1. 1. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS AND ITS EFFECTS ON STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITY OF VOCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY A thesis submitted to The University of Vocational Technology In partial fulfillment of The requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Technology (Multimedia and Web Technology) by Group – 03 (Multimedia and Web Technology) Approved by Mrs. B.M.T.D. Jayasekara February 2015
  2. 2.2 DECLARATION We certify that this thesis does not, to the best of our knowledge and belief: (i) Incorporate without acknowledgment any material previously submitted for a degree or diploma in any institution of higher education; (ii) Contain any material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the text; or (iii) Contain any defamatory material. We also grant permission for the Library at University of Vocational Technology to make duplicate copies of our thesis as required. • D.C. Ranaweera MMW/13/B1/22 • K.K.M. Kodituwakku MMW/13/B1/14 • R.R.Sampath MMW/13/B1/24 • A.B.B.S. Kumari MMW/13/B1/15 • M.G.S.J. Perera MMW/13/B1/21 • B.P.P.Kusalasiri MMW/13/B1/17 Date:
  3. 3.3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements Abstract Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework Chapter 3: Review of Related Literature Chapter 4: Research Design, Methodology Chapter 5: Data Presentation and Analysis Chapter 6: Research Finding Chapter 7: Suggestion and Recommendation Chapter 8: Summary Chapter 9: Limitations Chapter 10: References Appendixes Appendix A: Questionnaire
  4. 4.4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In the first place we would like to gratefully acknowledge the encouragement and supervision of Mrs. B.M.T.D. Jayasekara, as Principal Supervisor of this study. Her belief in and support of this project has made this very long and arduous work a tremendously rewarding experience. Thank you for your advice and guidance from the very early stage of this research as well as giving us extraordinary experiences throughout the work. Thank you for the gift of learning. We would also like to acknowledge various personnel who have guided and supported us toward the completion of this task.
  5. 5.5 ABSTRACT As social media sites continue to grow in popularity, it is our premise that technology is a vital part in today’s student success equation. This study examined the usage and implications of social networking sites(SNS) among Univotec students. A survey was administered to a random sample of 50 students on SNS use, perceptions of SNS communications, and awareness of the impacts of SNS in academic performance and personal development. Data were collected from a random sample of students at University of Vocational Technology in Rathmalana, during the second semester of 2014. This descriptive, exploratory research study drew a random sample of males and females (N=50), covering all subject streams, who were administered a student perception questionnaire on how social media affects UNIVOTEC students. Thirty-Two percent of the participants were following Multimedia and Web Technology. Twenty-Five percent of participants were following Network Technology and another Twenty-Five percent of participants were following Software Technology. Ten percent of participants were following Mechatronic and Manufacturing Technology wile Eight percent of participants were following Building Construction Services. Results revealed that female students spent more time on SNSs than male students. In general, for both males and females, the time spent on SNS decreased as the age of the respondent increased. The results of the survey questionnaire indicate that 45% of the sample admitted that they spent 6-8 hours per day checking social media sites, while 23% spent more than 8 hours; 20% spent 2-4 hours and only 12% spent less than 2 hours on this task. Results indicate while most college students use social media and spend many hours checking social media sites, there was a negative aspect to college students’ use of social media. As for respondents’ perception of the influence of SNS usage on their academic performance, significant differences were found in terms of age. A greater number of younger students reported negative perception of the effect of SNSs on their academic performance. Results also revealed that there were significant relationships between users’ class rank and field of study, and the influence of SNS. Data also revealed that students’ perceptions of the influence of SNS were consistent with the actual effects as revealed by the findings.
  6. 6.6 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION University students are a unique population. Occupying a middle ground between childhood and adulthood, between work and leisure, university students have been at the forefront of social change since the end of World War II. They were among the first to use the Internet for communication, recreation and file sharing, and the first to have regular broadband Internet access. Internet use first became widespread on universities in the 1990s, and in many ways the Internet is a direct outcome of university-based research. Yahoo!, Napster, Facebook and many other Internet tools were created by university students, and, while the vast majority of college students are simply Internet users, as a group they can be considered pioneers. New developments in the technological world have made the internet an innovative way for individuals and families to communicate. Social media networks have created a phenomenon on the internet that has gained popularity over the last decade. People use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to create and sustain relationships with others (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). These social media sites let those who use them create personal profiles, while connecting with other users of the sites. Users can upload photographs, post what they are doing at any given time, and send personal or public messages to whomever they choose. In this “information age,” social media sites seem to be growing in popularity rapidly, especially among young adults (Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2008). Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, and Zickuhr (2010) found that 72% of all college students have a social media profile with 45% of college students using a social media site at least once a day. Many of these young adults use social media networks to communicate with family, friends, and even strangers. Social media sites have created new and non-personal ways for people to interact with others and young adults have taken advantage of this technological trend. The purpose of this study was to examine the negative and positive impact of social media on a university student.
  7. 7.7 Significance of Study This field of study is important because sociability is an underlying theme in using forms of social media. Since this social media phenomenon is continuing to grow at a fast pace, it is important to understand the effects it has on personal communication. Social media networks offer a straightforward way to converse with peers and get peer feedback, as well, which may influence a young adult’s self- esteem. For example, Facebook is used primarily by students to maintain relationships with individuals they are acquainted with who live near and far. Facebook makes it simpler to communicate with multiple people at one time. Social media may also make it easier for users to monitor activities of people they have not seen in a while as well as reconnecting with new and old friends. Research Questions 1. What is the extent of usage of social media among UNIVOTEC students? 2. Is there a relationship between extent of usage of social media and Education? 3. The effect of social media on UNVOTEC students. The goal of this study was to learn about the Internet’s impact on college students’ daily lives, and to determine the impact of that use on their academic and social routines. To meet those goals, the researchers distributed a Questionnaire to a random sample of UNIVOTEC students. Objectives The objectives of the paper is to determine following in order to assist to derive outcome of the research problem. a. To find the students awareness of social networks. b. To find for what purposes the students are using social networks. c. To find effects of social networks on studies of the students. d. To find Student’s ideas on how social networks can be used positively for education purposes. e. To find average time spent on social networks by UNIVOTEC students f. To find average expenditure spend by students on sustenance in social network
  8. 8.8 CHAPTER 2: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The basic Conceptual framework which was followed throughout the project is drawn below. Social media has changed lots of former procedures in this modern era like expanding the capacity to the area of teaching and learning. This research work seeks to identify the ideas of university of vocational technology on how advantageous social media is to them, their awareness on social media, effects of social networks on studies of the students and their usage patterns. The research findings and recommendations could be adopted and implemented to benefit the area of teaching and learning in the University. Study of three previous works done in this area is briefly discussed below with the proposed frameworks.
  9. 9.9 CHAPTER 3: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Firstly, Hwee (n.d.) proposed a framework generalizing his findings found as results of studying only one secondary school in the whole of Singapore and generalize the finding. The author identified key factors of trust, comfort level, command of language, attitude towards work and image, as additional factors that would influence the adoption of Social Networks. The school which the research was based on is the first primary future school that was set up under the FutureSchools@Singapore program in 2008. The school's core mission is to seek innovative teaching approaches that leverage on technologies to better engage the new generation of young learners. The engaged the students in a key pedagogical approach used by the school for the learning of languages and media literacy skills. The completed student projects,activities were published in the school network and the Internet, via blog sites, so that peers and parents could view and also provide their comments and words of encouragement. Teachers facilitated students to learn with ICT - production and collaboration. All students from the Primary 4 level classes participated in an online questionnaire survey on their frequency of usage for: (1) ICT, (2) learning management system, (3) blogs, (4) online games and applets, and (5) online social networking tools (e.g., chats, MSN and forum) in school for the learning of English and mathematics. The frequency of use is based on a Likert-scale of 1 to 7 as stated below.
  10. 10.10 Venkatesh et al. (2003) combined eight technology acceptance models to propose a framework known as the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). This model encompasses the factors performance expectancy, expectancy effort, social influence, facilitating conditions and behavioural intention and gender, age, voluntaries, experience were used to measure the influences on the factors. It identified the lack of key contextual factors when it comes to the use and implementation of social networks. However Indicators such as policy and culture and financial support were not discussed in the work of Venkatesh et al. (2003). The work presented by Monguatosha et al.(2011) discusses budgeting and accountability in addition to the existing factors on the upper mentioned UTAUT model. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used in the proposition made by Monguatosha et al.(2011). But the researchers didn’t expand their research on implementation and maintenance of ICT infrastructures, cultural influences, policies on the adoption of technology and social network usage on education. Stella Wen Tian of the University of Science & Technology of China (Suzhou Campus) and Angela Yan Yu, Douglas Vogel and Ron Chi-Wai Kwok of City University of Hong Kong suggested that Online social networking sites, such as Facebook, can help students become academically and socially integrated as well as improving learning outcomes. The researchers explain that Facebook usage is around 90% across campuses and many educational institutions. Students reported that it could enhance and maintain friendships, build social networks/establish virtual relationships , diminish barriers to making friends, follow peer trends, share photos, for fun and leisure and to keep in touch with family. In terms of learning, students reported that Facebook allowed them to connect with the faculty and other students in term of friendship/social relationship, provide comments to peers/share knowledge, share feelings with peers, join Groups established for subjects, collaboration: notification, discussion, course schedule, project management calendar and to use educational applications for organizing learning activities.
  11. 11.11 The following figure indicates statistics regarding social media usage based on a research that carried in USA using adult internet users as the population.
  12. 12.12 CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODOLOGY Population: It was selected the Year 1 ,2 ,3 undergraduates from the university of vocational technology as the population. This population has 240 students. So we selected 40 students as the sample by applying random sampling method. This sample covered all the faculties selecting a similar number of students. Data Collection Methods: Observation and interviews is the best method to get the most accurate data for our research. But practically it was difficult. So it was decided to distribute a questionnaire to gather the data. Before the distribution of the printed question forms, we explained the objectives of the research and the importance of accurate data. We assumed that there may be an 80% accuracy in the data that collected.
  13. 13.13 CHAPTER 5: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS For the analysis we used the data in 40 questionnaires. It was used some tables to summarize the data (tabulating method). Later we used a computer based spreadsheets to sort and filter the data what it was in the tables. These computer based tables were used to display the analysis results as graphs and charts for further verifications. To measure the central tendency it was used the Mean as one of the measuring tool. Based on the mean value it was calculated some percentage values of the findings. Furthermore it was used the Mode of data to get the conclusions. The most occurred answers lead to fixed the research objectives in a well-balanced platform. Sometimes it was the Median that formed the

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    answer for some of our curios. As this wasn’t very mathematical we did not use the normal curve approach methodologies to finalize our findings. Other than that most of the central tendency measuring tools was used in our research analysis phase. How Social Media is Used in UNIVOTEC Following graph represents the social media usage of the students in UNIVOTEC. The data was gathered from questionnaires using a sample of 40 participants out of 240 population representing all the full time degree programs.

  14. 14.14 Based on the results we can assure that multimedia students use social media other due to fact that they are much more exposed to the computer and internet and they are interactively participating for social media events. Least users are building services technology students, since their work does not relate with social media. Considering the following question we asked in our questionnaire, we can assure that most students have a personal computer, laptop or smart phone to surf net. Based on the sample it is 92.5 Do you have personal Computer or Laptop Frequenc y Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Yes 37 92.5 92.5 92.5 No 3 7.5 7.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 About 72.5% from the sample uses more than one social network. Only 22.5% use just Facebook. What social media you use Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Facebook 9 22.5 22.5 22.5 ALL 2 5.0 5.0 27.5 More than one 29 72.5 72.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0
  15. 15.15 According to the research sample more than 75% use social media less than or equal 3 hours.50% of students use less than 1 hour. Most of Students use social networks during 8.00pm to 12.00am. Because this time period happens to be the free time of the day and also most service providers allow low cost data bundle allocated for this time slot. At what time period Frequenc y Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid 8.00 am to 12.00 pm 5 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm 3 7.5 7.5 20.0 4.00pm to 8.00 pm 9 22.5 22.5 42.5 8.00pm to 12.00 am 21 52.5 52.5 95.0 More than one 2 5.0 5.0 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0
  16. 16.16 Most of Students use social networks not only the for the education purposes. Majority use for more than one purposes. For what purposes do you use social media? Frequenc y Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Chat with friend 3 7.5 7.5 7.5 Educational purpose 7 17.5 17.5 25.0 More than one 30 75.0 75.0 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 For the question that we asked “Do you believe that you’re addicted to social media”, 45% of students gave positive answers which indicate that they believe that they are addicted to social media.
  17. 17.17 Do you believe you are addicted to social media Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Yes 18 45.0 45.0 45.0 No 21 52.5 52.5 97.5 No idea 1 2.5 2.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 Statistics shows 52.5% believe that social media can be used efficiently and effectively for teaching and learning purposes. Do you think studies are affected by your use of social media? Frequen cy Percent Valid Percent Cumulati ve Percent Valid Yes 21 52.5 52.5 52.5 No 10 25.0 25.0 77.5 Not sure 9 22.5 22.5 100.0 Total 40 100.0 100.0 Therefore we can emphasize that majority of the students use social media productively and they are furnished with positive attitudes. Finally we can say other students also can be motivated to use social media on a productive manner.
  18. 18.18 CHAPTER 6: RESEARCH FINDING Social media usage categorized by the degree course In the data analysis it was evident that undergraduates of ICT based degrees such as Multimedia & web Technology, Software Technology and Network Technology use Social media in a higher percentage than other undergraduates of Building services, manufacturing or mechatronics degrees. Because of their course structure ICT undergraduates work with Social media and online tools more than others. Social networks usage through personal computer, laptop or smart phone Students who use their own personal computer, laptop ,tablets or smart phones to access social media is 92.5%.This indicates that the majority of the students have their own technology facilities to access internet and social media. This indicator depicts that many students are exposed to internet and social media through technology. Most used social media network Since determining how social media can be of effective use in education it is important to identify what is the most used social media by students so with that information it is possible to create an effective learning method where majority of students can participate. The research shows that the majority of students use Facebook as a social media.22.5% of students only use Facebook while 27.5% of students use all the social networks which we considered (Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin) in the research. Time of social media usage According to the research sample more than 75% use social media less than or equal 3 hours.50% of students use less than 1 hour.This factor depicts that the majority of students use considerably time on social networks.This time can be converted to an valuable learning experience through the help of social media.
  19. 19.19 Most of Students use social networks during 8.00pm to 12.00am because this time slot happened to be their free time of day schedule. This factor is important when planning real time learning experiences. Addiction to social media 45% of students gave positive answers which indicate that they believe that they are addicted to social media. Student purposes for using social media In generally social media usage can be categorized in two as social, entertainment purposes and educational purposes. Tertiary education students use information technology tools for several purposes such as connecting to friends, family, reading news, event notification, entertainment, etc. As a matter of fact it was clear through the research that undergraduate students use social media for both upper mentioned purposes. Even though Some educators feel that social networking is innately disruptive to the education process the research depicts that majority of students already use social media for educational purposes.52.5% students believe that their studies are affected by the use of social media in a positive way. Majority of students believe that the social media networks can be used for educational purposes and it will be a success. Upon data collection from the University students of Vocational Technology the study came up that, factors such as financial status of students, exposure to technology, popularity of social media among students, freedom to use social media networks and attitudes regarding the social media were influencing the adoption of social networking for teaching.
  20. 20.20 CHAPTER 7: SUGGESTION AND RECOMMENDATION Development and Improvement of usage of Social media networks for educational purposes within university Primary recommendation is usage of Social media networks for educational purposes should be improved within the university. There can be various methodological approaches which can be used. Study groups, Communities, forums take priority. If real time learning experience such as online discussions is proposed the ideal time would be the evening to night because many students are free to use social media at that time slot. Learning and teaching activities should be encouraged since most of the university students have access to internet through their own computers, laptops or smart phones. It is evident that Facebook is the most used and popular social network among students so it is a suggestion that the activities based on Facebook social media me be highly successful with better student participation. Students and academic staff need to be trained on how to use Social network Technologies effectively on studies. The University authority should therefore, organize seminars and workshops that will enhance the knowledge base on how to use social media for teaching and learning. A committee or responsible authority should be designated to measure the progress of the use of the technology. Materials can be shared through social media, expressing ideas, exchanging knowledge, participate in discussions will be a highly valued learning experience Improvement of ICT Infrastructure within University Other suggestions are the speed of the internet should be enhanced, with a better network infrastructure so that the students get more exposed to social network technologies in general. Enhancing ICT infrastructure will influence students and lecturers to use more social media based learning activities’ highly technical, modern learning activities may increase student positive attitudes towards learning. It will be an interesting opportunity for student as well as lecturers to be more exposed to social network technologies. Hotspots should be created on campus where students can cluster around and use.
  21. 21.21 Since most students prefer their own laptops or smart phones to access internet University authorities need to consider an effective mechanism on how to make laptops available for all of their students. When students have laptops to use, it will encourage them to have a strong affiliation with the technology.
  22. 22.22 CHAPTER 8: SUMMARY This study examined the usage and implications of social networking sites among UNIVOTEC students. Results found that female college students spent more time on SNSs than male students. In general, for both males and females, the time spent on SNS decreased as the age of the respondent increased. As for respondents’ perception of the influence of SNS usage on their academic performance, significant differences were found in terms of age. A greater number of younger students reported negative perception of the effect of SNSs on their academic performance. Results also revealed that there were significant relationships between users’ class rank and field of study, and the influence of SNS. Data also revealed that students’ perceptions of the influence of SNS were consistent with the actual effects as revealed by the findings. This research was based on a random sample and thereby limiting the ability to generalize the results to the larger population. Future research with a random sample could focus on additional dimensions of SNS usage and students’ extracurricular activities, work schedules, and their interrelationships. This research has explored the issue of social networks and its implications in terms of only a few variables. Future research could focus on a much wider spectrum of dimensions relating SNS usage and its implications for the lives of all demographics. In today digital social media networks highly effect for the human behaviors and activities. According to a new eMarketer report, in 2013, nearly one in four people worldwide use social networks. The number of social network users around the world will rise from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year, an 18% increase. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion. The findings of this study suggested that almost all UNIVOTEC students were using some form of social networking website. This is significant since Lenhart et al. (2010) found that 71% of young adults have a Facebook account. The current study indicated that Facebook and e-mail were the social network websites of choice, with 99% of college students using Facebook and 90% using e-mail. These findings concurred with research by Lenhart et al. (2010) which found that Facebook is the most popular form of social media.
  23. 23.23 Participants in this study indicated that the websites they update the most was Facebook and Twitter. As found in research done by Sheldon (2008) and Quan-Haase and Young (2010), majority of college students visited their social networking sites several times a day, and this shows that the extent of usage of social media sites is frequent. Several reasons were given as to why college students were using social networking websites. The most important reason given was to communicate with family and friends. Entertainment and boredom were also prominent reasons for use social networking sites. These findings are supported by Sheldon (2008) who found that students use Facebook and other websites to pass time, be entertained, and maintain existing relationships with others. It seemed that college students were using social media sites to communicate with others as well as to occupy free time when they were bored. Communicating with friends and family on social media sites was very common among students in the current study. However, with friends and family living all over the world and having busy lives, communicating via a computer was a more convenient option. Students used a variety of ways to communicate with friends and family on social networking sites. Wall posts and status updates were the most common ways to communicate, but students sent private messages and posted photographs as well. Probably, posting wall posts and status updates was easier and faster to communicate than sending private messages or posting photographs. Participants in this study reported communicating with friends and family on social media websites several times in a week. Data also revealed that some students are addicted to social media sites, but they are not aware of the fact. They accept it as usual behavior of students. E – Learning and M-learning are used for present distance learning activities. Use for those learning and teaching methods through social media can be an effective way of using with a low cost method. Addiction can become useful if used for those reasons. Research also revealed that the students access the social media most of the time during lecture time, while they are in class. This may have affected their studies even though they do not believe so. It was found that social media can be used constructively to upgrade the education of students from this research.
  24. 24.24 CHAPTER 9: LIMITATIONS  Use of Random Sampling  Relied on self-reporting  Sample size  Use of one institute  Time
  25. 25.25 CHAPTER 10: REFERENCES  Facebook. (2011). Statistics. Retrieved from  Foregger, S. K. (2008). Uses and gratifications of Doctoral dissertation,Michigan State University  Gerlich, R. N., Browning, L., & Westermann, L. (2010, November). The social media affinity scale: implications for education. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 3(11), 35-41. Retrieved November 28, 2011         
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