Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 2(6), pp. 446 - 453
DOI: 10.13189/ ujer.2014.020602
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Undergraduates and Their Use of Social Media: Assessing Influence on Research Skills


Kanelechi C.K. Nwangwa 1,2,*, Ebun Yonlonfoun 3, Tope Omotere 4
1 Department of Education, Eastern Nigeria Union Mission, Abia State, Nigeria
2 ASTEC, Owerrinta, Via Aba, Isiala Ngwa South LGA, Abia State, Nigeria
3 Department of Educational Management, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Nigeria
4 Department of History & International Studies, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

ABSTRACT

This research investigates the influence of social media usage on research skills of undergraduates offering Educational Management at six different universities randomly selected from the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. Various studies on the effects of social media on students have concentrated mainly on academic performance (Kirschner & Karpinski, 2010; Oluwatoyin 2011; and Ogedebe, Emmanuel, & Musa, 2012). This research shifts its attention away from this and rather focuses on how social media influences core research skills of undergraduates. The identified areas include how it influences their ability to source for quality research materials; generate ideas about areas of research interest; and develop creative writing skills. Questionnaire was developed to explore the participating students’ views regarding social media, their adoption of social media for research purpose, and the influence of social media on their research skills. The population consisted of six hundred (600) students from six universities comprising male and female respondents. Data was analysed using descriptive analysis and frequency. Chi-square (X2) was used to test the only null hypothesis in the study. The findings of this paper indicate that undergraduates frequently copy from Wikipedia as their major source of information; uses Facebook to generate ideas from colleagues about their research focus; and make use of Wordpress or Blogger to develop their creative writing skills. However, students’ reliance on these social media tools alone has resulted in their dwindling research skills to produce quality research works. Recommendations were made on how to improve students’ research skills.

KEYWORDS
Educational Management, Research Skills, Social Media, Undergraduates, Nigeria

Cite this paper
Kanelechi C.K. Nwangwa , Ebun Yonlonfoun , Tope Omotere . "Undergraduates and Their Use of Social Media: Assessing Influence on Research Skills." Universal Journal of Educational Research 2.6 (2014) 446 - 453. doi: 10.13189/ ujer.2014.020602.