Technology, and shall also add to the available academic literature on social networking. Upon successful completion of this research, it shall be very relevant to various people across Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covered all the undergraduate students in the Universities in Northwestern Nigeria. The study was limited to Federal Universities in Northwest zone of Nigeria because the universities were assumed to have similar characteristics of same curriculum, school settings, type of students and were all federally owned universities. Specifically, the research work was further been limited to only Students of school A and School D. This study was further been limited to 200 level students in the 2016/2017 academic session. The students were selected because they were in their second year in the university system, hence their behavior towards the use of social media was easily be determined.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following are key terms are operational defined in the research work as:
- Social Media:- Refers to computer-mediated tools that allow undergraduate students send, share and exchange information, idea, pictures, videos in a virtual community and networks.
- Social Networking Sites:- A website where undergraduate students put information about themselves and can send to others.
- Academic achievement:- Refers to the cumulative results of the undergraduate students in a university set up.
- Blogs:- A blog (a contraction of the term ―weblog) is a type of website, usually maintained by students with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.